At our Town Hall meeting on 22nd April, we circulated a sample Letter of Observation and summary of the Appeal stage which has useful points which may help you in your letter.
Useful research when making an Observation to An Bord Pleanála.
Further documents may assist you in making your observation to An Bord Pleanála DUE BY 11th May 2021, post /deliver to: The Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902 and pay €50. More on how to write your observation HERE.
Case Reference : PL01.309937: Rossacurra, Cranemore, Kilbrannish North, Bealalaw, Raheenliegh, Aclare, Co. Carlow (2113)
LINK to An Bord Pleanála. This case file link will bring you back to the Carlow Co Co planning and you can access the Carlow Co Co scanned files.
Following the case file link, you can access full 88 page Co Co Planners Report with the full report on the reasons for the refusal for planning permission by Carlow Co Co planning dept from the Carlow Co Co website or downloaded here. A summary of the planner’s report is below (the 3 main points).
Read the Coillte (First Party) Appeal – it is on their website and also will be on the Carlow Co Co scanned files. Coillte website download will take time.
Save Mount Leinster submitted a ‘Third Party Appeal’ to An Bord Pleanála. This was to support the Carlow Co Co three main points of refusal and also to add additional points for An Bord Pleanála to evaluate Coillte’s proposal which we found to be unsuitable to be located adjacent to this Special Area of Conservation. You can read the SML appeal here. (link to be added)
Read the other ‘Third Party’ appeals – there are 3 more. They are all full of very useful points that you can use in your observation.
from Carlow Co Co website on 18 March 2021
PL Ref: 21/13
Reason for refusal
Planning permission to develop a wind farm and associated works. The proposed development will consist of: – Construction of up to 7 No. wind turbines with a maximum overall blade tip height of up to 178m; – Construction of turbine foundations and crane pad hardstanding areas; – Construction of new site tracks and associated drainage infrastructure; – Upgrading of existing tracks and associated drainage infrastructure where necessary including upgrade of entrance onto L2026; – All associated drainage and sediment control including the installation of new watercourse or drain crossings and the re-use or upgrading of existing internal watercourse and drain crossings; – Construction of 1 No. permanent onsite 38kV electrical substation to ESBN specifications including: Control building with welfare facilities; – Electrical infrastructure; – Parking; – Wastewater holding tank; – rainwater harvesting; – Security fencing; – All associated infrastructure, services and site works; – 1 No. temporary construction site compound and associated ancillary infrastructure including parking; – 1 No. on site borrow pit (the borrow pit shall be accessed via wind farm access tracks); – Tree felling to facilitate construction and operation of the proposed development; – Installation of medium voltage (20/33kV) and communication underground cabling between the proposed turbines and the proposed on-site substation and associated ancillary works; – Erection of 1 No. permanent meteorological mast to a maximum height of 100m above ground level; – Upgrade of existing forest tracks and paths that shall be re-purposed as recreational amenity trails for community use including signage; – All associated site development works; – A 10 year planning permission and 35 year operational life from the date of commissioning of the entire wind farm. An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) have been prepared in respect of the proposed development at Rossacurra, Cranemore, Kilbrannish North, Bealalaw, Raheenliegh, Aclare, Co. Carlow
Applicants: Coillte CGA
- Having regard to the location of the proposed wind farm development in the Blackstairs and Mount Leinster Uplands Landscape Character Area, and the overall size and scale of the proposed development comprising of 7 No. wind turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 178 metres, it is considered that the proposed wind farm development would have an adverse visual impact on the Blackstairs and Mount Leinster Uplands Landscape Character Area, with the proposal resulting in very significant landscape visual impacts on designated scenic route numbers 10, 11, 12 and 16, and designated protected views 1, 4, 24, 29, 30, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41 and 42 as identified in the County Carlow Landscape Character Assessment within Appendix 6 of the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021.
The proposed development, therefore, would adversely interfere with the character of the landscape and would contravene the ‘County Carlow Landscape Character Assessment and Schedule of Protected Views’ within the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021. Accordingly, the proposed development, if permitted, would be contrary to Heritage Policy 1 of the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021 which seeks to ‘Protect designated Views, Prospects and Scenic Routes in the county as appropriate’. The proposed development is therefore considered contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
2.The proposed development site is located in close proximity to the Blackstairs Mountains SAC (Site Code 000770) with indirect upstream hydrological links to the Slaney River Valley SAC (000781) and the River Barrow and River Nore SAC (002162). The application site and associated study area also contain an area of Annex 1 habitat identified as ‘European Dry Heaths’ (4030) which forms part of the National Annex 1 European Dry Heath Habitat resource. The potential loss of such Annex 1 habitat resulting from the proposed development may affect the habitat’s national conservation status which is protected under the Habitats Directive. Furthermore, the application documents and EIAR report do not satisfactorily demonstrate that the proposed development will not adversely impact on Bat populations in the area protected under the Habitats Directive and the Merlin bird species and other migratory birds protected under the EU Birds Directive.
Based on the foregoing and the information submitted with the application the Planning Authority is not fully satisfied that the applicant has adequately demonstrated that the proposed development, would not give rise to ecological and biodiversity impacts on flora and fauna in the area and as such would materially contravene Heritage Objective 5 of the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021 which seeks “to support the protection of habitats and species covered by the EU Habitats Directive…..” and to “ensure that development does not have a significant adverse impact, incapable of satisfactory mitigation, on plant, animal or bird species protected by law. To permit the proposed development on the basis of information submitted would materially contravene the provisions of the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021 outlined above, including Heritage Policy 2 “to only authorise development after the competent authority has ascertained, based on scientific evidence that the plan or project will not give rise to significant adverse direct, indirect or secondary effects on the integrity of any European Site. The proposed development would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
3. The proposed wind farm site is located in an upland area of the Blackstairs Mountains which is predominately served by a local road network of restricted width and capacity. Having regard to the site location, and the condition of the existing road network proposed to access the site during the construction period, it is considered that the application documents and accompanying Environmental Impact Assessment Report fails to satisfactorily demonstrate that the local road network is of adequate capacity and design to accommodate the volume and frequency of HGV traffic proposed along the haul routes during the construction period. Accordingly, on the basis of the information submitted, the proposed development will likely have a significant adverse impact on the local road network, would endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
CARLOW CO CO TEXT ENDS.
You can read the FULL Planners Report by Carlow Co Co on the ‘View Scanned Documents’ section of the ref. file 2113 – scroll down to the very bottom of the scanned files.
Lots done but more to do.
In the next 5 weeks we need to raise more funds for the next step in the Save Mount Leinster campaign, so we really need your support at this vital stage.
This is why…
293 submissions are on record with Carlow Co Co on Feb 25th with regard to file 2113, the Coillte Wind Farm Proposal at Croaghaun. This is a wonderful response from the community who, despite Covid, demonstrated just how much they care for this beautiful area.
Represented in those submissions are thousands of voices from both people in the community and from those further afield who love the Blackstairs Mountains and Mount Leinster. They are from individuals, families, village petitions, associations, organisations, national bodies and statutory bodies. All of these submissions are now uploaded and available to see on the Carlow Co Co planning website.
In amongst the submissions is one from ‘Save Mount Leinster’ which was paid for through donations received from the GoFundMe appeal as well as from direct bank transfers. The total spend on this submission was €5K – used for legal and planning consultancy. Thank you to everyone who supported this appeal which is still open for donations if you wish to support the fund.
This submission will greatly assist Carlow Co Co in their decision making process and will be the foundation of the appeal that will be made at the next stage.
Carlow Co Co Planning Dept will give their decision by 18th March. No matter what they decide this case will eventually go to An Bord Pleanála, so it will be necessary for the community to commission an even greater and more detailed report to appeal Coillte’s next submission. This will require further professional expertise, requiring additional funding – hence our request for more donations to meet this considerable cost.
To support the appeal visit the GoFundMe appeal link on the home page. If you wish to make a bank transfer, please email us and we will send you our IBAN details.