Planning board nixes plans for 11-turbine windfarm in East Cork

Plans to build a windfarm in East Cork using turbines almost double the height of the Elysian Tower have been shot down by An Bord Pleanála on the grounds of a negative visual impact and adverse impact on ecology.

Planning board nixes plans for 11-turbine windfarm in East Cork

The plans, submitted by Ardglass Windfarm Ltd, an associated company of Lissarda-based Enerco Energy Ltd, proposed building an 11-turbine windfarm between the villages of Dungourney, Castlelyons, Lisgoold, and Ballynoe, in an area known locally as Hogan’s Wood on land owned by Coillte and three local landowners.

Cork County Council refused permission last June. An Bord Pleanála has now also refused the 10-year planning permission, saying:

n It was not satisfied the development would not result in “serious injury to the visual and residential amenities in the area”;

n It was not satisfied that the windfarm would not have “a significant adverse impact on the ecology of the area including protected species”;

n The Environmental Impact Statement accompanying the application was “inadequate in identifying and describing the direct and indirect effects of the proposed development, in particular with regard to noise impacts and protected species”.

The board said to allow the windfarm go ahead as proposed would run contrary to the Department of the Environment’s wind energy guidelines and to the “proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

The decision has been welcomed by locals opposed to the windfarm.

Stephen Doyle, spokesman for Ardglass Wind Turbine Awareness Action Group, said they were delighted.

“It vindicates our view from the beginning that the site was not suitable.”

Ardglass Windfarm Ltd was not available for comment yesterday. It is open to the company to seek a judicial review of the planning authority’s decision.

Had the windfarm gone ahead, it would have involved building 11 turbines with a maximum tip height of 156.6m, making East Cork home to the tallest on-shore turbines in the country.

Among concerns locals had was visual impact, noise impact, and the “flicker effect” which occurs where the rotating blades cast a flickering shadow over windows in a nearby house. Local residents were also concerned about the potential impact on health, the environment and property prices.

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