An appeal, against the refusal of permission for a controversial solar farm near Kildare town, has been lost by the developers due to concerns about the impact on "the character of the local setting".
Soleirtricity Ltd wants to build a 10 megawatt solar photovoltaic farm comprising panels on ground mounted frames, two transformer stations, security fencing, CCTV/lighting poles at a site at Southgreen Road, Loughandys.
Three local residents lodged submissions highlighting their own concerns about the possible negative impact the development could have on their homes.
In its appeal, the developer said the council’s decision was “unreasonable” and disputed the refusal.
However, An Bord Pleanála agreed with the council's decision and refused the appeal on March 15.
It said the site of the proposed development is located in the Chair of Kildare, which is in a Special Landscape Character Area identified in the County Development Plan.
"Having regard to the open, exposed and elevated nature of the site, and the scale, nature and design of the proposed development, it is considered that the proposed solar farm would form a prominent and obtrusive feature in the landscape, which would be highly visible in views from its environs and which would adversely impact on the character of the local setting," said the board.
It determined the proposed development would "seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and would conflict with this development plan objective which seeks to protect the landscape."
Meanwhile, An Bord Pleanála overturned Kildare County Council's refusal of planning permission for 31 hectare wind farm in North Kildare.
Harmony Solar Kildare Ltd want to erect solar panels on ground mounted steel frames within on a site near Kilteel.
The plans also include an electricity substation compound. Planning permission was sought for a period of 10 years. The site is located within the townlands of Furryhill and Kilteel Lower.
The application was lodged on June 12 and a decision was made last August.
On March 15 An Bord Pleanála ruled development would "not have unacceptable impacts on the landscape character of the area, would not unduly detract from the visual amenities of the area, would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.