A local group has been refused leave to appeal the dismissal of its challenge to a decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for a €46 million wind farm close to the Co Kerry village of Lixnaw.
The North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group (NKWTAG) had sought to overturn the board’s July 2016 decision granting an appeal by Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd against Kerry County Council’s refusal of permission for 10 wind turbines.
Among a range of claims, the group alleged the proposed development did not comply with requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Habitats Directive.
In his Commercial Court judgment last March, Mr Justice Brian McGovern upheld the board’s decision as clear, properly reasoned and in accordance with law. He rejected the group’s arguments that the board had failed to carry out or record a number of assessments.
He also dismissed claims the permission involved material contravention of an objective of the development plan for Co Kerry concerning wind turbines.
That objective was not to permit development of wind farms in areas designated “open to consideration” in the Tralee and Listowel districts pending full assessment of the culmulative effect of all permitted turbines in the vicinity.
The board gave “clear and cogent” reasons for finding that this development, contrary to its inspector’s view, did not materially contravene the development plan, the judge said.
The board considered the objective “impractical” in terms of its implementation and contrary to national policy on increasing renewable energy penetration. The group then applied to the judge for the necessary certificate entitling it to appeal.
Refusing that certificate, Mr Justice McGovern said the applicants had failed to raise a point of law of exceptional public importance and also failed to show an appeal was necessary in the interests of justice.