An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to controversial plans for a solar farm across a 300-acre site on farm land outside Kells in Co Meath.
The appeals board has granted planning permission to Harmony Solar Meath Ltd to erect up to 734,000sq m of solar photovoltaic panels on ground-mounted steel frames on two parcels of land at Milltown and Moyagher Lower, Cortown, Kells.
The board granted a 10-year planning permission despite three appeals being lodged against an earlier Meath County Council decision to allow the project.
The solar farm will be allowed to operate over 35 years after the board concluded that the scheme “would make a positive contribution to Ireland’s renewable energy requirements”.
One of the appeals was lodged by planning consultant Hendrik W van der Kamp Town Planner, on behalf of 63 local residents. Appellant Pat Lynch of Battersea House, Proudstown Road, Navan, told the board that the loss of 300 acres of good-quality agricultural land would materially contravene an overriding goal in the Meath county development plan of providing for agriculture and rural development.