Cllr James Lawless has lodged his submission in objection to the proposed Maighne Wind Farm in North West Kildare this week. The submission to An Bord Pleanála comes as over 1000 families across Kildare submit their concerns. The 47x167m turbines are set to damage house prices, tourism, and the local economy if built. Cllr Lawless was one of the first councillors in Kildare to raise concerns about the Maighne Wind Farm at council level calling for a planning moratorium until the new planning guidelines were in place.
Submitting his objections this week Cllr Lawless cited “the premature nature of the building of the proposed wind farm given Kildare County Council are currently drawing up wind energy project guidelines and at government level a public consultation is still underway”.
Other matters raised by Cllr Lawless in his submission were “conservation concerns and proximity to bog land, unproven demand or productivity of the wind turbines, lack of access and damage to the rural roads if turbines are to be built, and a lack of consultation and disrespect to key stakeholders locally”.
In preparation for the submission deadline Cllr Lawless has held public meetings with local groups and business helping people to understand the situation and guidance with the submission process. Weston Aerodrome had not been informed of the high turbines which will have a detrimental effect on flight paths. Cllr Lawless meeting with Weston Aerodrome led to a substantial submission to An Bord Pleanála apposing Maighne Wind Farm from the aerodrome.
Last August Cllr Lawless worked with the local community groups in Eadestown who faced a similar wind farm being built in close proximity to people’s homes, schools, and businesses. Stating at the time “The entire regulatory, legal, technical and community frameworks for these projects needs to stabilise before these projects should be considered for planning” it is Cllr Lawless belief these conditions have not yet been met regarding the Maighne Wind Farm. Due to the hard work of the local community groups and motions in the council from Cllr Lawless the planning application for Eadestown was withdrawn last summer.
Recently Cllr Lawless and Cllr Paul Ward visited the Mount Lucas Wind Farm in Offaly where both councillors seen the damage these turbines can do to the local landscape. The visit to the Mount Lucas Wind Farm cemented the belief that there “is a place for them as part of a wider energy package and in clustered locations well away from housing, but dotted across a scenic rural landscape in close proximity to houses and natural amenity all the way around is not it”.