Cork couple launches High Court challenge to wind turbines near their home

By Ann O'Loughlin

A couple has launched a High Court challenge over a decision to grant planning permission for a windfarm development close to their Cork home.

Klaus Balz and Hanna Heubach who live at Bear na Gaoithe, Inchigeelagh, Co Cork are challenging the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission for a windfarm at Cleanrath, Inchigeelagh.

Permission to develop a windfarm, consisting of up to 11 turbines, was granted to Cleanrath Windfarm Ltd.

However the couple claim the planning authority failed to properly take into account before it made its decision the increased noise that will be generated by the turbines

As a result the couple argue the decision is flawed.

In their proceedings against An Bord the couple seek an order quashing the decision allowing the windfarm be constructed.

They are also seeking declarations including that An Bord Pleanala failed to carry out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment before giving the development the go-ahead.

They further seeks declarations that the board failed to to comply to the rules of natural justice when making the impugned decision and that the decision is unreasonable.

Cork County Council and the Cleanrath are notice parties to the proceedings.

David Holland SC for the couple said the noise impact that the proposed windfarm will have on what is a particularly quiet place was not properly taken into account.

Counsel said it is his client's case that the proposed windfarm will result in a quadrupling of perceived loudness in the area.

Counsel said that Cork County Council granted permission for the windfarm in 2016. That, which included some 40 conditions was appealed by the developer to An Bord Pleanala.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan. The case will come back before the court in October.


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