Sunday 28 June 2009

Best-selling writer appeals Clare wind farm decision

AUTHOR Niall Williams says he will be forced to move from his west Clare home if a planned 120m (395ft) high wind farm is built just more than 500m from his property.

The author of seven novels, Williams has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against a Clare County Council decision to grant planning permission to Aonghus Coughlan for a two-turbine wind- farm.

The Dubliner and his wife, Christine Breen, moved to Ms Breen’s ancestral family home in the isolated village of Kiltumper, near Kilmihil, in 1985 to write.

In their objection lodged with the council, Williams said the “flashing” effect caused by the rotating blades of the wind turbines, when the sun was shining, would have a nauseating, disorientating effect because of a particular eye condition he had.

“As a result, my lifestyle in Kiltumper, my home for nearly 25 years, would be enormously compromised, and because of fears for my health, I would be forced to sell and move from the area . . . Needless to say, in the event of the windfarm going ahead, we would seek legal representation to address the liability for the loss of our livelihood here.”

But letters of support for the plan have been lodged by local organisations including Kilmihil GAA Club, Kilmihil soccer club and Kilmihil farmers’ association.

The council rejected the Williams’s arguments and gave the the plan the go-ahead, stating it would not seriously injure the amenities of the area. A decision is due on the appeal later this year.

Meanwhile, plans for a separate €50 million wind farm near the Co Clare village of Lissycasey are being threatened by a claim to turf-cutting rights going back generations.

Last month, ESB subsidiary Hibernian Windpower lodged plans for an 11-turbine wind farm at Boolneagleragh in the region.

Irish Times

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