Irish Protect Scenic Valley – Wind Farm Cancelled

By Eoin Shortis for CorkBeo on May 15, 2024

Locals are celebrating as plans for the largest wind farm ever proposed for Cork is to be refused permission. An Bord Pleanala has indicated it is refusing permission for a controversial wind farm proposal at Gougane Barra, on grounds that it would “seriously injure” the scenery.

An Bord Pleanala originally permitted the €30m project in February 2022. The Wingleaf Ltd. development was to include up to seven wind turbines that would be 178.5m tall — just under three times the size of the Elysian [building in Cork] — at the beautiful Gougane Barra valley. The project also outlined plans for a 38kV electricity substation and battery banks and would’ve involved deforestation, quarry work and adding new access roads to the area.

Cork County Council had originally refused permission, citing that the plans went against the Cork County Development Plan and would have been “excessively domineering from very many vantage points over a wide area.” Gaeltacht development committee Coiste Forbartha, launched a widespread petition against the plans, with locals saying that, while they supported progress on renewable energy, they opposed the “irrevocable impact” this project would have on the valley.

Saint Finbarr’s Oratory chapel on Gougane Barra Lake, Ireland

The campaign received 10,000 signatures from people across 40 countries in the first week — with North Cork TD Aindrias Moynihan raising the issue in the Dáil, saying: “You cannot make another Gougane Barra but you can find other locations for a wind farm.”

A local group took a case against ABP to the High Court in April 2022, challenging the decision to grant permission — which was later conceded by ABP in October of the same year. Yesterday (Tuesday 14 May), planning bosses conveyed their decision to refuse the wind farm development.

In a letter to solicitors for An Coiste Forbartha Béal Átha‘n Ghaorthaidh CLG, ABP said: “The Proposed development would seriously injure the visual amenity of the area, would detract from the character of the area, would be contrary to the relevant provisions of the development plan and would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

Campaign spokesman Neil Lucey of the family-run Gougane Barra Hotel said: “We are delighted with this great result, we feel that Justice has been done, common sense prevails, and Democracy restored in this situation.

Read the rest of article here.

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Wind Concerns is a collaboration of citizens of the Lakeland Alberta region against proposed wind turbine projects.

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