Longford County Council broadly in favour of Derryadd windfarm subject to some conditions

An Oral Hearing into a proposed wind farm in south Longford has heard that the local authority is broadly in favour of the project, subject to some conditions being met.

This afternoon the Oral Hearing has been hearing from more groups and individuals in relation to the Bord na Mona proposals for over 20 turbines, with a  tip height of 185 metres being constructed on the disused bog.

A statement on behalf of  Longford County Council was read out by Senior Engineer Donal Mac an Bheatha.

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The council statement said the report by the CEO made on the matter had concluded that subject to certain mitigation measures the local authority was positively disposed to the construction of the windfarm at the proposed location, and that it believes the proposed mid-Shannon Wilderness Park and the wind farm were not mutually exclusive.

The council had also outlined a number of issues which it considered have not been fully dealt with or that needed further information in order for the application to be fully assessed.

The statement also noted though that a special meeting of the council held on the 8th of April this year saw the elected members vote unanimously to oppose the farm.

Dr Andrew Kelly of the ISPCA spoke of their concerns about the potential impact of noise and low frequency sound on a large amount of horses, donkeys, dogs and other annals who come to the centre already suffering from stress and other related health issues.

Dr Kelly noted as well that the report from Bord na Mona about the impact on birds had dealt with population rather than individuals birds or bats, but the ISPCA was concerned about the impact on every bird or animal.

He also pointed to the fact the report had said there was no precedent for animal welfare to be considered in planning but he thought that was a gap which needs to be addressed.

A report was also given by Inland Fisheries Ireland which asked for several clarifications on the information given in the report carried out for Bord na Mona on water issues, particularly in relation to discharges of water to natural water courses which they described as “misleading”.

IFI also wanted more detail on future water quality in relation to the rehabilitation of the boglands, and said in many instances they wanted prior agreement rather than just consultation before these measures began.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service also made a presentation this afternoon and said that they wanted to see mitigation measures put in  place to address concerns about the Whooper Swans,

They also expressed concern about measures to mitigate the drainage works associated with one of the turbines on the nearby Lough Bawn proposed Natural Heritage Area.

Padraig Fogarty from the Irish Wildlife Trust gave a presentation and said they see a mid-Shannon Wilderness Park as totally incompatible with a wind farm.

He also spoke of the great carbon sink that could be achieved through re-wetting the area rather than building huge structures and increasing that footprint in a major way.

There have also presentations this afternnon from Liam Madden on behalf of some local residents in Derryadd and from Niall Dennigan on behalf of the No to Derryadd Wind Farm group.