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Kilkenny Councillor Michael Doyle says An Bord Pleanála’s ability to effectively overrule a county’s development plan is “extremely disappointing”

It's after developers got the go-ahead for the Castlebanny windfarm, bypassing the local authority

A Kilkenny Councillor was disappointed to learn that An Bord Pleanála can effectively overrule their county development plan when it comes to future wind energy projects.

The council is still awaiting ministerial direction on their proposed wind strategy for the next five years, an area for which nationally there are also only draft guidelines.

The Castlebanny wind farm getting the go-ahead from the planning body last week having bypassed the local authority who’d had concerns as to the scale of the proposed 21-turbine facility for the area between Mullinavat, Inistioge and Ballyhale.

In light of that Cllr Michael Doyle asked if it could happen again once their county development plan is fully adopted – and he wasn’t too happy with the reply, telling KCLR News “The answer in a nutshell was yes they can and it’s extremely disappointing considering that the development plan is the people’s vision going forward for five years for Kilkenny so that doesn’t sound like much democracy at all”.

He adds “Politics is a difficult game but when it’s democracy itself is failing people I don’t know what way to tackle it really, it’s very disappointing, An Bord Pleanála even themselves are currently under review with their own processes, I don’t know how they should be entitled to make such huge decisions in the current situation that An Bord Pleanala are in and the wind energy strategy in general is, it’s very frustrating”.