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Residents challenge Tipperary wind farm permission

A High Court challenge has been brought to An Bord Pleanála’s grant of planning permission for a windfarm in Co Tipperary.

Edward Buckley, Gurtnara, Upperchurch, Thurles, and Edel Grace, Grousehall, Milestone, Thurles, have sought judicial review of the permission for the proposed development at Upperchurch. It comprises 22 turbines, with a hub height of 81.6m and an overall height of 126.6m, an access road and buildings.

In proceedings against An Bord Pleanála, Mr Buckley and Ms Grace wants orders quashing the board’s decision of August 12th last granting a 10 year permission to Ecopower for the windfarm.

They claim the board acted outside of its powers and in breach of provisions of the 2000 Planning and Development Act and the 1992 EU Council Habitats Directive.

Ecopower Developments Ltd and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are notice parties to the proceedings.

Mr Justice Michael Peart today granted the ex parte application for leave to bring the judicial review challenge and returned the proceedings to late next month.

Moving the application, David Browne BL said the challenge is brought on grounds including that permission was granted after Mr Buckley had withdrawn his written consent for his lands to be used as part of the proposed development. The proposed development required Mr Buckley’s lands for an access road at Knocknameena, Upperchurch, he noted.

The applicants also argued the decision breached EU directives on conservation of natural habitats of wild fauna and flora. It was further argued the Board had failed to conduct an environmental Impact Assessment before consent for the development was granted.