Kildare County Council has rejected a proposal to become a notice party in an upcoming appeal case between Element Power and Bord Pleanála.
The Council voted 25-5 to reject the motion.
Element Power was granted permission to seek a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse permission for the Maighne Wind Farm.
At the Council’s meeting on March 27, Cllr Reada Cronin put in a motion calling on the Council “to confirm our continued opposition to the building of large scale wind turbines in the county and to support the An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) decision, that this council becomes a notice party in the upcoming appeal case between Element Power and An Bord Pleanála (ABP).”
But officials rejected the proposals and Councillors did so as well by a large majority.
In a reply to the motion, they said: “This relates to a strategic infrastructure planning application made directly to An Bord Pleanála. The decision being judicially reviewed is not a decision of Kildare County Council but rather of a third party ie. An Bord Pleanála and relates to the process of the Bord. No reliefs are being sought against the council in the proceedings. The council’s resources and finances should not be applied towards participating in proceedings relating to what is a private development, and I do not propose that the council be joined as a notice party accordingly.”
Cllr Cronin said the Kildare Environmental Awareness Group was “appalled” that the Council did not become a notice party.
Director of Services, Peter Minnock, said that the Court was not reviewing a decision of Kildare County Council, but of Bord Pleanala.
He said that if the Council was to be a notice party, it would have to file an affidavit showing its interest.
Mr Minnock said he would not recommend using scarce Council resources to become a notice party. It would not benefit the Council.
Cllr Mark Lynch (SF) said this would cost just a couple of thousand euros, a minor cost. “Wind turbines will be an absolute monstrosity,” he said. “If these go ahead and we have not done all we can, we will be cursed by the people of Kildare,” he said.
Chief Executive, Peter Carey, said that he would not expose the Council to costs. “I am quite clear there is no role for the Council. We will be notified of the outcome of the judicial review.”
Cllr Padraig McEvoy said being a notice party would not enhance the Council’s opposition.
Cllr John McGinley said that all would support the first part of the motion, confirming opposition, but not the second, regarding the notice party.
Cllr Cronin agreed to remove the first part, leaving the motion simply for it to be a notice party.
It was decided to vote on the matter and a roll call was sought.
Sinn Féin members supported the motion. The rest of the Council present rejected it.
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