An Bord Pleanala has refused planning for the 25 turbine Castletownmoor Wind Farm.
The news has been welcomed by the Meath Wind Information Group (MWIG).
"We're absolutely delighted. An Bord Pleanala has confirmed what they said before with regard to the Emlagh Wind Farm. We only hope now that Element Power do not seek a judicial review of the decison as they did in Maighne," said Padraic Dolan of MWIG.
"The Board has been unequivocal that Castletownmoor is not a suitable area for a wind farm," he added.
In rejecting the development, Mr Dolan explained that the Board ruled it was out of step with the Meath County Development Plan relating to such issues as tourism, cultural aspects and protected views. It also referred to the size of the turbines and the large spatial area that would be occupied by the entire development and how they are unsuited to a rural landscape where the population distribution is quite dense.
"They found it would be an adverse development with regards to the proximity to the village of Carlanstown and the town of Kells," said Mr Dolan.
Meath East Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne and local Councillor Sean Drew have also welcomed the decision
“I fully welcome the news that the Castletownmoor wind farm has been roundly refused by the national planning authority. This is very welcome news for the many residents in North Meath who have been fighting the Element Power proposals for the last number of years,” said Deputy Byrne.
“The Castletownmoor planning application followed on from a previously rejected application for 46 wind turbines. This revised Castletownmoor application was simply a rehash of the original Emlagh project, which received huge opposition from the local community. The Castletownmoor wind farm involved 25 wind turbines spread across North Meath with a tip height of 169 metres.
“It is considered by An Bord Pleanala that a windfarm of this scale would visually dominate this rural populated area, would seriously injure the amenities of property, would interfere with the character of the landscape and would not be in accordance with the overall objectives of the Meath County Development Plan.
“An Bord Pleanála’s report cites that the proximity of the proposed turbines to a large number of houses would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development. It also mentions the cultural heritage of national, international and regional importance would be greatly impacted upon,” commented Deputy Byrne.
“Interestedly, these reasons for refusing the Castletownmoor project are almost a carbon copy of the reasons for refusing the Emlagh windfarm. Element Power need to get the message – industrial windfarms are not welcome in North Meath. End of story. The local community have never accepted the monstrous proposals of Element Power, ” said Deputy Thomas Byrne.
“I will keeping a close eye on the company’s next move, however it would appear improbable that they would make a third application for permission in the area” concluded Deputy Byrne.
Cllr Sean Drew has commended the local campaign group who were instrumental in securing another refusal from An Bord Pleanala .
"The North Meath Wind Information Group have worked tirelessly and very effectively with the local community in their opposition to this project and the previous Emlagh windfarm. I also want to commend the many hundreds of local residents that made submissions of objection to An Bord Pleanála" said Cllr Drew.