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Planners throw out council’s decision on windfarm plan  

An Bord Plean·la has over-turned a decision by Kerry County Council to pave the way for a wind farm at Gortnakilla, Clonkeen, Killarney.

Paul McSweeney, with an address at Clonkeen, submitted a proposal seeking permission to erect four three-blade wind turbines and two meteorological masts on a 98-hectare site.

The overall height of the turbines was indicated as being 125 metres, while the two meteorological masts would be 80 metres in height.

The site is located within a mountain area with significant forestry plantations in the vicinity. But it was proposed that the turbines would be located clear of any existing trees.

Kerry County Council refused permission arguing that locating a windfarm on the elevated site would seriously injure the amenities of the area and would interfere with the character of the landscape and natural beauty of the location.

The council also claimed that the development would contravene the objectives and policies of the Kerry County Development Plan 2003-2009 and would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Mr McSweeney lodged an appeal with An Bord Plean·la arguing that the proposed site is located in an area designated as “open for consideration” for wind energy development in the County Development Plan.

He also referred to national and European Union policies that favour renewable energy and highlight the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

However, An Taisce, acting as an observer, pointed out that in the original wind energy document prepared by Kerry County Council, the site in question was designated as a “No-Go” area.

An Taosce concluded that this should also be a no-go and recommended refusal.

An Bord Pleanala inspector, Robert Ryan, examined the site on 12 October 2006. He argued that having considered the topography of the area and existing residential property, the overall impact of the wind farm should be low.

Mr Ryan said it is considered that the development would be in accordance with government guidelines and the Kerry County Development Plan.

Given the location of the windfarm, Mr Ryan said it would not seriously injure the amenities of nearby property or be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development in the area.

The Kingdom

29 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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