Emlagh Wind Farm poses issues in the absence of proper national spatial strategy for wind
All future Irish wind energy proposal needs to be plan led and not developer led. There is a need to meaningfully rather than tokenistically use the framework provided by the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive to identify the national capacity for location of wind energy for export turbines, and their optimum siting. This proposal is inappropriately developer led acting without any proper national and location selection strategy. It has shown up significant conflict with residential amenity, sites of high amenity and landscape designations in local authority development plans and the landscape setting of sites of cultural heritage, including significant monuments and designed landscapes.
Furthermore, this application requires cumulative assessment with other proposed wind energy development. An Taisce note another Strategic Infrastructure application. Element is also pursuing a pre planning consultation for this development which also originated as an export proposal which it titles the Maighne Wind Farm. It proposes up to twenty-two individual sites stretching across North County Kildare, Offaly and South County Meath for fifty-five turbines in large area of landscape between Prosperous Co Kildare, Longwood Co Meath and Edenderry Co Offaly. The same considerations raised by the Emlagh application also apply to this proposal.
There is also a current application applied for by Cregg Wind Farm Limited for the grant of a ten year planning permission for development for the construction, operation and decommissioning of a wind farm of up to six number wind turbine generators to export electricity to the national grid. Each turbine will be up to 150 metres to blade tip height with an associated crane hardstand. The works will also require the construction of an electrical substation, a meteorological mast, cabling and access tracks to each turbine and ancillary works including a temporary construction compound and site entrance access upgrades for abnormal loads, at this site at Cregg, College and Rathgillen townlands, Nobber, Co. Meath.
It is also noted that legal action has been initiated against An Bord Pleanála on the eligibility of the Emlagh application as a Strategic Infrastructure proposal under the Planning and Development Acts as amended 2006, in High Court proceedings lodged on 26th November.
The close of submissions in relation to this application was 1st December. See link to An Taisce submission.