Library filed under Impact on People from Ireland
The head of one of the country’s biggest wind energy companies issued an apology last night for appearing to dismiss the concerns of people opposed to having turbines beside their homes in an appearance on RTÉ’s Prime Time. Plans to build over 2,000 giant wind turbines across the midlands have prompted fierce protests amid fears that they could cause illness, noise and light pollution and reduce the value of homes.
"Turbines likely to be proposed in the midlands are not of the scale normally proposed on-shore in Ireland and as noise impact is not a consideration for off-shore tribunes, noise modelling and prediction for the turbines is relatively untested. "Consequently a precautionary approach should be taken to new turbines of this scale in proximity to noise sensitive locations," the submission stated.
"The wind industry is dressing up their deception with so called community benefits and are telling our councils that wind energy is free and green. It is not free because our electric bills are still on the rise and it certainly is not green."
One of the grounds of refusal was the pollution threat to Doonbeg river, which contains 5,000 freshwater pearl mussels - the highest concentration in Clare. At a six-day oral hearing into the wind farm in April, the country's foremost authority on the mussel, Dr Evelyn Moorkens, said if nothing was done to secure the species' future, it would disappear.
In Ireland, for example, a court case is pending involving seven families from Banteer, Co Cork and the wind energy company Enercon. The Banteer families claim living near a wind farm has destroyed their quality of life.
Kevin Scully of the Laois Wind Energy Action Group said homeowners were suffering intolerably from constant noise where the turbines had already been erected. He said guidelines on how far the turbines could be located from houses had stipulated a distance of 500 metres when the size of turbines was about 75 metres high.
Roscommon couple take issue with contentious UK study
It is "far too soon" to make final judgments on which of the export-orientated windfarm projects now being mooted will be approved and under what terms. "There is no fait accompli at this stage. None of this has reassured objectors, who are concerned about the noise and visual impact of onshore turbines and also see the export of wind energy to Britain as equivalent to "selling the family silver".
RTE News interviews Michael and Dorothy Keane from County Roscommon where they speak about living beside two 100 meter high wind turbines. Duration: 2 minutes 35 seconds
Plans to construct more than 2,000 wind turbines in the Midlands have already angered locals and will divide farmers. People are mobilising and getting ready to stand up to the plans, writes Michael Clifford
The seven families from Banteer claim they have been severely impacted, particularly through noise pollution, since the turbines began operating in Nov 2011. If the action is successful, it is expected to lead to a number of others on similar grounds. Already, cases are being prepared by householders in Wexford and Roscommon.
The households have complained that the noise from the turbines, which have an overall height of around 100 metres, has turned their lives upside down and made their lives unbearable. The constant pulsating noise has led to sleep deprivation and is impacting on the health of those living close by.
A woman has won a High Court ruling that a decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm near her property in the Glenties area of Donegal is void insofar as it affects her property. ...the permission required the deletion of four turbines nearest her property.
The Environment and Public Health (Wind Turbines) Bill 2012 would set minimum separation distances of up to 2km between wind turbines and residential property depending on the size of turbines. But the wind energy association said even a 1km "buffer zone" would leave only 9.4 per cent of the land area available for new development.
There's more than a whiff of deja vu about the industry's promise of 8,000 jobs; didn't the builders dangle that carrot? How many jobs will be lost because of the effect of these eyesores on tourism? Surely a major factor driving this multi-billion industry is the money available to it in subsidies and grants. But who will ultimately pay the price?
The Oireachtas is to consider in detail shortly a Bill, tabled by Labour Senator John Kelly, that would impose restrictions on the location of wind turbines near people's homes. Under the Bill, ...larger turbines of 50m-150m would have to be a minimum of 1km to 2km away.
Feelings are running high in west Clare over the proposed construction of a €10 million wind farm, amid claims posters opposing the development have been taken down. A new local anti-wind farm action group has taken out an advertisement in a local newspaper appealing to people to desist from removing their posters.
"I have been contacted by sleepless residents at houses at Hole-in-the-Wall Road, and nearby Grattan Lodge apartments, who are appealing for an end to the nightly noise generated by the turbines," said Deputy Kenny.
"At present, there are also no national or local guidelines regarding density of wind turbines. In the rush to generate sustainable energy, planners are allowing multiple wind farms, which will have an enormous cumulative effect on local residents," the west Clare group, including people from the Coore and Miltown Malbay areas, said in a statement.
Despite claims by a Cavan-based company that there is "little opposition" to plans to place a windfarm in the Gaybrook area of Mullingar, a number of residents were set to meet in Mullingar this week amid concerns over the proposed development. At the time of writing, the residents were due to meet at the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar to discuss a host of concerns, ranging from health issues, to impact on the landscape and local property prices.