CLARE County Council’s decision last Friday to grant planning permission to Brookfield Renewable Ireland Ltd for 11 wind turbines, will mean that a total of 98 turbines will be located within a 10km radius in Connolly, Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Lissycasey and Kilmihil.
Up to 131m in height, permission was given subject to 27 conditions. Fifty six separate submissions were received by the council, with 53 of them listed as objections from local residents and community groups.
In a detailed submission, the Conserve Kilmaley Group outlined its concerns with the latest windfarm, noting that almost 100 wind turbines would be located in the area, if granted permission.
“This combined development is a very substantial windfarm in terms of site area, scale and height of turbines, capacity of output, noise emissions and enormous local disturbance to the environment – peat disposal, tree felling, loss of moorland and bog habitat, impact on all species and impacts on residents and their dwellings,” were amongst some of the knock-on effects the group outlined in its submission.
The application by Brookfield Renewable Ireland Ltd includes associated turbine foundations, hard standing areas and drainage, tree felling and replanting, eight clear span stream crossings, the upgrading of existing and provision of new site tracks and drainage.
Meanwhile, at the West Clare Municipal District meeting on Monday, Councillor Christy Curtin asked Clare County Council for an update on the road restoration works on the R474, in the aftermath of the relaying of ducting for the Mount Callan windfarm.
“It has been represented to me that from The Hand to Connolly and from Connolly to Ennis, there are sections of road being restored but only half the carriageway is being restored. There has been an excellent job done from The Hand to Kinturk Cross and from Inch Church but, coming into Kilmaley village, half the carriageway has only been restored.
“People are being pulled out of road side drains,” Councillor Curtin said, adding, “My concern is the Connolly and Kilmaley area. Will money be available for restoration works and, in relation to carriageway, will the full carriageway be restored? Millions have been put into it and we want it back as it was,” he added.
Senior executive engineer Siobhán McNulty said the developer has paid a contribution towards the long-term impact the construction of the cable route has had on the adjacent road networks, between Slieve Callan and the Tulla Road in Ennis.
“On completion of the works, Clare County Council will agree how this financial contribution is to be spent, again based on a priority need basis and in accordance with the pavement condition rating system, detailed in the Flexible Roads manual. Clare County Council is working closely with the developers of the Slieve Callan windfarm with regard to the road restoration following the cable laying on the R474. The final two sections of cable are in the process of being laid,” she explained.