Bord na Móna must supply more information on Longford windfarm case

Kevin Forde

Reporter:

Kevin Forde

Email:

kevin.forde@longfordleader.ie

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Bord na Mona have been asked to submit additional information over plans to erect a windfarm in south Longford

The ‘No to Derryadd wind farm’ group received confirmation from an Bord Pleanála that they are requesting further information from Bord na Móna in relation to the effects the proposed wind farm development would have on the environment.

An Bord Pleanála explained that the request for further information relates to the publication of the ‘Climate Action Plan 2019’ by the government on June 17. This is due to said plan being released after the original application was made to the board and after a public oral hearing was held in Longford on June 12-14.

The second reason behind the request for further information was due to the level of detail included with Bord na Móna's planning application, referring to the future implementation of a cutaway bog rehabilitation plan under Integrated pollution control licence number 504, as well as matters relating to peatland restoration and associated potential for carbon sequestration.

The extent of the permanent footprint this potential development would have on the site was also noted as another reason, as well as to the existing bog drainage networks within the overall site area.

An Bord Pleanála now seeks further information on:

1. The compatibility of the proposed windfarm project with the totality of relevant provisions set out in the Climate Action plan 2019 relating to the harnessing of renewable energy and to the better management of peatlands and soils.

2. The complementarity of the future use of all or part of the application site area which falls outside the permanent windfarm footprint, for peatlands restoration/rehabilitation, including the potential for carbon sequestration, alongside operational requirements of the proposed windfarm project (including drainage).

An Bord Pleanála have requested that all information is submitted to the board within eight weeks of this notice, which means no later than 5:30pm on November 16.

The No to Derryadd Wind farm Community Group told the Leader that they had hoped that An Bord Pleanála would have reached their decision on the proposed wind farm on Friday last.

Niall Dennigan, PRO, said: “We also hoped that the result would have been a positive one in our favour, as it has become ever more apparent the need to progress and establish the Mid Shannon wilderness Park on the boglands without any further delays.”

The group took part in the Lanesboro Ballyleague Think Tank in Lanesboro recently and the Mid Shannon Wilderness Park proposal was very well received.

Niall stated: “It ticked all the boxes of the day, through jobs, tourism, economic growth and topped it all off by displaying the ability to achieve a true biodiversity project, displaying Longford as a leader in achieving all of the above if given the chance.

“We also have written confirmation from the EU that funding can be made available for such a development like the MSWP.”

PRO for the group, Niall Dennigan, says it is now imperative that the voices of communities are finally heard.

He said: “With Denis Naughtens announcement of a potential €30 million being made available by the Government for such Bog restorations, and with the recent news of one of our local bird species, the Curlew, facing extinction, it is imperative that the Communities are heard and allowed to progress such a development with the current BnM workers at the forefront of restoring these lands to their full potential.”

The group say they have yet to receive an actual decision date from an Bord Pleanála in relation to the application.