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Independent.ie

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Three new solar farms get go-ahead

 

Stock photo
Stock photo

Myles Buchanan

An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for three solar farms in east Wicklow - two in Rathnew and one in Newtownmountkennedy.

Appeals were lodged against all three developments after planning permission was granted by Wicklow County Council last year.

On July 18, 2017, BNRGN Millvale Ltd received ten-year permission from Wicklow County Council to develop a solar farm comprising of 182,120 sqm of solar panels on ground mounted steel frames, one electrical substation, six inverter/transformer stations, all associated site services and works on a site with an area of 27 hectares at Milltown North and Cronroe in Rathnew.

That decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála on August 8, 2017.

The inspectors report presented to the board found the proposed development would have acceptable impacts on visual amenity, would not seriously injure the residential amenities of property in the vicinity, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience, would be acceptable in terms of flood risk and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

As a result, An Bord Pleanála granted permission with some revised conditions.

Gaelectric Renewable Energy Developments Ltd was granted ten-year permission by Wicklow County Council on April 5 of last year for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy development including solar PV panels mounted on metal frames, electrical substation building, underground cabling, fencing, access tracks at Ballinaclough, Rathnew.

The appeal site has a stated area of 23.07 hectares and is situated on agricultural lands. Part of the conditions included that the PV panels would be orientated towards the south on galvanised metal mounting frames.

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An appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála on May 5, 2017, and an inspector visited the site on August 3 of last year. The inspector found that the proposal would not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area or the residential amenities of property in the vicinity, nor would the proposal have a significant impact on the surrounding road network, and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Permission was granted by An Bord Pleanala with a number of conditions put in place, including fixing all CCTV cameras so they are angled to face into the site and won't be directed towards adjoining properties or the public road.

Today's Generation Ltd received permission from the local authority in March of last year for 3041 sqm of solar panels on ground mounted steel frames, electricity control room, underground cable ducts, CCTV cameras, fence and associated site works. The site is located at Kiltimon, Newtownmountkennedy. An objection was lodged with An Bord Pleanála on March 3, 2017.

An inspector visited the site in June and from his report, the board was satisfied that the proposed development would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment, either by itself or in combination with other development in the vicinity, including other permitted solar arrays.


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