Planning permission for a wind farm at Rockmarshall has been turned down by Louth County Council and the company behind it says they need time to consider the reasons behind the refusal.
The application, by Gaelectric Development Ltd, asked for permission, in May last year, to construct five wind turbines, an electrical substation building and a mast at 167 hectares of land at the Rockmarshall forestry site near Jenkinstown.
The turbines would have been no higher than 80 metres, with a blade radius of not more than 41.2 metres.
There was significant local opposition to the plan, with concerns being raised about the impact on the community, the negative impact on tourism, the loss of the Annaloughan Loop walk and shadow flicker from the turbines, among others.
In a detailed decision, Louth County Council said it was its policy to ‘preserve and protect the natural physical landscapes of the country and to only permit development that does not unduly damage or take from the character of the landscape’.
The local authority said Gaelectric’s proposed development is located in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and is visible from scenic roads and protected areas.
The planner said that two of the turbines would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the landscape character and amenities, including the Tain Trial and the views from Glenmore, Barnavave and Carlingford mountains.
The council said these two turbines in particular would materially contravene the development plan and would be ‘contrary to proper and sustainable development’.
In addition, the council said it was satisfied, on the basis of the information it received, that the level of shadow flicker associated with the development, having regard to the scale, height and rotor diameter of the proposed turbines, and their proximity of the turbines to a number of residential properties, ‘would have a disproportionate impact’.
The planning report said: ‘ It would seriously injure amenities of property in the vicinity and would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development of the area’.
In response to a request from the Argus, Gaeletric said: ‘Gaelectric Developments Ltd notes the decision of Louth County Council in respect of its proposed wind energy development at Rockmarshall. Gaelectric is considering the reasons given for the council’s decision and will be making no further comment at this time’.
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