Time to halt windfarm projects, say councillors

It’s time to cry halt — that’s the message from a region which has more wind turbines than most other parts of the country.

Time to halt windfarm projects, say councillors

Under pressure from local communities, councillors in north Kerry are moving to stop the erection of further windfarms and are seeking to have a ban inserted in the new six-year county development plan, which is currently being considered.

Planning permission has been granted for just over 400 turbines in the region — half of which have yet to be constructed.

Over 100 turbines can be seen from the elevated Lyrecrompane area, objectors have told the council.

Protestors from the Ballyhorgan and Finuge areas are seeking an amendment to the development plan which will rule out turbines in the future.

The current plan supports turbines in most parts of Co Kerry and is backed up by government policy which encourages the development of renewable energy sources.

However, there are growing fears that turbines in scenic areas are damaging the tourism industry, despite the development of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Great Southern Trail.

North Kerry councillors are proposing a change in the wording of the county development plan to recognise the scenic amenity of the ‘entire county’ and to ensure the main industries of farming and tourism are protected.

Councillors said they do not want any further development in the Tralee and Listowel municipal areas until 90% of windfarms granted planning permission have been developed.

Management has pointed out such a policy could contravene national policy.

The Department of the Environment is reviewing national energy guidelines and has asked councils not to review their wind energy strategies until the review has concluded.

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