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West Clare ‘already saturated’ with wind turbines, says opposing group

THE proposed development of a new West Clare wind farm is earmarked for an area already “saturated” with wind turbines, a local opposition group has claimed. MCRE Windfarm Ltd has lodged a planning application for the construction of ten wind turbines in phase two of the Cahermurphy wind farm. Subject to planning approval, this will involve the development of a wind farm and underground grid connection cable to the national grid in the townlands of Cahermurphy, Knocknahila More South, Carrownagry South, Caheraghacullin, Drummin, Doolough, Glenmore and Booltiagh. The Cahermurphy 2 Opposition Group feel that this site is entirely unsuitable for an industrial development of this kind. At present, there are 107 operational industrial wind turbines within a 12k radius of Cahermurphy, with planning permission granted for another 30. According to a statement issued by the group, there were 104 submissions objecting to the Request for Further Information planning application for the Cahermurphy 2 wind farm. The group stated there were …

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Planning set to go in for east windfarm

A PLANNING application for the development of eight 180 metre wind turbines in South-East Clare will be lodged to Clare County Council next February. RWE Renewables has unveiled plans for the development of the wind turbines at Fahy Beg, Fahy More North, Ballymoloney and Ballyknavin in Bridgetown. RWE Renewables spokesman, Kieran O’Byrne, has also confirmed the next stage of the process is the completion of the Environmental Impact Statement. In an interview with The Clare Champion, he said the company has sent out two information letters to residents in April and was planning to circulate a third one this Friday or next Monday. He confirmed a company representative has met about 30 residents, some of those living less than one kilometre away are positive, some of the houesholders living more than two kilometres away are negative, and it is also receiving questions from people living further away. He said the company is happy to talk to any resident and hoped …

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Objections to 175 metre turbines

OBJECTIONS have been lodged against an application for the development of wind turbines outside Miltown Malbay, which would be up to 175 metres in height. The development would involve works in the townlands of Glendine North, Fahanlunaghta More, Curraghodea, Letterkelly, Cloghaun More, Cloghaun beg, Silverhill, Doonsallagh East, Shanavogh East and Knockalassa. In her objection, Marian Kenneally said the proposal would seriously affect her home. “The proposed development consists of wind turbines which would be the largest in the country, standing at 1.75 metres. These wind turbines will be covering over my family’s homes and my own.” She claimed that the applicant, Slieveacurry Limited, hasn’t liaised with her. “I was never approached by any of the developers and did not hear about this until the evening of the public consultation in Miltown Malbay-which I could not attend as it was by appointment only.” Ms Kenneally added; “The construction of these wind turbines will block sunlight from my home and I fear …

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98 wind turbines in 10k area

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 …

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High Court overturns wind turbines permission

A WEST Clare woman has won a High Court order overturning a grant of permission for a development of four wind turbines near her home at Coore, near Mullagh. In a judgment strongly critical of absence of clarity and specificity in An Bord Pleanála’s grant of permission, Mr Justice Max Barrett said decisions of public bodies must be clear enough for people to decide if there is a legal basis to challenge them. “Proper planning was never intended to be, nor can it be allowed to become, a perk reserved for the few who can afford expert lawyers, with something less than best being the lot of the many who cannot,” he said  on Tuesday. Kathleen Connolly was “rightly insistent” there be full compliance with the law before a windfarm is planted by her homestead, he said. While the board had criticised her case as “opportunistic”, arguing it had “little or nothing to do with a bona fide concern for …

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Wind microgeneration offers great benefits

The Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) has called on the Government to introduce new schemes that would further encourage and incentivise the development of wind microgeneration for Clare farms, businesses and homes, which it maintains could bring significant benefits to rural communities. Microgeneration is the production of energy on a small scale for farms, businesses or domestic homes. Typical microgeneration technologies include wind turbines, solar photovoltaic, hydro power and combined heat and power (CHP) with equipment ratings below 11kW. Caitriona Diviney, chief operations officer of IWEA, said that electricity costs rank among the main overheads for farms, businesses, and homes, and that more wind microgeneration could help significantly reduce costs, whilst offering an opportunity to earn additional income by contributing the surplus electricity generated to the national grid. “When compared to neighbouring countries such as the UK, the significant potential for wind microgeneration in Ireland, and Clare in particular, still remains relatively untapped. Locally generated electricity can be yet another …

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