Residents of Dysart and south Roscommon have vowed to continue their opposition to a plan for a €76m wind farm, after it was given the green light by Roscommon County Council last week.
The plan to erect 16 turbines, each 135 metres high, was submitted by Cavan-based firm Gaeltech last year, and is expected to provide electricity to almost 20,000 homes by 2014.
A second phase, which would double the size of the wind farm, is already in the pipeline, however in an indication of its unpopularity with the locals, Roscommon County Council’s planning department received over 400 submissions on the issue.
“Needless to say that the action group is disappointed about this decision., especially where many considerations that we have brought forward were ignored, and the answers of Galetech to the 22 questions would not convince anybody,” said Albert van Beek, PRO of Wind Turbine Action Group South Roscommon.
“We really think that we have a strong case against this development...but we always knew that we would reach the point that this application would go to An Bord Pleanala,” he continued.
“So on behalf of all those people who objected to this development, we will appeal this decision. This has been made possible by the relentless efforts from people in our group to raise funds in order to be able to employ the necessary consultants, and all the gathered material and our own expertise will make a strong case against this wind farm to An Bord Pleanala,” he went on.
“The whole case will be reviewed including the more than 400 submissions sent in by the people who have the best interests of Roscommon at heart,” he said. One of these submissions suggested a problem with the project - alongside dropping house prices and wildlife depletion - was that it would “bring strangers to the area, some of which could be undesirable”.
“We feel that by calling this development to a halt it will ultimately prove that this area is not suitable for a wind farm and will also put a stop to all other applications for likewise developments,” said Mr van Beek.
“We have the greatest confidence that in the end common sense will prevail and this development that would disrupt the lives of so many people will not go through.”
On October 4, the Roscommon Planning Authority granted planning permission to 14 of 16 turbines of the first phase of a wind farm in Dysart. This permission is subject to 33 conditions.