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Tag Archives: Coillte

Survey reveals concerns over Slieve Bearnagh wind farm plan

CALLS for a public meeting between Coillte and members of the East Clare community are gathering momentum, following a survey of reactions to a wind farm development proposed for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh. The survey, which was carried out by a local group called Bodyke Voice on Wind Farm, found that a large percentage of a sample of responses favoured a public meeting. Susan McMahon of the Cobbler’s Rest, a member of the group, said that 120 responses in total had been submitted to the survey. “Because we are a voluntary group and can’t afford to subscribe to a survey, we could only look at 40 of the responses submitted,” she explained. “Of those, 92% favoured a public meeting with Coillte. I’d estimate that around 60% of the responses we could see were not in favour of the project.” Ms McMahon herself said that she did not have an agenda with regard to the proposed wind farm, but wanted …

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Coillte defend track record on East Clare wind farm consultation

THE developers of a multimillion euro wind farm planned for a site in East Clare have defended their track record in consulting with the local community. At a presentation to local councillors, Coillte outlined a detailed Community Engagement plan, which includes more than 2,000 house calls to those likely to be affected by the Carrownagowan Wind Farm, proposed for the north west slopes of Slieve Bearnagh, around a mile-and-a-half from the village of Bodyke. The meeting between representatives of the forestry service, who own the 750 hectare site, and propose to build 19 turbines, with a maximum tip height of 169m, took place at the request of Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes who questioned the adequacy of the communication process. Responding to these concerns, a representative of Coillte explained that a process of engagement with the community had started in March of 2018, focusing on those living within 2km of the development site and involving over 2,000 …

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Locals Raise Concerns Over East Clare Wind Farm Consultations

CONCERNS are being voiced in Bodyke about the nature of the consultation process surrounding a multimillion Euro wind farm proposed for the slopes of Slieve Bernagh in East Clare. In recent weeks, a Facebook page, called ‘Bodyke Voice on Wind Farm’ has been set up by people in the community to facilitate discussion. One of those raising awareness of the project, Susan McMahon of the Cobbler’s Rest, has used the page to publish responses from the developer, Coillte, to a series of detailed questions, some of which focus on a perceived lack of consultation with the wider community. “I have no agenda on this,” Ms McMahon told The Champion. “I’m not trying to rally the forces or influence people one way or another on this project. I’m not against green energy, I’m in favour of it, but, I do feel we have been brushed aside in terms of consultation.” The publican outlined how she had learned, by word of mouth, …

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Killaloe councillors seek briefing on East Clare windfarm

KILLALOE councillors are to seek a briefing from the developers of a multi-million euro wind farm development planned for a site on the slopes of Slieve Bernagh, just over two kilometres from Bodyke. Earlier this month, Coillte confirmed that it is to lodge an application shortly, to An Bord Pleanála, under the Strategic Infrastructure Act. Raising the proposed Carrownagowan Wind Farm at the May meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes asked for details of communications and correspondence between officials and the developer. “I would like those details to be revealed,” the Caher-based member said. “The lack of consultation has been very remiss of Coillte.” The Fianna Fáil councillor insisted that communication with officials was not sufficient and ignored the role of elected members. “This day last year, we were re-elected and have never had personal communication [with Coillte],” he said. “Consultation behind the scenes with different departments is one thing, but we are the voice of the …

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East Clare wind farm planning application to be lodged in June

PLANS for a multimillion Euro East Clare wind farm are to be lodged next month, The Clare Champion has learned. Coillte has confirmed that it is currently finalising an application for 19 turbines on a 750 hectare site, around a-mile-and-a-half from Bodyke, on the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh. The proposal, which will seek 30-year permission for The Carrownagowan Wind Farm, will be lodged directly to An Bórd Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. “Our project team is targeting a submission date towards the end of June and this will be advertised prior to final submission,” outlined Andy Fox, Community Engagement Manager with Coillte. Mr Fox also noted that a detailed brochure on the project had recently been widely distributed across East Clare, and that consultations were continuing, in line with the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The site is described by Coillte as an appropriate location to access the national grid via the substation at Ardnacrusha. The company also notes it is designated …

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12 O’Clocks Hills reopen popular walking trails

AFTER a 50-day shut-down, hill-walkers have been able to return to one of the county’s premier amenities at the 12 O’Clock Hills. The facility was closed in March to help with efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, even before official public health guidelines kicked in. Last Monday, the operators welcomed walkers living within five kilometres of the facility and issued new guidelines to ensure social distancing. Chairperson of the 12 O’Clock Hills committee, Patsy Neville said the co-operation of the public had been greatly appreciated during the lock-down. “We had a tremendous response,” he said. “For once, we were delighted that people stayed away. We’re delighted now to welcome people back. Once we announced the re-opening, we had 7,000 views on our social media, so there is a huge demand to get back hill-walking.” Mr Neville also advised that those intending to use the facility would take a little extra time to make themselves aware of new guidelines. “It’s …

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€39,000 to upgrade recreational walks

Some €39,000 has been allocated by the Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring to Coillte for the development of new recreational facilities and the maintenance and promotion of existing recreational infrastructures in Clare. The money is to be spent on the maintenance of current walks and trails and is Clare’s allocation from a national fund of €1.3million. The works will facilitate the repair to signage and the barrier at Cahermurphy; the upgrade of the trails, maintenance of seats, new signage and vegetation control in Cratloe and general vegetation control in Doon. Funding will also go towards the general control of vegetation at the access of the East Clare Way at Knocknageeha, general vegetation control around the picnic area and the replacement of the barrier at Gragans Wood; the upgrade of the trails and vegetation control in Kilrush; and the upkeep of trails, new signage and general vegetation control at Moylussa, Ballycuggaran plus the general maintenance of trails …

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Coillte insecticide licence decision deplored

AN East Clare man has described the granting of a five-year licence to Coillte to spray cypermethrin as “extremely disappointing” and “hugely disrespectful”. In February, Coillte held a meeting with a number of concerned residents from the Derryoran-Ballyhinch area, who delivered a petition to the Coillte office in Scariff, clarifying their stance against the spraying of the cypermethrin insecticide in the forests surrounding their homes. Mountshannon resident, Brian Ragbourn initiated the Derryoran-Ballyhinch petition, which was signed and supported by nine other locals, who are concerned by the spraying of the insecticide, which was banned in France, Germany, Sweden and Italy 10 years ago. Cypermethrin is sprayed on forestry by Coillte to prevent and control the harmful pine weevil pest decimating non-native spruce and pine trees. Mr Ragbourn said his research had yielded dozens of reports “detailing independent scientific research that revealed harmful biological effects of cypermethrin on frogs, fish, lizards, chickens, rats and earthworms”. He said the locality provides a …

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