PEOPLE POWER has secured the first victory in the fight to ensure that Old Leighlin does not become blighted by wind turbines.
Carlow County Council last week turned down a planning application by Galetech Energy Developments Ltd for Valley View Wind Farm, which had been proposed for the Old Leighlin area.“The people have spoken and have been listened to by the council, and hopefully these people will take their wares elsewhere,” said Tyrone Kelly of the Old Leighlin Says No to 21 Turbines group.
Old Leighlin mobilised en masse against the controversial wind farm, with its 21 turbines, each 99-metres high, with a rotor diameter of 82 metres. An incredible 360 submissions were forwarded to the council during the planning period – an unprecedented level for a small, rural community.
Galetech Energy Developments Ltd now has four weeks to appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanála.
“This is the third time this company have been refused wind farms around the country and we’ve heard already that they have been around to the farmers involved,” said Mr Kelly.
He added that the group remained cautious and continued to fundraise and gather the legal and technical expertise among those who have become part of their campaign.
“We are worried because we hear in government circles that this is a done deal, no matter what we do, so we hope this isn’t just a case of passing the buck because wind farms is a hot topic at election time,” Mr Kelly stated.
The planning permission was refused by the council on several grounds, including the belief that the wind farm would “result in an excessive concentration of wind turbines in this elevated and exposed location” as well as “seriously injuring the visual amenities of the area”.
“Obviously, people are relieved that the scale of the project isn’t going ahead, and hopeful the community can now get back to good relations,” said cllr Michael Doran.
“We remain cautious that it may go to the planning board, but I would hope that if there are any future applications, there would be more consultation,” he added.