Mr Justice Michael Peart yesterday granted an ex parte application for leave to bring a judicial review in a High Court challenge brought against An Bord Pleanála in the granting of planning permission for a Wind Farm here in Co Tipperary.
Mr Edward Buckley, Gurtnara, Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary and Ms Edel Grace, Grousehall, Milestone, Thurles, Co Tipperary have sought the judicial review following the granting of permission for this proposed development at Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
The permission had been previously granted for 22 turbines, with a hub height of 81.6m and an overall height of 126.6m, together with an access road and buildings.
In these proceedings taken against An Bord Pleanála, Mr Buckley and Ms Grace requested orders quashing the boards decision of August 12th last, latter which granted a ten year permission period to Ecopower to install and run the proposed Wind Farm.
Both applicants claim that An Bord Pleanála acted outside of their powers and are therefore in breach of the provisions of the 2000 Planning and Development Act and the EU Council Habitats Directive of 1992. In moving this application, Mr David Browne BL stated that the challenge was brought on grounds that permission was granted after Mr Buckley having withdrawn his written consent for his lands to be used as part of this proposed development. It was understood that this proposed development had required Mr Buckley’s lands to gain an access road at Knocknameena, Upperchurch, Mr Browne stated.
Both applicants argued that this decision had breached EU directives on the conservation of natural habitats of wild fauna and flora and that An Bord Pleanála had failed to correctly conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment prior to giving consent in the granting of permission to this development.
Ecopower Developments Ltd and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are notice parties to these proceedings.