Turbine building project on hold until concrete traffic plan is put in place

Cork County Council has advised ESB International not to transport large amounts of concrete into a site where wind turbines are being constructed until a traffic management plan is altered.

Turbine building project on hold until concrete traffic plan is put in place

By Sean O’Riordan

Cork County Council has advised ESB International not to transport large amounts of concrete into a site where wind turbines are being constructed until a traffic management plan is altered.

Council officials told the State-owned company, ESBI, it needs to submit a new traffic plan to An Bord Pleanála which will be acceptable to the county council for the transportation of multiple loads of concrete through the Mid-Cork Gaeltacht area of Coolea, close to the Kerry border.

Grousemount Farm /ESBI received permission through a strategic infrastructure development granted by An Bord Pleanála to construct 37 wind turbines on the Kerry side of the county bounds in 2015.

Council chief executive Tim Lucey confirmed that his officials had spoken with ESBI and advised the company to come up with a new traffic plan.

We will consider an alternative proposal when it’s put in,” Mr Lucey assured councillors.

He was replying to queries from Cllr Gobnait Moynihan who said the people of Coolea had “put up with an awful lot” due to construction work in recent months.

She said ESBI planned to have a convoy of between 60-70 truckloads ferry concrete through Coolea at least once a week over a period of 37 weeks.

Cllr Moynihan said she was very concerned about the safety of local schoolchildren, in particular.

“ESBI has been around the village long enough to know they need to start listening to worries of the community and quit talking at them,” she said.

Communication works more efficiently when it’s a two-way system.

Cllr Moynihan said there was an alternative route the ESBI could use instead of going up through the village.

“That’s the Clonkeen road across the mountain, that’s already used to service other turbines. If ESBI took this route they wouldn’t be disturbing any community but, instead, they tell us it isn’t commercially viable,” Cllr Moynihan added.

She also pointed out that the roads in the area were deteriorating badly due to the heavy construction traffic using them.

Cllr Frank O’Flynn supported Cllr Moynihan’s calls for better traffic management.

Mr Lucey said the company had to agree with the council that it would draw up a new traffic management.

“It’s incumbent on us to engage with them if they come up with an alternative.

“I’m saying that without any prejudice to any discussion held,” he added.

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