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Council to call for free electricity for locals if wind farm greenlit

Jul 26, 2022 07:51 By Shannonside News
Council to call for free electricity for locals if wind farm greenlit
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Councillor John Keogh submitted that any household within 3KM of a wind turbine should receive free electricity

Roscommon County Council is to recommend that if a controversial wind farm project in the south of the county goes ahead, local residents affected should get free electricity.

The Council has approved a number of submissions to An Bord Pleanala to be made as part of the planning process for the Seven Hills Windfarm in Dysart.

Planning permission was lodged last month which will see up to 20 turbines developed in the wider Dysart and Taughmaconnell areas.

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An Bord Pleanala will make the final decision on the project with Roscommon County Council's Chief Executive submitting a report which Councillors cannot alter, but can add recommendations to.

The July meeting of the Council has heard that CE Eugene Cummins indicated the principal of the project be endorsed, but subject to three conditions including that an environmental impact assessment is carried out and a stage two appropriate assessment.

He also wants to ensure the development is permitted with specific conditions included such as maximum tip height of turbine stipulated and the gird connection is on the road verge.

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Councillor John Keogh received support for his proposal that any household within 3KM of a wind turbine should receive free electricity - at a capped level.

Councillor Laurence Fallon also suggested that an independent body be established to resolve any issues or disputes which may arise in the case of the turbines being erected to give an immediate response and find an immediate solution which was also agreed by the meeting.

Councillor John Naughten also suggested that the maximum height of the turbines be 120 metres and Councillor Emer Kelly suggested that noise levels be addressed for people with autism.

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Councillor Tony Ward also proposed a setback distance of 1500 metres from the nearest residence which Director of Services Shane Tiernan admitted may prove problematic under current guidelines.

Councillor Donal Kilduff also outlined a proposal that any home within ten times the height of the turbine should be entitled to seek a relocation allowance should they see fit.

The public consultation phase concludes on August 1st with a decision expected in early 2023.

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