Articles filed under Legal from Ireland
A significant High Court ruling means wind farms have greater transparency obligations to the public concerning the provision of environmental information, including in relation to wind turbine noise.
The Republic's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it is considering legal action against those responsible for a landslide at the construction site of a new wind farm that damaged a river in Northern Ireland.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it is considering legal action against those responsible for a landslide at the construction site of a new wind farm. Last November’s slide at Meenbog in Co Donegal brought thousands of tonnes of peat and trees down the hillside and into the River Finn. ...Invis Energy, owners of the turbines which are being built to supply energy to Amazon data centres, declined to comment.
The board has yet to decide whether or not to grant permission and the case is over its decision to categorise it as a strategic infrastructural development. The challenge is by Paddy Massey, chairman of a local residents group that opposes the proposed development involving a total of 17 turbines on the two sites.
Judicial review sought over concerns about impact of proposed 11-turbine development
The Kellehers claimed they started experiencing health problems in and around their family farm from May 2016 and had to move out of their home in November 2016. ...They claimed their symptoms eased after they moved away but returned if they spent any time attending at or assisting on the family farm. The defendants denied the claims, denied any breach of constitutional rights and said the wind farm was operated in a lawful manner.
These sanctions, amounting to €105,000 every week, will not be lifted until the ESB completes a retrospective environmental impact assessment at the development. The ECJ ruling said the breaches of environmental standards were a matter of "indisputable seriousness". The court said the Irish response had been delayed, insufficient and unjustified.
On Friday, Mr Justice Simons said the developer was precluded by law from re-agitating the argument that the as built turbines are authorised by a 2011 planning permission. The developer had a full opportunity to make its case before the board and it did not challenge the decision they were not exempt under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, he said. The developer could not, therefore, reopen the board’s findings in the High Court proceedings.
The wind farm was regarded as one of the largest in the EU when a landslide occurred during its construction in October 2003 by an ESB subsidiary, Hibernian Wind Power. At the time, large areas of forest and peat up to a depth of 5.5 metres on the top of the Cashlaundrumlahan mountain had been removed, causing the 2km-long “environmentally devastating” slide. Fish were killed and waterways polluted when half a million tonnes of peat and debris was displaced.
A legal opinion issued by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has proposed that the State should be handed a daily fine of €1,000 for every day since its earlier ruling on July 3, 2008, until it achieves compliance with EU environmental legislation on assessing the impact of the development of a wind farm at Derrybrien in south Galway. Such a fine, if confirmed by the full ruling of the CJEU later this year, would result in a figure of €3,998,000 to date.
The issue only came to light following investigations by local people over what they considered to be excessive noise pollution. So far, so straightforward. Last November, An Bord Pleanála ruled that it constitutes an unauthorised development. Now, the enforcement order has been issued and the developer has six months to comply with the planning permission. As might be expected, the developer has applied to retain the structures.
A wind farm which was not built according to planning permission has been issued with an enforcement notice to cease operations. Barnafaddock Wind Farm in Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford, was built using turbine 103m-diameter blades. It had permission for 90m-diameter blades. Last November, An Bord Pleanála ruled that the wind farm constituted an unauthorised development because of the anomaly.
A windfarm company has gone to court in a row over its efforts to get connected to the national grid.
In its Supreme Court appeal, the board argued the High Court judgment set a “very high threshold” concerning the reasoning requirements for a planning decision maker when a decision involves either an EIA or an AA. If the High Court findings were upheld, that would have serious consequences for how the board and other planning authorities approach making decisions, it argued.
Mr Justice Michael Twomey refused to quash the decision and remit it back to the board. He said that despite the alleged errors ...there was a reasonable basis upon which the board could refuse permission.
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.
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.
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.