Application for windfarm in Bracklyn to be lodged with ABP early next month

The wind energy developer behind plans to construct an industrial windfarm in the Bracklyn area is to lodge the application with An Bord Pleanála early next month.

The application by Bracklyn Wind Farm Limited, a subsidiary of the Gaeltech Energy Group, will include details for the construction of nine 185m turbines in the townlands of Ballagh, Billistown, Ballynacor, and Bracklyn in the north of the county and the townland of Coolronan in Meath.

Also included in the planning notice are details concerning the construction of one free standing meteorological mast with a height of 104m, a site control building, an electrical substation, 6.3 kilometres of 110kV underground electricity lines accompanied by 2.5km of associated access track and the construction of three site entrances, one from the L5508 public road and two from the L80122 public road. In order to facilitate the construction of the necessary infrastructure, the developer is seeking permission to fell 28 hectares of a commercial forestry plantation.

Bracklyn Wind Farm Ltd's is applying directly to An Bord Pleanála as a project of this scale is classified as a strategic infrastructure development (SID). The deadline for submissions is November 29.

During the consultation phase, the project was met with considerable opposition from residents living in the north of the county. A community group, the Delvin, Raharney, Ballivor (DRB) Wind Action Group was formed to express local opposition to Gaeltech's proposed development and Bord na Móna's plans to construct 26 wind turbines in the Ballivor Bog Group, which straddles the Westmeath and Meath border.

Earlier this year, local objectors, including Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown Stud, were unsuccessful in their efforts to get An Bord Pleanala to overturn Westmeath County Council's decision to give Bracklyn Windfarm Ltd the green light to retain its meteorological mast and to increase its height from 80 to 100m.