Locals win battle to stop Wexford wind farm

The High Court has quashed An Bord Pleanala’s planning permission for the development of three wind turbines and an electricity substation at Tominearly and Killegney, Clonroche, Co. Wexford.

The judgment from Justice Charles Meenan came after a group of local residents raised their opposition to the development on a number of grounds, including that it was allegedly approved without a proper environmental impact assessment.

They also alleged that a strategic environmental impact assessment (SEA), in line with the requirements of the relevant 2001 SEA Directive on the assessment of certain plans and programmes for the environment, failed to be correctly carried out.

In November 2016, Ballinclay Windfarms Ltd was granted permission for the wind farm by An Bord Pleanala – the plans were originally rejected by Wexford County Council over concerns that they would create a “significant visual intrusion” on the landscape.

The council also argued that the development would be contrary to Wind Energy Guidelines and the objectives of the Wexford County Development Plan.

The case was brought forward by a group of eight residents, who were among 130 people who had lodged observations in respect of the planning application.

This group was represented by Cork-based solicitors, Noonan Linehan Carroll Coffey – with the legal fees set to be paid by the board under the settlement of the case.

Commenting on the decision on the Clonroche Against Wind Turbines Facebook page, the residents said: “This is fantastic news and a huge victory for the local community who stood together to take on what, at times, seemed to be an impossible task.

But, today (July 18), the power of the community has won. Thanks to our legal team and to everyone who has supported us throughout these legal proceedings.

Proceedings had also been brought against the Minister for Housing and the state but, on consent of the sides, the claims against them were struck out with no order.

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