Bird breeding may stall wind farm plans

Plans for a new cross-border wind farm involving the construction of two 156m turbines in Laois have been put on hold, as Laois County Council have asked the developer to provide further information in the wake of trenchant opposition to the plans from residents of two counties.

Among the many issues raised by the council with SWS Energy Limited, great concern is expressed at how the Lisheen III Wind Farm in the townland of Graigueadrisly will affect the local birdlife population.

SWS Energy Limited have been accused by the council of giving little consideration to the environmental, landscape and biodiversity policy. Chief among these concerns is that no breeding bird survey has been carried out.

“This is critical and needs clarification,” said the council, claiming that a minimum of two years of survey is needed to assess potential impacts of wind developments on birds.

If completed, the project would see two wind turbines to a maximum tip height of 156m built at the Laois portion of the wind farm, with a further six turbines built in Kilkenny, and underground cable laid at Kiloran, Co. Tipperary.

Having been furnished with a petition signed by 90 people, the council have written to SWS Energy Limited requesting they address the concerns raised by residents of both Laois and Kilkenny.

It is claimed that the company did not make the public properly aware of the consultation evening which took place in Crosspatrick on November 19, 2013. Noise, light flicker, and health issues have also been highlighted, and it has been pointed out that the national planning guidelines review on wind turbines is not yet complete. It is also said that the turbines would be very unsightly and would interfere with telephone reception, and there are concerns over the visual impact of the turbines.

The council have also asked SWS Energy Limited to indicate the precise location of the turbines, provide a revised site layout plan, and indicate what future plans the company has for similar projects.


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