Community group to appeal wind farm planning decision

The Claremorris-Knock Wind Farm Information Group are hosting a fundraising race night in the Dalton Inn, Claremorris, on Saturday, November 22. The group are using the night as an opportunity to raise funds for an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the granting of planning last week to three large scale wind farm projects in east Mayo.

Seamus Johnston, the chairperson of the group, told the Mayo Advertiser this week: “We were disappointed with the decision, but we had come to expect it. We’ve had weak representation from politicians on a local and national level on these issues. We’re trying to bring tourism to the county and they want to put in these turbines which are as tall if not taller than the Spire in Dublin city centre.”

According to Mr Johnston, (there ) were more than  300 objections to the project before permission was granted.

Earlier this week, Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony called for new temporary planning guidelines to deal with wind farm applications. He has called on Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly to immediately implement new temporary planning guidelines to deal with wind farm applications, in view of the fact that there are several applications in process at present in Mayo and across the country. “I am calling on Minister Kelly to immediately and urgently issue new temporary planning guidelines,” Dep O’Mahony said. “This was supposed to be done by the end of this year but due to the number of submissions received, I have been informed that it will be January or February 2015 before this happens. In the interim I believe it is essential that temporary guidelines are issued without delay to deal with applications. In recent years the size of wind turbines has increased threefold and it is accepted that the planning guidelines as they stand are not fit for purpose. The process is fundamentally flawed and it would be wrong for major decisions, such as this one, to be made in accordance with guidelines that do not work. All applications made should be cognisant of the impending new regulations.”

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