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Councillors warn of ‘necklace’ of windfarms

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A CHAIN of windfarm developments is on the way to East Clare, with turbines up to 180 metres in height, unless An Bord Pleanála makes appropriate decisions, members of Clare County Council warned this week.
At Monday’s council meeting they discussed the development of a windfarm at Oatfield, which the council executive are making a submission to An Bord Pleanála on, while the Killaloe area councillors are making a separate submission. Killaloe councillor Tony O’Brien (FF) said there could be “a proliferation of massive, industrial size wind turbines stretching from Bodyke and Ogonnelloe right down across Broadford, the 12 O’Clock Hills, Sliabh Bernagh, right down into Meelick and all
areas in between.”
A number of East Clare residents were at the meeting and he said the councillors fully understand their opposition to having huge turbines built close to their homes. “Your concerns are our concerns,” he said.
Councillor Gerry Flynn (Ind) also said the Oatfield development is just the start. “This is only the thin end of the wedge. This is only the beginning of a necklace of windfarms in that particular area.” Fianna Fáil’s Pat Hayes said that national guidelines on windfarms, which date back to 2006, are out of date. “Why are we 18 years down the road here, putting communities under stress, families falling out with each other, we don’t want to see that happening.”
Councillors Michael Begley and PJ Ryan both said that ideally no more wind farm applications would be adjudicated upon until the long-awaited new guidelines on them are provided. Fine Gael’s Pat Burke also said the Government should already have responded with updated guidelines.
“The Government have a lot to answer for. They are allowing these multi million investors to come into rural communities and cause such friction and tension.”

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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