Sunday 21 July 2019

An Bord Pleanala overturning council's decisions on energy farms

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

Esther Hayden

An Bord Pleanala has been accused of overturning solar farm planning decisions made by Wexford County Council.

Speaking at last Monday's meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan said the council was receiving a lot of applications for solar farms and wondered if the local authority had a strategic plan in place for the county.

Executive with Wexford County Council Deirdre Kearns said the council will be initiating a review of the County Development Plan next month. She said there is also a proposal to vary the existing plan.

'I do believe that the Department is going to release something soon but we have nothing at the moment. A good few (solar farms) have been refused permission by the council but An Bord Pleanala appear to be overturning our decisions. We need to get a handle on it fairly quickly.'

Cllr Paddy Kavanagh fumed 'if An Bord Pleanala is overturning us we might as well not be here. They seem to have a different level of adjudication.'

Ms Kearns said it doesn't seem to be restricted to solar farms as a decision by Wexford County Council recently to refuse permission for a wind farm was also overturned by An Bord Pleanala.

Enniscorthy Guardian