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Developers of East Clare wind farm pledge €4k to GAA club


A COMPANY planning to build a controversial wind farm in County Clare has pledged €4,000 in sponsorship for a local GAA club.

In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, EDF Renewables Ireland confirmed it is sponsoring a pitch upgrade at Broadford GAA Club, providing €4,000 towards the project.

The sponsorship funding will be used to help enhance the pitch surface at Coolagh and, the company says, demonstrates EDF Renewables’ commitment to supporting local and community initiatives in the areas surrounding its projects.

Earlier this year, EDF Renewables Ireland announced its plans to develop the 50MW Lackareagh Wind Farm on land to the east of Broadford.

The proposed wind farm, which could power more than 35,000 homes, will be located in the townlands of Killeagy and Shannaknock.

EDF Renewables Ireland intends to submit a planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in support of the project, which could consist of up to seven turbines, to Clare County Council in early 2023.

Subject to planning permission, the wind farm could be constructed and operational by 2026.

According to the company, a Community Benefit Fund commensurate with the size of the final project will be established to provide additional funding for local community initiatives and activities.

Monthly information clinics have also been established for Lackareagh Wind Farm, where local residents interested in learning more about the project can meet with EDF Renewables’ Community Liaison Officer, Anita O’Toole, at Kilbane, with the first clinic taking place on June 28.

 

 

Welcoming the sponsorship, John O’Brien, Chairman of Broadford GAA Club said they are delighted to partner with EDF Renewables to enhance our pitch facilities.

“The sponsorship funding will go towards drainage, specialist fertilizer and other works needed to ensure all our youth and senior teams can play on a top-quality pitch all year round.”

Kevin Daly, Head of Development at EDF Renewables Ireland, said: “It’s extremely important to us at EDF Renewables that our wind and solar projects bring tangible benefits for local communities, as well as helping to tackle climate change.

“Broadford GAA Club plays a massive role in the social and sporting life of East Clare, and we’re very pleased to be able to help them carry out these pitch enhancement works.”

EDF Renewables Ireland’s project team is currently gathering wind data and mapping the environmental constraints on site which will be used to create a preliminary wind turbine layout.

Detailed environmental studies will also be carried out at the site, including ecology, noise, landscape and visual assessments. The results of these studies, together with feedback gathered in consultation with local communities, will be used to determine the final wind farm layout and number of turbines.Local residents interested in learning more about Lackareagh Wind Farm can visit www.edf-re.ie/our-sites/lackareagh.

The proposed wind farm may attract concerns and even some objections in view of the fact several residents have expressed their opposition to the construction of more wind turbines in East Clare.

 

In a separate development, RWE Renewables has unveiled plans for the development of 180 metre wind turbines at Fahybeg, Fahy More North, Ballymoloney and Ballyknavin in Bridgetown.

Fahybeg Wind Farm Biodiversity and Conservation Group is a group that has held meetings with a view to informing the wider community the tourism and environmental impact of the company’s plans.

While some local residents are not opposed to wind farms and support the development of renewable energy, this group believes the area is not a suitable location for the proposed Fahy Beg Wind Farm.

Members of this group have pointed out these turbines will not only be seen from Bridgetown, they will easily be viewed from vantage points in Ballina and Birdhill.

They have stated a lot more people will be affected by these turbines than people living Bridgetown.

They have also questioned the timing and effectiveness of public consultation as the company has already signed an agreement with 12 local land owners to proceed with this development, pending planning permission.

 

 

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