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Wind farm in scenic West Cork location is refused permission 

Credit:  David Forsythe · Tue 11 Jun 2024 · independent.ie ~~

Proposals to construct a wind farm in a scenic location in West Cork have been refused on appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

The application from Ballybane Windfarms Ltd sought permission to construct a wind farm consisting of seven turbines of heights up to 150m on a site east of Ballydehob, close to the N71 national secondary route. The company initially applied to Cork County Council in March 2023 and the local authority refused permission in May 2023.

The development would have included a substation and control building, a 92-metre high meteorological mast and the temporary widening of two junctions on the N71 for delivery access, as well as the upgrading of roadways within the site area.

The local authority received more than 100 objections to the proposed wind farm with the perceived detrimental impact on the scenic locality the chief concern of most.

It was also noted by many objectors that Cork County Council and An Board Pleanála had already refused planning permission for an 11-turbine wind farm on the same site in July 2000.

Other concerns included the possible impact on peatlands in the area, and its proximity to a neolithic site, Letterlicky Cairn, which is a scheduled national monument. The local area is also a habitat for protected species including the Kerry slug, hen harrier, Irish hare and the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, which was noted by other objections.

​An Bord Pleanála refused permission due to the site’s scenic location on lands designated as “high value landscape” and identified as “rugged ridge peninsulas”. The order noted that the landscape character was of very high landscape value, very high landscape sensitivity and of national landscape importance.

The planning body stated that the proposed development in this particular location “would have significant visual and landscape impacts,” and would constitute “a highly visually obtrusive development at an inappropriate location that would unacceptably interfere with the character of the designated high value landscape”.

The order also noted that “notwithstanding the wide policy support for renewable energy development at a national, regional and local level, the proposed development is predominantly located on lands designated where wind farm developments are normally discouraged.”

The decision follows the refusal of permission last month for a proposed wind farm in the scenic Gougane Barra Valley, less than 20 miles away from the Ballydehob site. In that instance, An Bord Pleanála initially overturned the decision of Cork County Council to refuse planning permission. The case was subject to a High Court judicial review and the development was subsequently refused permission in May.

Source:  David Forsythe · Tue 11 Jun 2024 · independent.ie

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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