Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A WIND turbine erected for test purposes was deliberately cut down in the Cullenagh Mountain area of Ballyroan last week.

Gardaí confirmed they are investigation the incident.

The 80m high mast was part of Coillte’s controversial plan to develop a wind farm with 18 turbines measuring 131.5 metres in height spanning 594 hectares from Ballyroan to Timahoe across the Cullenagh Mountain.

Coillte’s controversial plan to erect the turbines has been bitterly opposed by locals and a range of groups from across the county since it was first proposed.

There were 155 objections to the company’s plans when they were submitted to the council for approval. Numerous public meetings opposing the development attracted hundreds of people.

Laois County Council refused planning permission and the company appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála (ABP), which subsequently overturned the council’s decision. A local group, People Over Wind (POW), appealed the ABP decision to the High Court and lost the appeal in the Commercial Court after a ten-day hearing.

POW are today (Tuesday) in the newly-established Court of Appeal in the High Court in Dublin appealing the decision made by the Commercial Court.

To date, POW has managed to raise €60,000 with the assistance of local people and its supporters to fight the legal challenges through the courts.

This week, another Ballyroan-based national group, Wind Aware Ireland, said that it will target politicians who support wind turbines and pylons in the run-up to the general election.

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By Joe Barrett
Contact Newsdesk: +353 57 86 70216

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