Wind farms at An Bord Pleanála during 2015

An Bord Pleanála Logo

As followers of our Twitter account will be aware we provide a weekly update on the number of turbines granted and refused on appeal by An Bord Pleanála.  Since 2014 we also began recording the number of turbines placed on appeal or applied for and subsequently withdrawn.   The purpose of this blog post is to give our readers the detail of An Bord Pleanála’s wind farm activity for 2015 and to provide a high level comparison between the last three years.  An Bord Pleanála’s list of weekly decided cases is published online and can be found here.

Outcome 2013 2014 2015
Granted 164 120 10
Refused 117 76 115
Withdrawn 0 5 19
Total Turbines  281 201 144

The most notable trend in the table above is the clear halt placed on granting wind turbine planning permissions during 2015.  The two prior years saw a grant/refuse ration of 3/2 – for every three turbines granted permission two would be refused – but 2015 saw the number of permissions granted collapse to only ten turbines, across 5 planning applications.

As we noted in our review of wind farms in the Irish courts during 2015, “we believe this is due to the fact that An Bord Pleanála is in a state of near paralysis when it comes to wind farm applications, with very significant delays the norm (in July 446 turbines were awaiting a decision).”  Those opposed to wind farms are very organised and more often than not shall bring court challenges to An Bord Pleanála decisions.  Of the 120 turbines granted permission in 2014 almost 75%, 89 turbines, were challenged in the courts.  Significant judgments such as O Grianna & ors -v- An Bord Pleanála [2014] IEHC 632 and others have helped to clarify significant weaknesses in An Bord Pleanála assessment of wind farm applications and forced the Board to revise their flawed processes, thus lengthening the period for decisions.

As an example a 16 turbine wind farm which Galetech first applied to Roscommon County Council for planning permission in 2010, was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála in 2011, was subject of High Court hearings in 2013, and judgments in 2014 (here and here) this wind farm planning appeal still remains undecided by An Bord Pleanála in January 2016.  This example is not alone see our previous blog on such delays.

As is clear 2015 was the year An Bord Pleanála failed to grant permission for any wind farm of scale.  There are many out there who hope this trend continues for many years to come.  Whatever the underlying reason there remains a significant number of turbines awaiting decision and until those decisions are made many communities remains under threat from the lack of mandatory setbacks between homes and turbines.

As promised we have set out below the detail of wind turbine decisions during 2015.  These are divided into the following groups for ease of reference:

  • Those granted permission
  • Those refused permission
  • Those withdrawn
  • Other decisions of interest

Those granted permission during 2015 by An Bord Pleanála

Case No County No. of Turbines Date
243776: Cloggagh, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan (14/103) Cavan 1 16/01/2015
243964: Kilcarrig, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. (13/322) Carlow 1 18/02/2015
244753: Co. Donegal. (15/50117) Donegal 1 24/09/2015
244481: Crockbrack Hill, Carrowbeg and Meenletterbale, Moville, Co.Donegal (14/51367) Donegal 2 23/06/2015
244903: Pollaghoole, Ballaghanoher, Ross, Clondallow, Co. Offaly. (15/44) Offaly 5 21/10/2015

Those refused permission during 2015 by An Bord Pleanála

Case No

County No. of Turbines

Date

244147: Cronaliegh, Kildavin, Co. Carlow (14/81)

Carlow

1

02/04/2015

242819: Proctor and Gamble, Coolaholloga, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. (13/510334)

Tipperary

1

28/04/2015

244388: Hilltop Farm, Turbeagh, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. (14/05573)

Cork

1

12/05/2015

PA0031: Proposed Cluddaun Wind Farm and associated works, Mayo

Mayo

48

18/05/2015

243479: Rathconnor, Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon. (PD13/78)

Roscommon

2

15/06/2015

244357: Cregg, College and Rathgillen Townlands, Nobber, Co. Meath (KA14/0921)

Meath

6

19/06/2015

244088: Carrowmore South, Einagh and Shragh, Doonbeg, Co. Clare. (14/487)

Clare

9

02/07/2015

244918: Altnagapple, Meentanadea and Mulmosog, Co. Donegal. (15/50265)

Donegal

13

22/09/2015

244723: Loughbrattoge, Doocharn and Tullynageer, Co. Monaghan. (14/46)

Monaghan

5

30/11/2015

PA0031: Ardderroo Windfarm Limited, Galway

Galway

29

21/12/2015

Those ‘withdrawn’ before a decision was reached during 2015

Case No

County No. of Turbines

Date

243851: Bahaga, Cappagh, Foildarg, Oldcastle, Cappaghwhite, Co. Tipperary. (13/210)

Tipperary

18

26/02/2015

245670: Rathclarish, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary (15/600699)

Tipperary

1

05/11/2015

Other decisions of interest

In January An Bord Pleanála decided that a 10kv overhead line to a wind farm from a consented development is development and is exempted development.

In March the Board decided that a 47 turbine wind farm proposed in five clusters located in north County Kildare (45 turbines) and south County Meath (2 turbines) is a project that qualifies for application under the Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) process.

In April a referral in relation to Lisdowney wind farm of whether the construction of a 20KV electrical connection between the consented windfarm ( 12/172) and existing ESB substation is or is not development or is or is not exempted development was withdrawn

In May ESB Networks and EirGrid withdrew an SID pre-application in relation to amendments to the Donegal 110kv project, including the relocation of a switching station from Tievebrack to Drumnalough, and the extension and amendment to the Ardnagappary to Drumnalough line.  It is clear agreement was reached between the Board and the applicants and a revised application lodged later in 2015.

During the year An Bord Pleanála concluded a number of cases/referrals in relation to the Kilvinane wind farm; see leave to apply for substitute consent granted in Aprilleave to apply for substitute consent granted in April, decision to permit a pre-application consultation meeting.  The substitute consent was applied for late in 2015 and awaits a decision.

_____________________________________

Last updated: 16 January 2016

We are aware that on such a long blogpost we may have made some errors, or inadvertently omitted a case or certain relevant information.  If we have please let us know by emailing: cawt.donegal@gmail.com or via twitter@CAWT_Donegal.

 

 

 

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About cawtdonegal

Concerned About Wind Turbines (CAWT) - Donegal View all posts by cawtdonegal

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