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  • The High Court has quashed planning permissions for a 33 turbine wind farm development in Roscommon following a judicial review brought by local residents.

    The main issue was compliance with the Habitats Directive. The Judge ruled that the appropriate assessment carried out by the Board was not lawfully conducted and did not meet the requirements of the Habitats Directive. A determination has still to be made regarding costs and whether the planning application should be sent to An Bord Pleanala for reconsideration. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht had expressed concern about the developments on environmental grounds.

    The Board’s inspector had recommended a refusal on the basis of the proximity to the Lough Croan Turlough Special Area of Conservation and Lough Croan Turlough SPA and recommended the Board refuse permission on the basis of the hydrological impacts on karst limestone and underlying groundwater system in an area of known flooding and concerns about migratory water bird species that use the area as part of their wintering range.

    Published on July 31, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Court Cases; Tagged as: ,
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  • 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 Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on June 19, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala have overturned the decision of Clare County Council to refuse a 10 year permission for a 5 turbine windfarm at Moneypoint Generating Station on the north shore of the Shannon Estuary. Each wind turbine will have an overall maximum dimension of 152 metres, comprising a tower 95-100 metres high, with a diameter of about four metres at the base, to which three blades of 52-55 metres length will be attached.

    The Council had refused permission based on the inadequacy of the Natura Impact Statement submitted by the applicant (ESB Wind Developments Ltd).

    The Board took the NIS submitted with the appeal into consideration along with their own Appropriate Assessment screening and determined that the proposed development, on its own or in combination with other plans or projects, would not adversely affect the integrity of a European site in view of the site’s conservation objectives. Presentation1

    The Inspector had recommended the omission of one turbine but, after studying the Environmental Impact Statement, additional information, technical reports including that of the Senior Executive Chemist together with submissions received from the applicant, the Board did not consider that there was a specific environmental risk arising from piling of ash as indicated for Turbine 1 given that this is inert and is located outside the engineered landfill area. Consequently, the risk of environmental pollution to the Special Area of Conservation would be negligible.

    Permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a 25 year lifetime; cumulative shadow flicker arising from the proposed development, shall not exceed 30 minutes in any day or 30 hours in any year at any dwelling; fitting turbines with appropriate equipment and software to control shadow flicker at dwellings and a wind farm shadow flicker monitoring programme to be submitted to the planning authority for written agreement.

    Published on December 20, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions; Tagged as: , ,
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  • An Bord Pleanala have granted permission to ESB Wind Development Limited to extend Cappawhite Windfarm in Tipperary .

    The applicant has sought permission for an additional 14 turbines.  Each wind turbine will have an overall maximum dimension of 126 metres, comprising a tower 80-85 metres high, with three blades of 41-45 metres length.

    The Council (Tipperary South) had granted permission however the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by  and Cappawhite Environs against Wind Turbines Placement Group.

    They  pointed out that noted that within a 6 kilometre radius of Cappawhite, there are already 64 wind turbines with planning permission and in various stages of development.

     Although the new turbines were at a higher ground level that the existing turbines An Bord Pleanala granted permission omitting 4 turbines by condition due to the visual impact on a local village.  They also imposed a condition limiting the operational period to 25 years in order to allow a review of the operation at that time.

     

     

     

    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  •  An Bord Pleanala have overturned Kerry County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a wind farm comprising 28 turbines at Knockauncurragh, Coom, Glanowen and Glanawaddra, Cordal, County Kerry.

     The Council refused permission on the basis that:

     The application has not demonstrated that the proposed development will not

    • give rise to water pollution during and after construction.
    •  The application has not demonstrated that it would not have unacceptable impact on the public road network.
    •  The proposal could interfere with aircraft safety. 

    The Board agreed with their Inspector that permission should however be granted.  The application has been subject to an oral hearing and involved further information being submitted to the Board for consideration.

     “It is considered that, subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, the proposed development will not give rise to water pollution or endanger aircraft safety, will not give rise to traffic hazard or to injury to the visual or residential amenity of the area, and will otherwise accord with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

    Published on May 31, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: ,
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  • An Bord Pleanála have refused permission to Ecopower Developments Limited for 9 no. number wind turbines at County Waterford.  The site involved 62.7 hectares of land in the control of Coillte.

     The Council refused permission having regard to the scale and layout on a scenic exposed upland area which would constitute a visually dominant and prominent obtrusive feature within a vulnerable scenic rural landscape when seen against the elevated skyline background from public roads (including a designated Scenic route).

     The ultimate reason for refusal given by the Board however is somewhat unusual in that they refused permission on the inadequacy of the EIS, rather than the actual proposed development itself.

     “Notwithstanding the site location in a preferred area for wind energy in the Waterford County Development Plan 2011-2017, having regard to the following deficiencies in the EIS and documents submitted by the applicant in the course of the application and appeal:

    •  inadequate assessment of visual impacts and potential impacts on tourism,
    • inadequate assessment of potential impacts on water quality and proposals in relation to drainage management,
    • inadequate assessment in relation to transportation and local road improvements (including potential impacts on architectural heritage and ecology), and
    • inadequate assessment of potential ecological impacts including on bird species and on the Natura 2000 network in the wider area,

     the Board is not satisfied that the proposed development would not have significant adverse effects on the environment. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

    Published on April 26, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , ,
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