Coillte apply for Cullenagh turbines

Planning permission is being sought for an 18 turbine windfarm by Coillte on their land in Cullenagh near Ballyroan.

Planning permission is being sought for an 18 turbine windfarm by Coillte on their land in Cullenagh near Ballyroan.

An application was lodged with Laois County Council last week, which the public have five weeks to comment on. A decision will be made by October 3.

Local protest group People over Wind are calling on the semi-state agency to withdraw it until guidelines are updated next year, asking for national political support.

They say fifteen families living on the Timahoe to Ballinakill road “may find themselves living in a giant wind farm” with turbines in front and behind them.

“This proposed industrial installation in one of the most beautiful parts of Laois will be visible from 20 miles away and will damage Laois’s only mountain after the Slieve Blooms,” said Henry Fingleton from POW.

The windfarm will supply power to the Irish grid.

Coillte also seeks to build internal access roads and strengthen and widen forestry roads to the site, an 86 metre meteorological mast, a 38kv substation compound linked to the turbines by underground cables, and a temporary construction compound.

They say they do not comment on projects during the planning application phase.

“Further information including full environmental assessments carried out over the past 2 years, are detailed in the Environmental Impact Statement on the public planning application file of Laois Co Council,” their statement said.

It is the second farm to go to county hall for approval this month. Galetech have applied for 8 152m turbines near Spink, also due for decision on October 3.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on the Environment Brian Stanley wants a moratorium.

“I raised the need for proper regulations with Minister Hogan recently. While I accept the need to develop the sustainable energy sector, giant turbines are being planned with no proper regulations in place, only guidelines which are not enforceable and totally inadequate. I have written to all political parties urging a united approach.” he said.

A public information meeting will be held by POW in Ballyroan Community Hall at 8pm on Tuesday August 27.