Library from Ireland
The King’s Highway issue has been raised in a legal case that is a shining example of the problems between developers and opponents of wind farms, writes Michael Clifford. Who owns the King’s Highway? The question might appear redundant in this Republic, but it is the latest to be asked in the perennial struggle around wind farms in rural Ireland.
The court said it was setting aside An Bord Pleanala’s decision on grounds including that irrelevant considerations were taken into account by the planning authority when it turned an application by Element Power Ireland Ltd to develop the project.
'The Bill was to put a legal framework for wind farm development by the proposal of setback distance of ten times the height of the turbine, along with provisions to protect against noise and shadow flicker. The Bill also allowed for both optional community ownership and greater consultation. The Bill was rejected by both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael last night."
Planning regulation and inspection around wind- farms is expected to come under further scrutiny following claims that a wind- farm in Co Waterford was built with larger blades than allowed for.
The story of the Harris family highlights the fact that the development of wind farms is subject to few planning checks, writes Michael Clifford.
Pádraic Dolan, of the Meath Wind Information Group, said his organisation was confident that any challenge would be unsuccessful. He told the Irish Daily Mail that the planning board had been unequivocal in its refusal, citing the proximity of the wind farm to a large number of homes, and the landscape’s cultural significance.
In its decision it said that the council ‘considered the proposed development would form a significant visual intrusion in the landscape by reason of the height and spatial extent of the proposed turbines ...altering its reading as a rolling rural landscape to a more industrialised scene, when the accumulation of both existing and permitted windfarm developments are viewed in the setting.
North Meath Wind Farm Ltd has launched a High Court challenge after it was refused permission for a 25-turbine wind farm outside Kells.
“What the Government is looking at, at the moment, if we fail to reach our targets for 2020, which we will, is paying out anything between €400m and €600m to the European Commission in fines because we failed to reach our renewable energy targets,” he said.
Protesters against a Co Wicklow wind farm were putting themselves in danger in a bid to prevent the laying of cables connected to the development, the High Court heard on Monday.
SWWAG chairman John O’Driscoll, who founded the group four years ago, appeared to verbalise the feelings of many (such was the round of applause he received) when he said: ‘We don’t want them [the turbines] anywhere and it’s a load of crap about turbine height. We don’t want them – end of story. This is the Garden of Ireland. Have they no cop on?’
A number of local residents have secured High Court orders on consent quashing An Bord Pleanála’s approval of permission for a windfarm in Co Wexford. The residents legal costs will also be paid by the Board under the settlement of their case.
Planning documents filed in Northern Ireland reveal that remedial work needs to be carried out at an SSE wind farm in Tyrone to improve safety and stop further deterioration.
The eight residents, represented by solicitors Noonan Linehan Carroll Coffey, had challenged the board’s decision on grounds including alleged failure to carry out a proper environmental impact assessment of the development prior to taking the decision.
“What we want as a group is not to have any wind farm development and certainly not of this size. Kerry at present has 14% of wind energy but that will shoot up to 25%. For one county, we feel that is more than enough,” he said. “The mood from everyone is that they are not wanted. "
It is understood that since the company's previous attempt to secure permission, the application has been amended to reduced the number of turbines from 12 to 11 with the removal of one in the Aughrim/Annacurra area in an effort to reduce the visual impact on the local community. Since the planning application was lodged last week, opposition group South Wicklow Wind Action Group (SWWAG) has vowed to take every possible step to prevent such a development from going ahead.
A couple has launched a High Court challenge over a decision to grant planning permission for a windfarm development close to their Cork home.
The couple claim the planning authority failed to properly take into account the increased noise that will be generated by the turbines. They seek an order quashing the decision allowing the wind farm be constructed.
Windfarms louder than birdsong will be forced to shut down under new regulations due to take effect early next year. ...But Mr Naughten said the regulations included a "zero-tolerance" approach to shadow flicker and nuisance sound.
It was the humming sound of a wind turbine at 750 metres which certainly stood out to the hundreds of people who turned up at the information meetings both at Gneeveguilla and Ballydesmond.