Solar farm given the go-ahead by planners
A controversial multi-million euro solar farm project in Co Cork has been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.
The solar plant, which is expected to generate up to 14.1MW of power, will be built close to Carrigaline by ESB-backed Irish firm Terra Solar.
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The facility on the 48-hectare site had been approved by Cork County Council last year, subject to 38 planning conditions.
But the decision was appealed to the planning watchdog by a local community group. It had claimed the scale of the project was significantly larger than other solar schemes in the county, and that the scheme would be in an area where several protected species such as kestrels were living.
There are no national guidelines for the development of solar power farms.
"Notwithstanding the absence of national planning guidelines with respect to solar farms, national and regional policies are supportive of the same," Terra Solar told An Bord Pleanála.
The farm is expected to take about four months to build, and involve up to 50 workers.
"Landscape and visual impacts of the proposal would, subject to mitigation, be compatible with the visual amenities of the area," said An Bord Pleanála's inspector in recommending the project be approved.
The inspector also recommended that a planning condition imposed by the local council relating to dealing with the glare and its potential impact on pilots flying in and out of Cork Airport, and on its air traffic control tower, be omitted in light of additional evidence provided by Terra Solar.