RE: Draft City and County Development Plan 2021-2027 Submission
I own and farm lands at Ballyvoole, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny and I welcome the fact that my lands have a proposed designation of 'Acceptable in Principle' for wind energy development in the Draft Kilkenny CDP 2021-2027. Following discussions with a number of planning and environmental consultants, I believe that my lands and general environs are suitable for wind energy development and should be designated as suitable area for wind energy development for a number of reasons as outlined below.
1. General Environmental and Planning Suitability.
- It is a site of low sensitivity as land use consists of farmland and coniferous forestry. There are no Natural Sites within 1km of the site.
- The area has a low population density and setback distances in excess of 740m of turbines are achievable.
- Visual Impact is deemed low due to the local topography and the low sensitively of the site. This is a working landscape consisting of farmland and forestry and it is considered that this landscape has capacity to absorb development of this nature.
2. Planning Precedent
There are two operational windfarms located nearby. Smithstown Wind Farm and Ballymartin Wind Farm are located approx 5.7km to the south and Rahora Wind Farm is located approx 6.5km to the southeast. A recent strategic Infrastructure development (SID) planning application has been submitted for the Castlebanny site which is located just 3.5km to the southwest. This reflects the suitability of the area for wind energy development and in meeting the planning requirements for such developments.
3. Available Grid Capacity
Most areas in Ireland and in County Kilkenny have little or no spare grid capacity to accommodate extra generation. There is available capacity in the Waterford City area approximately 10km to the south and a 110kV power line that runs between Kilkenny and Waterford crosses my lands. The proposed Castlebanny Wind Farm proposes to connect into this same line at a location adjacent to my lands.
There are few areas in Co. Kilkenny that can accommodate wind energy development with low associated environmental impacts and well setback from housing. Sites that are deemed suitable should be utilised where it can be demonstrated that the development would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. I therefore request that the proposed designation of 'Acceptable in Principle' be maintained in the new Kilkenny County Development Plan 2021-2027.