The members of the Ballina Electoral Area this week called on the council to look again at a planning application for four wind turbines that is scheduled to be turned down for permission by the council.
The application for four 500kw turbines with a 25sq metre electrical substation at Carrowmore Lacken, Ballina, was lodged by Donal McCormack but the application looks likely to be refused for a number of reasons, one of which is that the site is in an area that has been deemed to be highly sensitive in planning and environmental terms in the Renewable Energy Strategy for County Mayo that was recently approved by the members of Mayo County Council.
“I feel very sorry for the people that lodged the application, it was expensive to do this and they have a lot of money invested in this application,” said Fine Gael councillor Seamus Weir. Independent councillor Gerry Ginty said: “We should have had a hard look at this plan and seen there is no reason to turn this down.” Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly asked if there was any pre planning with the applicants before this application was lodged, and if not why not. The due date for the decision on the application is November 9 this year and director of services for the area, Paddy Mahon, told the members he would get the senior planner for Mayo County Council, John McMyler, to get in touch with the members in regards to the application.
Wall will have to be knocked in front of house
The members of the committee also voiced their dismay that a wall in front of a house will have to be knocked because it was built in contravention to the planning permission by the builder, and the new owners will now have to foot the bill. A couple who bought a house at Carowkillen, Crossmolina, had applied for planning permission for the retention of a boundary wall at their home, but the application is due to be refused by the council because the wall was built to close to the carriageway. Cllr Eddie Staunton told the meeting he was dismayed that the couple would have to foot the cost of this. He told the meeting that the builder had given them a gentleman’s agreement that the wall would be removed and replaced, but the builder has since disappeared and not done the work. Cllr Gerry Ginty hit out at the builder along with Mayo County Council and the solicitor who acted in the sale, and asked the meeting why the council had not actively enforced the planning permission before this and how did the solicitor let the sale go through when the wall did not comply with planning permission. Cllr Annie Maye Reape said that she found it was hard on people in the current climate to comply with a direction in the planning permission to construct a wall from native stone, as people just do not have the money.