The County Development Plan should be amended to safeguard an area near Ahenny from the development of a wind farm.
That suggestion was made by Cllr. Kieran Bourke at a meeting of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council when the controversial proposal to locate wind turbines at Carrigadoon Hill and Curraghdobbin Hill was discussed.
Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro said the issue was causing great concern and the Council should show its support for the residents, who were opposed to the turbines.
They thought this issue had gone away some years ago but it had re-surfaced.
The company (Dunoair) behind the project circulated a letter to local residents, informing them that a temporary wind measuring mast had been erected at Carrigadoon Hill, said Cllr. Bourke.
They had their own Newgrange in that area with the Ahenny High Crosses and a windfarm would have an adverse impact on that ancient site, said Cllr. David Dunne.
The company didn’t need planning permission for the wind measuring mast because it was a temporary structure under 80 feet high.
He agreed with Cllr. Goldsboro that they should support the residents one hundred per cent.
Cllr. Dunne also pointed out that the government had accepted a Sinn Fein bill on the strict enforcement of wind energy. Cllr. Louise McLoughlin said she lived in an area (Dualla) where a wind farm was being constructed and added “we were never happy with wind turbines going up”.
“The windfarm has ruined our scenery and has had a severe impact on houses and businesses, we’ll never be able to sell them again. I know what it’s like and I wouldn’t be happy with any wind turbines”, she stated.
Cllr. John Fahey said that residents in the area felt they were being attacked on two fronts, with the proposed wind farm and the Eirgrid power line.
District Administrator Martin Nolan said he couldn’t really comment because no planning application had been submitted. If an application was made it would be determined by the County Council in accordance with the Development Plan. However he told chairperson Eddie O’Meara that the County Council could be by-passed in the case of large infrastructural projects.
Cllr. O’Meara said they weren’t looking at a one-off situation because windfarms could be proposed for other areas of the county.
Director of Services Sean Keating said that possible amendments to the Development Plan could be discussed at a meeting in September.