Locals in Ballivor meeting to discuss the bog proposals.

Ballivor residents unhappy with bog windfarm plans

Residents of the Ballivor area concerned about proposals for a windfarm in their area are preparing to do battle against the proposal.

Local residents are preparing an objection to the planning application by Bord na Mona/Powergen for a wind farm on bogs within the Ballivor Bog Group.

They are concerned about the visual impact, noise and property value if the proposals go ahead.

The proposals are for 26 turbines in Meath and Westmeath at Ballivor, Bracklin, Carranstown, Lisclogher and Lisclogher West bogs.

Darrell Kennedy of the Delvin, Raharney, Ballivor Wind Action Group said they would be lodging an objection to the proposal as well as getting information out to the local communities who until now have only been hearing what the developers are saying.

"We are worried about the visual impact of this proposal on the area because the proposed turbines will be so tall and are located in a low lying area," he says.

"There is also the issue of noise. The turbines will have a tip speed of up tp 245mph which will undoubtedly lead to noise."

Mr Kennedy pointed out that the proposal is to have the turbines set back 800m from any houses.

"Some international studies say they should be 20 times the tip height, from any house - so they would need to be 2km away.

"This proposal will have an impact on the value of people's houses and they may have difficulty selling them. Each of the turbines will requite 1,000 metres of concrete to be laid - that is 125 lorryloads of concrete for each turbine.

'"The development will also impact bird life, birds have been killed by the blades," he said.

Mr Kennedy accused Bord na Mona of laziness in proposing a windfarm for the 80 hectares of bogland in the area.

"Windfarms are not beneficial to the environment and they don't create jobs. We would like to see the bogs regenerated. They could have come up with proposals that would create more jobs and be more friendly to the environment like solar panels, biomass energy, horticulture or for activities like running tracks, or fishing.

Bord na Mona is proposing that the turbines will have an overall blade tip height of up to 200 metres above ground level.

The proposed windfarm will be located 2km west of Ballivor, 2.5km southeast of Delvin and 3km east of Raharney.

According to Bord na Mona, the development of the proposed Ballivor Wind Farm will support up to 100 jobs at peak construction and 3-5 long term, high quality technical jobs in operations and maintenance.

“Local communities will also benefit from additional rates paid to the local authority which support the provision of local services, a community benefit scheme and the upgrading of road infrastructure where necessary in the local area. Similar to Mountlucas Wind Farm, it is also intended to facilitate the public use of the internal roadways for recreation and amenity,” according to the company, which also indicated it would set up a community gain fund for the local area.