Bord na Mona Powergen has has moved forward with plans for a controversial wind farm planned for Offaly as it has lodged a Pre-Application Consultation with An Bord Pleanala .
The wind farm is planned for Lemanaghan and surrounding townlands with between 3 and 17 turbines planned for the site.
The Pre-Application Consultation was lodged with the national planning authority on July 15.
Pre-Application Consultations are a step in strategic infrastructure developments. According to the An Bord Pleanala website, the idea of Pre-Application Consultations is to try to make sure that an application for permission or approval is of a high standard and among other considerations gives the applicant ‘an opportunity to address and consider the effects of the proposed development on the environment and habitats’.
Pre-Application Consultations must be requested before an application for permission or approval is made to An Bord Pleanála.
Locals have mobilised against the proposed wind farm with a committee formed to oppose the plans.
The committee’s first objective is to have the draft county development plan changed, removing Leamonaghan Bog as an area open to consideration to wind energy.
The committee believes that the Lemanaghan Conservation Plan, written by the Heritage Council, should be adhered to by Offaly County Council.
The Conservation Plan recommends “actions to maintain the layers of significance embodied in the place, within the context of the delicate physical state of buildings and archaeology and the strong local traditions of continued devotion.”
The Conservation Plan also states that “it is important that the options considered for the post-industrial use of the bog are sympathetic to the significance of the site.”
The Conservation Plan which was supported by Offaly County Council was done to “provide a framework for decision-making on future developments to infrastructure and land use.”
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