Main reasons

Draft City and County Development Plan, The Planning Department, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, R95 A39T. Kilkenny City and County Draft Development Plan 10th March 2021 To whom it may concern, I wish to thank you for this this opportunity to make a submission to the Kilkenny City and County Draft Development Plan. I am extremely concerned at the proposed changes to the Wind Energy Section in the Draft Document, more specifically the re-designation of Castlebanny, Co. Kilkenny. There has been no meaningful consultation with members of the public or local residents by the developers.There have been no open public meetings, online or offline,only people within 2km of the Turbine.Although the plans are available for inspection at Thomastown planning office, the office is officially closed because of Covid 19 and consequently, citizens are not able to inspect these plans freely and at their convenience and instead, have to make an appointment to do so. The Castlebanny area is renowned for its natural beauty and heritage from St. Molings Well to Jerpoint Abbey to Woodstock Estate and Gardens. The National trail the South Leinster Way that traverses Castlebanny is a magnet for both National and International visitors who come to the area for its scenic views and peaceful setting. I believe that the unspoiled countryside of Castlebanny overlooking the ArrigleValley Ballyhale,Thomastow Inistioge and Mullinavat should be valued and respected for its natural heritage and idyllic views. The recent report that Irelands National Biodiversity plan has failed means that Ireland will need to work harder to protect, promote and encourage our existing biodiversity and natural habitats. The designation of the Castlebanny area for large scale industrialisation would mean clearing and destruction of naturally biodiversity rich vegetation and the displacement of protected mammals, birds, bats, insects and butterflies ultimately not halting loss of biodiversity in Kilkenny or in Ireland. The Natura 2000 Network of the River Arrigle (SAC) and River Nore (SPA) and its Annex I and II species need to be protected in County Kilkenny. There are also many health issues that these wind turbines can also cause. Noise:- Construction noise, Low Frequency Sound, Infrasound vibration Air Quality:- Carcinogenic silica dust created by construction phase Water pollution:- pollution to the Aquifer created by construction phase Health effects on children and those with on the Autism Spectrum. The proposed ‘Castlebanny Wind Farm’ is 2.8 km from Ballyhale Pre-School and National School. It will also cause.. A drop in Tourism . People get out of cities to the countryside for the scenery and peace - they certainly don’t want to be looking at an Industrial Scale Wind Farm. There are plenty more places in Ireland to visit that don’t have wind turbines! An estate agents report projects a 30% to 40% drop in property value in the areas surrounding Castlebanny. The same could be said for hospitality businesses and properties:- restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, b&b’s, campsites and recreational land:- golf courses, horse riding facilities etc. Failing population growth and economic growth due to property and land devaluation. Therefore I am requesting that the Castlebanny area is Not designated as ‘Acceptable in Principle’ for wind energy developments. The Kilkenny City and County Development Plan cannot be assessed in the absence of a robust and firm National Wind Energy Strategy. There can be no change to the current development plan without a National Plan. Castlebanny is currently designated as ‘Open for Consideration’ to Wind Energy. This must continue to be the case. I am again formally requesting that the Castlebanny area is Not designated as ‘Acceptable in Principle’ for wind energy developments. Regards, Josie Grace Coolroebeg Thomastown