Independent TD Carol Nolan has described plans by Offaly County Council to proceed with the construction of a major wind turbine development at Lemanaghan Bog as profoundly disappointing and frustrating for all those who campaigned to retain the sites historical and archaeological value.
The Laois Offaly Deputy was speaking after the Chief Executive of the County Council, Anna Marie Delaney confirmed that it would be rejecting opposition to the project – and that the Council were in favour of it proceeding:
“While there is real sadness at this news, I can assure the County Council that this is far from the end of the matter,” said Deputy Nolan.
“The Council say future planning applications for wind farm developments will still be evaluated on a case by case basis having regard to wind energy development guidelines, environmental impact, traffic, transport, landscape and visual impact assessments.”
“But these are the very things that have, on the face of it, been utterly ignored with respect to Lemanaghan bog and this specific development. Why should we believe that things will be any different in the future?” she asked.
Deputy Nolan said that detailed and extensive objections were made to this proposal based on a clear historical, visual, environmental and archaeological basis.
“It is a genuine shame that the Council have seen fit to disregard all of this and proceed over the heartfelt and informed objections of thousands of people,” she said.
Lemanaghan bog in west Offaly is currently designated as ‘open for consideration’ for wind energy and Bord na Mona, who owns the site, hopes to install 17 turbines there.
The County Council received hundreds of objections to zoning the bog for a wind farm with many of those opposing the plan pointing to the potential for damage to the early Christian monastic site of St Manchan.
However, council chief executive Anna Marie Delaney says the bog is designated as a “medium landscape sensitivity’ and that only high landscape sensitivity areas are excluded from wind energy development.