Plans for nine massive 185m wind turbines in the Coolronan, Ballivor, and Delvin area are being met by strong opposition locally with 150 concerned residents attending a community meeting on the plans last week.
It follows the lodging of an application by Bracklyn Windfarm Ltd with Bord Pleanala for a nine-turbine wind farm on lands at Coolronan and Ballivor in Meath and Ballagh, Billistown, Ballinacor, and Bracklyn, in Westmeath. Bracklyn Windfarm Ltd is a subsidiary of Gaeltech Energy Group.
The Delvin Raharney Ballivor (DRB) Wind Action Group, which hosted the community meeting on 23rd October, had originally intended to fly a blimp at a height of 185m at the site to show the height of the turbines. However, the weather wasn’t calm enough and they moved the meeting to St Patrick’s Hall in Delvin.
Daryll Kennedy, a spokesperson for the group, said the fact they have to get a’ no-fly zone ‘in place to put the blimp up at 185m shows just how high these turbines would be. They still hope to fly the blimp in the next week or two, weather dependent, and are applying to the Irish Aviation Authority for permission.
Last week’s meeting was the first time they could hold a community meeting and Mr Kennedy said that such a turnout on the Saturday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend “spoke volumes”.
Residents are also concerned about Bord Na Mona’s plans for a 26 turbine wind farm in the Ballivor Bog Group with an application expected to be lodged in the near future.
“These will be 35 of the biggest turbines in the country. These are enormous turbines on a flat rural landscape,” said Mr Kennedy.
Among concerns are the height and scale of the turbines, potential noise, the shadow flicker, property devaluation, and the disruption during the 18-month construction period.
Mr Kennedy said fundamentally he believes that there is enough wind in the system already and that a balanced system was needed with a variety of other renewables.
He told how the concrete pad circles of 22m in width would be needed for each of the turbines and raised concerns about the amount of concrete going into the bog and also about the “enormous” substation that goes along with it. “Is there really a carbon benefit in this?” he asked.
Submissions can be made on the plans up to 28th November and the group intends to hold another meeting before then to discuss submissions.
Any locals who want to find out more about the plans or how to make a submission can contact the DRB Wind Action group at email@example.com or by on Facebook at Delvin Raharney Ballivor Wind Action Group.
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