Couple lose their challenge to wind farm being built near their home
A couple have lost their legal challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s permission for construction of a wind farm near their home in Co Cork.
Klaus Balz and his wife Hanna Heubach run a family horticulture business from their home at Bear na Gaoithe, located 637 metres from the proposed wind farm at Cleanrath, Inchigeelagh.
After a permission granted to Cleanrath Windfarm Ltd for construction of 11 wind turbines was overturned by the High Court in February 2016, the developer brought a fresh planning application.
Cork County Council granted permission for six turbines subject to 40 conditions. However, the Board, by a 3/1 decision of April 2017 on various appeals, granted permission for 11 turbines subject to 22 conditions.
That permission was in line with many, but not all, recommendations of a Board inspector.
At the High Court on Wednesday, Mr Justice Robert Haughton dismissed all grounds of the couple’s judicial review challenge to the Board’s decision. He adjourned the matter for two weeks to allow the sides consider the judgment before final orders are made and costs issues are addressed.
Among the couple’s complaints was the Board inspector had failed to assess the submissions and scientific research materials presented to support their claims the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines, and a UK department of energy publication on which those guidelines were based, are out-dated and unfit for purpose.
They also complained the inspector failed to assess that noise from wind farms may have a profound effect on human beings.