THERE was unanimous opposition voiced by county councillors against the recent decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for seven windfarms in Gougane Barra at yesterday’s Full Council Meeting.
It was agreed that letters would be written to the Environment Minister Eamon Ryan and Peter Burke, the junior minister with responsibility for local government and planning, and An Bord Pleanála outlining the unanimous opposition from all the council members to the decision.
The letters will also outline how the decision to grant permission for a huge wind farm complex goes against the County Development Plan.
The initial planning application was rejected by Cork County Council, who urged An Bord Pleanála to reject the developer’s appeal.
The appeal inspector for An Bord Pleanála also recommended that the appeal should be refused.
At the beginning of February, An Bord Pleanála overturned that refusal by Cork County Council and granted permission for the wind farm complex.
Fianna Fáil councillor Gobnait Moynihan who raised the issue in the council chambers said local people in the Gougane Barra locality are ‘shocked’ at the granting of permission for the wind farm complex.
Cllr Moynihan said the decision to grant permission for the wind farm in Gougane Barra ‘challenges’ the integrity of the County Development Plan. “It is challenging the integrity of our County Development Plan. We are working hard on County Development Plans for the next few years and it is probably not worth the paper it is written on if something can come in and overrule it.
“The chief executive said Cork County Council had a function in this and their function is finished. They have gone through the process.
"It was agreed that we as councillors will write a letter to An Bórd Pleanala and both Ministers to make them aware that this has been overruled by An Bord Pleanála and that we as councillors are opposing it. An Bord Pleanála is running solo here,” she added.