Recent Planning Decisions

Apple Data Centre Granted

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for a new data centre at Derrydonnell, near Athenry, Co. Galway. The application was lodged with Galway County Council by Apple in April 2015 and, following a grant by the County Council, was appealed to An Bord pleanala. An oral hearing was held in May 2016 and the final decision to grant was made on 10th August 2016.   

The permitted development includes a 24,500 square metre data centre in a single-storey building, with ancillary services and facilities, such as admin/logistics building, access/parking and landscaping. A separate application for a 220kV electrical substation and national grid connection has also been granted by the Board under Strategic Infrastructure Development provisions.

The permitted development is Phase 1 of an overall masterplan which comprises of a total of 8 No. data halls on a site of approx. 200 hectares.

Phase 1, which has been permitted, comprises the first data hall and enabling works for the second, together with the construction of the substation and the looping in of 2 no. 220kv lines.

In terms of scale this is a large project by any standards and is a significant boost for Galway and the Western Region.

McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan Limited is delighted to have provided the expert planning inputs to this project and we welcome the final decision to grant by An Bord Pleanála.


Ballyhorgan Wind Farm Granted Planning Permission

McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan Ltd. has recently secured planning permission for our clients Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd., for a wind energy development in the townlands of Ballyhorgan South, Ballyhorgan East, Muckenagh, Irramore, and Lissahane, County Kerry. The permitted renewable energy proposal constitutes the provision of 10 no. wind turbines with a maximum tip height of up to 156.5 metres, the permission also provides for an anemometry mast, substation, and all associated site works.

Permission had been initially refused by Kerry County Council (following a request for Further Information) on the 8th of October 2014 due to concerns that the proposed development would have adverse impact on the visual amenities of the area. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan prepared a detailed appeal in relation to this decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Subsequent to the lodgement of the appeal the O’Grianna judgement was issued by the High Court, which essentially ruled that connection routes to the national grid must form part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which must be carried out prior to granting permission for any relevant wind farm developments. The details of this case have been previously discussed in our April 2015 newsletter –  http://www.mccarthykos.ie/News/April-2015/Update-in-Relation-to-OGrianna-Wind-Farm-Case

Following the High Court judgement, and at the request of An Bord Pleanála, additional details were provided to the Bord by McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan (including an amended Natura Impact Statement (NIS) and an addendum to the Environmental Impact Statement) which incorporated all required details of the proposed connection to the National Grid.

Having considered all relevant matters An Bord Pleanála issued a decision to grant permission. In granting permission and overturning the decision of the Planning Authority, An Bord Pleanála noted that the proposed development would be in keeping with national energy policy as well as national and local planning policy on wind energy development. Furthermore the Bord noted that the proposed development would not injure the visual and residential amenities of the area, would be acceptable in terms of visual amenity and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The permitted wind farm will be capable of providing sufficient renewable energy to power in excess of 15,000 households annually, representing approximately 29% of households in County Kerry. The final grant of permission allows a period of up to ten years to construct the wind farm and, once commissioned, the wind farm can operate for 25 years under the current permission.

McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan Ltd. acted as the lead planning and environmental consultants for the application, which was lodged in January 2014. The EIS project management included co-ordination of geotechnical, hydrological, noise, archaeological and traffic sub-consultants, with all other EIS sections being completed by in-house staff. Specialist EIA work undertaken includes extensive year-round bird surveying, detailed ecological constraints mapping and landscape character assessment.

For further information on the environmental impact assessment and planning consultancy services that McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan Ltd. can provide for wind farm projects, contact our office on 091 735 611.

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