A High Court challenge has been brought by two farmers against An Bord Pleanála’s planning permission for a wind farm in Co Offaly.
The farmers want the court to quash the authorisation for the Derrinlough Wind Farm development consisting of 21 wind turbines, with an overall blade tip height of up to 185 metres, along with all associated works.
An Bord Pleanála gave Bord Na Móna Powergen Ltd fast-track permission on August 26 for the strategic infrastructure development. The proposed wind farm would be developed on a 2,360-hectare site comprising two bogs.
The judicial review action is taken by John Devery, from Kilcannon, Cloghan, Birr, Co Offaly, and Paul Kilmartin, from Ashley Crescent, Athlone, Co Roscommon. Both applicants are farmers and are owners of lands hosting a different wind farm beside the development site.
The grounds include a claim the board’s decision is invalid as it allegedly breaches the Planning and Development Act 2000 and EU law in failing to consider certain matters.
The applicants plead that no proper regard was given to the environmental effects of the development, including on humans, of shadow flicker, noise, bird collision and displacement and appropriate assessment for these.
It is also alleged that contraventions of the same act and an Article of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive occurred due to the board’s failure to publish relevant information on its website. Given the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time, they say there was “no other reasonable option of accessing such information”.
Further, they claim there were no copies of plans of the piled foundations to be constructed beneath the turbines submitted to the board, and the board “acted irrationally” in deciding on the application while having no information about the proposed construction of these piles, the ground conditions and peat depths.
Given the absence of information, it was “impossible”, they say, to conduct a proper EIA assessment and there was also no opportunity for the public to make submissions in relation to this element of the build, which is contrary to EU law, the applicants claim.
The application, which came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys on Monday on an ex-parte (one side only represented) basis, was adjourned to allow papers to be amended.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding