Proposed north Kerry windfarm refused planning

Proposed north Kerry windfarm refused planning
The proposed windfarm has been refused planning permission on grounds of its potential adverse impact on the environment.

A windfarm proposed for north Kerry, near the Shannon estuary, has been refused planning permission, on grounds of its potential adverse impact on the environment.

An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decision of Kerry Co Council not to sanction the development of eight wind turbines outside the village of Ballylongford.

The Ballylongford Windfarm Group, which consists of 11 landowners and a Dublin-based forestry company, The Third Irish Forestry Fund, had hoped to build the 25.6-megawatt windfarm in the townlands of Aghanagran Middle and Lower, Ballyline West, and Tullahennell South. This would have involved turbines up to 126.5 metres high and associated infrastructure, including access roads and two electricity substations,

The group also planned to connect the windfarm with an ESB substation in Tarbert, Co Kerry. The proposed site is a short distance from another recently operational windfarm, of ten turbines, at Tullahennell.

Last year, Kerry Co Council had refused planning permission for the project, on the basis that it would lead to an excessive proliferation of wind turbines on the landscape, and possibly destabilise an area of raised bog that posed a serious risk of pollution to surface waters.

The local authority also expressed concern that the development could interfere with a ringfort that is a listed monument and that it might impact on protected habitats.

An Bord Pleanála based its refusal solely on the ground that it could not be satisfied that the proposed development would not harm habitats protected under EU environmental law.

The planning appeals authority rejected the recommendation of its own inspector, who favoured granting planning permission.

The board said it was not satisfied, based on submissions made about the hydrological conditions and proximity of the Ballylongford Creek to the proposed windfarm, that adequate information had been provided about the impact of the project on protected sites.

The creek is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, which aims to provide protection to existing mudflats, sandflats, reefs and Atlantic salt meadows, as well as wildlife, including common bottlenose dolphins and otters.

Other Natura 2000 sites in the area are the River Shannon and River Fergus estuaries, the Moanveanlagh bog and Stack’s to Mullaghareirk Mountains.

An Bord Pleanála said it considered a Natura impact statement would be required to remove “all reasonable scientific doubt” about potential adverse effects of the windfarm on protected sites.

The Ballylongford Windfarm Group said it believed the site of the proposed windfarm was to be in an “ordinary” landscape and would be a continuation of a trend of siting energy-related structures within the area and would therefore not look “out of place”.

More on this topic

Plans to erect two offshore wind farmsPlans to erect two offshore wind farms

Government urged to do more to incentivise wind energy investmentGovernment urged to do more to incentivise wind energy investment

Ireland‘s wind energy potential ‘there for the taking’, say expertsIreland‘s wind energy potential ‘there for the taking’, say experts

Waterford solar farm gets council green lightWaterford solar farm gets council green light

More in this Section

Government to oppose EU daylight proposalsGovernment to oppose EU daylight proposals

Ministers: Nurses’ pay deal won’t result in cutsMinisters: Nurses’ pay deal won’t result in cuts

Google bans Gemma O'Doherty from holding YouTube accounts over hate speech breachesGoogle bans Gemma O'Doherty from holding YouTube accounts over hate speech breaches

Tributes paid after death of former Fianna Fáil councillor Tommy ByrneTributes paid after death of former Fianna Fáil councillor Tommy Byrne


Lifestyle

It's hard to build a reputation in gaming, but it can be even harder to keep one.Game Tech: Dragon Quest Builders sequel builds on first outing

Fretting about doing your holiday shop with the summer sales in full swing? Who needs the hassle?Beach babe: Log on, check out and have a stress-free start to your holiday

Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes.Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Apply sunscreen throughout the day, says Helen O’CallaghanBurning issue: Children's skin needs added protection from the sun

More From The Irish Examiner