Couple in Cork challenge planning decision to allow 11 wind turbines

Pair say they operate a shrubbery business 650m from nearest turbine of proposed development

Wind farm plan for Cleanrath, Co Cork:  legal team said council considered the proposed development would result in destruction of a habitat of high ecological value

Wind farm plan for Cleanrath, Co Cork: legal team said council considered the proposed development would result in destruction of a habitat of high ecological value

Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 10:48

A couple have challenged a decision granting planning permission for a wind farm near their home.

Klaus Balz and Hanna Heuback, of Bear Na Gaoithe, Inchigeelagh, Co Cork, are opposing a decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant permission to Cleanrath Windfarm Ltd to construct 11 turbines up to a height of 126m and other structures, including a 85m meteorological mast, at Cleanrath, Co Cork.

The couple says they operate a shrubbery business some 650m from the nearest turbine of the proposed development.

Eamon Galligan SC, for the applicants, said Cork County Council in June 2011 refused to grant planning permission for the project.

It was considered the proposed development would result in destruction of a habitat of high ecological value and have a major impact on an area of high local biodiversity value.

That refusal was successfully appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which last April granted planning permission.

Counsel argued the board’s decision was flawed on grounds including failure to carry out an environmental impact assessment, which it was obliged to do.

Nearby sitesHe said the board also failed to carry out an appropriate assessment, as required under the habitats directive, on nearby sites such as the Gearagh special area of conservation and the Mullaghanish to Musheramore special protection areas.

Counsel also said the board failed to give reasons why it was allowing a material contravention of the council’s development plan,

Cork County Council and Cleanrath Windfarm are notice parties.

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted the ex-parte application (one side only represented) for permission for judicial review, and returned the case to October.