Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A WIND turbine described by protestors as a “the tallest man-made structure in central Co Carlow” has received planning permission.

An application for a single 85-metre wind turbine at Kildreenagh, Bagenalstown along with a substation was granted planning permission recently. The wind turbine will generate renewable energy to be consumed on site by the applicant Joe Hughes’s agricultural enterprises.

The planning files also stated that when demand is less than what will be generated, the additional energy will be transferred to the national grid. However, the development did not have an agreement for connection to the national grid prior to submission.

The turbine will have a hub height of 65m and blade length of 23.5m. The application also included the construction of a 25sq m substation. The operational life span of the turbine is 25 years.

A total of nine separate objections were submitted from third parties – six from Bagenalstown, two from Goresbridge and one from Co Dublin.

The main objections related to claims of noise and visual pollution arising from the development, which would have a negative impact on tourism and amenity areas. It was argued that it would devalue local properties and the turbine was of “industrial scale”.

It was alleged that the wind turbine would be the “tallest man-made structure in central Co Carlow”.

It was suggested that the applicant consider solar panels.

Mr Hughes pointed out that the closest residential property was 464 metres away and was owned by himself. The next closest was 500 metres away.

It was acknowledged that the wind turbine would be “partly and intermittently” visible from areas in Bagenalstown and Fenagh. It would also be partly and intermittently visible from areas around Leighlinbridge, but not from the town itself, and on the M9.

The impact on the landscape was considered “moderate-slight” within a 5km study area, and “slight to imperceptible” with 15km.

In granting permission, council planners believed the impact on the landscape would be “moderate, which is not significant”. Planners noted the topography in the area was elevated, sloping and rolling. The proposed turbine would be located between two hills and the turbine will be partially screened due to the topography, existing buildings and vegetative cover. Other factors considered in the decision included national and regional policy regarding renewable energy targets.

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