Offshore Windfarm progress welcome but concern about visual impact of Bray & Kish Bank ones

I welcome today’s announcement that 7 projects are decided as Relevant Projects to move forward to the next consent stage. We need to use the wind resources to save carbon. However I am concerned about the visual impact of the Bray & Kish Bank one.

The development of a large windfarm with a smaller visual effect, well out to sea, should take priority over a small one with a larger visual effect. There should be a limit to the visual effect permitted in towns.

In 2005 the Codling windfarm obtained a windfarm licence for 220 turbines which are 15km from the coast at the nearest point, Greystones & Kilcoole. The plan had a 25 degree angle of view from Greystones and generated 1100 Mw, possibly the largest of any proposed in Ireland. There is talk of an extension to this which may produce a combined total of 2GW, over 50% of the national target of 3.5GW.

The Kish/Bray bank application, not yet consented, was for 145 turbines the nearest within 9 Km of the coast producing about 600MW. The displayed Visual Impact documents said it would have an angle of view of 62 degrees from Greystones, and probably about 90 degrees from Bray. They describe the impact as ‘adverse moderate’ on Greystones and ‘adverse major’ on the view from the Cliff Walk.

These projects will apply under a new Marine Planning Bill and I will be objecting to the visual impact of the Bray Bank one. It is also necessary for the nearest coastal areas to benefit and the new process must include that.

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