Sunday 14 September 2008

Storm of protest over plans for wind turbines in town centre

A plan to build two wind turbines in the centre of a residential area of Edenderry has created a storm among local residents.

The planning application has been lodged with Offaly County Council by MB Solar Ltd headed up by well-known Dublin-based architect Matt Barnes.

More than 60 local residents from the Francis Street area of the town gathered in a local pub to voice concerns about the proposal last week.

Residents claim the wind turbines, if given the go-ahead, will be within 40 metres of the nearest house and will dominate the skyline.

They also fear that the turbines will decrease the value of their homes and create noise, according to local resident Alo Glennon.

Mr Barnes said he plans to use the wind turbines along with woodchip and wind to provide energy for his business manufacturing solar slates.

A spokesman for Offaly County Council confirmed that an application has been made and a decision is due by the end of this month.

"It will be dealt with in the usual way," he told the Sunday Independent.

A local councillor has voiced concern over the plan. Cllr Noel Burke said that having studied the planning application file he felt strongly that the construction should not be allowed to proceed. He told the Offaly Express that he had advised local residents to make formal submissions to the planning authority.

He said he had no problem with wind turbines being erected but constructing them in the vicinity of residential or built-up areas was "simply not acceptable".

The proposed turbines would be located at the north end of Francis Street and north west of Downshire Row and New Row in the town.


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