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Committee formed to oppose proposed Offaly wind farm

Committee formed to oppose proposed Offaly wind farm

Locals gathered a few weeks ago at the medieval church in Leamonaghan Bog to protest against a planned wind farm. A committee has now been formed.

On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon the Lemanaghan Community gathered outdoors, on the Banagher Line in Leamonaghan Bog, to form a committee to oppose the proposed wind turbine development by Bord na Móna.

A large crowd gathered, and over 30 people from areas across Leamonaghan Bog formed a committee.

Cllr Ken Smollen attended the event to show his support for the residents.

The committee's first objective is to have the draft county development plan changed, removing Leamonaghan Bog as an area open to consideration to wind energy.

The committee believes that the Lemanaghan Conservation Plan, written by the Heritage Council, should be adhered to by Offaly County Council.

The Conservation Plan recommends "actions to maintain the layers of significance embodied in the place, within the context of the delicate physical state of buildings and archaeology and the strong local traditions of continued devotion."

The Conservation Plan also states that "it is important that the options considered for the post-industrial use of the bog are sympathetic to the significance of the site."

The Conservation Plan which was supported by Offaly County Council was done to "provide a framework for decision-making on future developments to infrastructure and land use."

"There is absolutely nothing sympathetic about large wind turbines," commented Aoife Phelan of the Lemanaghan committee, and they will negatively affect the visual amenities of the entire area.

"We are simply asking Offaly County Council to follow the guidance outlined in the conservation plan, which was written by a team of experts. "Leamonaghan Bog is documented as one of the richest archaeological wetlands in the world, archaeological heritage is a non-renewable resource, the people of Leamonaghan want to protect this and all of the flora and fauna in the area, creating a sustainable tourism industry which could generate employment would be welcome in the area.

"We are asking absolutely everyone, all over Ireland, to send in submissions as part of the public consultation process on the draft county development plan in Offaly County Council to have Leamonaghan Bog removed as an area open to consideration to wind energy by writing to Forward Planning Section, Offaly County Council, Áras an Chontae, Tullamore, Co. Offaly before 4pm on Friday 16th July and referencing, Leamonaghan Bog Area 5: MA436 & MA443 in your submission. The submission should not have any identifying information, but your name and address should be attached to a separate page."

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