Residents of Meelick have raised concern over the possible construction of a windfarm stretching from Ballycar to Cappantymore and on to Gallows Hill.
The proposed windfarm, which is yet to go to planning is expected to include a number of windmills positioned strategically across five landowners’ farms.
Local objectors, who have come together to form a community action group called, ‘Meelick Says No To Windfarm’ are deeply perturbed by the potential health and environmental effects that could occur as a result of the development.
Lifelong Cappantymore resident, local objector and father of three children under the age of 10, Niall Ward, expressed his concern at the lack of public consultation. “We have only become aware of this informally. We are very concerned. We are at a bit of a disadvantage in that no developer has identified themselves. Only through a couple of farmers that have spoken have we managed to get any information. We are all very worried for our own health and our kid’s health.”
Clare County Council have designated the locality as a strategic area for wind farming. Niall stresses that the local environment is “much too built up” and that hundreds of individuals would be directly affected by the turbines. In addition, Niall alludes to the impact on the ecological environment, remarking that the Council’s environmental survey is privately and externally conducted on behalf of the group that is expected to be responsible for the construction of the wind farm.
Meelick residents say that they feel “stranded”, that the wind farm would be positioned too close to their homes and would subsequently devalue their properties overnight. “My own brother in law said he would move if this goes ahead,” Niall admits.
No planning permission has been sought as of yet, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) stated as he outlined public consultation will be held prior to this. “As a public representative, I have spoken with some of the concerned residents, telling them that I will work on their behalf as a liaison officer between them and the council’s planning department in order to put any meetings in place”.