Locals in Gougane Barra have been granted leave in the High Court to challenge the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for a €30m wind farm in what is one of the most scenic areas in West Cork.
The application by Coiste Forbartha Béal Átha‘n Ghaorthaidh CLG for leave to seek Judicial Review v An Bord Pleanála was granted by Mr Justice Meenan yesterday morning.
Yesterday's court action now paves the way for the small Gaeltacht development group to challenge An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission for the biggest wind turbines ever proposed in County Cork.
Campaign spokesman, Neil Lucey of the Gougane Barra Hotel, said: 'We are heartened by the local, national and international support that has poured in for the campaign over the last few weeks, and thank everyone for helping us bring the fight this far. Coiste Forbartha have instructed their legal team to serve the relevant papers on the other parties.'
Mr Lucey continued:
'We are very pleased to have been given leave to appeal the decision of An Bord Pleanála in this case. We are hopeful of a good result in the upcoming Judicial Review, and that this will become a legal landmark for future cases of this nature. We invite everyone touched by the magic of Gougane Barra to join us in this fight to preserve it for future generations by making a contribution to the cause, or by spreading the word of our campaign.'
An Bord Pleanála gave the green light to a controversial €30m wind farm project back in February despite Cork County Council refusing planning permission because of the negative impact on the scenic landscape.
The planned development would involve the construction of the biggest wind turbines ever proposed for County Cork (178.5m), which would be visible on the Gougane Barra skyline. Supporting infrastructure would include a 38kV electricity substation, battery banks, quarries, deforestation, access roads, site drainage and widening of an access junction on the Shehy Mountains overlooking Gougane Barra and the Pass of Keimaneigh.
'There are a variety of ways to contribute to our campaign which may be accessed through www.ballingeary.com.'