North Kerry group loses appeal against controversial wind farm

A local group has lost its appeal against the go ahead for a controversial wind farm near Lixnaw.

The North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group had asked the High Court to overturn An Bord Pleanala’s decision to grant planning permission to Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd for the €46 million development in Ballyhorgan, however they lost their appeal today.
Last July, An Bord Pleanala overturned a decision by Kerry County Council, and granted planning permission to Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd for the development in Ballyhorgan near Lixnaw.

The council refused permission due to the proposed scale of the project, saying it would create a significant visual intrusion in the landscape.

The North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group objected to the project and brought An Bord Pleanala to the High Court, claiming it didn’t comply with requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Habitats Directive.

The developer, who joined to the case as a third party, successfully applied last November to have the case fast-tracked, saying the overall scheme will cost €46 million and it was anxious to avoid serious delays.

In his judgement today, Mr Justice Brian McGovern upheld An Bord Pleanala’s decision as clear, properly reasoned, and in accordance with law.

He rejected arguments the Board failed to carry out or record any proper appropriate assessment, or any proper Environmental Impact Assessment, contrary to national and European law.

Apart from the noise issue, he said it was “notable” this application raised “nothing of substance” in terms of any particular environmental concern or impact.