Dolan Nolan – January 22, 2014 – The Kerryman (North Kerry)
FINUGE HOMES LOSE VALUE… AND A SALE HAS COLLAPSED
PROPERTIES are already losing value in Finuge because of plans to locate ten massive turbines there, locals claimed at a protest meeting on Monday night.
One house sale collapsed at the last minute as buyers were about to sign on the dotted line immediately after controversy flared up over the plans by Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd.
Locals say they are in no doubt the sale of a house closed to the planned windfarm site collapsed because buyers didn’t want to own a home in an area that could be dominated by the massive generators.
Up to 200 people attended the public meeting in Finuge on Monday night at which anger over the plans was palpable. The vast majority of people living in the Ballyhorgan area of Finuge are fiercely opposed to the windfarm as they fear the planned 157-metre turbines would impact on their homes, cause noise and shadow flicker and affect health.
One Banemore woman who attended the meeting told how shadow flicker from a turbine behind her home is ‘constant’ and likened the noise from the turbine to a ‘plane’ in evidence that hit locals hard on Monday.
It’s expected that hundreds of individual objections to the plan will be lodged in the coming weeks as Finuge prepares for a fight locals believe will have lasting implications for all of north Kerry. HUNDREDS OF objections will be lodged by Finuge locals as part of the community’s first formal move in its fight against plans to erect giant wind turbines in the low-lying rural area.
Anger was palpable at a massive public meeting in Finuge on Monday night attended by up to 200 locals fiercely opposed to the plans which are currently before Kerry County Council.
Company Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd hopes to erect the ten tallest wind turbines ever seen in the State – at a height of 157 metres – in the heart of the farming community. The turbines, labelled ‘monstrosities’ by locals on Monday, would dwarf even the Great Pyramid in Egypt as well as Dublin’s Spire.
Locals say the visual impact of the turbines would utterly transform the attractive community – officially a heritage village – devalue homes, cause noise pollution and ‘shadow flicker’ and lead to a general deterioration of the quality of life in the community.
And many are now of the feeling that north Kerry is being ‘sacrificed’ by local government to supply the county’s windenergy requirements with large tracts of populated areas categorised as potential windfarm locations – from the Stacks Mountains over to Lerrig Lough in Kilmoyley.
“These things are going to be huge,” committee member Anne Quilter told Monday night’s public meeting at Dromclough National School. “Bird’s big wheel is forty metres tall, these will be four times the size of that going up here.”
Anger was also directed at the apparent downgrading of large parts of north Kerry, including Finuge, as being of ‘no scenic value’ under the new County Development Plan (CDP). “That makes me angry. I chose to come here and make my life in north Kerry,” Ms Quilter said.
“The CDP suggests that Kerry should produce one third of the nation’s renewable energy, to do that they are going to locate most of the windfarms in north Kerry…we have to fight this,” Ms Quilter said, also rejecting claims the development would result in jobs: “This is going to decimate our community.”
Clinics are to be held all week in Dromclough school where the windfarm committee will help people fill in objections. Chairman Gerry Doyle is urging locals to ring Kerry County Council planners to ensure the plan is validated as quickly as possible as no objections can be lodged before then.
The five week deadline for objections is meanwhile ticking down.
Among the most forceful evidence of windfarm impact heard on the night came from Banemore woman Shirley Thornton who said that shadow flicker and noise had reduced her quality of life. “I actually have these at the back of my house..the shadow flicker is constant coming in and the noise is like planes flying overhead.”
Locals in the Irremore side of Finuge said they can hear the Banemore windfarm – two-anda-half miles from their homes.
But the committee are optimistic at the outset of the fight. They are receiving guidance from a similar group that succeeded in blocking a wind development in Offaly.
The committee also revealed its plans to launch large balloons to the height of the turbines in an event designed to give people a real idea of the scale of the proposed development as well as to garner more publicity for their cause.
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