Supporting Local News

Planners turn down Connemara wind turbine project

The construction of half a dozen turbines in Connemara has been rejected by planners on the basis that the area is not zoned for wind development projects.

The proposed development was for the erection of six wind turbines in the townlands of Tullaghmore, Tawnaghbeg, Tullaghaboy and Lurgan.

The site for the proposed wind farm is located less than three miles from Maam Cross, extending to around 400 acres of predominantly blanket bog and upland heath.

The development would have also consisted of the construction of crane hardstand areas and turbine foundations and the improvement of the existing site entrance with access onto the N59 main Galway to Clifden road.

It was also to have included the construction of a 104-metre-high permanent meteorological mast along with the provision of drainage works and the construction of a new span bridge over the Owenwee River.

Planners stated that renewable energy developments should be generally sited and designed sympathetically to reduce any potential impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding area.

They said that this proposed development would interfere with the character of the landscape and set an undesirable precedent if planning was granted.

They added that this development was located within an elevated and exposed landscape with special sensitivity.

It would have an adverse effect on this “high value landscape” as viewed from the surrounding approach roads.

As the proposed development site is situated off the main Galway to Clifden road, planners felt that it would add considerably to traffic movements in the area.

Because it would result in an intensification of traffic, they felt that this would interfere with safety and could create a traffic hazard at regional road junctions.

The planning application, which was lodged by Tullaghmore Windfarm Limited, also drew an objection from a local resident who resides about a mile from the development site.

He stated that his own home was on the same height level as the bases for the six wind turbines. He believed that it would create unacceptable noise and flicker and impact on his residential amenity.

The resident went on to state that it would have a significant negative impact on local tourism and also on the proposed greenway.

“This area relies heavily on passing tourism trade. The nearest mountain, Lackavera, is used constantly by hill walkers and has outstanding views which would now be overshadowed looking towards Oughterard by these turbines.

“I don’t understand why they would be built in this location where the white tailed eagle and hen harrier, grouse, red deer all reside and roam freely,” the resident added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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