Wind farm refusal overturned on appeal

Planning

Wind farm refusal overturned on appeal

An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a wind farm has been successful despite a recommendation by An Bord Pleanala’s inspector that it be turned down.

The seven-turbine wind farm had been refused planning permission by Donegal County Council, but the decision was overturned on appeal by An Bord Pleanála.

The initial decision to refuse planning permission for the proposed wind farm at Clogheravaddy, between Donegal town and Glenties, was appealed by the developer, Clogheravaddy Wind Farm Limited.

Donegal County Council refused planning permission in January for the development. 

Planners ruled that the development was located “in a prominent and strident position within a scenic and elevated rural landscape of tourism significance and which itself is an element informing the natural and scenic landscape context of the ‘Bluestacks Way’.”

The council also observed that the site contains several fauna species that are protected under the Wildlife Act.

Planners also raised concerns that certain areas within the site had been deemed unsuitable for turbine construction due to the potential risk for peat slippage.

A submission from a third party raised concerns about  potential impacts on bird species including, the Red Grouse, Greenland White Fronted Goose, Golden Plover and the Whooper Swan.

The inspector said the application did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the wind farm will not have adverse impacts on the bird species

However, in overturning the decision the board ruled that development would not have significant effects on the community in the vicinity, would not give rise to pollution, would not result in detrimental visual or landscape impacts, would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or property in the vicinity of the site, would not be injurious to the cultural or archaeological heritage of the area, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would not be prejudicial to public health. 

The board said the concerns about bird life had been satisfactorily addressed by the applicant in written submissions.