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Locals opposed to a planned wind farm just a few kilometres outside of Kilkenny City are continuing their campaign to stop the development by EDF Renewables Ireland, which is wholly owned by the French energy giant, EDF Group.
The community was out in force last Thursday evening at a public meeting, organised by the Save Our Hills group, at Johnswell Hall.
Local auctioneer, Michael Boyd, who lives just under one kilometre from a proposed wind turbine, told the meeting that in his opinion if the planned development goes ahead the scale of devaluation of property in the area will be ‘on a scale of between 20% and 100%’.
Locals also outlined their concerns including the destruction of the scenic landscape, the social cost to the community with people leaving the area and the persistent noise and nuisance from the turbines.
One of the organisers, Stephen Keogh told the meeting that the proposed development ‘is about money and power for the big data centres in the country’.
Mr Keogh also said according the group it is believed that EDF have signed agreements with at least six landowners in the area.
The meeting also heard that there were 600 objections from the locality to the recent County Development Plan regarding the zoning of lands as suitable for wind development.
EDF Renewables Ireland has stated that it intends to submit a planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in support of the project to the relevant authority in late 2023. Subject to planning permission, the wind farm could be constructed and operational by 2028. The company also said that a Community Benefit Fund commensurate with the size of the final project will be established to provide funding for local community initiatives and activities.
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