Opponents of a Co Offaly wind farm say they are “absolutely devastated” at the failure of their High Court challenge, but intend to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Rhode Parish Wind Turbine Action Group brought a challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for the “Yellow River” wind farm.
In June 2014 the planning board granted Green Wind Energy (Wexford) Ltd permission to build 29 electricity generating wind turbines on a site just north of Rhode, Co Offaly.
Residents claimed that an inadequate environmental impact assessment had been carried out and that the wind turbines would amount to the destruction of an amenity and landscape.
Action group chairman Stephen Carroll said they intended to seek leave to appeal the decision though the High Court action has already cost them €40,000.
“We’ve been given two weeks. If we are granted leave to appeal [to the Supreme Court], we will do fundraising again. We don’t intend to stop there,” he said.
Mr Carroll said developments such as the construction of wind farms affect every community in Ireland.
“It is very unfair about how this is stacked against small communities,” he said.
He said developers came into areas and talked about public consultation but he did not believe there was a great enough level of engagement with the community about the project.
Mr Carroll stated that when the group sought the environmental impact statement (EIS), they were told it would cost them €1,700.
“There are very few people in the community who are set up to read an EIS or a planning process. The community are on the back foot and under a strict time line from the beginning,” he added.
“I’m annoyed with the Fine Gael and Labour Government for putting local communities under this kind of pressure.”
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