An Bord Pleanála refuse permission for controversial Kilcash wind turbine

An Bord Pleanála have backed Roscommon County Council’s decision to refuse planning for a controversial wind turbine in the Kilcash, Farbreagues area of County Roscommon.

The planning authority said it was not satisfied that adequate information had been provided regarding the impact the turbine would have on Special Protected Areas including Lough Ree, River Suck Callows, Lough Croan, and Four Roads Turlough.

It said that it was unable to ascertain, therefore, that the proposed development would not adversely affect the integrity of a site under European Communities regulations.

Natural Forces Renewable Energy Ltd. had challenged the Council’s decision to refuse planning for the 150m turbine in February of this year and An Bord Pleanála made their decision on September 30th last.

Plans had included the construction of a 4.2 MW 150m wind turbine, a hard standing and assembly area, the provision of a site entrance and access track, and an on-site 20kV substation and underground electrical cable.

A Natura Impact Statement had also been submitted at the request of the planning authority.

The turbine was vehemently opposed by local residents and the Kilcash Wind Turbine Action Group (KWTAG) was formed to fight the development.

Public submissions lodged opposing the development included concerns over damage to local protected sites and the environment as well as claims that the turbine would be in the flight path of migrating Hooper swans.

Reacting to the news this week, Kilcash resident and KWTAG member, Mary-Clare Maher said the group was “delighted and relieved” following the decision.

“It is great news for the area and we are delighted and more so relieved by this decision,” she said.

“An Bord Pleanála mentioned the adverse impact the development would have on the local environment and that is why we have been campaigning for over 15 months.

“We are very thankful for the support we have received from the local community and the wider community of Roscommon.

“The communities of Kilcash and Farbreagues came together on this because both communities would have been impacted by the development of a wind turbine. We are very thankful that the right decision has been made”.