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Judge rules couple cannot bring appeal over wind farm permission

A couple has failed to get permission to appeal over the dismissal of their challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s permission for a wind farm near their home in Co Cork.

Klaus Balz and his wife Hanna Heubach run a family horticulture business from their home at Bear na Gaoithe, 637 metres from the proposed wind farm at Cleanrath, Inchigeelagh.

After a permission granted to Cleanrath Windfarm Ltd for construction of 11 wind turbines was overturned by the High Court in February 2016, the developer brought a fresh planning application.

Cork County Council granted permission for six turbines subject to 40 conditions.

However, the board, by a 3:1 decision of April 2017 on various appeals, granted permission for 11 turbines subject to 22 conditions. That permission was in line with many, but not all, of the recommendations of a board inspector.

Last May, Mr Justice Robert Haughton dismissed all grounds of the couple’s judicial review challenge to the board’s decision.

The couple then sought a certificate from the court for leave to appeal that decision under Section 50A(7) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000. The Act requires permission be sought from the High Curt for such an appeal.

On Monday, Mr Justice Haughton said no points of law of exceptional public importance had been identified and he was refusing to grant a certificate to appeal.