Residents in Scartaglin and neighbouring parishes have lodged 1,500 submissions with Kerry County Council over proposals to zone Scartaglin for wind farm development as part of the new County Development Plan.
Following community meetings held at Scartaglin Heritage Centre in recent months, residents decided to voice their opposition to the plan. One Scartaglin resident said the entire way of life for his community is under threat if this is voted on. Councillors will gather later this month to discuss public submissions.
Residents feel zoning large tracts of land around Scartaglin for wind farm development will lead to Scartaglin’s steady decline as a place to live.
“The council will say its green energy and this and that. But there are plenty ways for creating green energy without stamping down on people’s heads,” said Scartaglin resident, Michael Horan.
“People have to live as well. It’s crazy and it is selling out people. Our houses and land will be driven down in value. Our way of life is under threat here.”
The submissions list several different concerns, especially locating 200m tall turbines near homes that would impact visual sensitivity, create noise and shadow flicker, threaten flora and fauna, and damage local roads and infrastructure.
Barna wind farm [Knockrour East] is already located close to Scartaglin, and if plans to zone additional lands are passed, it would make lodging objections against future wind development difficult for residents.
“It’s like a jigsaw with these wind farms. It starts with four or five and then they add in another four or five. Before you know it there’s 20 or 30 there,” said Michael.
“The fear for Scart is that between Barna and this new zone proposal, half of Scart would be zoned for wind energy, which would make it an industrial zone for wind energy. The knock-on effect of this is people are not going to want to live in the area, so you won’t have football teams, your local school is going to go; Scartaglin will just die out if this happens.”
Up to 40 people were involved in gathering the submissions. And while most of the objections are from residents in Scartaglin, residents in Currow, Ballydesmond, Gneeveguilla, Rathmore, Cordal, and surrounding Castleisland regions also submitted concerns.
“It’s going to affect the entire community from the local pub to local tradespeople if this zone gets the go ahead. It will be impossible for us to do anything. The noise off of these 200m turbines is also much louder.
“That reality hasn’t set in, and yet they’ll only be the same set back distance of a turbine 130m. We’re letting the council know that we are not going anywhere and that we plan to fight this tooth and nail. You can’t just impact on people’s lives in this way,” Michael said.
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