A community meeting was held in Scartaglin Heritage Centre on Thursday night last, February 10th regarding the current wind energy proposals within the current draft of the Kerry County Development Plan, which is up for public consultation at the moment.
Many concerns were voiced from the large crowd, which attended on the night, regarding the current proposals for wind energy, including fears surrounding the specific zoning of land.
The concerns dwell in particular on the Scartaglin region and the plans for further potential wind farm development and the specific zoning for the ‘Repowering’ of existing wind farms around the county.
Houses in Proximity to Zoning
The many concerns include: The amount of residential housing in proximity to the current zoning proposals for further potential wind farm development and the ‘Repowering’ of existing wind farms around the region and the granting of a new specific zoning for the ‘Repowering’ of all wind farms across the county.
“This is a substantial worry for all inhabitants of the county and not just to the Scartaglin region, due to the only enforceable laws and guidelines in our country, Wind Energy Development
Guidelines 2006 are grossly outdated and not fit for purpose due to the enhancement, development and size of the modern industrial wind turbine,” said group spokesperson, Michael Horan.
Still Draft Guidelines
“Modern turbines can reach heights of over 200m. The current Draft Wind Energy Guidelines 2019 are still only draft guidelines and have still not been ratified into law by our Government.
“The lack of an appropriate substantial ‘buffer zone’ surrounding Special Protected Areas specifically designated for the Hen Harrier, which is a fully protected species under the EU Birds Directive and under the National Wildlife Act 1976,” Mr. Horan continued.
Need for Further Clarity
“There is need for further clarity within the current draft of the Kerry County Development plan regarding the ‘Areas for Further Assessment’, which are included in the Wind Zoning Formula Appendix 6 of the draft. These ‘Areas for Further Assessment’ include regions of Scartaglin, Currow, Cordal and Kilcummin.
“The impact of zoning an approximate landmass of 7km2 for wind energy development within the Scartaglin region for current and future generations of the locality is concerning,” he added.
Elected Reps Present
Six Kerry county councillors attended the event on the evening including: Cllr. Charlie Farrelly, Cllr. Fionnán Fitzgerald, Cllr.Jackie Healy-Rae, Cllr. Maura Healy-Rae, Cllr. Marie Moloney and Cllr. Bobby O’Connell.
There were also two TDs in attendance, Pa Daly, Sinn Féin and Danny Healy-Rae, Independent.
A previous information meeting was also held in Scartaglin Heritage Centre prior to Christmas but was limited in attendees due to Covid restrictions at the time.
Nine County Councillors attended the event in December including all the above with: Cllr. Deirdre Ferris, Cllr. Donal O’Grady, Cllr. Johnny Healy-Rae and Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan while two TDs, Minister Norma Foley and Danny Healy-Rae were represented.
“The interest and continuous support shown by our elected representatives during the public consultation phase of the Kerry County Development Plan and the input of all local and national representatives on both information nights is very much appreciated,” said Michael Horan on behalf of his group.
Working Through Concerns
“The community looks forward to their continued support as we work through our concerns and submissions to the Kerry County Development Plan.
“Should you have an opinion regarding the current wind energy proposals for the region and would like to have an input to the Kerry County Development Plan, please lodge a submission to Kerry County Council.
“This can be done in writing or by submitting online via the Kerry County Council website. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, February 23rd. Mr. Horan advised.
For any additional information regarding the wind proposals for the Scartaglin region, please contact the Scartaglin Wind Awareness group at: email@example.com
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