Turbine firm skirts planning laws in testing

Laois' first windfarm in Gortahile, north of Castlecomer, which has eight 80m turbines.
Planning permission is being sought from county hall for Laois’ second windfarm, by a company who have already skirted the planning laws.

Planning permission is being sought from county hall for Laois’ second windfarm, by a company who have already skirted the planning laws.

If county hall approves, eight wind turbines 152 metres tall will be built several kilometres east of Ballinakill.

The company behind Pinewoods Wind Farm, Galetech Energy Developments from Cavan, contravened the lanning laws at the site earlier this year, leaving an 80 metre wind measurement mast up for months beyond an authorised 15 month deadline.

After a warning letter from Laois County Council planning enforcement, Galetech applied for and got retention permission on the mast.

This was despite objections lodged by neighbours,Andrea Woodgate and Stephen Brumby who said the company had already “broken regulations”, and did not get consent from the Irish Aviation Authority, despite the proximity of an aerodrome.

The turbines will be built in Ironmills, Boleybawn, Knockardagur, Graiguenahown and Garrintaggart.

Laois’ first windfarm is in nearby Gortahile, with eight turbines measuring 125 m to blade tip, taller than Dublin’s spire. It opened two years agoin is owned to BPN Paribas.

Galetech are also applying for turbine foundations, crane standing area, access roads, underground cabling, a 100m anemometer mast, and control facility and compound with a 2.4m fence.

People have five weeks to make submissions.