NMWT@BALLYLONGFORD (No More Wind Turbines) held an initial public meeting last Wednesday, 7th June regarding the proposed Ballylongford Wind Farm. During the well-attended meeting, a presentation from local resident, Tony Dowd, on behalf of a number of concerned residents outlined the factors driving wind farm expansion and the potential adverse impact of turbines. Local councillors and representatives from communities objecting to other wind farms in North Kerry were also present.
Mr Dowd noted that Kerry County Council’s Landscape Character Assessment Report, published in 2012, had concluded that the majority of North Kerry was of an ‘ordinary landscape’ with no particular merit in terms of landscape. As a result of this, most of North Kerry has been zoned as ‘open to consideration’ for wind farm development. With 217 turbines currently erected in Kerry (66% – 145 – of them in North Kerry), one possible scenario was for a 139% increase in wind turbines in Kerry, taking the total in North Kerry to over 300 turbines. As an example, the sheer size of turbines and their impact can now be visualised by the two turbines recently erected in Asdee which are only 90m tall. The 8 turbines proposed for the Ballylongford Wind Farm are 125m – 40% taller.
Following the presentation, a number of attendees expressed their concerns about the latest development and the likelihood of further developments being applied for. NMWT noted that “while it is understandable that landowners are tempted by the significant
financial promises made to them by the energy companies behind these projects, we, as a community, must be aware of the facts and long-term effects of wind farms”.
NMWT@ballylongford will be organising further information meetings for the community as well as creating links with other communities in Kerry facing a similar situation.