Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow Pat Casey has expressed his disgust at the decision of ABO Windfarm Ltd to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanala against the decision of Wicklow County Council to refuse permission for an 11 turbine wind farm in rural South Wicklow.
“This is the second application by this company against the wishes of the communities living in South Wicklow. On both occasions the communities were outraged that their rural landscape would be totally transformed by the construction of these Industrial turbines in the area. There was unanimous political support from all parties and none, and such was the outrage that over 400 written objections were lodged on the first application and over 300 on the second.”
“On both occasions and for sound planning reasons, Wicklow County Council refused the applications which were totally contrary to good planning practice for an area of outstanding natural beauty and for the rural heritage contained within this unique landscape.”
“For ABO windfarm to continue to press ahead with its plans against the wishes of the communities, against the unanimous views of local politicians, and against the professional judgement of qualified planners within Wicklow County Council is truly disgusting. For a company to ignore all these factors and to ruthlessly and cynically attempt to railroad this project through is probably one of the worst examples of corporate greed that I have witnessed in my lifetime.”
“The actions of ABO windfarm so far have proved that their sole concern is maximising the profit that these industrial turbines would provide. They are in fact exploiting the valid environmental need for renewable energy and in my view damaging our necessary efforts to have a viable renewable energy portfolio. I call on An Bord Planala to defend the rural landscape and heritage of South Wicklow and to defend the wishes of local communities who do not have the deep pockets or the expensive legal and corporate teams to railroad these projects through.”
“The Government also needs to be crystal clear in relation to Industrial onshore windfarms that do not have community support. They must empower these communities and the local authorities to stop such destructive developments. What is the point of local government if these projects can be rammed through against all opposition. I will be continuing my work to stop this project permanently as it is now clear that ABO have no respect for communities, local government or indeed ethics in corporate activity.”