A proposed wind farm development set for East Galway is put on hold after seeing an appeal against it's planning permission approved, as reported by the Connacht tribune.
The appeal was brought by local residents in the area, who wished to highlight the environmental implications the development would have to the area. In particular locals wished to highlight the impact it would have on local rivers and local wildlife in the area, most notably the local bat and barn owl populations.
Reports suggested that the proposed wind farm development would have seen five turbines being built on the site. These reports also claim the development/turbines would have been up to 47 metres taller than the Spire in O'Connell street in Dublin city.
The proposed site for the wind farm is near Eyrecourt, near the townlands Lisbeg, AnnaghCorrib and Coolcarta. The aim was to build five wind turbines in the area as well as upgrading local roads near to the site.
Locals against the development argued on the side of the local Brown Long-eared bat populations, while also pointing to the nest sites where local Barn Owl populations reproduce as reasons why the plans should not go ahead. Locals also argued that the development would devalue local properties while also impacting local tourism.
The company behind the development claim the Barn Owl nests are situated over 2kms away from the site, while they also claim that it would not affect some of the species named by the opposition. They say the site is over 2.5 kms away from the nearest floodplain and said there is no evidence to support bat population numbers in the area.
In total there were over 40 applications to deny the planning permission, with locals coming out on top in this battle. An Bord Pleanala ruled in favour of the local residents, overturning the planning permission granted by the Galway County Council. This was done as the area is one of conservation and special protection, mainly for bird populations.