By Kieran O’Mahony
A CORK-based company has applied for planning permission to build a windfarm across numerous townlands in West Cork.
Keel Energy Ltd, based in Lissarda, is applying for a ten-year planning permission in townlands that include Gurteen, Clogher, Derryleigh, Barnadivane and Carriharierk, for the construction of a windfarm of up to five wind turbines. They will have a maximum ground to blade tip height of up to 140m.
The site is 68 hectares and is adjacent to a number of monuments and Cork County Council acknowledges in the application that the development may impact on archaeology there.
The proposed project will be capable of providing power to approximately 9,168 households and the rated power output of the proposed windfarm will be approximately 15MW.
Some of the land that is involved in the application belongs to Coillte, while private landowners own the remainder.
In the planning application, the applicant said the current proposed site was considered to be the optimum location to propose a windfarm ‘from a strategic review and assessment’ having regard to the specific requirements of the grid connection.
The applicant also stated that in terms of wind speed, population density and grid access, the proposed development site was deemed to be an optimum location for the project.
The site is located in an area ‘open to consideration’ as laid down by the Cork County Development Plan 2014, which identifies three categories of ‘wind deployment’ areas.
The application adds that the population density of the study area is significantly lower than the county or national average.
A Natura Impact Statement (NIS), which accompanied the planning application, said that the proposed wind energy development, in view of best scientific knowledge and on the basis of objective information, is not likely to have any significant or adverse effects on the conservation objectives or overall integrity of any European sites. A public information meeting was held in the Parkway Hotel in Dunmanway just before Christmas, where representatives from the companies met with members of the local community.
However, another public meeting took place on Monday night when up to 30 residents of the area had an informal discussion about the planning application.
‘It was a very constructive meeting and some of those attending had some serious points of concern in relation to the planning application for this proposed windfarm,’ said Jeff Agar from Crushterra, who chaired the meeting.
‘We’re making sure that residents in the area have valid and coherent observations before the deadline in February,’ he added.
The closing date for observations on the planning application is Wednesday February 3rd and more information is available from the Planning Department at www.corkcoco.ie
With at address at Lissarda Business Park, Keel Energy Limited is listed on solocheck.ie as having two directors – David and Michael Murnane. It is described as a producer and distributor of electricity and has been registered since July 11th 2012.