Plans for €20m windfarm on hold

Contentious plans for a €20m windfarm near a small village in west Clare have been put on hold.

The move follows a series of submissions by locals, including action groups, along with An Taisce, Birdwatch Ireland, and the Department of the Environment.

Clare Winds Ltd is seeking planning for the 13-turbine windfarm, 4km from the village of Kilmihil. On completion, the site would have the capacity to power 14,270 households, the applicants claim.

The tip height of the turbines is 450ft high — more than 50 ft higher than Dublin’s Spire.

In lodging plans with Clare County Council, the applicants claim the site is an optimum location for the development of a proposed wind energy project.

However, one of the objectors, Glenmore Action Group, warned: “The tranquility and beauty of this peaceful area will be lost to our community, especially the younger generation. We don’t want to be surrounded and looking out our living area windows at these huge proposed turbines.”

Birdwatch Ireland outlined concerns over the placement of wind turbines among foraging areas used by the protected hen harrier, in particular.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment said an environmental impact statement was deficient in a number of respects and did not contain potential effects on wintering birds and passage migrants.

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