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27/10/2021

Concern raised over windfarm proposal for south east Clare

Concern raised over windfarm proposal for south east Clare

Objectors have come together to form an action group, and are concerned by the potential health and environmental impacts.

CONCERN has been expressed over an inland wind farm.

Locals in Meelick have raised concerns over the possible construction of the structure, which would stretch from Ballycar to Cappantymore, and onto Gallows Hill.

Although yet to go to planning, it’s expected to include a number of windmills positioned strategically across five landowners’ farms. But local objectors have come together to form an action group, and are concerned by the potential health and environmental impacts.

​They’ve been supported by Clare TD Cathal Crowe, who criticised the lack of public consultation, and questioned the benefits of erecting a wind-farm away from the coastline.

“I would say at the moment, there is a vacuum of accurate information. I would have mixed views on this. I appreciate wind energy is going to be essential to our green push. But infrastructure should be located away from residential communities in more rural peripheral areas, in out-post locations, as we saw at the beginning of the month with the off-shore plan for Moneypoint,” Mr Crowe said. He believes windfarms away from the sea are only about 30% as efficient.​

“We have new wind energy guidelines coming in which will ensure turbines are set back 500m  from houses. I hope that is brought through quickly. There's a delicate balance to be struck from developing green energy infrastructure and respecting communities. The guidelines will make wind energy a very viable energy source, but it needs to be appropriately located and right now, with a lack of accurate information out there, it remains to be seen if this is.”

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