Controversial Pollardstown solar farm granted permission

Planning watch

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Controversial Pollardstown solar farm granted permission

Pollardstown Fen

The green light has been given for a controversial solar farm beside Pollardstown Fen near the Curragh.

On November 15, Kildare County Council made the decision after analysing further information submitted by the developers.

Power Capital Renewable Energy Ltd responded to queries from the council on September 5.

The local authority then asked for further details on September 29.

Several concerns were raised by the horse racing industry in relation to the proposal.

“The Pollardstown Solar Farm will compromise and jeopardise the success of Ireland's racing and breeding status on the world stage,” said the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, in its objection on the planning file.

Kildare County Council had expressed concerns that the proposed 18,000 panel farm may impact on the Fen.

It asked the developer, Power Capital Renewable Energy Ltd, to hire a hydro geologist to carry out a report, which was carried out.

The company wants to build a five megawatt farm, with plans to export a maximum of four megawatts.

It said the hydrogeology assessment showed the proposed development would have no impact on the Fen. It disputed concerns raised by the horse trainers and stud farms. It said the reports showed the Fen would not be jeopardised by the development.