The Delvin Raharney Ballivor Wind Action Group has called on Bord na Móna to postpone submitting its planning application for 26 200m high wind turbines in the Ballivor Bog Group for at least six months.
Around 150 people attended the group’s first public meeting, which was held in Ballivor Hall on Friday night.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, DRB spokesperson Daryl Kennedy said that attendees voiced concerns about a range of issues surrounding BNM’s and Galetech’s plans to construct a combined total of 35 wind turbines in the locality, including the potential impact of the two projects on biodiversity, people’s health and well being, and property prices.
He said that many people living in the area were unsure about the scale of the two proposed developments.
“They wouldn’t have been fully aware of the combined wind farms and where we are in the planning processes. There was some information circulated by BNM in August/September in a glossy brochure, but not everyone got that.
“BNM tend to issue information to people within two kilometres but the reality is with the scale of the wind farms being proposed the impact will be much further than the 2km zones.
“…I think some were shocked by the magnitude and the scale [of the developments],” he said.
In addition to calling for BNM to postpone its planning application for at least six months to allow for a community consultation process unhindered by Covid restrictions, the DRB is also calling on the government to reconsider what the group sees as Ireland’s over reliance on wind energy when it comes to meeting its renewable energy targets.
“Each county or region of the country should be independent to decide what renewable energy mix is most appropriate for their respective areas,” Mr Kennedy said.
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