A public meeting is to be held in a West Cork village tonight over controversial proposals to site between 16 and 18 acres of solar panels near a number of homes on the outskirts of the village.
Residents in Enniskeane are meeting at 8pm in the BEDA Community Hall to discuss a number of concerns over the proposed location of solar panels which are being planned for the Teadies Upper area.
“The panels will be very close to up to five houses — quite literally a maximum of 10m from my house, for example,” said Donal Shorten, spokesman for the residents.
A further ten to 11 homes were in the “immediate vicinity” of the site of the planned installation, while another five or six homes, he added, were in “the general area” of the field.
Residents had several reservations about the solar panel field, said Mr Shorten, pointing to the fact that the panels’ proposed proximity to some houses was giving rise to concerns about potential emissions as well as noise, glare, and a possible depreciation of property values.
There was also concern about a potential increase in traffic in the area.
“We also don’t know how the solar panel field will operate or how power will be diverted to the substation, which is in another part of the village,” Mr Shorten declared. He said residents wanted to know if this would involve a series of pylons.
“There will be noise or a hum from the ancillary buildings which will be built to service the field,” he said, adding residents were planning to object.
“We are seeking answers to all of this.”
Representatives of the Dublin-based company Power Capital, which submitted its application for planning permission to Cork County Council, had been invited to the meeting but declined, saying their unavailability to attend due to another commitment.
However, residents were told, the company would be willing to answer questions over the phone at a later date. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the matter.
It is understood a public consultation meeting was held with local residents earlier this month.
“We are not objecting to the concept of solar panels, but we feel they are far too close to our houses,” Mr Shorten declared.