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Permission refused for Offaly wind farm

An Bord Pleanála said the ten 110 metre wind turbines at Cloghan would injure the visual amenities of the area.

Image: Wind Farm via Shutterstock

AN OFFALY COUNTY Council decision to grant planning permission to a proposed wind farm in Cloghan has been overturned.

On receipt of an appeal, An Bord Pleanála ruled that the 10 wind turbines would impact on the visual landscape of the area.

The planning application outlined a development which would include 110-metre tall turbines, with rotor diameters of up to 120 metres, giving them a maximum tip height of up to 170 metres.

(For context, Liberty Hall – once Dublin’s tallest building – is just 59 metres. And the Dublin Spire is 120 metres tall).

Both the National Roads Authority and a private citizen had appealed the local authority’s decision with the planning board.

Ruling on the matter, the inspector said he took into consideration the nature of the environment, including the open nature of the immediately-adjoining lands, as well as the size and scale of the proposed turbines.

“It is considered that a wind farm development of the scale proposed would create a significant visual intrusion in this landscape by reason of the height and spatial extent of the proposed turbines which would be excessively dominant and visually obtrusive when viewed from the surrounding countryside and villages,” the report said.

The inspector also noted the close proximity of the proposed turbines to the number of residential properties in the vicinity, as well as the welfare of wildfowl in the area.

“The proposed development could result in collision of birds with the proposed wind farm. The proposed development is therefore deemed contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” the report concluded.

A number of other similar developments are being planned for the midlands, much of which could be considered ‘open landscape’ as described by the inspector.

H/tip to Irish Planning News

Read: Bord na Móna wind farm construction launched in Co Tipperary

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