Following the announcement that an application for a wind farm comprising 20 turbines measuring up to 185m high on the Mushera mountainside is soon to be lodged with An Bórd Pleanála, a member of a local campaigning group has said that people in the surrounding communities will lodge hundreds of objections. “The fight is far from over,” said John O’Sullivan, a member of Mushera Wind Aware from Kilcorney. “Without much effort, when Coillte and Orsted (the newly renamed Coillte partner, Brookfield) lodged an application for a retention of a meteorological mast with Cork County Council, we were able to gather 220 objections at a time of lockdown when we didn’t go door to door or anything like it. “I can guarantee that we will get multiples of that number when we go out to gather objections to the main plan.” The Mushera Wind Aware Group have objections to the Ballinagree Wind Farm on multiple grounds and say their group draws its membership from Kilcorney, Millstreet and Ballinagree, the three communities directly impacted by the proposed windfarm. “According to Cork County Council documents, the county provides 20 per cent of Ireland’s total wind power, while Kerry also supplies the same amount,” said Mr O’Sullivan. “If the Ballinagree wind farm gets the go-ahead, Cork will be supplying 25 per cent of the country’s wind power. “Cork has 10 per cent of the country’s population, so the fact that we would be supplying 20 or 25 per cent of the wind power, it doesn’t make sense.” He also pointed to the fact, acknowledged in documentation from An Bórd Pleanála, that the windfarm proposed for Ballinagree was within 6km of another five wind farms; and an additional wind farm proposal, for which consent had been given. “We are surrounded by windfarms,” he said. While a final design layout has been published and distributed, Mr O’Sullivan, who lives within three kilometres of the site for the proposed development, says that he and others he knows have yet to receive it: “There’s only a select few receiving them, they’re not being distributed to everyone,” he claimed. While he is aware that the latest information about the proposed windfarm on Mushera is online at www.ballinagreewindfarm.com, he says that it’s not up to him to go to the website given that it is the wind farm proposers have entered “his community”. “It is they who are coming into our community, it’s not our responsibility to go to them,” he feels. “They had the farmers and the landowners that they have signed up, they had all that done, wrapped up in a nice little package with a bow on top before anybody else found out what was going on,” he claimed.
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