Within the site, about 29.3 kilometers of the access road are going to be built, such as the upgrade of 450 meters of the current access road. The Lemanaghan Conservation and Heritage Group indicated in a statement to The Midland Tribune this week that it is “extremely dissatisfied” with the suggestions in Chief Executive (of the Offaly County Council) Anna Marie Delaney’s Report on “Material Alteration Consultation Stage.”
“More than 2,300 submissions were requesting for Lemanaghan Bog to be withdrawn as a site open to assessment for wind energy,” the Lemanaghan Group said in a statement. This unprecedented number of submissions proved unequivocally that the public’s view should not be ignored.” The organization is adamant that its entitlement to a fair, open, and transparent public dialogue was “severely hampered” by Offaly County Council’s blunders.
They point out that throughout phase 2 and phase 1 of public consultation procedure on Draft County Development Plan (DCDP), the Lemanaghan area, a 1250ha peatland facility, was completely absent from the portion of the plan dedicated to the “Proposed Offaly Wind Energy Strategy.”
“Area 5 was defined as the region’ North West of Ferbane & West of Doon,’ which, of course, does not travel to Lemanaghan,” the Group notes. During phases 1 and 2 of public consultation process, the description was utterly inaccurate in terms of geography. “The map that comes with the paper is sparsely detailed, with no road markings or other features to aid the general public in understanding the zoning.”
“In this day and age, it is critical that everyone has the opportunity to read the document, and both the text and the map are of good quality. Neither the maps nor the text was adequate throughout the public consultation phases. “Also, many individuals find maps hard to navigate and rely on text descriptors exclusively.” Because the definition of Area 5 was unable to navigate to Lemanaghan, people of Lemanaghan were not able to respond during earlier rounds of public consultation, according to the Group.
“During the third phase of public consultation,” the Group said, “the text in Draft County Development Plan was amended to read, ‘Area roughly west of Doon and north east of Ferbane.’” “At this point, we thought it was Lemanaghan Bog, and we had almost 2,300 submissions.” We didn’t have the option to submit proposals earlier because we didn’t know the region was designated for wind energy. Therefore, we’re frustrated. We did not pursue adjustments at the time because we assumed Lemanaghan was not included in the zoning since the description stated clearly “North West of Ferbane & West of Doon,” which is not Lemanaghan.