A residents’ group has brought a legal challenge aimed at overturning Bord Pleanála’s grant of planning permission for a development of several wind turbines near their homes in Co Cork.
The High Court case arises from a decision to permit construction of six electricity-generating wind turbines and ancillary building and associated road works at the townlands of Derragh, Rathgaskig and Lack Beg in Ballingeary, Co Cork. The turbines may be a maximum height of 100m with rotor diameter of 100m and a total tip height of 150m.
The residents claim the board’s decision is flawed, unreasonable and irrational, and that it failed to properly assess the impact on their homes of noise generated from the turbines. The 12 residents and their families live and work between 500m and 2km from the proposed development.
The action is against An Bord Pleanála and Cork County Council, and the wind farm developer, Framore Ltd, are notice parties. Framore intends to connect the turbines to the national power grid, the court heard.
After Cork County Council granted permission for the development last June, the residents appealed to Bord Pleanála. In November, the board rejected the appeal and granted Framore Ltd permission for the development, subject to conditions.
Yesterday, Eamon Galligan, counsel for the residents, said their challenge was being brought on grounds, including that the board failed to meet its obligation to assess the noise impact of the turbines as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment. That failure amounted to a breach of fair procedures, he said.
The board also failed to have regard to provisions of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 relating to impact of noise levels at sensitive locations, including dwelling houses, he said. No reasons were given by the board for departing from those guidelines, he added.
Should the court decide to remit the matter to Bord Pleanála, the residents wanted an order requiring the matter to be assessed by a different planning inspector and different members of the board, counsel said.
Mr Justice Michael Peart granted the residents application, made on an ex parte basis (one side only represented) to bring the judicial review proceedings. The case will come before the court again in March.
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