A development of ten wind turbines in the Cloghan area by Galetech Energy Developments Ltd will not be going ahead.
The project for lands at Stonestown, Kilcamin, Crancreagh and Derrinlough was given the thumbs up by Offaly planners on July 22 last year, but on December 23 last An Bord Pleanala turned the project down.
Plans were in place for ten wind turbines, each with a hub height of 110m and a rotor diameter of 120m. Following approval from Offaly planners in July, last August the proposed project was referred on to An Bord Pleanala by Val Martin of Gortnakesh in Cavan town and the National Roads Authority.
In its order An Bord Pleanala said it considered that a wind farm development of the scale proposed would create a “significant visual intrusion in the landscape”.
It said the height and spatial extent of the proposed turbines would be “excessively dominant” and “visually obtrusive” when viewed from the surrounding countryside and villages.
It said the project would therefore seriously injure the visual amenities of the area, be contrary to the provisions of the Wind Energy Guidelines for Planning Authorities issued by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
Speaking on New Year’s Day Banagher resident Agnes Doolan - who herself engaged a consultant to submit an observation to An Bord Pleanala on the case - said she is “thrilled” with the latest decision.
However she added that there’s no place for complacency now, with plans for additional wind turbines in the midlands in order to export energy to the UK - where she says locals “have long since discovered that wind turbines are a significant visual intrusion on their landscape”.
“If the English don’t want them, why should we?” she said. “The Irish countryside and the quality of life of its inhabitants should not be compromised to enable Great Britain meet its 2020 requirements of renewable energy.