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The wind farm was regarded as one of the largest in the EU when a landslide occurred during its construction in October 2003 by an ESB subsidiary, Hibernian Wind Power. At the time, large areas of forest and peat up to a depth of 5.5 metres on the top of the Cashlaundrumlahan mountain had been removed, causing the 2km-long “environmentally devastating” slide. Fish were killed and waterways polluted when half a million tonnes of peat and debris was displaced.
People are just looking at the map and saying, ‘oh my god, this is where I fish,’ so there’s a sense of panic. “We only heard about this when the applications were lodged,” Ms McIntyre said. “You must understand how huge this was: it was a complete and utter shock. It’s only in the last few weeks that people are realising how big these are going to be. The biggest wind turbines in the world.”
Large swathes of Offaly countryside are part of a 30-year plan for wind energy production coming before Offaly County Council in the next few weeks.
The most common grounds for complaint in Germany is the protection of birds and bats, which can be endangered by wind turbines. Procedural mistakes, monument protection, noise pollution, health effects and the effects on the local landscape are other common reasons why wind farms are objected to in the EU's largest country. "It is worrying when you think how urgent the need to expand renewable energy is," says Canning. Yet there are many people around Europe who passionately disagree with him.
Should the development be given the go-ahead residents would be left in a situation where they have windmills surrounding them on three sides in a horseshoe shape resulting in “intolerable noise.” As well as the noise, which is already an issue from the existing turbines when the wind blows from the east, there are also concerns in relation to infra sound and low frequency noise; the visual impact; shadow flicker and the devaluation to properties, in some cases making them unsellable.
Coillte says proposal for 10 ‘giant’ turbines on Sligo/Leitrim border is based on new guidelines
those in authority in the EC deemed the situation unacceptable and they began to place more focus on the wind farm, which was located at a site that was at the heart of the landslide. The EC said the situation could not continue and it focused on the wind farm and the difficulties that arose around that. “We don’t believe that the wind farm developers even considered flooding when environmental impact assessments were carried out,” Murray added.
The proposed seven-turbine wind farm in the Behy Mountain area of Cashelard near Ballyshannon has been refused planning permission due to concern over the impact on the hen harrier. Donegal County Council said it could not be satisfied that the development, which would be an extension to an existing wind farm, would not have a negative impact on the breeding grounds and foraging areas of the protected species.
“It is grossly irresponsible and neglectful to be considering planning applications on guidelines that are 13 years old. “Communities have been torn apart and destroyed by some of these applications and it is extremely unfair to allow this continue,” the Kerry councillor concluded.
“There is a serious concern that inappropriately placed and planned wind farm developments can have significant impacts on Raptor populations due to loss of habitat, displacement from breeding areas and increased mortality,” he said. Mr O’Toole said that, despite raising the issue with Ms Madigan and An Bord Pleanála, “wind farms in important breeding areas for Hen Harriers continue to get approval for planning”.
“In Ballyduff, families living close by were forced to leave their homes after the development breached planning regulations – the blades in the turbine were too long. Other residents are now complaining of nausea, tinnitus and insomnia.”
A legal opinion issued by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has proposed that the State should be handed a daily fine of €1,000 for every day since its earlier ruling on July 3, 2008, until it achieves compliance with EU environmental legislation on assessing the impact of the development of a wind farm at Derrybrien in south Galway. Such a fine, if confirmed by the full ruling of the CJEU later this year, would result in a figure of €3,998,000 to date.
Perth and Kinross Council will today make the call on an appeal to build a wind turbine to fuel one of Perth’s biggest employers’ headquarters after an initial application was rejected.
Mr Sweetman is seeking an order quashing a decision of An Bord Pleanala in December 2018 that the construction of the connections servicing a windfarm development located at Ballycumber, Tinahealy, Co Wicklow was exempted development. The central issue concerns his the claim that the works undertaken for the purpose of connecting the Ballycumber Wind Farm to the national electricity grid should have been subject to an environmental impact assessment.
A reporter has now concluded that while it would have economic benefits they did not outweigh the adverse effect on the landscape. Mountaineering Scotland - formerly known as the Mountaineering Council of Scotland - raised its objection to the project in July 2016.
The Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) has said that how the industry has engaged with communities in the past is “not the way to do it”, referring to those negatively impacted by the development of wind farms.
Two wind farm companies, Black Lough and Aeolus, say they reached agreements with Mr Henry to allow them access in order to lay ducting and cables to connect their wind turbines to the national grid. Black Lough's five-turbine facility is at Tawnmore, Sligo, while Aeolus has 12 turbines at Oweninny, Mayo.
A dispute between a wind farm company and a farmer over an agreement about access to his land for cabling has been struck out at the Commercial Court following mediation talks. However, a second wind farm operator which says it also has a similar access agreement with the farmer is now set to bring proceedings after it expressed disappointment that a deal had been done.
The issue only came to light following investigations by local people over what they considered to be excessive noise pollution. So far, so straightforward. Last November, An Bord Pleanála ruled that it constitutes an unauthorised development. Now, the enforcement order has been issued and the developer has six months to comply with the planning permission. As might be expected, the developer has applied to retain the structures.
A wind farm which was not built according to planning permission has been issued with an enforcement notice to cease operations. Barnafaddock Wind Farm in Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford, was built using turbine 103m-diameter blades. It had permission for 90m-diameter blades. Last November, An Bord Pleanála ruled that the wind farm constituted an unauthorised development because of the anomaly.