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  • An Bord Pleanala Overturn Council Decision and Grant Permission for Windfarm in Laois

    An Bord Pleanala have granted planning permission to Coillte Teoranta for an 18 turbine windfarm near Ballyroan village in County Laois, despite significant local objections, the Council refusing permission, the Board’s inspector recommending refusal and concerns raised by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht regarding protected species.

    Laois County Council had refused permission on the basis of the inadequacy of information received in the EIS and the potential impact on Natura 200 sites.

    The An Bord Pleanala Inspector recommended refusal on the basis of visual impact arising from excessive quantity and overall height of the turbines, the overbearing impact on the residents of in the vicinity and the absence of detailed information showing haul routes.

    The Board however granted permission noting the development would not be likely to have a significant effect on European sites, despite concerns raised by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht regarding White-Clawed Crayfish and Freshwater Pearl Mussel, given the distance to such populations, the absence of suitable habitat for such species in the vicinity of the subject site, and to the detailed mitigation measures proposed in respect of water quality. A similar logic was applied in relation to concerns about the Kingfisher.
    The Board also considered the Environmental Impact Statement and supporting documentation submitted at application and appeal stages meant the development would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment.

    In deciding not to accept the Inspector’s recommendation to refuse permission for the proposed development, the Board accepted that the proposed development would be visually prominent in some views, but also had regard to the commercial forestry landscape of the subject site, the agricultural landscape characteristics of the surrounding area, the absence of designations for the protection of landscape amenity in the vicinity, and the distance from designated views and prospects and concluded that the visual impact arising from the proposed development would be acceptable. In relation to residential amenity, the Board had regard to the distance to residential properties generally, being a minimum of 0.6 kilometres, along with the comprehensive studies carried out. Finally, the Board noted the Inspector’s recommendation to refuse permission arising from the absence of detailed information in relation to haul routes and their carrying capacity for construction vehicles, and in deciding not to accept this recommendation, the Board had regard to the detailed information on construction haul routes provided.

    Permission was granted subject to 22 conditions.

    Published on June 19, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , ,
    3 Comments

3 Responses to “An Bord Pleanala Overturn Council Decision and Grant Permission for Windfarm in Laois”

  1. jenny kane said on

    Im a very concerned citizen who is totally disillusioned with An Bord Plannela. Can you please explain to me Why An Bord Plannela employ inspectors, when they seem to over turn their decision….surely these experts spend time and money going through EIS’s, county councils report’s along with arts, heritage, environmental departments reports, plus submissions with a fine tooth comb…the inspectors have the greater knowledge yet its brushed aside. This does not make sense !

  2. adrian o neill said on

    This is becoming a worrying trend, overturning the council decision and their own inspectors. This stinks to the highest office. Pat Rabitte feathering his burrow. Money obviously talking here. Precedence being set for bad bad planning.

  3. Owen Martin said on

    Would have been interesting to see what would have happened had someone submitted something robust on Aarhus and with a threat to the High Court.

    ABP caved in when they got such a submission in Cloghan.

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