Planning application lodged for new Laois windfarm

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Planning approval sought for windfarm for Laois

Planning approval sought for windfarm for Laois

An expected planning application for a new windfarm in Laois has been lodged with Laois County Council.

Statkraft Ireland Limited submitted an application on December 23 for an eight turbine farm near Mountmellick.

The Norwegian based multinational energy company plans to develop the wind farm and all associated site works within the townlands of Dernacart, Forest Upper and Forest Lower, off the Tullamore N80 road.

They seek to build wind turbines with a tip height of up to 185 meters and all associated foundations and hardstanding areas; an on-site electrical substation, a temporary construction compound; all associated underground electrical and communications cabling connecting the turbines to the proposed on-site electrical substation; provision of new site access tracks and upgrading of existing access tracks and associated drainage.

They seek to erect one permanent meteorological mast of up to 110m in height, and to do works to facilitate the delivery of the turbines adjacent to the N80 within the townland of Dernacart and Forest Upper to include the laying of temporary surfacing; tree felling; and all associated site development works, ancillary works and equipment.

Permission is sought for a period of 10 years and an operational life of 30 years from the date of commissioning of the entire wind farm.

An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) have been in prepared in respect of the proposed development.

The public can make submissions on the application to the council, with the application available to view in the planning department and online at www.laois.ie. A decision is due from council planners by February 25. 

The local community held a meeting in Clonaghadoo last October and discussed their concerns about the proposed farm. Read that story here. 

Statkraft say in a brochure distributed to residents that the turbines would be at least 740metres away from houses. It promises no shadow flicker using technology. The turbines would give wind generated electricity to 30,000 homes it says.

Another meeting is being held on January 13 in Mountmellick Arts Centre, hosted by a new Facebook group called Mountmellick Wind Turbine Impact.