An Bord Pleanála Refuse Planning Application for Wind Farms in East Cork

By Seamus Whelehan

Protestors in Midleton along with Pat Buckley TD.

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a wind farm in East Cork for the second time in three years.

Ardglass Wind Farms Ltd. had applied to Cork County Council to erect seven 110kv wind turbines with a height of 140m to blade tip between the villages of Dungourney, Castlelyons, Lisgoold and Ballynoe.

The application followed the review of a 2014, proposal by the same company to erect eleven, 156m turbines on lands owned by Coilltes and 3 private landowners close to Hogan’s wood.

Last June Cork County Council granted permission for the erection of five of the seven turbines. The local authority refused permission for two turbines on the north of the development.

Ardglass Action Group subsequently lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála stating the plans would continue to dominate the East Cork skyline and damage views between Fermoy and Glanmire.

They also argued that there was a real fear that people’s health would be compromised from the noise generated by the turbines and that they would have a negative effect on property prices.

The group were also concerned with flicker. Flicker occurs when the rotating blades cast a flickering shadow over windows in nearby houses.

In its refusal the board said it felt the proposed development would seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and would have an adverse impact on a designated Scenic route.

They concluded the proposed development would not align with the “wind energy development guidelines” set out by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The developer claimed that if the permission was granted the wind farm would have created substantial electricity for up to 25 years.

The Ardglass Action group have welcomed the An Bord Pleanála  decision.

They said “The local residents have shown their steel in this long running battle since August 2012, when the developers first announced they were going to seek planning permission for eleven huge turbines.”

The group thanked the support they received from the surrounding communities as well as the political support they received locally from David Stanton T.D., Pat Buckley T.D., Councillor Noel Collins, Councillor Susan McCarthy and Councillor June Murphy.

Ardglass Wind Farm Ltd. said that they have made no decision on whether they would seek a judicial review of the planning authority’s verdict. And that they wouldn’t be making any further comment.