Community campaigners are making a last-ditch plea to councillors to reject plans to designate the rural hinterland of Kilkenny city suitable for wind turbines.
Objectors say a wind energy company is scoping out the area and could bring 180-metre turbines that would be visible from the medieval city, spoiling the backdrop to its historic landmarks.
They also fear the turbines would overshadow their homes, devalue properties and diminish their enjoyment of what should be a peaceful, scenic setting.
Kilkenny councillors meet today to vote on the new county development plan, which will govern development decisions for the next six years.
The plan proposes expanding the areas across the county deemed suitable for wind turbines.
An area beginning several kilometres to the east of the city including Castlewarren, Flagmount and Ossory Hill is to be designated so applications by wind developers would be “acceptable in principle”.
Previously, the area had the weaker designation of “open for consideration”.
Eugene O’Sullivan of the Save Our Hills campaign group said local residents were shocked to discover their locality’s designation was changing.
“The draft development plan went to public consultation during lockdown and we didn’t pick up on this,” he said.
“We were too late to make formal submissions so now we’re just hoping we can get the councillors to reconsider this before they vote the plan through.”
EDF Renewables has expressed an interest in the area and has begun discussions with local landowners.
“We are at a very early, exploratory stage but no decision has yet been made,” a company spokesman said.
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