Laois Offaly Labour Senator John Whelan is calling on the government to “go back to the drawing board” and revise the national energy strategy, following An Bord Pleanala’s refusal of the windfarm in Offaly.
“The refusal has significant implications in terms of the planning precedent it establishes for similar and much larger developments proposed for the midlands. The grounds on which An Bord Pleanala overturned an Offaly County Council permission are all the more critical as they went beyond issues of noise, shadow flicker and proximity to people’s homes 1.2km away, but also relied heavily on the questions of scale and the impact on the landscape and visual amenity,” he said.
He says Eirgrid’s plan for grid expansion “lacks any credibility and is entirely devoid of public acceptance”, with not only communities concerned, but An Taisce, the Irish Planning Institute, the Heritage Council and Failte Ireland.
“The only way forward is an independent cost benefit analysis of our energy strategy,” Sen Whelan said.