An Bord Pleanála is expected to make decisions on two related planning applications for solar farms in Castlelyons next month.
A decision on an appeal over Cork County Council’s decision to grant permission for a 5MW solar farm at Corrin/Kill-Saint-Anne-North is expected to be announced next week, while a similar appeal on a solar farm at Ballinvarrig East will be decided on by the end of August.
Both appeals relate to successful planning applications by Amarenco Solar, submitted to Cork County Council in 2016 and granted permission in early 2017. While numerous objections were submitted to the Council over the proposed solar farm at Corrin/Kill-Saint-Anne-North, including an objection by Castlelyons Development, it was deemed that the solar farm would be in accordance with the proper planning sustainable development of the area.
Objections to the solar farm, which would comprise of approximately 22,000 photovoltaic panels on ground mounted frames within a site area of 8.7 hectares, included concerns over serious pollution/contamination risks to the ground water supply, noise, fire risks, impact on traffic, environmental impact, glare reflections, inappropriate use of prime agricultural lands and impact on tourism.
In their decision last March, the council deemed that: “The proposed construction of a solar farm would not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area, the residential amenities of the area, the heritage of the area or the ecology of the area and is acceptable in terms of traffic safety.”
An appeal was submitted to An Bord Pleanála at the end of March and the case is due to be decided by Thursday, August 3.
In the case of the proposed solar farm at Ballinvarrig East, which would comprise of approximately 22,000 photovoltaic panels on a site area of 8.86 hectares, the council granted planned permission last April despite a number of objections, including submissions from Cllr June Murphy, Cllr Noel McCarthy, concerned residents and Castlelyons Development.
The objections raised concerns over serious pollution/contamination risks to the Castlelyons water supply, flooding, impact on traffic, noise, fire risk, environmental and tourism impact. In their decision, the council gave a similar response to the one above.
Planning permission was appealed to An Bord Pleanála in late April and the case is due to be decided by Thursday, August 31. Figures show that in 2015 almost 28% of local authority planning decisions appealed to An Bord Pleanála were overturned.