File pic: windfarm in forestry
A decision on a windfarm in South Kilkenny has been taken out of the hands of Kilkenny County Council.
The Castlebanny Windfarm application has been accepted as a Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) so will go straight to An Bord Pleanala for a decision.
Local people can still engage in the planning process and are encouraged to.
At the recent meeting of Piltown Municipal District councillors Director of Services Sean McKeown said the development meets the SID criteria. Encouraging locals to participate in the planning process, Mr McKeown said that as planning is an essential service people can travel to the council’s area offices in Thomastown and Piltown to view the planning files, even if they are more than 5km from their home.
However, he said all the plans and drawings are also available online, on the Kilkenny County Council website. Developer Coillte also has an information website with useful information for local residents.
As part of the process now Municipal District Councillors have to be given an opportunity to express their views. A formal discussion will take place at the March meeting of the Piltown council, when a council planner will attend, to explain the application.
Views of the councillors will be taken on board and the Chief Executive of the County Council is required to submit a report to An Bord Pleanala, with a recommendation on the application and any conditions she deems appropriate. The Board will then make the final decision.
Area Chairman, Cllr Eamon Aylward, said it is a huge proposal and there are quite a range of views locally.
Mr McKeown said people can make a submission directly to An Bord Pleanala. Council planning staff can offer advice when people view the application and drawings at their offices.
Coillte Renewable Energy and Kilkenny based ART Generation invite the community to learn more about the proposed project, with an online presentation outlining the details. To view the presentation, visit castlebannywindfarm.ie.
The proposed development will include up to 21 wind turbines with a proposed hub height of approximately 110 metres and an overall blade tip height of up to 185 metres; an onsite 110kV substation with a 4 km underground grid connection to the existing 110kV overhead line in the townsland of Ballyvool; and other associated site works.