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Tag Archives: Coillte

Research highlights environmental importance of forestry

RESEARCH carried out on behalf of Coillte shows that there is an almost universal view among the public that forests are important in helping to address the climate crisis. In April this year, Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, announced a new forestry strategic vision which aims to deliver multiple benefits from its forests and bring more focus to climate action, setting ambitious new targets on biodiversity and recreation, while continuing to deliver for the forest and wood products industry. The new approach aims to sustainably balance and deliver the multiple benefits from Ireland’s state forests across four strategic pillars: climate, wood, nature, and people. RED C independently analysed feedback from both Coillte’s public attitude survey and Coillte’s public consultation process, completed during summer 2022, which was part of Coillte’s commitment to consult widely with key stakeholders on its new strategic vision. The survey, conducted among a nationally representative sample of adults in June 2022, was combined with the response to Coillte’s public consultation process, and shows there is an almost universal view that …

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Objectors to consider legal route as wind farm approved

LEGAL options in the wake of the granting of permission for a wind farm on the slopes of Slieve Bernagh, close to Bodyke, will be considered at a public meeting on Friday evening, October 28.  Deputy Michael McNamara has arranged the event, which will take place at the Cobbler’s Rest, Bodyke, to allow those who objected to the development to examine their next course of action. On September 29, An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the 19-turbines on a site of 750 hectares, visible from Feakle to stretches of Lough Derg. Because the application was made under the Strategic Infrastructure Act, an appeal is impossible. The only option, in terms of challenging the board’s decision, is to seek a judicial review. In such a situation, a judge would review An Bord Pleanála’s actions to see if it followed the required rules and procedures. “A large number of people across a wide area objected to this development,” Deputy McNamara said. “This …

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Developers told ‘honour pledges’ despite likely legal challenges

DEVELOPERS of a controversial East Clare wind farm have been urged to honour a promise to fund local sports clubs, in the event of a legal challenge to the recent grant of permission for 19 turbines on the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh.  In correspondence seem by The Champion, Deputy Michael McNamara told FuturEnergy Ireland that the funding promise would amount to “an ugly bribe”, if it were to be withheld in the likely event of a challenge.  The Scariff TD, who headed up the Carrownagowan Concern Group, also repeated fears originally voiced in a major submission, over the potential for landslides. In his letter to FuturEnergy – a renewable venture between Coillte and the ESB – Deputy McNamara said he was still not satisfied that those risks have been addressed.  The Independent TD said that one of the aspects of the planning application that concerned him most was the promise by Coillte to fund local sports clubs, contingent on the …

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More time for consultation on proposed Clare windfarm

THERE has been a welcome in East Clare for a period of additional consultation on a multimillion Euro windfarm proposed for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh, writes Fiona McGarry. Controversy surrounded the initiation public consultation phase for the Carrownagowan Windfarm, which was submitted as Strategic Infrastructure in November 2020, because public health restrictions prohibited gatherings and meetings during the window for submissions. Over the course of last year, An Bord Pleanála sought Further Information on the 19-turbine proposal from developers, Coillte. The board has now judged the material received to be ‘significant’, meaning that it must go on public display, with an opportunity for members of the public to make submissions on it until 5.30pm on March 14. “The information received by An Bord Pleanála was deemed to be significant so it’s now very important that people review this material and make themselves aware of what is involved,” said Councillor Pat Hayes. “The period for submissions on the new information …

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Verdict on wind project pushed to 2022

Board requests ‘significant further information’ A DECISION on a major windfarm project proposed for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh in North East Clare will not now be made before 2022, The Champion has learned. The 19-turbine plan from Coillte is currently being assessed by An Bord Pleanála under the Strategic Infrastructure Act. The board has confirmed that it has now asked the company for significant further information on a number of aspects of the project, including its environmental impact. The initial phase for public submissions closed early last February, with the appeals board originally indicating that a decision on the windfarm might be made in June. It is understood that observations from members of the public have raised significant concerns about the visual impact of the turbines, the effects on wildlife and the landscape, as well as dissatisfaction with the local consultation process – much of which was hampered by lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings. A spokesperson for An …

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Windfarm concern group raises questions over risk of landslides

A PROPOSED windfarm earmarked for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh in East Clare has prompted the setting up of the Carrownagowan Concern Group. The organisation, headed up by Deputy Michael McNamara, is among those to make submissions on the proposed Carrownagowan windfarm, currently being considered by An Bord Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. In its objection to the development, the group contends that “reasonable scientific doubt as to the absence of adverse effects on the integrity of the site must be removed before the project is authorised”. The submission concludes that, in applying for the 19 turbines, developers Coillte have not fully assessed the risk of landslides; the impact on designated sites including Lough Derg Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Slieve Bernagh Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC); or the impact on birds and wildlife. The document describes the Carrownagowan Concern Group as being “comprised of persons who reside near the proposed development and have expressed concern that the information …

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Vandaleur Gardens works get underway

HIGHLY-anticipated restoration works are set to get underway shortly at the Vandeleur Walled Garden, where a new interpretative museum is among the developments planned. Located in Kilrush, the gardens are among the jewels in the crown of tourism in West Clare and were visited recently by Clare County Council officials and project stakeholders. The socially-distanced site visit was in advance of the enabling works getting underway for the restoration and renovation of the old stable block. The tendering process is complete and Custy Construction Ltd, a Clare-based construction firm, has been appointed to this project. The restoration works are funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, under the Department of Rural and Community Development. Additional match funding has come from the council. The main works, due to begin early this year, will include an interpretative museum and new gardeners’ building, along with the development of a new visitor experience design and approach for the complex. “I very much welcome …

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East Clare windfarm application open for submissions

COMMUNITIES from Feakle to Killaloe are being urged to make themselves aware of the details of a planning application for a 19-turbine windfarm which have just been lodged with An Bord Pleanála. Along with reports detailing the potential impact on the environment and on wildlife habitats on the 749 hectare site, the Coillte application outlines the full specification for the Carrownagowan Windfarm, which is earmarked for the northern slopes of Slieve Bernagh. “I would strongly urge all of the communities of East Clare to make themselves aware of what is proposed,” said Chairperson of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes. “People need to be satisfied about the impact this development might have on the quality of life for this generation and generations to come. People need to inform themselves and make their views known.” Because the project has been designated as ‘strategic infrastructure,’ it has gone directly to the planning appeal’s board. Submissions are being accepted up to February …

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