Kerry windfarm rejected as 1,000 voice opposition

Kerry County Council has refused planning permission for a 10-turbine wind farm proposed for the Ballyhorgan area, near Listowel

Kerry windfarm rejected as 1,000 voice opposition

More than 1,000 people signed a petition opposing plans, while objectors attended several public meetings locally as well as staging protests outside the council’s Tralee headquarters.

Around 250 objections were lodged against the planning application submitted by Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd.

Giving reasons yesterday for rejecting the application, the council said the development would seriously injure the amenities of the area and would be contrary to wind-energy guidelines for local authorities.

Had they been allowed to proceed, the 156.5m turbines would be highest in the State and taller than the Dublin Spire by 30m.

The North Kerry Wind Turbines Awareness Group, which led the opposition, claimed the sheer size of the turbines would dominate the rural community, would destroy the landscape, devalue homes, and cause disruption to local life through noise and shadow flicker.

The group maintained that there were already too many turbines in the region, which includes towns and villages such as Listowel, Ballyduff, and Ballybunion.

Several postings appeared on the group’s Facebook page welcoming the decision, with some posters saying it was a victory for common sense and logical thinking. The group had threatened to take its case to the EU.

Earlier this year, hundreds of signs were erected in the area saying homes would be offered for sale in the Ballyhorgan and Finuge areas if the windfarm was granted the green light.

In reaching its decision, the council said the windfarm on the scale proposed would create a “significant visual intrusion’’.

Enerco Energy, the parent of company of Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd, had argued the project would be in line with state policy to have 40% of our energy produced from renewable sources, chiefly wind, by 2020.

The company also said it carried out extensive studies of wildlife, archaeology, hydrology, and every aspect of natural life in the area as part of a comprehensive impact assessment. The company has four weeks to submit an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Planning refused

US billionaire Donald Trump has blown plans for a giant windfarm near his Irish golf resort off course — with a little help from a critical endangered pearl mussel.

Yesterday, Clare Co Council refused planning permission to Clare Coastal Wind Power Ltd to erect a nine-turbine 126ml windfarm within sight of Mr Trump’s Doonbeg Golf Resort on Clare’s coast.

Mr Trump had led the charge against the planned windfarm, which also attracted widespread local opposition groups and from Friends of the Irish Environment, while An Taisce and the Irish Peat Conservation Council also expressed concerns.

Twenty-three landowners in the area stood to receive an annual dividend from allowing the turbines be built on their lands.

Gordon Deegan

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