May 18, 2022

Campaigners welcome appeal refusal for Kilranelagh Wind Farm

Myles Buchanan | Wicklow People | May 18 2022 |

Save Wicklow’s Ancient East and West Wicklow Wind Action Group have both welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse permission for a wind farm at Kilranelagh Hill.

ABO Wind Ireland Limited were seeking ten-year permission for five wind turbines, one electrical substation and one 30m meteorological mast in the townlands of Kilranelagh, Colvinstown Upper, Ballinaroan Upper, Bolleycarrigeen, Cloghnagaune, Downings, Spinans West, Kill, Eadenstown South, Eadestown Middle, Ballintruer More, Castleruddery Lower and Castleruddery Upper, Wicklow.

The application was initially submitted to Wicklow County Council, who refused permission in March of last year, as it was felt that the site was not suitable for the development of a wind farm due to its archaeological sensitivity and the potential risk to other historic features on the site.

ABO Wind Ireland Limited lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála in April of 2021.

Paul Carberry of the West Wicklow Wind Action Group said local residents were relieved that their two-year battle against the development has reached a successful conclusion.

“The Bord has made the right decision and it has been a long two-years for everyone. A lot of people put a great deal of effort into the campaign. I never saw anything like the amount of community spirit in Baltinglass against the proposals. People were very passionate about the Baltinglass Hillfort cluster.

“It was clear from the very start that Kilranelagh was the wrong location, which was supported by Wicklow County Council when they refused the initial application. We submitted a petition with 1,115 signatures on it during the initial planning process, as well as during the appeal to An Bord Pleanála. The sheer number of signatures on the petition spoke volumes on how the area was united against these proposals, all expressing their complete shock that the site was ever considered in the first place.”

Now Paul and fellow campaigners would like to see the Baltinglass Hillforts afforded the proper protection it needs.

“Senior archaeologist have described Baltinglass Hillforts as one of the most important Neolithic landscapes in Europe. The new Wicklow County Development Plan 2022 to 2028 will ensure the hillfort cluster gets the proper protection. If any good is to come out of this long campaign, we would love to see more emphasis placed on Baltinglass Hillforts cluster so more jobs in the area will be created, while also attracting additional tourism.”

A spokesperson for Save Wicklow’s Ancient East stated: “Happily, in the case of Kilranelagh Hill the right decision has been made. It is to be hoped this will help Government, local authorities, local communities, planners and developers to look at the future with a more consistent and considered focus when conflicts arise between development and conservation. We will work better for Ireland if we find ways to work more closely together.”

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