I was concerned to hear that Roscommon County Council has given planning permission on May 20th for two wind turbines to be erected in the Four Mile House area. These wind turbines are to be over 100 metres tall and will be visible for miles around.
Of concern is that the experience of other locations in Ireland is that once wind turbines are erected in an area, it acts as a magnet for other developers to seek planning permission for wind turbines nearby. For example there are parts of County Cavan that contain a growing patchwork of wind farms, changing the appearance of the landscape to an industrial scene.
The people of Westmeath and Laois have fought hard to resist planning permission for wind turbines in their Counties and have had some major victories. Hundreds of people have turned up at church hall meetings and thousands have turned up at protest marches in an effort to protect their County landscapes.
Is it also not time for people in Roscommon to debate what kind of landscape we would like in our County? Do we want a growing landscape of wind turbines, which will profit a few landowners and developers, but will change the living environment of hundreds of people who live nearby?
The green and economic credentials of wind energy have been challenged recently by a number of leading economists, so the argument that we are sacrificing our landscape for green energy appears no longer to be as valid. Once wind farms are built they provide very little employment and in fact they may reduce employment as families choose not to live nearby.
Young people are leaving Roscommon in their droves to seek employment elsewhere. Will we ever be able to attract them back if we allow the beauty of our farmland to dissolve into a patchwork of unsightly industrial parks?
"If you're willing to keep moving forward, eventually you will succeed."
All opinions and views expressed are my own, they do not necessarily reflect the positions of my businesses.
One reader asked why I monitor my comments and why they must be approved, and just for the rest of you it's not for censorship, it's because of Spam-bots. I'll publish all comments posted by real people :)