Controversial plans for a 47 turbine wind farm in Kildare have been refused by An Bord Pleanála.
The planning file had been re-opened with An Bord Pleanála after last September's High Court’s decision to quash the planning board's decision to refuse it.
In October 2016, the planning authority gave it’s verdict on Element Power’s Maighne Wind Farm, which would have provided for 47 turbines up the west side of Kildare and one over the Meath border. The turbines would have been located in townlands near Rathangan, Ballyteague, up towards Allenwood, Donadea, Johnstownbridge and Enfield.
Element Power appealed the decision.
The judgment was then issued last September. The court ordered the application for the Maighne Wind Farm to be sent back to the board for reconsideration.
Mr Justice Robert Haughton said the board had acted outside of its powers and had taken irrelevant considerations into account when it decided to refuse permission on the basis of a lack of a national wind energy strategy.
An Bord Pleanála officials convened on April 10 and 24 to consider the file.
The Board noted the instructions of the High Court, whereby An Bord Pleanála was required to consider its decision based on the information, observations and submissions already before it on October 6 2016.
It decided to proceed without requesting further information or seeking any further submissions from the parties.
It said it had decided unanimously to refuse permission.
“The Board considered that the widely dispersed cluster-based layout adopted in the present proposal would have inevitable adverse effects including a disproportionately large visual envelope, the need for extensive underground cabling in poor quality minor roads and undue proximity to areas of sensitivity from a heritage or residential point of view,” it said.
It believes energy generation could be achieved in a more “efficient and less intrusive manner by a more spatially concentrated development.”
Other issues of concern were the extensive cable trenches that would be required over the road network, and aviation safety.
“The Board noted the very strong and contrary cases made by both the Department of Defence/Air Corps and the applicant’s specialist aviation consultants in relation to the compatibility of wind turbines and air navigation in the subject area,” it said.
In it’s original submission on the planning file, the Air Corp expressed grave concern and pointed out the area was used for training purposes.
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