American billionaire Donald Trump will have another five weeks at least to oppose plans for a new windfarm near his new Doonbeg golf resort, after the initial application was declared “invalid”.
Clare County Council has ruled that revised plans submitted by Clare Coastal Wind Power, for the proposed development of a wind farm in the townlands of Carrowmore South, Einagh and Shragh, about two kilometres south of Doonbeg village, are no longer valid.
The Clare Champion can reveal that, in a recent letter to the company, the planning authority confirmed it would be returning all plans, drawings and maps, plus a refund of the €3,018 planning fee for the proposed development.
The planning authority noted that written consent from individual landowners, who are stated to have consented to the making of the planning application, was not included in correspondence to the authority.
“Please ensure that when you are submitting your new application, it meets all the requirements of the 2001 Planning and Development Regulations, including the requirements in relation to newspaper and site notices,” the authority outlined.
The company is entitled and expected to re-submit a new application, which will provide all interested parties, including Mr Trump, with five weeks to make a submission.
A spokesman for Clare Coastal Wind Power Limited confirmed the company had written agreements in place with all of the relevant landowners.
“Clare Coastal Wind Power are working with the council to resolve this confusion and we will be pursuing the planning application,” he said.
The development consists of nine electricity-generating wind turbines, with a hub height of up to 85 metres and a rotor diameter of up to 82 metres, giving an overall height of up to 126 metres, hardstandings, a substation containing one control building, an electrical compound, a permanent meteorological mast, associated site roads, drainage and site works.
The company was refused planning permission for a €100 million, 40-turbine windfarm about 1.5 kilometres from Doonbeg last year.
Mr Trump opposed plans for an off-shore windfarm near his links course in Scotland and recently lost a court challenge to stop this development.
Doonbeg Golf Club lodged a comprehensive submission objecting to the proposed 40-wind turbine development and, at the Bord Pleanála oral hearing, voiced concerns about the impact on future developments.
Meanwhile, the absence of a submission date on the council’s internet planning page for this development was brought to the attention of the planning department by local opposition organisation, Rural Protection Group recently.
“The planning department responded very positively to the concern raised and we are surprised that this issue had not been raised before. Clare County Council are actively addressing this at national level so, hopefully, it will be resolved in the near future,” said a group spokeswoman.
The council has explained that one of the fields – ‘Submissions by’ – from its internal system is not transferring to its external planning system called Eplan. This is the case in other local authority areas and Clare County Council has brought the issue to the attention of the centralised computer agency that manages the entire system. This is being followed up again but, to date, the amendment to the system has not been made.
Acknowledging it would be preferable if the entry for submissions was working, a council spokesperson noted the five-week period for making submissions could be easily from the date that the application is made which is on the system.
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