An Bord Pleanála has rejected a plan by a power company to build a new wind farm across the western tip of the Comeragh Mountains in Co Waterford.
Ecopower Developments Ltd applied to Waterford County Council to construct nine wind turbines with heights of up to 127m close to the Waterford-Tipperary border near the village of Ballymacarbry, about 5km south of Clonmel.
However, the proposal was rejected by the county council and now An Bord Pleanála has turned down an appeal by the development company.
The refusal was based on the grounds of visual intrusion in a vulnerable and sensitive landscape, which the authorities found was contrary to the Wind Energy Guidelines issued in 2006 by the Department of the Environment.
A number of local residents had objected to the plan and a lobby group – the Comeragh Community Wind Farm Action Group (CCWFAG) – set up to oppose it has welcomed the board’s decision.
In a statement, the group said the board showed “insight and recognition of the concerns raised by the group itself and the wider community”.
“CCWFAG are confident this damning refusal will serve as a deterrent for would-be developers who fail to take all the relevant factors into account when formulating a wind turbine development and, most importantly, for failing to engage with a close-knit community,” the group said yesterday.
Members plan to lobby to have the area zoned as a “no go” for wind farms.