Planning: Blackwater River Valley, Co. Waterford
Posted by IGS
Photo illustrating view of proposed windfarm from Headborough House, a nine-bay two-storey over basement house, built c.1830 incorporating an earlier structure of c. 1680.
The IGS has objected to a proposal for 8 wind turbines standing up to 155m meters high on a site in the Drum Hills, overlooking the Blackwater River Valley in west County Waterford. If granted, this proposal would have a considerable detrimental impact on the character and settings of protected structures of Regional and National interest in the Blackwater Valley, would compromise views along designated Scenic Routes, and would also compromise the tourism potential of the area.
Writing about the Blackwater Valley in the 1790s, the antiquarian and artist Daniel Grose noted that “too much cannot be said of those picturesque scenes [it] affords which multiply as you proceed up the stream”. The Blackwater continues to be celebrated today through the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative, and with castles, houses and churches forming a backdrop for the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival. One wonders how permission could be granted for a major development that would only undermine the area’s special interest and squander the potential to draw more visitors to enjoy its outstanding scenery.