So­lar de­vel­oper to ap­peal as project re­fused over air­port glare con­cerns

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Fearghal O’connor

JBM De­vel­op­ments is to ap­peal to An Bord Pleanala after it was re­fused per­mis­sion to build a 100-acre so­lar farm next to Dublin Air­port.

The com­pany had ap­plied to Fin­gal County Coun­cil to build the 23-megawatt pho­to­voltaic project at a site known as The Fruit Farm in Kil­sal­laghan, halfway be­tween Swords and Ash­bourne. Per­mis­sion for an “in­te­grated tourism and recrea- tional com­plex” was pre­vi­ously re­fused at the site.

How­ever, the plan­ning au­thor­ity turned down per­mis­sion for the huge ar­ray of glass pan­els on ground-mounted frames after a Dublin Air­port Au­thor­ity sub­mis­sion raised con­cerns about pos­si­ble “glint and glare” in­ter­fer­ence with air­craft us­ing the pro­posed new north­ern run­way at the air­port.

JBM had failed to demon­strate that it “would not im­pact upon im­por­tant avi­a­tion re­cep­tors at Dublin Air­port”, said the plan­ner’s report. It also raised on­go­ing wider con­cerns that there are no na­tional guide­lines for so­lar farms, de­spite a huge in­crease in the num­ber of pro­pos­als lodged to plan­ning au­thor­i­ties over the past year.

“In the ab­sence of guid­ance at na­tional, re­gional and lo­cal level in re­la­tion to the ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion, scale and dis­tri­bu­tion of fu­ture pro­pos­als for so­lar power, the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity is not sat­is­fied that the de­vel­op­ment ... would not se­ri­ously in­jure the ameni­ties of the area.”

It said the pro­posal may be “pre­ma­ture” pend­ing the adop­tion of such guide­lines. The plan­ners also raised con­cerns about the scale of the de­vel­op­ment and said it would rep­re­sent an in­con­gru­ous and dom­i­nant fea­ture in the ru­ral land­scape.

But JBM di­rec­tor Brendan O’brien told the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent that the com­pany “fun­da­men­tally dis­agrees with the rea­sons for re­fusal and will be ap­peal­ing to An Bord Pleanala”.

The pan­els would have oc­cu­pied a 100-acre site

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.