An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decision of Mayo County Council to grant permission for a windfarm at Magherabrack, Mullinafarry, Killala.
Mayo Co Council’s decision last February to grant conditional planning permission to Killala Community Windfarms for the six-turbine 13.8 megawatt development was subsequently appealed by four third parties – Peter Crossan and Kevin Deering; Patrick O’Malley; Brian and Maggie Carroll; Willie and Dolly McGreal and Padraig Roach.
The grounds for the appeal were varied and detailed but one of the leading objections was based on the belief that the windfarm would seriously impact on the environment, scenic and residential amenities of properties in the vicinity.
It was also noted that An Bord Pleanála had previously overturned a decision of Mayo Co Council to grant permission for a ten-turbine windfarm, comprising two separate areas which incorporated part of the site that is now the subject of the proposed six turbine development.
The board had refused permission for the ten-turbine farm on the grounds that it was too close to local houses and would have an overbearing impact on those properties. The board did state, however, that the impact of that development on the wider landscape would be acceptable.
Killala Community Windfarms submitted a detailed rebuttal to An Bord Pleanála in respect of each of the third party’s grounds for appeal.
Having considered all submissions An Bord Pleanála’s senior planning inspector, Paul Caprani, recommended that the board could grant planning permission for the windfarm principally on the grounds that the revised application ensures that sufficient distance is maintained between the proposed turbines and residential development in the area.
He said the development would not result in overbearing structures that would adversely impact the residential amenity of properties in the vicinity and that the envisaged windfarm was generally acceptable in terms of visual impact as well as impact on cultural heritage and on ecology.
Mr Caprani stated that the proposed development was in accordance with the national plans and guidelines and with Mayo Co Council’s Development Plan, which seeks to encourage the production of energy from renewable sources.
The planning appeals board subsequently issued a decision in accordance with the Inspector’s recommendation, directing that permission be granted for the proposed development subject to 16 conditions.
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