A CONTROVERSIAL application to construct a huge wind turbine in the Kilmacthomas area has been withdrawn.
Walsh and Connors Limited was granted conditional planning permission by Waterford Council in October 2012 to erect a 70-metre (230 feet) high 500 kW wind turbine with a blade diameter of 45 metres (148 ft) and associated site works at Ballynabanoge North/Cooltubrid West, Ballyogarty, Kilmacthomas.
However, the company recently applied to alter this application and construct a wind turbine with a hub height of 85 metres (279 ft) and a rotor diameter of up to 93 metres (305 ft) and a blade tip height of up to 132 metres (433 ft), along with other works, at the same area.
Amid growing concerns in the locality, around 200 people attended a public meeting at the Rainbow Hall, Kilmacthomas last week.
Organisers of the meeting claimed that the turbine would become “the tallest structure in County Waterford” and “one of the tallest turbines in Europe” making it visible “from New Ross to Midleton”.
Speaking to The Munster Express this week, Walsh and Connors Limited confirmed that its attempt to alter the existing application had been withdrawn.
“For a green energy renewable project, we would never have guessed the reaction in the locality. A small number of neighbours and friends approached us with their concerns and once we heard of their opinions and feelings, we did not hesitate about discontinuing this venture,” a spokesperson said.
“We regret that we caused some of our neighbours and friends unnecessary worry. We were to some extent disappointed that we were not contacted prior to the meeting by the organisers. If we were made aware of the feelings towards the project we would have made a sincere effort to gauge the opinions of our neighbours and prevent the need for a public meeting.”
The spokesperson added that they believed “some inaccurate information” was aired at the meeting.
Welcoming the decision to withdraw the application, campaigner Kieran Hartley commended Walsh and Connors Limited for “putting community before business”.