An Bord Pleanála has cleared the way this week for phase one of the hugely controversial €80 million Seven Hills Windfarm in South Roscommon to progress to construction.
Ending delays that have dogged the project for over two years, the planning appeals board announced a decision in recent days to approve the plans from Galetech Energy Developments Limited to erect 14 wind turbines in a number of townlands close to Dysart village and surrounding areas.
The wind turbines, standing 135 metres tall, are earmarked for an area close to Dysart village covering the townlands of Cronin, Gortaphuill, Glenrevagh Mullaghardagh, Tullyneeny and Turrock. This week’s approval is subject to compliance with 29 separate planning conditions.
In October 2011, Roscommon County Council granted planning permission for the contentious 14 wind turbines, down from the 16 sought by the developers, despite over 400 local submissions in opposition to the plans.
That verdict was later appealed to An Bord Pleanála by residents and had been in limbo up to this week.
The developers, Cavan-based Galetech Energy Ltd, previously indicated that even if approval was garnered for the Dysart project, it would be 2014 or 2015 before work would start on the development.
A spokeperson for An Bord Pleanála has said a verdict on the second part of the development, 19 turbines earmarked for the Brideswell and Taughmaconnell areas could be available early next week.
For full details and analysis check out Wednesday's Westmeath Independent.
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