Coillte has a long history of working with communities and our experience around the country has generated an inherent understanding that each community and receiving environment with which we interact is unique.
When developing our projects we aspire to work with the communities surrounding our projects and wish to be good neighbours and to build a healthy relationship based on trust and respect. Community engagement should be undertaken in an appropriate manner with the communities in the environs of the development, at all stages of the project lifecycle from; Development, Construction through to Operations.
The intention of our engagement process is to;
By engaging early and often, Coillte can better understand the local community and local issues. This can create value for stakeholders as well as use the engagement process to better inform the design of a project or the necessity to remodel a project.
Consultation with stakeholders and the public is vital to the project design and where possible the project is revised to address concerns and constraints identified. The final project proposal involves a careful balance between the development of a project and the technical, environmental, economic and social issues.
Coillte considers all feedback from public/stakeholders at the consultation phase of the project development and information from consultation will form the basis for refinement of the project design prior to the submission of a planning application.
Throughout the project development and up to submission of a planning application, the public, local communities, individuals, and others, will have regular opportunities to review and provide input into the issues and options we are considering.
As the project progresses the project design will become more developed and there will be less scope to make further alterations in consultation with the public/stakeholders. This is normally signalled when a planning application is prepared and submitted to the relevant Planning Authority. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Report is prepared as required. Once the planning application has been submitted to the relevant Planning Authority, the public/stakeholder will be formally notified and can make submissions or observations on any aspect of the planning application directly to the relevant Planning Authority.
Once the Planning Application has been submitted to the relevant Planning Authority our engagement approach is focused more on informing, rather than consulting. The provision of on-going and up to date information to the public remains a priority throughout all stages of the project lifecycle however and we seek to address all public/stakeholder concerns where possible.
When a planning application for a proposed project is successful, construction plans are developed. Coillte continues to engage with public/stakeholders who are directly affected by the project by providing up to date and accurate information for constructing the permitted development.
Coillte’s Community Benefit Schemes are also implemented at this stage, in partnership with the community. Ongoing engagement ensures the successful delivery and roll out of the Schemes.
The wind farm is a joint venture project between Coillte and Bord na Móna in Doughill Forest, on Sliabh Bawn Mountain, Co. Roscommon.