Tag Archives: planning

Derrybrien Wind Farm

This afternoon.

The ESB is to decommission the Derrybrien Wind Farm in south county Galway.

Via RTE News:

The decision follows more than two decades of controversy over the planning process for the 70-turbine site on the Slieve Aughty mountains.

Last month, An Bord Pleanála has refused the ESB’s application for substitute consent for the development.

The ESB had sought retrospective compliance with an EU directive, but the planning board ruled that the damage caused by the wind farm was “clear, profound and unacceptable” and could not be fully mitigated.

ESB to decommission Derrybrien wind farm (RTE)


In 2003, a boggy hilltop near Derrybrien in south Galway was clear-felled of 200 hectares of forestry and peat extracted from it up to a depth of 5.5 meters. 17 kilometers of roads were laid and 71 turbine bases constructed as the foundations for a wind-farm built and owned by Hibernian Wind Power, a subsidiary of the ESB.

On 16 October, 2003, a massive landslide sent 450,000 cubic meters of peat down the hillside, polluting the Owendalulleegh River, resulting in the death of around 50,000 fish and lasting damage to the fish spawning beds. No environmental impact assessment had been conducted before the establishment of the wind-farm.

On 3 July, 2008, The European Court of Justice (the ECJ) ruled that an environmental impact assessment should be carried out, not merely as proper practice but as a legal obligation. In its pleadings before the Court, the European Commission pointed out and the Irish Government accepted that the landslide was linked to the construction work at the wind farm. The Government committed to comply with this ruling.

A decade passed during which three things happened.

First, plenty of helpful reminders from Europe to Ireland of the need to get on with it.

Second, a certain amount of leisurely paper shuffling and buck passing in Dublin between the “Department”, the ESB and its subsidiary, but no action.

Third, growing awareness among south Galway residents that the negative environmental impact of the wind-farm was not confined to the once-off landslide. The clearance of the hill top to facilitate the wind-farm and the 30 kilometers of deep drains dug into the mountain to keep the site dry has exacerbated the endemic flooding of their area by causing water to flow down the hill faster than before.

This is a coronavirus-free zone, almost (Daire O’Criodain, Medium)

Pic: An Bord Pleanala

This morning.

The 96FM Opinion Line with PJ Coogan

Fergal Barry writes:

This morning PJ spoke to Roy Long (top left) , a popular dog trainer in Carrigaline.

Roy explains that even though a lot of people are using log cabins on family property to get through the housing crisis, it’s very risky and explains how he got caught out.

Log cabins are very pervasive and Roy calls on the government to take account of the difficulty of getting accommodation and help people in trouble over their cabins…



In case you missed it.

Westport, county Mayo Fine Gael TD Michael Ring made his contribution to Wednesday’s debate on the Planning and Development (Amendment) (Large-scale Residential Development) Bill 2021 felt.

Deputy Ring said:

“What we have done in this country is not the Minister’s fault. I blame fellas like Deputy Boyd Barrett and the Green Party, who come down to Mayo, Cork and Kerry wanting to build a holiday home but the minute they build it they do not want anyone beside them and they object.

We had objections from Dún Laoghaire, Wicklow and Germany to local people building homes.

“This week, this State is 100 years old. It is 100 years since we signed the Treaty. The Minister must do something with local authorities and planners. There are inconsistencies with planners because some of them have been trained in Belfast and some in Dublin. There is no consistency.

“We have a dictatorship in this country. It is not a political dictatorship but a public service dictatorship and it has got to such a stage now that they think they are more powerful than the Minister. The local authorities do not care about the Minister anymore. They are out of hand.

“When I was part of the previous Government I preached at every Cabinet meeting that these people were gone out of hand. The Dublin 4 media, RTÉ and all these media people criticise the likes of Deputies Durkan and Kehoe for making representations for the people who elect us. They want it left to An Taisce. They are the ones deciding on planning in this country now.

“I am going to start a campaign in the new year. I have the fight back in me again and I am ready for a fight. If the Minister, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Government do not kick on the public service I do not know where this country is going to be. It is time a small bit of power came back to the elected representatives.”

Deputy Mary Butler:

“Hear, hear.”

Deputy Ring:

“I have been in this House nearly 26 years. I have a question for the Ceann Comhairle and the Minister. Have they ever seen a public servant sacked or disciplined? Do they know what is done with them? They are rewarded and given a bigger office just to get rid of them if they are causing trouble. There has to be accountability. If these people were working for the private sector they would be accountable.

“There is no accountability in the public service. There are fellas here who will lick the county managers and there are fellas here that rub them. It is time that power was brought back to the elected representatives in this country. The Minister is an elected representative and he might think this is a joke but if we do not bring power back to the people then the people will take the power from the politicians. There was talk about the Ard Comhairle or Sinn Féin, bringing people to public meetings.”

Deputy Paul Kehoe:

“The Army Council.”

Deputy Ring:

“When the Army Council is on one corner and the public servants are in the other corner then it is going to be hard luck for this country so it is.”


Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Early next year, Toyota plans to start construction of a ‘prototype city of the future’ at a 175 acre site at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Details are a little fuzzy at present but according to the press release:

The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.



This morning.

Croke Park, Dublin.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the Construction Conference sponsored by the Sunday Business Post where he spoke to delegates of the Construction Industry Federation.

Via The Irish Times:

Mr Varadkar told the conference  the Government would publish a new planning bill shortly.

He acknowledged that it was frustrating for builders and planners to see good projects end up facing sometimes “vexatious” judicial reviews in the High Court.

“That’s something, in my view, that’s going to have to change and this bill will change it,” the Taoiseach pledged.

Good times.

Varadkar promises law to block ‘vexatious’ planning challenges (Irish Times)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

90348357Gerard Convie

Following a campaign spearheaded by Village magazine (fair play, etc)…

The government will appoint a barrister to investigate claims made by Gerard Convie, a former planner in Donegal, about the system of planning permissions in the county.


The former civil servant has made several attempts to have his allegations investigated by the Department of the Environment.

The Irish Independent can reveal that a senior counsel will travel to Donegal to investigate the allegations, at the request of Environment Minister Alan Kelly.

Mr Kelly made the decision to appoint the barrister after examining the allegations and on the advice of the Office of the Attorney General.

The barrister will interview Mr Convie and council officials as part of the probe.

Among the cases highlighted by Mr Convie are a petrol station which operated for over 10 years despite never having secured planning permission.

Among the cases highlighted by Mr Convie are a petrol station which operated for over 10 years despite never having secured planning permission.

Whistleblower planning claims set to be probed (Niall O’Connor, Independent.ie)

Previously: The Planning Whistleblower

Village Preservation Society

(Photocall Ireland)


The Edge and his planned Malibu cliff top ‘compound’

“The Edge submitted plans for the five houses separately, under separate names, which CCC staff originally took as an attempt to skirt environmental rules, according to the LA Times.

They also found that the project “would scar a steep, undeveloped ridgeline visible from much of the coastline, cause extensive geological disturbance and destroy environmentally sensitive native vegetation.”

A few months later, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy suddenly switched their stance on the development from con to neutral after The Edge gave them $750,000 in cash, $250,000 worth of work by a consultant, and 97 acres of land for conservation.

Then, in 2012, The Edge’s “extensive team” started lobbying for a pro-development, anti-environment state bill that would’ve helped clear the way for the project. “

Good times.

U2’s The Edge Could Be Allowed to Build Five-Mansion Clifftop Compound in Malibu (Curbed LA)

Thanks Mark Malone