Extra time granted to South Roscommon windfarm developers

The developers behind controversial plans for two major wind farms in South Roscommon have received an extension of time to submit further information in relation to the second development, earmarked for the Brideswell and Taughmaconnell areas. Galetech Energy Developments Ltd now has until July to send in its replies to the council's request last September, for information on several issues in connection with proposals for the second phase of the so-called Seven Hills Wind Farm, consisting of 19 wind turbines in the townlands of Boleyduff, Cam, Cloonacaltry, Cuilleenoolagh, Feacle, Milltown, Skeavally, Tawnagh and Tobermacloughlin. Among the issues raised by the council include questions on drainage and water at the site, possible road works, arrangements for workers on-site, the possible impacts to the swan population and local habitats, clarifation about power lines to transport electricity and the distances between the individual turbines. Speaking to the Westmeath Independent this week, Darren Sherry who is a Director of Cavan-based Galetech Energy Developments Ltd, said the company are working through the issues raised by Roscommon County Council and is currently doing further ecological tests locally. By the deadline of the first week in July, he said they will have four years of data on bird populations locally, and they want to able to to show there is no adverse impact to the ecology of the area before they proceed with the development. Mr Sherry added that he is confident the company can adequately address all of the matters raised by the local authority. Once the information is submitted, a decision is due on the 19 wind turbine project which would produce enough electricity to power 19,000 homes, within an eight week period. Meanwhile, a decision is due from An Bord Pleanála by March 12 next in connection with the other windfarm planned by the company close to Dysart. In that first phase, 14 wind turbines are proposed for the townlands Turrock, Cronin, Mullaghhardagh, Gortaphuill, Tullyneeny and Glenrevagh. 400 submissions opposing the plans were received during the local planning process. Despite this, it received the backing of the council in October last year before being appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Even if the news in positive in relation to the Dysart project, Mr Sherry said it will probably 2014 or 2015 before work would start in South Roscommon.