Laois solar farms appealed to An Bord Pleanala

By Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

By Ryan Dunne

Email:

ryan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois solar farms appealed to An Bord Pleanala

A solar company granted permission by Laois County Council to build two solar farms in Laois has lodged appeals with An Bord Pleanala against certain conditions the council has imposed.

JMB Solar Developments Ltd were recently given the greenlight to construct for 10 years a solar PV energy development at the townland of Sronagh, Mountmellick, and one at Rathleague, Portlaoise.

In reaching its decision, the council ruled that the development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity.

Prior to commencement the developer was asked to lodge with the council a cash deposit of €100,000 on each application to secure the satisfactory reinstatement of the site.

The approval for the Mountmellick project came despite objections from two residents of Derryguile, Thomas and Margaret Lalor, who said the solar farm could pose a potential hazard to the pilots who fly very low from a nearby airfield, which is to the east of the site.

They also feared that residents of nearby houses would be affected by the “glint and glare” from the solar farm, which will comprise of photovoltaic panels installed on ground mounted frames.

Laois County Councillor Paddy Bracken, from Garoon in Mountmellick, also objected to the Mountmellick plans, saying the proposed site was too close to existing houses and local roads.

He said the “glint and glare” was “a potential hazard for both adjacent residents and road users”.

No objections were lodged with the council in relation to the Portlaoise development.

JMB Solar Developments Ltd has now lodged appeals with An Bord Pleanala against the council’s decision. It is not known yet on what grounds the company is appealing.

The case is due to be decided by An Bord Pleanala by July 27 next.