Farm Ireland

Monday 21 May 2018

Planning sought for major solar farm outside Roscommon town

Typical example of a solar farm. Stock image.
Typical example of a solar farm. Stock image.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Gaelectric has lodged a planning application with Roscommon Co. Council for a 34ac solar energy farm on the edge of Roscommon town.

The development will consist of a 10-year planning permission for the development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy development.

According to forms lodged with Roscommon Co Council by Gaelectric Renewable Energy Developmentd Ltd, the development will include a single storey electrical substation building, electrical inverter and transformer stations.

The proposal also seeks permission for solar PV panels mounted on metal frames, new access tracks, underground cabling, perimeter fencing with infrared CCTV and access gates, temporary constriction compound, spare parts container and weather station.

Planning is also sought for a new access point and all ancillary infrastructure and associated works within a total site area of up to 34 acres at Creevyquin, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon.

Roscommon County Council have until March 22 to make a decision on the application.

There are currently no specific planning guidelines in place in respect of solar farms in Ireland.

Proposals for individual solar farm developments are subject to the statutory requirements of the Planning and Development Act 2000 in the same manner as other proposed developments.

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Planning applications for solar farms are made to the relevant local planning authority with a right of appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

In making decisions on planning applications, planning authorities and the Board must consider the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, having regard to the provisions of the local development plan, any submissions or observations received and relevant Ministerial or Government policies, including any relevant guidelines issued the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

Planning authorities must then make their own decisions, based on the specific merits or otherwise of individual planning applications.

The Minister responsible, Simon Coveney said recently that he is satisfied that the planning code is sufficiently robust to facilitate the assessment of individual planning permission applications for solar farm developments.

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