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Planning permission for a controversial wind farm in Cahermurphy has been rejected by Clare County Council.

Mid Clare Renewable Energy (MCRE) Windfarm Ltd lodged the plans in September for the ten wind turbines with Clare County Council on Friday opting against giving the development the green light.

Over 100 submissions were received by the local authority from the public, community groups and elected representatives. Among them were Violet Anne Wynne TD (SF), Senator Timmy Dooley (FF), Senator Roisin Garvey (GP), Cllr PJ Kelly (FF), Cllr Shane Talty (FF), Cllr Susan Crawford (GP), Cllr Ian Lynch (IND), Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) plus Shannon duo Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) and Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF).

Locals cited the potential of depopulation and the consequences of the erection of further wind turbines to the area in their submissions. The windfarm was proposed to be built in the townlands of Cahermurphy, Knocknahila More South, Carrownagry South, Caheraghacullin and Drummin, together with the development of an underground grid connection cable to the National Grid in the townlands of Cahermurphy, Drummin, Doolough, Glenmore, and Booltiagh.

72 jobs would have been created as a result of the proposed project, the environmental impact statement lodged by the applicants stated and also detailed plans for a community benefit fund of €5.6m.

In a chief executive order signed last week, acting senior planner with the Council, Helen Quinn outlined that the proposed turbine height structures of 170m “would constitute strident and visually prominent features on the landscape from both local and long range viewpoints”.

Should the development go ahead, Ms Quinn cautioned that it may “give rise to a proliferation of wind turbines at this location which would negatively alter the character of this rural landscape” and thus injure the area’s visual amenities.

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