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Comhairle Chontae na M

Halla an Chontae, An Uaimh, Co. na M, C15 AW81

Fn: 046 9097000/Fax: 046 9097001


R-phost: customerservice@meathcoco.ie
Web: www.meath.ie

Our Ref: 17.PA0046

Meath County Council

County Hall, Navan, Co. Meath, C15 AW81

Tel: 046 9097000/Fax: 046 9097001


E-mail: customerservice@meathcoco.ie
Web: www.meath.ie
Registration No. 00172770

Planning Section.
27th September 2016.

Don/

Cathaoirleach agus ball den Comhairle

Re: North Meath Wind Farm Ltd (Castletownmoor Wind Farm)


Strategic Infrastructure Development
Dear Councillor,
I refer to the notice from An Bord Pleanala of 2nd August 2016 in respect of the Strategic
Infrastructure development proposal by North Meath Wind Farm Ltd for 25 No Turbines, a 110 kv
substation and associated works.
I include for your consideration the views of the Planning Authority on the effects of the proposed
development on the Environment and the proper Planning and Sustainable Development of the area
having regard to matters specified in Section 34(2) of the Planning Acts.
The following documentation is attached for your information:

The report of the Chief Executive;


Appendix 1- Planning History;
Appendix 2- Meath County Council Internal Referrals;
Appendix 3- Assessment of landscape and likely effects on designated views in County
Meath for the proposed Castletownmoor wind farm.

In accordance with Section 37 (E) of the Planning & Development Acts, the Planning Authority must
afford the Members of the Local Authority an opportunity to attach recommendations to its report
if they so wish. The attached planning report recommends, An Bord Pleanala, the Competent
Authority in this instance, to request further information to facilitate fuller assessment of the
application.
It is the intention of the Planning Authority to make a short Presentation at the meeting outlining
the proposal and the position of the Planning Authority on the proposed development.

The views of the Members shall be recorded by the Meetings Administrator and if the Members are
so disposed, they may by resolution, agree to attach the record of their recommendations to the
report of the Planning Authority.
The report and recommendations will then be submitted to An Bord Pleanla on or before 6th
October 2016.
The following resolution as referenced above is included as an agenda item at the October County
Council meeting.
To receive the Members views in respect of a proposed development by North Meath Windfarm
Ltd, the subject of the Chief Executives report to an Bord Pleanla of September 2016 (as
circulated ) and if thought fit , to resolve to attach recommendations to that report in accordance
with Section 37(E) of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2015
I remain available to advise on any procedural questions that you may have in this regard. You are
encouraged to familiarise yourself with the contents of the attached report in advance of the
meeting.

Michael Griffin
Senior Executive Officer.
Planning.

STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT


CASTLETOWNMOOR WIND FARM
PLANNING REPORT

AN BORD PLEANALA REFERENCE:


17. PA 0046

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION
1

INTRODUCTION

SITE LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION

ENERGY AND PLANNING POLICY REVIEW

REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT

INTERNAL REFERRALS

PLANNING ASSESSMENT

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

SCHEDULE OF CONDITIONS

APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1

PLANNING HISTORY

APPENDIX 2

INTERNAL REFERRALS

APPENDIX 3

ASSESSMENT OF LIKELY EFFECTS ON DESIGNATED VIEWS AND


LANDSCAPE IN COUNTY MEATH FOR THE PROPOSED
CASTLETOWNMOOR WIND FARM (CAAS LTD)

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SECTION ONE

INTRODUCTION

An application from North Meath Wind Farm Ltd seeking permission under section 37E of
the Planning and Development Acts, 2000-2016 was received by An Bord Pleanala on 02
August 2016 (Ref 17.PA0046), accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),
Planning Report and Natura Impact Statement (NIS).
This report is prepared in accordance with section 37(E)(4) of the Planning and Development
Acts 2000-2014 which requires the Chief Executive of the Planning Authority to submit a
report to the Bord setting out the views of the authority on the effects of the proposed
development on the environment and proper planning and sustainable development of the
area, having regard in particular to the matters specified in Section 34(2). This report is
required to comment on a broad range of topics and is required to suggest appropriate
conditions, including financial, to be attached in the event that planning permission is
granted.
This report is presented at the meeting of Meath County Council on 03 October 2016.
The agenda item is as follows: To receive the Members views in respect of a proposed
development by North Meath Windfarm Ltd, the subject of the Chief Executives report to An
Bord Pleanala of September 2016 (as circulated) and if thought fit, to resolve to attach
recommendations to that report in accordance with Section 37(E) of the Planning and
Development Acts 2000-2014
The applicant, North Meath Wind Farm Ltd, is owned by Element Power Ireland Ltd. Element
Power is a global renewable energy company present in 16 countries and which has
developed, to date, 15 wind farms in Ireland.
This report begins by outlining the location of the site and describes the development.
Relevant national, regional and local energy and planning policies are then outlined. The
Environmental Impact Statement and Natura Impact Statement are reviewed. Internal
referrals are listed. A planning assessment of the proposal is provided. Conclusions,
recommendation and conditions are addressed at the latter end of the report. Site planning
history is provided in Appendix 1. Full text of the internal referral reports are provided in
Appendix 2. Appendix 3 contains the assessment of impacts on designated views in the
County Development Plan.
The site was inspected on 30 August and again on 23 September 2016.
Amendments from previous Emlagh Windfarm Application
The proposed Castletownmoor wind farm is part of the original Emlagh Wind Farm proposal
that comprised three separate wind farm clusters with a total of 46 turbines. The original 3
clusters comprised of:
Farragara: comprising 8 no turbines located to the north of the N52 and the village
of Carlanstown and east of Moynalty;
Castletownmoor: comprising 25 no turbines centred on Emlagh bog, to the south of
the N52 and east of Carlanstown;
Isealchriocha: comprising 13 turbines between the villages of Castletown and
Lobinstown.

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The revised Castletownmoor scheme is the central portion known as Castletownmoor and
comprises a reduction in the overall number of turbines from 46 - 25 with removal of the
Farragara and Isealchriocha wind clusters.
On 27th January 2016 An Bord Pleanala refused planning permission for the Emlagh Wind
Farm (PL.17.P0038) comprising of 46 turbines each up to 169m in height, with 33km of new
access tracks, upgrades to 8km of existing tracks, 55km of underground cabling from the
turbines to a new 110kV substation, substation, and 15km of underground cabling from that
sub-station to the grid at Gorman sub-station. Reasons for refusal were as follows:
it is considered, that a windfarm of the scale, extent and height proposed would visually
dominate this populated rural area, would seriously injure the amenities of property in the
vicinity, would interfere with the character of the landscape and would not be in accordance
with the overall development objectives of the current County Development Plan.
Furthermore, it is considered that the proposed development would not align with the Wind
Energy Development Guidelines as this guidance document did not envisage the construction
of such extensive large scale turbines in an area primarily characterised as a hilly and flat
farmland landscape and in such proximity to high concentrations of dwellings. The proposed
development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable
development of the area.
In deciding not to accept the Inspector's recommendation to grant permission, the Board
considered that, notwithstanding the provisions of the National Renewable Energy Action
Plan, and other national and European Union policies in support of renewable energy
development (including wind), the impacts of this very large development on the substantial
local residential population, and the impacts of the proposed development on landscape and
cultural heritage, would not be acceptable in this location. The Board further considered that
the number and height of the proposed turbines would significantly exceed the landscapes
medium potential capacity to accommodate windfarm development as set out in the
Landscape Character Assessment of the County Development Plan.
1.2 key Amendments to Windfarm Application
In addition to the removal of the two clusters of turbines, the key differences between the
two applications are summarised in the table below:
Key Features of Proposal &
Applications
Site Area
No. of Turbines
Number of houses affected
within of 1km turbines
Output of Windfarm
No. Of borrow pits
Number of compounds
Number of substations
Length of proposed roads +
upgrading of existing roads
Number of batching plants
Number of site notices
Length of underground cabling
Re-siting of Turbines

Emlagh Windfarm

Castletownmoor Windfarm

1330.5ha
46
416

702.3ha
25
136

160mw
6
4
1
41km

85mw
2
2
1
21.5km

1
11*
70
T21, T32

0
13
37.5
T13, T24

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* Refers to site notices at central Castletownmoor portion only and excludes site notices at remaining
2 clusters.

Within the EIS and supporting documentation, it is explicitly stated that the proposed
Castletownmoor Windfarm application is the same as the central portion of the previous
Emlagh Windfarm. This is clearly not the case with the most significant amendments being
the resiting of T13 and T24 in the new application. All other turbines remain in the same
location but have been renumbered as identified in the Table below.
Castletownmoor
Numbers

Wind Farm Turbine Emlagh Wind Farm Turbine Numbers


(T)
(T)
1
9
2
10
3
11
4
12
5
13
6
14
7
15
8
16
9
17
10
18
11
19
12
20
13*
21
14
22
15
23
16
24
17
25
18
26
19
27
20
28
21
29
22
30
23
31
24~
32
25
33
*T13 has been relocated 120m to west of its location as T21 in the Emlagh Wind Farm
~T24 has been relocated 110m north west of its previous location as T32 in the Emlagh Wind
farm

SECTION TWO

SITE LOCATION & DEVELOPMENT DESCRIPTION

The proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm therefore comprises up to 25 wind turbines with
a maximum blade tip height of up to 169m. The proposed site is located approximately
2.9km to the northeast of Kells, 1km east of Carlanstown, 5.3km southeast of Moynalty,
4.9km from Nobber, 6.7km west of Lobinstown and 7.4km north of Navan.
The study area for the proposed development is located in the townland's of: Balreask,
Reask, Gravelstown, Emlagh, Castletownmoor, St.Johns Rath, Drakerath, Clooney,
Drakestown, Dowdstown, Dowthstown, Fletcherstown, Glebe, Clongill, Oristown, Rossmeen,

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Grange Glebe, Wilkenstown, Balsaw, Demailestown, Scottstown, Mullagha, Corballis,


Rathcoon, Dunderk, Carniaghanstown, Stackallan, Causestown, Mountainstown. An
associated grid connection agreement (ref: P230) has been signed with Eirgrid for the
Castletownmoor Project.
The lands are predominantly in agricultural use- tillage or grassland. Some of the application
site is under forest peat bog 1. Part of the site is located within the Meath Gaeltacht area.
The majority of the lands upon which it is proposed to site the turbines, access tracks etc is
in private ownership. Appendix A of Volume 3 contains a list of landowners in two separate
schedules. The ESB also own lands at Causetown, Slane Upper which form part of the
planning application site.
The EIS Report outlines that there are 24 designated areas of conservation value within
15km of the planning site boundary (Vol 2a, Figure 7.1 and Table 7.8). In terms of
designations, the applicant states that there are no Special Areas of Conservation (SAC),
Special Protection Areas (SPA), Natural Heritage Areas (NHA) within the application site
boundary.
A total of 54 protected structures and 88 recorded monuments were identified by the
applicants within a 3km radius of the site. A total of 6 recorded monuments were identified
by the applicants within the site boundary which may be directly or indirectly impacted upon
as a result of the development.
There are 292 buildings, including occupied, unoccupied and permitted buildings located
within 10 rotor diameters (1,310 m) of the proposed development and these are included in
the shadow flicker assessment in EIS Chapter 11. Of these buildings, 9 buildings are derelict,
25 are not residential and there are 9 buildings under a planning permission but not yet
built. A total of 136 residential properties (existing and permitted) are located within 1km of
the proposed turbines. This has been reduced significantly (from 416 dwellings existing and
permitted within 1km) when compared to the previous Emlagh proposal (CEMP Statement,
Site Description). Figure 10.1 in the EIS in Volume 2a contain details of all dwellings and
planning applications within a 500m, 1000m and 1300m of the turbines. All dwellings have
been given a number. These maps, even at 1:35000 at A3 are problematic to interpret given
the number of properties on or very close to the 500m buffer line. Detail including the
thickness of the buffer lines, maps at a scale from which it is possible to scale off and a
written description of the properties is required.
Planning permission is sought for 10 years and the anticipated lifespan of the turbines is 30
years.
North Meath Wind Farm Ltd is seeking planning permission for the following (as per public
notices):
The proposed wind farm comprises up to 25 wind turbines with approximately 85MW of
generating capacity. (The proposed site layout is shown in Figure 2.1) The proposed turbines
will be connected to the national grid at the existing Gorman substation via an underground
cable.
The proposed development consists of the following:
Erection of up to 25 wind turbines with a tip height of up to 169m
1

Variously described as an area of active peat cutting/ peat bog/cutaway bog

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Construction of turbine foundations and hard standing areas


Construction of approximately 18km of new site tracks and associated drainage
Upgrading of approximately 3.5km of existing tracks and associated drainage where
necessary
Two no. borrow pits and associated ancillary infrastructure
All associated drainage and sediment control
Stream crossings
Construction of 1 no. 110kV substation including:
- two control buildings containing welfare facilities
- electrical infrastructure
- parking
- waste water holding tank and all associated infrastructure, services and site works
including landscaping
Installation of Medium Voltage (MV) 33kV underground cabling and associated
communications cabling between the proposed turbines and the proposed on-site
substation
Connection to the national electricity grid from the on-site substation to an existing
substation at Gorman (within the townlands of Causestown) consisting of the
installation of approximately 16km of High Voltage (HV) 110kV underground cabling
and associated communications cabling
Temporary development/works associated with the construction phase including
two no. Proposed temporary construction site compounds and associated ancillary
infrastructure including parking
Upgrading of existing entrances and provision of new entrances onto the public road
Tree felling of coniferous trees
A 10 year permission and a 30 year operational life from the date of commissioning
of the entire wind farm

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)


A pre-application consultation with ABP pursuant to Section 37B was held with Bord on the
8th of April 2016 and correspondence received from ABP dated 11th May 2016 (ref:
17.PC0214), confirmed that the proposed development constitutes strategic infrastructure
within the meaning of Section 37A of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended)
by virtue of Section 37 (2) (a) and (b).
The structure of the EIS is as follows:
Volume 1 Non Technical Summary (NTS) (this document)
Volume 2 Main EIS
Volume 2a Figures associated with the Main EIS chapters
Volume 3 Appendices to the Main EIS
Volume 4 Landscape and Visual Maps and Photomontages
A separate NIS and Planning Report have been submitted in addition to the above.

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Proposed Development
The proposed windfarm comprises 25 turbines with potential total power output of 85MW.
The project has secured a 120MW gate 3 grid connection capacity from Eirgrid, the power
generated is stated to be for domestic purposes only. This capacity, will according to the
applicant, contribute over 2% of the total wind generating capacity required to meet the
mandatory national target of 16% of overall energy requirements sourced from renewables
by 2020 . The public notices state that each turbine will be up to a maximum height of 169m
to tip, 109m to hub height and a 60m rotor diameter and the farm will comprise of up 25
turbines. The manufacturer of the turbines will not be selected until after the development
obtains planning permission. This is acceptable assuming non excedance of the maximum
height as this is the basis upon which the EIS, NIS etc have been prepared. This approach has
been taken with other wind farms nationally and enables maximum benefit can be derived
from the most up to date technology available.
Each turbine site has the same basic proposed layout. This comprises of a 3 bladed, tubular
tower (in three sections) with horizontal axis rotor blades bolted to a central hub which is
connected to a gear box located in the nacelle which holds the generator and electrical
components control unit. A glass fibre reinforced polyester hood covers the nacelle which is
sound insulated. Each turbine has a transformer located within the tower. The turbines will
be coloured off white/light grey.
Blades turn at a rate of between 5 and 24 revolutions per minute depending on wind speed
and the make of turbine.
Each site will comprise of a hard stand area including a crane set up area all of which
measures c50m x 30m. Foundation shape of each turbine will vary in size (depending on
ground conditions) but can span up to 25mx25m.
Access to each site is via 4 new proposed entrances onto public roadway, 3 proposed road
crossings, a combination of existing and proposed access tracks, all are proposed to be 4.5 m
in width extending to 6.5m depending on infill and banking required. 18km of new site
tracks and associated drainage are proposed to be constructed as part of the development.
All entrances will be gated. Given the width of track proposed in all cases, length and likely
requirement for significant upgrade of some of the existing tracks (3.5km), it is proposed to
utilise as part of the scheme, a significant volume of aggregate material will be required. The
application proposes 2 no. borrow pits from which some material will be extracted for new
and upgrading road improvements as well as turbine foundation construction.
Each turbine must be connected to the proposed substation at Emlagh (which is to be
located in a compound of 93m * 64m) and this is to be achieved via a proposed medium
voltage underground cable (18.5km) and a high voltage underground cable (16km) is then
proposed to be run from this substation to the existing 220kv station at Gormanlough. The
route of the medium voltage cable is via the proposed access road network where feasible.
This wind farm will be connected to the substation via L68311-0 and the L28111-0.
The route of the high voltage cable from Emlagh crosses the L7411-18, takes the L74113-0 to
Wilkinstown, the L3410 through Wilkinstown, crosses the level crossing 2 of the NavanKingscourt line, and travels the entire length of the L34101, then onto the R163 until
Gormanlough and down the L3411-0 to the substation.

Subject to a wayleave agreement with Iarnrod Eireann, Drwg. No LE14-731-01-028 refers

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The application proposes the felling of 16.6ha of trees (stated in the Construction and
Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) as conifers, it is unclear based on an examination
of the documents and site inspection as to the location of these trees. The impact of this
felling is likely to be significant locally. Tree felling will take place to accommodate Turbines
T4, T6, T14, T15 and the substation to the SW of T14 and the compound within which it will
be located. This will be discussed later in the report. The CEMP confirms that a felling license
is required and yet to be obtained for this part of the proposal.
The site is located within a large pocket of land south east of Carlanstown, north east of
Kells, north of Oristown and west of Wilkinstown. The individual turbine sites are proposed
to be accessed via existing and proposed single access tracks off the L28111-0 which is
proposed to run off road accessing T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, the access road then branches off to
the north to the substation, and accesses T14, T15. The county road then is crossed by the
access track between T14 and T15 that then provide access via a new road to T16 and T17.
A bridge is then proposed over the L7411-18. The track then accesses T18, T19, T20, T21,
T22, T23, T24 and T25. The access track then junctions with the county road south of the
N52. A temporary compound is proposed c150m SE of T25 along the new access road. The
southern branch of the proposed access track junctions with and crosses the county road SE
of Emlagh and branches east to provide access to T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, T12 and T13.
River crossings are outlined in Vol. 02 of the EIS in Table 9.10. There are 3 existing river
crossings within the site and a further 14 proposed. T2 is proposed to be located in close
proximity to the Moynalty River, based on some of the drawings, there is an existing crossing
of the Moynalty River south west of T2, and an additional crossing is required, adjacent to
the proposed access to T11. Archaeology may also be an issue with T2 due to the existence
of the recorded monuments at Gravelstown, ME011-046 1 and 2 and ME 011-047. T12 is
south of T3 and also requires a river crossing to accommodate the access road.
T5 is west of T4 and requires a crossing of the Moynalty River. The site of T5 would also
appear to be in benefiting lands identified by the OPW; this matter will be elaborated on
later in the report. The proposed sites of T2 , T4, T5 and T13 could not be physically accessed
at time of site inspection as a proposed access track is the intended means of access and
these sites are a significant distance from the existing public road.
To the south of T14 is the proposed 110 kV Emlagh substation compound which is within a
wooded area and will require tree felling on what would appear to be Collite owned lands.
Based on the site layout plan submitted, there are two substations within the compound.
An Element Power substation with its own substation, control building and access road. This
building is single storey (circa 5.2m high) with a floor area of 167.5 sqm. The internal layout
of the building comprises a switchgear room, a control room, office, kitchen, WC and store.
A larger Eirgrid substation is also proposed within the compound area. This substation
comprises of a control building and a number of transformers. The control building is single
storey (circa 5.6m high) with a floor area of 203 sqm. The internal layout of the building
comprises of a relay room, office, WC, hall, permit room. The tallest structure within the
compound will be 20m, additional screen planting is proposed. The compound will be
surrounded by a 2.4m palisade fence and will be illuminated by way of lighting poles and
wall mounted lights on buildings, no details of the location of which appear to have been
provided. A wastewater holding tank is proposed outside the substation fence line for ease
of maintenance. Sanitary facilities are provided within both control buildings, the suitability
of the applicants proposals in this regard will be discussed later in the report.

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T6 is located south east of the substation and is accessed via an extension to the proposed
new access track. A second site compound is located further east along the proposed track
c400m SE of T6. T7 - T13 are located east of the county road on what appears to be a single
block of farm land which is currently accessible via an existing entrance and network of farm
tracks through the associated farm complex. It is not entirely clear, based on the drawings
submitted, that it is intended to use the existing entrance, but some of the existing tracks do
however form part of the access roads as per the drawings. Although not identified or
explicitly stated in documentation, the location of T13 is amended from the original Emlagh
wind farm application where it was labelled T21. T13 is now located circa 120 west of the
original T21. No justification, reasoning or subsequent micro assessment has been provided
for this change.
T14 is sited to the north of the aforementioned proposed substation. T15, T16 and T17 are
all located north of the L2811-1. Stream crossings are required to access T16 and T17, and
the stream flows into the Moynalty River to the SW. T16 would also appear to be located
within benefiting lands as identified by the OPW.
The eight turbines of T18 to T25, in addition to two borrow pits, the main site compound are
all located in a block of land between the L7411-18 and the L34061-0. A stream crossing is
required to facilitate the construction of the access road to T18, whilst a single stream
crossing is needed to access the borrow pit east of T20. Seven further stream crossings are
proposed to access the remaining turbines of T22 to T25. The compound is located c150m SE
of T25. The borrow pit is located further north of T25 along the proposed access road and
just west of the county road. The temporary compounds are proposed to be removed when
construction is complete. T18, T20, T21 are all located within benefiting lands as identified
by the OPW. Like T13 referred to previously in this report, T24 has been relocated within the
site by 110m to the north west when compared to T32 as identified in the previous Emlagh
Wind farm application. Again, no justification, reasoning or micro assessment has been
provided for this change.
The construction period for the proposed development has been estimated in the region of
18 months, i.e. inclusive of all works to site roads, access routes, on-site cabling, substation
building, grid connection works and installation and commissioning of turbines. The layout
of the site lends itself to clearly defined phases (civil construction, MV cables, HV cables,
turbines, on-site substation) where the various work elements can overlap without a
significant increase in local traffic movements or congestion on site. There is likely to be
some overlap with civil works and turbine erection, and also with turbine erection and
commissioning. It is proposed to carry out the project in two construction phases as follows:
1. Phase 1: North of site (Turbines 15 25)
2. Phase 2: South of site (Turbines 1 14)
As per the CEMP construction working hours will generally be restricted to between 08:0019:00 Monday to Saturday. Work on Sundays and Public Holidays will only be conducted in
exceptional circumstances or in an emergency.
If successful in gaining a planning permit, the developer will also have to consider the
following obligations:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Commencement notice
Special Permits in relation to oversized vehicles on public roads
Temporary Road Closures (if required)
Road Opening Licence (if required)

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5. Felling License

SECTION THREE

ENERGY AND PLANNING POLICY REVIEW

In all cases what are considered to be the most relevant passages from each document for
the assessment of this application have been extracted and are detailed below.

European and National Energy Policy


EU Directive 2009/28/EC
This directive establishes a common framework for the production and promotion of energy
from renewable sources. The EU Directive 2009/28/EC, in the promotion of the use of
energy from renewable resources, sets targets for each EU member state, to be achieved by
2020. Ireland is legally obliged to meet 16% energy consumption by 2020 from renewable
sources, with a sub-target of 10% in the transport sector. A non-legally binding target
requires that at least 40% of electricity is to come from renewable energy by 2020. The
Directive also outlines methods by which member states can coordinate their
activities/policies on achieving targets.
National Renewable Energy Action Plan Ireland (Submitted under Article 4 of Directive
2009/28/EC)
This is the framework within which Ireland has set out the detailed schemes, policies and
measures underway and planned to deliver the trajectory of growth from renewable
sources.
Strategy for Renewable Energy: 2012-2020 (Department of Communications, Energy &
Natural Resources)
Section 2.1 states that the Governments overarching strategic objective is to make
renewable energy an increasingly significant component of Irelands energy supply by 2020,
so that at a minimum we achieve our legally binding 2020 target in the most cost efficient
manner for consumers. Of critical importance is the role which the renewable energy sector
plays in job creation and economic activity as part of the Governments action plan for jobs.
Section 2.2 states that underpinning the Governments energy and economic policy
objectives are the following five Strategic Goals reflecting the key dimensions of the
renewable energy challenge to 2020. This high level strategy is underpinned by the more
detailed National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Strategic Goal 1

Progressively more renewable electricity from onshore and offshore


wind power for the domestic and export markets.

Strategic Goal 2

A sustainable bioenergy sector supporting renewable heat,


transport and power generation.

Strategic Goal 3

Green growth through research and development of renewable


technologies including the preparation for market of ocean
technologies.

Strategic Goal 4

Increase sustainable energy use in the Transport sector through bio


fuels and electrification.

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Strategic Goal 5

An intelligent, robust and cost efficient energy networks system.

The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 contains a number of reforms, including transforming Ireland
into one of the most energy efficient economies in Europe by 2020. The Plan identifies the
vital role that energy efficiency can play in reducing the cost of energy for businesses and
domestic consumers.

National and Regional Planning Policy


National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020
The NSS does not replace or re-state environmental policies generally. However,
development arising from the NSS will be implemented within the framework of strong and
ambitious policies for the protection of the environment and policies to integrate
environmental considerations into sectoral policies. Policy and action in this regard will
focus, on limitations on greenhouse gas emissions in the context of the National Climate
Change Strategy (2000), measures to support sustainable agriculture, and initiatives to
address the impact of transport on the environment.
Section 3.7.2 Energy, acknowledges that reliable and effective energy systems, such as gas
and electricity to power industry and services, are key prerequisites for effective regional
development. Irelands electricity and gas networks are evolving in an integrated way,
serving residential and other developments through availability of land and capacity of
services.
Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2010-2022 (RPGs)
In Section 6.6.5 Renewable Energy, the RPGs state:
Renewable energy provision within the GDA will continue to become a more central issue in
terms of environmental concerns, economic viability and development, and employment
creation in green technologies. Approximately 5,500 MW of renewable generation by 2020 is
required to meet the government target of 40% total consumption from renewable energy.
To achieve this, upgrading, strengthening and facilitation of the electricity transmission
network is needed alongside the replacement of older plants by conventional generation to
integrate the large amount of renewable required. The delivery of a sustainable energy
future as outlined in the Energy Policy Framework 2007-2020 is closely linked to the national
climate change policy. Achievement of these national targets will require development of
renewable energy options such as offshore wind generation, marine based energy
generation, solar energy and geothermal both within, adjacent to, and outside the GDA.
Subject to the provision of adequate capacity in the Grid to receive, transport and distribute
energy, renewable energy provision will assist efforts to meet Kyoto Protocol targets,
increase security of supply, and bolster energy supply levels catering for future demands
arising from a knowledge and ICT intensive economy and will assist the decoupling of
economic growth from carbon emission levels. Policy in this area should be developed based
on the Departmental planning guidelines in relation to Wind Farms, any subsequent updates
published and/or future publications in the area of ocean energy guidelines or other
guidelines pertaining to generation of energy from renewable sources.
In light of the growing market in small scale energy generation both in the residential and
industrial areas of the GDA as well as rural locations, it would be appropriate and timely that
a wind energy study on the potential of wind energy; appropriate locations for varying types

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of turbines; and associated land-use policies to guide, assist and promote this new green
business be undertaken. In light of the geography of the GDA such a project would be most
suitably undertaken as a cross-Council project, at a regional scale to ensure a consistent
policy approach across Local Authorities.
6.6.6 Energy Action Plans and Energy Statements
Sustainable Energy Action Plans which seek to set and strategically meet energy reduction
targets and promote energy efficiency and opportunities should seek to include, amongst
other issues, identification of opportunities to promote rational use of energy including
sustainable material and energy utilisation in construction. These should be presented in a
spatially geographic manner where possible in order to provide an extended evidence base in
the decision making process. It is suggested that Energy Statements are submitted to
Planning Authorities as part of planning application packs in respect of larger developments.
These should outline how carbon reductions have been achieved and the extent, if any, of the
carbon reduction. Reference is made to SI 666 2006 regarding the energy performance of
buildings and the assessment and/or consideration of alternative energy systems.
6.6.7 Strategic Policy & Recommendations Energy & Communications
Strategic Policy PIP4 That the ICT and energy needs of the GDA shall be delivered
through the lifespan of the RPGs by way of investment in new projects and corridors to allow
economic and community needs to be met, and to facilitate sustainable development and
growth to achieve a strong and successful international GDA Gateway.
Strategic Recommendations.
PIR25 That reinforcements and new infrastructure are put in place by the key agencies,
and their provision is supported in Local Authority policies, to ensure the energy needs of
future population and economic expansion within designated growth areas and across the
GDA can be delivered in a sustainable and timely manner and that capacity is available at
local and regional scale to meet future needs.
PIR26 Development Plans and Local Authorities support, through policies and plans, the
targets for renewable generation so that renewable energy targets for 2020, and any further
targets beyond 2020 which become applicable over the duration of the RPGs, are met.
PIR27 That low carbon sustainable renewable energy systems, bio-energy and energy
conservation potentials are exploited to their full potential through the advancement of EU
and national policy at regional level and the promotion of existing and emerging green
technologies.
PIR28 To ensure that planning policy at Local Authority Level reflects and adheres to the
principles and planning guidance set out within Department of the Environment Heritage and
Local Government publications relating to Telecommunications Antennae and Support
Structures, Wind Energy Development and any other relevant guidance which may be
issued in relation to communications and sustainable energy provisions.
PIR29 Ensure that when reviewing County and City Development Plans that an Energy
Action Plan is developed to provide an evidence base to identify the opportunities for
decentralised energy reduced energy consumption, increased energy conservation and
improvements to low carbon energy provision and to future proof sustainable energy
provision and practices for local communities.

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PIR32 Seek the delivery of the necessary integration of transmission network requirements
to facilitate linkages of renewable energy proposals to the electricity transmission grid in a
sustainable and timely manner; and continued support by all key stakeholders of energy
conservation measures.
PIR33 Plans and projects associated with the generation or supply of energy or
telecommunication networks that have the potential to negatively impact on Natura 2000
sites will be subject to a Habitats Directive Assessment (HDA) according to Article 6 of the
habitats directive and in accordance with best practice and guidance.
PIR34 That a study is undertaken on wind energy potential by local authorities jointly in the
GDA focusing on suitable areas for larger wind energy projects, role of micro wind energy in
urban and rural settings and the potential for wind energy within industrial areas with the
outcome presenting regionally consistent new land-use policies and objectives and
associated development management guidance to potential projects.
Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 (Department of Environment, Community &
Local Government)
Purpose
This is the current guidance document relating to Wind Development which is available for
use by Planning Authorities. The purpose of the guidelines is to offer advice to planning
authorities on planning for wind energy through the development plan process and in
determining applications for planning permission.
Review of Guidelines
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is currently
conducting a targeted review of its Wind Energy Development Guidelines in relation to
noise, proximity and shadow flicker. It is proposed to update the relevant sections of the
existing Guidelines on these specific issues. As this is a targeted review focusing on specific
issues, all the other sections of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 (including
existing appendices) will remain in place. Concerns of possible health impacts in respect of
wind energy infrastructure are not matters which fall within the remit of these guidelines as
they are more appropriately dealt with by health professionals.
Chapter 3
This chapter relates to Wind Energy and the Development Plan. The importance of all
development plans incorporating a statement of the Local Authoritys policies and objectives
in relation to wind energy development, including those matter it will take into account
when accessing planning applications for specific wind energy development proposals is
noted. It also states that The development plan must achieve a reasonable balance
between responding to overall Government Policy on renewable energy and enabling the
wind energy resources of the planning authoritys area to be harnessed in a manner that is
consistent with proper planning and sustainable development
The guidelines further advocate that The assessment of individual wind energy development
proposals needs to be conducted within the context of a plan-led approach. This involves
identifying areas considered suitable or unsuitable for wind energy development. These
areas should then be set out in the development plan in order to provide clarity for
developers, the planning authority, and the public.
Chapter 4

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4.5 General Considerations in the Assessment of Wind Energy Planning Applications

Planning authorities should have regard to national policy regarding the development of
alternative and indigenous energy sources and the minimisation of emissions of greenhouse
gasses in considering a planning application for wind energy development.
In addition, in order to assess fully the impact of a wind energy development a planning
authority may need information on some if not all of the following matters:

Ground conditions, including peat stability;

Site drainage and hydrological effects, such as water supply and quality and
watercourse crossings;

Size, scale and layout and the degree to which the wind energy project is
visible over certain areas;

Potential impact of the project on natural heritage, to include direct and


indirect effects on protected sites, on habitats of ecological sensitivity and
biodiversity value and, where necessary, management plans to deal with the
satisfactory co-existence of the wind energy development and the particular
species/habitat identified;

Potential impact of the project on the built heritage including archaeological


heritage;

Landscape issues;

Visual impact of ancillary development, such as access roads;

Local environmental impacts including noise, shadow flicker,


electromagnetic interference, etc;

Adequacy of local access road network to facilitate construction of the


project and transportation of large machinery and turbine parts to site;

Information on any cumulative effects due to other projects, including effects


on natural heritage and visual effects;

Information on the location of quarries to be used or borrow pits proposed


during the construction phase and associated remedial works thereafter;

Disposal or elimination of waste/surplus material from construction/site


clearance, particularly significant for peatland sites; and

Decommissioning considerations.
4.6 Need for an Environmental Impact Assessment
An Environmental Impact Assessment is mandatory for wind energy developments that
exceed the following thresholds:

have more than five turbines, or

will have a total output greater than 5 megawatts.


In these circumstances, an Environmental Impact Statement must be submitted with the
relevant planning application (Section 176 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, and
Article 93 and Schedule 5, of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001). Certain subthreshold developments also require an Environmental Impact Assessment.
The information gathered during the Environmental Impact Assessment process should be
used to guide the planning and design of the wind energy development so that sensitive
ecological or hydrological areas are avoided, and any negative impacts are minimised insofar
as is possible.

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Avoidance or reduction of negative impacts on the environment and the consideration of


alternatives are fundamental components of Environmental Impact Assessment, both in
terms of legal requirements and best practice. In designing wind energy projects, there is
huge potential to avoid or reduce negative environmental impacts, owing to the small size of
the actual development footprint.
Chapter 5
Environmental Implications
Wind energy development, like all development, has the potential to impact on the natural
and built environment. There is a huge potential to avoid or reduce negative environmental
impacts in designing wind energy projects, owing to the small size of the actual development
footprint. Natural heritage may be impacted by wind energy development during the
construction and operational phases. The impacts may be either temporary or permanent.
Planning authorities should have full regard to biodiversity considerations in determining
applications for wind energy developments. All aspects of the proposal that could, in themselves, or in combination with other proposals, affect the areas conservation objectives
should be identified.
Planning authorities must ensure that a proposal which is likely to have a significant effect on
an SAC or other designated area, is authorised only to the extent that the planning authority
is satisfied will not adversely affect the integrity of the area. If necessary, they can seek
changes to the development proposed or attach appropriate planning conditions.
In coming to a decision, planning authorities should also consider the importance of the
development of wind energy projects, including those proposed on designated sites, in view
of their strategic importance in contributing significantly to the achievement of targets set
out in the National Climate Change Strategy by decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, with
subsequent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
In circumstances where a wind energy project is likely to have an adverse effect on the
integrity of a site of international importance for nature conservation (e.g., an SAC or SPA),
planning permission should only be granted where there is no alternative solution and where
there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or
economic nature. Mitigation measures to negate the negative impacts will have to be
considered, or the provision of compensatory sites.
5.2.1 Habitats
Habitats that may be impacted by wind energy developments include peatlands (mainly
blanket bog, heaths, flushes and various other wetland habitats including water courses and
lakes), sand dune systems, including machair, semi-natural grasslands and woodlands. All
are vulnerable, but those located in the uplands are particularly so owing to their location in
high rainfall areas and where the growing season is short.
The main potential impacts on habitats that can result in the reduction, or loss, of
biodiversity are:

Direct loss of habitat to the developments infrastructure, including turbine


foundations, buildings, roads, quarries and borrow pits;
Degradation of habitats through alteration or disturbance, in particular
arising from changes to hydrology that may alter the surface or groundwater
flows and levels, and drainage patterns critical in peatlands and river
headwaters;

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Fragmentation of habitats and increased edge effects; and


Degradation and loss of habitats outside the development site, especially
wetland habitats that may arise from pollution, siltation and erosion
originating from within the development site.

5.2.2 Species
Birds
Those species groups considered to be most at risk are raptors, Swans, Geese, Divers,
breeding waders and concentrations of waterfowl. Potential impacts on migratory birds and
local bird movements between breeding, feeding and roosting areas require careful
consideration.
The main potential impacts to birds from wind energy developments have been identified as:

Disturbance during the construction and operational phases leading to the


temporary or permanent displacement of birds from the development site
and its environs;

Collision mortality, although studies have shown this to be low risk;

Barrier to movement, although studies have indicated that the response by


birds to wind energy development may be variable and related to species
and/or season; and

Direct loss or degradation of habitats for breeding, feeding and/or roosting


purposes, particularly in wetland sites.
Other Species
The potential impact on other rare flora, mammals, birds, and amphibians and fish including
those listed for protection in the Flora (Protection Order), 1999, would also need to be
assessed.
5.3 Ground Conditions/Geology
In assessing wind energy developments, the underlying geology is a critical factor.
Information on the following issues must be submitted as part of a planning application to
enable the planning authority to adequately assess the impact of the proposed wind energy
development and any mitigating measures proposed to counter the impacts:

A geological assessment of the locality;

A geotechnical assessment of the overburden and bedrock;

A landslide and slope stability risk assessment for the site for all stages of the
project, with proposed mitigation measures where appropriate (this should
also consider the possible effects of storage of excavated material);

An assessment of whether the development could create a bog burst or


landslide hazard;

Location of the site in relation to any area or site that has been identified by
the Geological Survey of Ireland as a geological Natural Heritage Area, a
proposed Natural Heritage Area or as a County Geological Site. (If so, are
there any impacts discussed, or mitigation measures proposed);

Location of the site in relation to areas of significant mineral or aggregate


potential;

An assessment of any potential impacts of the development on groundwater,


and

Details of any borrow-pits proposed on site should be shown on the planning


application and details given where blasting is proposed, such as on the
avoidance and remediation of land slippage.

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Provision must be made for carrying out site-specific geo-technical investigations in order to
identify the optimum location for each turbine. These investigations may suggest minor
adjustments to turbine location. In order to accommodate this practice there should be a
degree of flexibility built into the planning permission and EIS. The extent of flexibility will be
site specific but should not generally extend beyond 20 metres. Any further changes in
location beyond the agreed limits would require planning permission.
If upland sites are proposed, the application should be accompanied by a statement from a
geologist, a hydro-geologist or an engineer with expertise in soil mechanics.
5.4 Archaeology
The potential impact of the proposed wind energy development on the archaeological
heritage of the site should be assessed. The assessment should address direct impacts on
the integrity and visual amenity of monuments and include appropriate mitigation
measures, such as through a desktop study and a field inspection where necessary.
5.5 Architectural Heritage
The planning authority should assess the potential impact of the proposed wind energy
development on the architectural heritage of the locality and its landscape context, where
relevant. This is particularly necessary in the case of structures included in the Register of
Protected Structures.
5.6 Wind Turbine Noise (as per revisions targeted review in relation to Noise, proximity
and shadow flicker)
5.6.1 Key Objective
The approach to the assessment and control of wind turbine noise recommended in these
guidelines seeks to achieve a balance between the protection of residential amenity of
neighbouring communities in the vicinity of wind energy developments, and facilitating the
meeting of national renewable energy targets.
5.6.2 Sound and Noise
Sound can be described in terms of both its loudness 1 and its pitch (or frequency) 1. Sound
level (loudness) and sound frequency (pitch) can both be objectively measured using
suitable equipment. Noise is unwanted sound experienced by a listener, and given the
unwanted component it can have a strong subjective aspect.
5.6.3 Wind Turbine Noise
Unlike other sources of sound, a key characteristic of wind turbine sound is that the level of
sound changes with wind speed. This distinguishes it from other types of commercially and
industrially generated sound which can commonly be assessed in neutral conditions with
little or no wind. Because wind turbine sound varies with wind speed, specific measurement
and analysis methods are needed to assess noise from either proposed or operational wind
farms.

Sources of wind turbine noise


There are two distinct types of sound sources associated with the operation of wind
turbines, namely, aerodynamic noise caused by turbine blades passing through the air and
wind moving around the turbine tower, and mechanical noise created by the operation of

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mechanical elements in the hub and nacelle such as the generator. In general, wind turbines
produce very little noise when not turning. Some sound is produced from yaw motors, blade
pitch actuators, brakes, and hydraulic pumps in the nacelle.
The transformer at the base of the turbine is energised and may produce some sound. These
sound sources are generally not as loud as aerodynamic noise and so they are rarely the
cause of noise complaints.
Aerodynamic noise
Aerodynamic noise from the interaction between wind and turbine blades is generally the
dominant sound source experienced from wind turbines. Modern wind turbine blades begin
to rotate and generate electricity at hub height wind speeds of around 3 to 4 metres per
second, a speed referred to as the cut-in wind speed. Maximum power output is generally
reached at hub height wind speeds of around 10 metres per second, a speed referred to as
rated power. From cut-in the sound level generally increases with wind speed and power
output but differs in level depending on the type of turbine used. The two main types of
turbine in use are pitch controlled2 and stall3 regulated turbines. The aerodynamic sound
from a stall regulated turbine continues to increase with wind speed but a pitch regulated
turbines sound level generally reaches a maximum at rated power and remains constant, or
decreases slightly as wind speed continues to increase.
Mechanical noise
Mechanical noise sources associated with wind turbines include the generator, gearbox and
other parts of the drive-train. Mechanical noise can be tonal in nature in some cases.
Improvements in gearbox design and the use of anti-vibration techniques have resulted in
significant reductions in mechanical sound generation. The most recent direct drive
machines have no high-speed mechanical components and therefore mechanical noise
levels are generally reduced. Mechanical noise in the nacelle can be attenuated by
conventional noise control methods. These include measures to reduce vibration forces in
moving parts such as improved acoustic and vibration isolation around rotating equipment
as well as improved sound insulation design of nacelle and machinery housings.
Special audible characteristics
These are the distinctive characteristics of noise which may be associated with both
aerodynamic and mechanical wind turbine noise and which can cause annoyance at lower
levels of intensity than a sound without such characteristics. Examples of special audible
characteristics are tonality, impulsiveness, amplitude modulation, low frequency noise and
infrasound. (See Glossary of Terms). The assessment of these special audible noise
characteristics presents challenges as illustrated in Marshall Day Acoustics report 4.
Note. It is intended to address the assessment of wind turbine noise in detail (including the
potential for special audible characteristics) in the form of Best Practise Guidance to be
contained in Appendix 1
5.6.4 Setbacks as a noise control method
The relationship between distance from a wind turbine or wind farm and noise effects is
significantly variable and a direct correlation between separation distance and wind turbine
generated sound levels is not clear . This is due to a variety of factors which are not directly
related to distance but which can affect the transmission of sound, including:
- topography (hills have a major impact on sound propagation);
- ground cover types; and

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- Wind speed and direction.

Because of the lack of correlation between separation distance and wind turbine sound
levels, the use of a defined setback of turbines from noise sensitive properties to control
noise impacts is not considered appropriate. Note - there should be a minimum separation
of 500m between any commercial scale wind turbine and the nearest point of the curtilage
of any property in the vicinity in order to provide for other amenity considerations e.g. visual
obtrusion. This separation distance does not apply to small scale wind energy developments
generating energy primarily for onsite usage.
5.6.5 Absolute Noise Limits as a control method
The use of an absolute noise limit is considered the most appropriate method to control
noise impacts from wind energy development in proximity to noise sensitive properties and
in areas of special amenity value. (See definition at 5.6.6 below). An absolute limit is easier
to understand and apply than some other noise control methods while still providing an
assessment that is based on expected and/or measured levels of noise from a wind farm. It
offers the following advantages:

It will provide a consistent level of protection for noise sensitive properties as wind
turbine sound emission levels and site topography can be directly accounted for
during a compliance assessment.

It will take account of the number of turbines proposed for a particular project and
the reduction in noise level as sound travels from the wind farm to noise sensitive
properties.

It will promote technological advances for reduction of turbine noise as it provides


an incentive to manufacturers to design quieter turbines.
Wind turbine technology development has brought about continuous improvement in
reducing noise and more recently provided the option of control interventions to fine tune
the noise envelope through occasional power production reduction. The noise emissions of
more recent wind turbine models are therefore generally less than those of equivalent older
wind turbines and the trend of noise reduction with technology advancement is expected to
continue, driven by planning regulation that controls the noise measured at adjacent noise
sensitive properties.
5.6.6 What is a Noise Sensitive Property?
For the purposes of these draft guidelines, noise sensitive properties are defined as dwelling
houses, including those which have planning permission but are not yet built, and other
buildings for long term residential use such as nursing/retirement homes. The definition
also includes hospitals, schools and places of worship. It may also include areas of special
amenity value (and for which a quiet environment is desirable) the preservation of which is
included as an objective in a development or local area plan.
5.6.7 What limit should apply?
A noise limit of 40dBA5 attributable to one or more wind turbines should be applied in order
to restrict noise from wind turbines at noise sensitive properties. This limit is an outdoor
limit, which should not be exceeded at noise sensitive properties at any wind speed within
the operational range of any turbine (i.e. from cut-in until maximum rated power level is
reached). The limit applies to the combined sound level of all turbines in the area,
irrespective of which wind farm development they may be associated with. The limit will
apply irrespective of time of day or night. The outdoor limit of 40dBA takes into account
World Health Organisation findings in relation to night time noise 6 and the review of

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international practice undertaken by Marshall Day Acoustics. The Marshall Day review
indicates that 40dBA is commonly used in different countries as an absolute limit.
Furthermore it may be considered to be in the lower end of the range of limits applied
internationally, thus indicating a somewhat more stringent limit on wind energy
development sound production than is generally the case. Generally the reduction in noise
levels between the outside of a dwelling and the inside would be approximately 10dBA or
more. Consequently an outdoors limit set at this level would generally result in a noise level
of about 30dBA or less inside a dwelling. This is based on the dwelling facades and roof
being of reasonable construction and assumes one window is ajar for ventilation.
5.6.8 Where does the limit apply?
The 40dBA noise limit applies to outdoors locations within the curtilage of noise sensitive
properties. For areas of special amenity value the 40dBA limit applies at the boundaries of
such areas identified in a development/ local area plan.
5.6.9 Possible exceptions
Exception to Noise limit
Where there are a limited number of noise sensitive properties within the area between the
wind energy development and where the 40dBA noise limit applies, it may be possible for
the development to proceed provided the owner(s) of the relevant properties are supportive
of the development. Under these circumstances the owner of the property or properties
must provide written confirmation to the satisfaction of the planning authority that they
understand that their property may experience noise levels higher than the 40dBA noise
limit and that they have no objection to the proposed wind energy development. In such
circumstances the planning authority may consider departing from the 40dBA limit.
Exception to Setback
An exception may also be provided to the minimum 500m setback for amenity purposes,
where the owner(s) of the relevant property or properties are content for the proximity of
turbines to be less than the minimum setback. As with noise limits above they must provide
written confirmation to the satisfaction of the planning authority that they have agreed to a
reduced setback and have no objection to the proposed wind energy development.
5.6.10 Noise assessment methodology: Pre construction
Computer based noise prediction models can be used to estimate sound levels in the vicinity
of a proposed wind energy development. The models can take account of various factors
including the sound emission levels of the proposed turbines, wind speeds and directions,
other climatic conditions, topography and ground conditions. Computed sound level
predictions can also take account of the locations of all the turbines within a single wind
energy development and the cumulative effect of all the turbines in a number of
developments. Further details on noise assessment and an appropriate methodology for
modelling noise to suit the application of the proposed absolute limit will be included as a
Best Practice Technical Appendix within the final guidelines
5.6.11 Noise assessment methodology: Post construction
Once a wind farm is built and operating, noise levels can be measured at locations around
the wind farm to confirm whether the facility complies with the applicable noise limit at
noise sensitive properties. The specific location of the measurements will vary from project
to project. However, the measurements can often be carried out directly at noise sensitive
properties. In cases where this is not practical because of the influence of extraneous noise,
other monitoring locations may need to be chosen.

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Further details on appropriate measurement methodologies will be included as a Best


Practice Technical Appendix within the final guidelines.
5.8 Proximity to Roads and Railways
The provision of appropriately sited lay-bys for viewing purposes can help reduce distraction
by giving an opportunity to view the wind energy development in safety; lay-by size should
be adequate to cater for tour buses. Although wind turbines erected in accordance with
standard engineering practice are stable structures, best practice indicates that it is
advisable to achieve a safety set back from National and Regional roads and railways of a
distance equal to the height of the turbine and blade.
5.9 Proximity to Power Lines
Adequate clearance between structures and overhead power lines as specified by the
electricity undertaker should be provided. It should be noted that there is a statutory
obligation to notify the electricity distributor of proposed developments within 23 meters of
any transmission or distribution line.
5.10 Interference with Communication Systems
Wind turbines, like all electrical equipment, produce electromagnetic radiation, and this can
interfere with broadcast communications. The interference with broadcast communication
can be overcome by the installation of deflectors or repeaters. Planning authorities should
advise the developer to contact the individual broadcasters, both national and local, and
inform them of the proposals.
5.11 Aircraft Safety
The siting of wind turbines may have implications for the operations of the Communications,
Navigation and Surveillance systems used for Air Traffic Control for the separation and safety
of aircraft. Wind turbine siting may also have implications for the flight paths of aircraft.
Regard must be had to the Irish Aviation Authority's Obstacles to Aircraft in Flight Order,
2002, (S.I. 14 of 2002), as amended, which specifies the criteria used to determine whether
or not any object anywhere in the State is deemed to be an obstacle affecting aircraft
operations. In addition, in order to assure the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations in
the vicinity of airports, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has defined a
volume of air space above which new objects are not permitted. No part of the wind turbine
should penetrate these defined surfaces.
5.12 Shadow Flicker (as per review targeted review in relation to Noise, proximity and
shadow flicker)
5.12.1 Background
Wind turbines, like other tall structures, can cast long shadows when the sun is low in the
sky. The effect known as shadow flicker occurs where the rotating blades of a wind turbine
cast a moving shadow which, if it passes over a window in a nearby house or other property
results in a rapid change or flicker in the incoming sunlight. The effect will occur only for a
short period during a given day and only under specific concurrent circumstances, namely
when:
The sun is shining and is at a low angle (after dawn and before sunset), and
There is sufficient direct sunlight to cause shadows (cloud, mist, fog or air pollution
could limit solar energy levels), and

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A turbine is directly between the sun and the affected property, and within a
distance that the shadow has not diminished below perceptible levels, and

There is enough wind energy to ensure that the turbine blades are moving. The
time period in which a neighbouring property may be affected by shadow flicker is
completely predictable from the relative locations of the wind turbine and the property.
Modern wind turbines have the facility to measure sunlight levels and to reduce or stop
turbine rotation if the conditions that would lead to shadow flicker at any neighbouring
property occur. Thus in practice with careful site design and appropriate mitigation, and
most critically the use of appropriate equipment and software, no existing dwelling or other
affected property (e.g. existing work places or schools) should experience shadow flicker.
5.12.2 Shadow Flicker Control
At distances greater than 10 rotor diameters, the potential for shadow flicker is extremely
low, and accordingly this distance should determine a study area for the purposes of
modelling the impact of potential shadow flicker. Every dwelling or other affected property
within the 10 rotor diameter radius from each individual turbine should be included in the
flicker study area.
Computational models can be used to accurately predict the strength and duration of
potential shadow flicker during daylight hours for every day of the year. If a suitable shadow
flicker prediction model indicates that there is potential for shadow flicker to occur at any
particular dwelling or other potentially affected property, then a review of site design should
take place involving the possible relocation of one or more turbines to explore the possibility
of eliminating or substantially reducing the occurrence of potential flicker. Following such a
review, if shadow flicker is not eliminated for any dwelling or other potentially affected
property then measures which provide for turbine shut down to eliminate shadow flicker
should be clearly specified. A Shadow Flicker Study for the purposes of modelling the impact
of potential shadow flicker should accompany all planning applications for wind energy
development.
5.13 Windtake
The question of windtake should be dealt with at scoping stage and/or during preapplication discussions, to ensure that any proposed layout of wind turbines takes into
account the development potential of an adjoining site for a similar development.
In general, to ensure optimal performance and to account for turbulence and wake effects,
the minimum distances between wind turbines will generally be three times the rotor
diameter (=3d) in the crosswind direction and seven times the rotor diameter (=7d) in the
prevailing downwind direction. Bearing in mind the requirements for optimal performance,
a distance of not less than two rotor blades from adjoining property boundaries will
generally be acceptable, unless by written agreement of adjoining landowners to a lesser
distance. However, where permission for wind energy development has been granted on an
adjacent site, the principle of the minimum separation distances between turbines in
crosswind and downwind directions indicated above should be respected.
5.14 Decommissioning and Reinstatement
The decommissioning of a wind energy development once electricity ceases to be generated
must be assessed. Plans for decommissioning should be outlined at the planning stage.
Issues to be addressed include restorative measures, the removal of above ground
structures and equipment, landscaping and/or reseeding roads. It may be appropriate to
allow tracks to remain, e.g., as part of a walking route after decommissioning.

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Chapter 6
This chapter provides guidance in relation to the siting and design of wind energy
developments in the landscape. The guidance provided is indicative and general. It typifies
best fit solutions to likely situations and is thus, proactive. It does not suggest that wind
energy developments are appropriate in any given situation. These questions can be
informed and/or qualified by the values people attach to landscape and by evaluating their
sensitivity through the sieve analysis described in Chapter 3 on the development plan
process or otherwise at a strategic and/or project specific level.
The highest standards of siting and design for a wind energy development, as presented in
this chapter, should be expected where the sensitivity of the landscape is high and the
locations from where it is viewed are critical. Where a wind energy development is close to
and visible from an area of high sensitivity, it should be designed to achieve similar
standards as viewed from key viewpoints in that area. Particular landscapes of very high
sensitivity may not be appropriate for wind energy development
6.2 Aesthetic Considerations
Considering wind energy development in respect of the following concepts can be helpful in
the creative and critical analysis of aesthetic issues in relation to wind energy developments,
and can help in achieving reasonable objectivity on the subject:

Conventional visual aesthetic, such as compositional balance and harmony,


rhythm, positive tension, aesthetic order and clarity, and including
perception of wind energy developments as sculptural elements in the
landscape.

Positive association, where, for example, a wind energy development relates


thematically to modern structures in terms of form, function and/or
operation, perhaps even affirming an identity in a given landscape.

Symbolism, whereby a wind energy development represents or is a public


sign for technological efficiency, progress, environmental cleanliness and
utility.
6.3 Siting of Wind Energy Developments
6.3.1 Location
The elevation and position of a wind energy development in the context of the character
and feature of the landscape. Issues to be addressed include:

Consideration of lower ground, where feasible, may be necessary in


sensitive landscapes, but otherwise location on ridges and hilltops may be
visually acceptable;

Consideration of prominent landcover and structures, or features to which a


wind energy development can provide a visual counterbalance;

Management of visual exposure from viewing locations in respect of the


sectional profile, striving in so far as is practicable; to achieve full turbine
exposure from sensitive key viewpoints, as the perception of complete
turbines is more aesthetically pleasing than stunted turbines;

Taking advantage of the possibility of a relationship between a wind energy


development and, say, an urban settlement; and

Avoiding the creation of visual confusion and spatial dominance where


landscapes are already cluttered, but take advantage of a moderate amount
of visual absorption that might be provided by existing structures and/or
infrastructure.

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6.3.2 Topographic Profile


A wind energy development should be located so as to optimise the aesthetic qualities of
the surrounding landscape and those of the wind energy development itself. It should,
therefore, respond to topographic profile, achieving visual balance and accentuation of
landform.
6.3.4 Composite Relationships
Large entities contiguous to a wind energy development may or may not result in visual
balance. In diagram below, a forest stands in profile, creating a visual counterbalance to the
wind energy development. This assumes the typical practice of replanting commercial
plantations after harvesting.
Large entities such as power lines and towers, agricultural buildings, houses and roads may
create a context that visually absorbs a wind energy development, especially in farmland
(visual absorption capacity); though in more sensitive upland situations this could result in
visual confusion. However, visual complexity as well as
Image and/or thematic association with industrial structures, for example, can help to
assimilate a wind energy development where it becomes just one more element in the
landscape. Where the wind energy development is relatively close and above
a small urban node, it should respect the scale of its setting and avoid spatial dominance.
6.4 Spatial Extent and Scale
Spatial extent is the area covered by a wind energy development, reflecting the number of
turbines involved and their spacing. The spatial extent of a wind energy development
should be balanced and in scale with its landscape context. This involves consideration of
the perceived size (extent and height) of landform, land cover and structures relative to the
wind energy development. Many turbines viewed at close proximity in a spatially enclosed
area, such as hilly mountain moorland or farmland area will be large while a few turbines on
open moorland will be regarded as small.
6.5 Cumulative Effect
Cumulative effect is the perceived effect on the landscape of two or more wind energy
developments visible from any one place.

A landscape of complex landform and land cover provides a greater


possibility of screening for more than one wind energy development.

Similarity in the siting and design approach is preferred where a number of


wind energy developments are located in the same landscape character
area, particularly within the same view shed. However, an alternative
approach where a particular aesthetic effect is sought may be acceptable.

Different wind energy developments can appear as a single collective unit if


located near each other.

It is preferable to avoid locating turbines where they can be seen one behind
another, when viewed from highly sensitive key view points (for example,
viewing points along walking or scenic routes, or from designated views or
prospects), as this results in visual stacking and, thus, confusion. This may
not be critical, however, where the wind energy development to the rear is
in the distant background. Wind energy developments within relatively
close proximity to one another, while in different landscape character
contexts, may be so close as to be within the same visual unit and,
therefore, should involve the same siting and design approach.

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6.6 Spacing
Spacing concerns the position of turbines relative to one another and the gaps between
turbines.

Regular spacing is more appropriate for wind energy developments in


landscapes of clear and orderly land cover pattern or unenclosed flat
landscapes.

Irregular spacing is more appropriate in landscapes of varied land cover


pattern or hilly and/or rugged landscapes.

Graduated spacing of turbines is acceptable for wind energy developments


where accentuation of a landscape feature or the creation of a sense of
climax is sought.

Generally, spacing should be of a uniform type in any given wind energy


development, rather than a mixture.

Some flexibility in spacing should be integral to a planning permission to


allow for necessary on-site fine-tune adjustment of turbine placing due to
such considerations as geological support for foundation or archaeological
remains, etc (see paragraph 7.3 and 7.4).
6.7 Layout
Layout concerns the position of turbines, providing the overall form or configuration of the
wind energy development and its perceived density or complexity.

Generally, layout should be of a uniform type, whether a single line,


staggered line, splayed line, random or grid, rather than a mixture;

The creation of a visual stacking effect from a sensitive viewpoint should


be avoided;

A circular / oval cluster or linear layout would be appropriate on hilltops;

A linear or staggered linear layout would be appropriate close to a road or


other such linear features; and

A random or grid layout would be appropriate on a vast open landscape.


6.8 Height
Height relates to the full extent of turbines, comprising tower, nacelle and maximum blade
length in an upright position. Height involves both the actual height and/or perceived height
relative to topography. It includes the profile of the wind energy development as a whole,
whether even or uneven. Different possibilities are acceptable, depending on context.

Turbine height is critical in landscapes of relatively small scale, or comprising


features and structures such as houses, and must be carefully considered so
as to achieve visual balance and not to visually dominate.

A wind energy development comprising two distinct turbine heights may be


acceptable provided the resulting composition is carefully considered, so as
to achieve an aesthetic effect. This situation may result from the
combination of an old and a new wind energy development or where certain
turbines would be critically visible from
A sensitive viewpoint. Other than the height difference, the wind energy
developments in the same view shed should relate with regard to their main
design features and colour.

Where possible, the perception from more sensitive viewpoints, of turbine


blade sets cutting the horizon should be avoided.

A skewed profile where one or more turbines are perceived to run at an


angle relative to the horizon is acceptable in landscapes which are not of
high sensitivity or where some aesthetic effect can be demonstrated.

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6.9 Landscape Character Types as a Basis for Guidelines


It is, however, common that a wind energy development is located in one landscape
character type but is visible from another, for example, where the site comprises an
unenclosed moorland ridge standing above a broad flat farmland. In such an instance, the
entire visual unit should be taken into consideration. It will be necessary to decide whether
the moorland ridge or the farmland might more strongly influence the approach.
The guidance on the siting and design possibilities in each of the landscape character types is
proactively indicative of how wind energy developments best fit different landscapes and is
necessarily independent of the issue of sensitivity, that is, of whether wind energy
developments are appropriate in a given location. Thus, one might ably demonstrate how a
proposed wind energy development could fit aesthetically into the landscape while
recognising its inappropriateness due, for instance, to a critical heritage designation.
It should also be emphasised that actual realisation of preferred solutions as depicted in
these guidelines is not always feasible due to the variations of a particular landscape type
and the different viewing possibilities for each.
6.9.2 Hilly and Flat Farmland
Key characteristics of this landscape are:

Intensively managed farmland, whether flat, undulating or hilly;

A patchwork of fields delineated by hedgerows varying in size;

Farmsteads and houses are scattered throughout, as well as occasional villages and
towns;

Roads, and telegraph and power lines and poles are significant components; and

A working and inhabited landscape type.


The essential key here is one of rational order and simplicity, as well as respect for scale and
human activities. The predominance of field pattern introduces an organised patchwork land
cover structure that not only prompts a similar response in the siting and design of wind
energy developments, but also provides a spatial structure and rhythm. Although hilly and
flat farmland type is usually not highly sensitive in terms of scenery, due regard must be
given to houses, farmsteads and centres of population.
Siting and design guidance for hilly and flat farmland
Location
Location on ridges and plateaux is preferred, not only to maximise exposure, but also to
ensure a reasonable distance from dwellings. Sufficient distance should be maintained from
farmsteads, houses and centres of population in order to ensure that wind energy
developments do not visually dominate them. Elevated locations are also more likely to
achieve optimum aesthetic effect. Turbines perceived as being in close proximity to, or
overlapping other landscape elements, such as buildings, roads and power or telegraph
poles and lines may result in visual clutter and confusion. While in practice this can be
tolerated, in highly sensitive landscapes every attempt should be made to avoid it.
Spatial extent
This can be expected to be quite limited in response to the scale of fields and such
topographic features as hills and knolls. Sufficient distance from buildings, most likely to be
critical at lower elevations, must be established in order to avoid dominance by the wind
energy development.

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Spacing
The optimum spacing pattern is likely to be regular, responding to the underlying pattern
field pattern. The fields comprising the site might provide the structure for spacing of
turbines. However, this may not always be the case and a balance will have to be struck
between adequate spacing to achieve operability and a correspondence to field pattern.
Layout
The optimum layout is linear, and staggered linear on ridges (which are elongated) and
hilltops (which are peaked), but a clustered layout would also be appropriate on a hilltop.
Where a wind energy development is functionally possible on a flat landscape a grid layout
would be aesthetically acceptable.
Height
Turbines should relate in terms of scale to landscape elements and will therefore tend not to
be tall. However, an exception to this would be where they are on a high ridge or hilltop of
relatively large scale. The more undulating the topography the greater the acceptability of
an uneven profile, provided it does not result in significant visual confusion and conflict.
Cumulative effect
It is important that wind energy development is never perceived to visually dominate.
However, given that these landscapes comprise hedgerows and often hills, and that view
across the landscape will likely be intermittent and partially obscured, visibility of two or
more wind energy developments is usually acceptable.
6.9.3 Flat Peatland
Key characteristics of this landscape are:

Landscapes of this type comprise a vast planar extent of peat land and have
significant potential for future wind energy development;

In their relatively undisturbed and naturalistic state the wet bogs comprise a
land cover mostly of heather, wild grasses and bog cotton, as well as patches
of coniferous plantation;

Some of these bogs have been harvested for peat and may comprise long
parallel ridges of stacked milled peat and deep drains.

Evidence of human habitation is sparse;

Roads tend to run in straight lines over considerable distances, followed by


electricity and/or telephone lines; and

This landscape type is horizontal, open, extensive and also characterised by


a sense of remoteness.
The preferred approach here is one of large-scale response. The vast visual openness with
few, if any, dominant geometric elements provide a certain freedom in the siting and design
of wind energy developments.

Siting and design guidance for flat Peatland


Location
Wind energy developments can be placed almost anywhere in these landscapes from an
aesthetic point of view. They are probably best located away from roadsides allowing a

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reasonable sense of separation. However, the possibility of driving through a wind energy
development closely straddling a road could prove an exciting experience.
Spatial extent
The vast scale of this landscape type allows for a correspondingly large spatial extent for
wind energy developments.
Spacing
Regular spacing is generally preferred, especially in areas of mechanically harvested peat
ridges.
Layout
In open expanses, a wind energy development layout with depth, preferably comprising a
grid, is more appropriate than a simple linear layout. However, where a wind energy
development is located close to feature such as a river, road or escarpment, a linear or
staggered linear layout would also be appropriate.
Height
Aesthetically, tall turbines would be most appropriate. In any case, in terms of viability they
are likely to be necessary given the relatively low wind speeds available. An even profile
would be preferred.
Cumulative effect
The openness of vista across these landscapes will result in a clear visibility of other wind
energy developments in the area. Given that the wind energy developments are likely to be
extensive and high, it is important that they are not perceived to crowd and dominate the
flat landscape. More than one wind energy development might be acceptable in the distant
background provided it was only faintly visible under normal atmospheric conditions.
6.9.4 Transitional Marginal Landscapes
Key characteristics of this landscape are:

Comprises something of both mountain moorland and farmland, thus


involving a mix of small fields, tight hedgerows and shelterbelts;

May include relatively rugged and rocky terrain, and thus a reasonable
degree of spatial enclosure;

Higher ground tends to be wet and boggy. Lower areas are usually cultivated
and managed as fields;

Houses and farmsteads are usually fairly common; and

This landscape type bridges the organised and intensively managed


farmland and the more naturalistic moorland; the essential key here is one
of respect for scale and human activities. These landscapes are often
relatively small-scale due to spatial enclosure provided by hills and wind
energy developments should respond sensitively to this intimacy. These
landscapes are also visually complex due to diverse landform and land cover,
as well as houses and power and telegraph poles and lines. Wind energy
developments should avoid adding to such complexity due to the risk of
creating visual confusion and conflict.

Siting and design guidance for transitional marginal landscapes


Location

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As wind energy developments, for reasons of commercial viability, will typically be located
on ridges and peaks, a clear visual separation will be achieved from the complexity of lower
ground. However, wind energy developments might also be located at lower levels in
extensive areas of this landscape type, where they will be perceived against a relatively
complex backdrop. In these situations it is important to minimise visual confusion such as
the crossing by blade sets of skylines, buildings, utility lines and varied landcover.
Spatial extent
Wind energy developments in these landscapes should be relatively small in terms of spatial
extent. It is important that they do not dominate but achieve a balance with their surrounds,
especially considering that small fields and houses are prevalent.
Spacing
All options are possible, depending on the actual landscape characteristics. However,
irregular spacing is likely to be most appropriate, given the complexity of landform and land
cover typical of these landscapes, and the absence of extensive swaths of fields of regular
and rectilinear pattern.
Layout
The likely location of wind energy developments on ridges suggests a linear or staggered
linear layout whereas on broader hilltops they could be linear or clustered. Grid layouts are
less likely to succeed aesthetically unless there is an open continuity of similar landcover.
Height
In small-scaled enclosed areas, short turbines are preferred in order to avoid their spatial
dominance and to ensure visual balance. However where the upper ground is relatively
open and visually extensive, taller turbines may be more appropriate. In terms of perceived
height, the profile can be even or uneven, depending on the profile and visual complexity of
the terrain involved. The more rugged and undulating, the greater the acceptability of an
uneven profile provided it does not result in significant visual confusion and conflict.
Cumulative effect
This would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but great caution should be
exercised. The spatial enclosure often found in transitional marginal landscapes is likely to
preclude the possibility of seeing another wind energy development. However, should two
or more wind energy developments be visible within a confined setting a critically adverse
effect might result, depending on turbine height and wind energy development extent and
proximity.
6.9.5 Urban and Industrial
Key characteristics of this landscape are:

A predominance of urban complexity, industrial buildings, infrastructure or a


combination of these; and

That it is intensively altered and dominated by structures.


The essential key here is one of rational order and simplicity. Wind energy developments can
thematically complement the contemporary technology expression of these landscapes and
visually relate to their functional nature.
6.10 Landscape Impact of Wind Energy
Development Construction

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The process of construction can result in adverse landscape and visual impact due to, for
example, temporary structures and materials on site, alterations to drainage, dust, ground
compaction, excavation, road construction, soil erosion and mineral leaching, as well as
traffic movement. To help alleviate these impacts, the following practices should be adhered
to as closely as possible:

Site offices, workers hut and toilets, materials and site compound should
ideally be sited so as to minimise visual exposure, bearing in mind
operational effectiveness from a construction and site management
perspective, and landscape conditions. They should be removed when the
wind energy development is constructed;

Construction traffic and machinery movement should be confined as much


as is practicable to the roads and tracks that are part of the long-term
development in order to minimise unnecessary compaction;

Where temporary earth works are required, ground and vegetation should
be reinstated as soon as possible;

The site should be kept tidy and construction rubbish should be neatly
contained;

Cement trucks should not be washed on site where there is a risk of run-off
and damage to flora and watercourses;

The spread of dust on surrounding vegetation should be minimised - where


heavy and visible in sensitive landscapes it should be removed by spraying
with water after construction is complete;

The dispensing of fuel and oil tanks should be confined to one bounded
location in order to minimise the risk of damage by spillage; and

Where possible, after construction is completed, vegetation should be


reinstated on banks and margins of roads that are constructed to
accommodate the passage of construction machinery and trucks. This is
especially critical where cut and fill has been required.
6.11 Landscape Impacts of Associated Development
The elements associated with wind energy developments other than turbines include the
roads and tracks, power poles and lines, the control building, the wind measuring mast and
the compound. Individually and collectively, these elements should be considered, located
and designed to respect the character of surrounding landscape.
6.11.1 Control Building and Substation Compound

A high standard of design should be applied to all structures associated with


the substation, and should not only take account of its function but also of
its aesthetic quality, in order to minimise any sense of intrusion.

The development should incorporate colour harmony and adequate


screening of the control building and substation compound. Should the
surrounding landscape include trees and/or shrubs, such material can be
used for screening. In sensitive landscapes, consideration should be given to
screening the control buildings and compound by earth berms as well as resodding with local vegetation in order to mitigate their visual impact.

The control building, where practicable, should be located in a dip or a


hollow but away from ecologically sensitive areas or features. In the case of
coastal locations it should not be located on promontories, unless
comprising a special design appropriate to the setting.

Control buildings should be designed to respect the character of buildings


typically found in the surrounding landscape.

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Urban/industrial contexts could also accommodate building design, which


corresponds more specifically to the contiguous building(s).

6.11.2 Fencing

Fencing should be limited to the substation compound area.

Chain link is preferred over palisade fencing as it is more transparent.

Fencing should not encompass the entire wind energy development, as this
would unnecessarily compromise access to the countryside as well as the
sense of simplicity intrinsic to the aesthetic quality of turbines. Extensive
areas of fenced ground would also limit grazing which could result in
variations in the colour of vegetation.

Temporary fencing (e.g., electric fencing) may be required to keep grazing


animals off bare soils while vegetation cover re-establishes or scraghs root
in.

Consideration should be given on Mountain Moorland hilltops to creating a


curvilinear shape for the compound as defined by fencing, as the more
conventional rectilinear shape may jar with the openness and sense of the
open natural setting.
6.11.3 Connection to Electricity Providers

Power line connections between turbines and from turbines to the control
building should be underground.

Power lines should be interred alongside turbine access roads in order to


minimise spatial extent of soil/hydrological and vegetation damage/
disturbance.

The cost of underground connection from the compound to the national


grid is generally prohibitive. This connection can thus be above ground in all
but the most sensitive landscapes.

In certain landscapes, such as highly sensitive Mountain Moorland,


consideration should be given to burying the cables until such a distance as
the poles and cables would be visually acceptable, for example, where other
power lines exist.

In order to reduce visual impact, connections should preferably be carried


on wooden poles rather than lattice towers, except where necessary for
changes in direction and within the compound.

Power line connections to the grid should, where possible, avoid running
perpendicular to contours, especially on Mountain Moorland slopes. Where
practicable, it should not cross the horizon at ridge level unless a line already
exists. Where passing through a forest, power line connections should
follow existing firebreaks or roads. In landscape types where human
presence and rectilinear landscape patterns are typical, power line layout
can be more flexible.
6.11.4 Roads/Tracks
The impact of access routes on landscape can be minimised by sensitive routing and design.

The number and extent of roads/tracks serving the site should be kept to a
minimum. Access routes should utilise existing roads where possible.

Access roads/tracks should relate to key characteristics of landscape, e.g.,


the roads should not follow a straight line up a Mountain Moorland slope
directly to the wind energy development, but rather a diagonal line
following the contours. Sensitive areas such as archaeological sites should

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be avoided as far as possible while important features such as streams


should be properly bridged or culverted.
The colour of road material should be such as to minimise contrast with the
surrounding landcover. Crushed stone sourced locally is preferable.
Access tracks should be properly landscaped immediately following
completion of works and damage to existing hedgerows from transporting
the turbines should be made good.
Cut and fill required for road construction should be roughly balanced in
order to minimise the need for soil removal from the site. Surfaces resulting
from cut and fill should consist of material that is conducive to the
successful reestablishment of local vegetation.
Disturbed soil, whether cut banks or deposited soil, should be re-seeded or
re-sodded to match surrounding conditions in sensitive landscapes. Resodding is essential on upland and lowland peatlands, and all other upland
sites, as reseeding is likely to be unsuccessful and exposed peat is liable to
erode. Non-development site vegetation should not be introduced on seminatural sites such as peatlands.

6.12 Turbine Colour


The colour and surface finish of wind turbines influences the visual impact of a wind energy
development. In most Irish landscapes, white, off-white or light grey are generally the most
appropriate colours, but other natural colouring may be acceptable depending on the
circumstances. For example, two-tone colouring, with a natural colour at the base of the
turbine surmounted by white, off-white or light grey, can be effective. Turbines should as
far as possible appear as a positive element within a landscape. Consequently, dark grey or
metallic colours can appear negative or relate to industrial elements, whereas white is
expressive of an image of cleanliness and efficiency associated with wind energy. Matt nonreflective finishes should be used on all turbine components.
6.13 Turbine Maintenance
Regular maintenance of turbines is important in the context of the general visual amenity of
the wind energy development. In this regard:

Rotors should be kept rotating and counter rotation of blade sets should be
avoided. Any malfunctioning turbines should be repaired or removed,
together with ancillary structures or any other scrap material, ideally within
a maximum six month period.

Nacelles and towers should be kept clear of leakage from internal fluids.
6.14 Turbine Transformers
Given that they are relatively small and their visual impact is localized, turbine transformers
can be located either within the tower, partially underground or adjacent to the tower.
Where exposed in more sensitive locations, screening can be provided using earth mounding
and/or vegetation, as appropriate to the surrounds. Where visually exposed, transformers
can be painted to suit the backdrop. Decisions regarding the location of transformers should
be informed by health and safety criteria.
6.15 Landscape Impact of Wind Energy
Development Operation and Decommissioning
The operability of turbines should be carefully monitored electronically so as to minimise the
duration of a static non-functioning blade set, as otherwise visual disharmony could result.

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Decommissioning should involve the removal of all of the aboveground elements of the
wind energy development and making good of the site, with the possible exception of roads
and tracks where some further use can be found for them and this is approved by the
planning authority. Foundation pads can be covered with local soil and left for natural revegetation, although they should be re-sodded in highly exposed locations.
6.16 Estimation of the Likely Degree of Impact on Landscape
Estimation of impact upon landscape is reached using both quantitative and qualitative
factors. It comprises the following four parts:

Landscape sensitivity (ranging from very low sensitivity to very high sensitivity)
relates to the acceptability of change to the landscape. The assessment is based on common
sense, observation and professional knowledge.

Visual presence of the wind energy development (ranging from minimal presence
to highly dominant) relates to how visually dominant the wind energy development is on
the landscape, but is not synonymous with or indicative of adverse impact. These criteria can
be assessed by examining photomontages of the proposed wind energy development, taking
into account such factors as viewing distance, screening, the spatial structure of the
landscape and visual absorption capacity.

Aesthetic impact of the wind energy development on its landscape context


(ranging from major positive impact to major adverse impact) - relates to the aesthetic
relationship of the wind energy development to its context. Does the proposed wind energy
development fit in well with the character of the landscape as recommended in these
Guidelines, achieving an overall positive aesthetic relationship with its context?
Significance of the impact (ranging from insignificant to major) a statement used to
summarise the overall impact of the wind energy development and determined by the
previously assessed landscape sensitivity, visual presence and aesthetic impact. This factor is
not applied where the aesthetic impact has been deemed to be positive.
Chapter 7
Matters that may be appropriately dealt with by the inclusion of conditions on a planning
permission for wind energy development are detailed below. The list and accompanying
explanation is included for guidance only and is not exhaustive:
Siting, design and layout
Flexibility of turbines layout on site
Flora, fauna and habitats
Archaeology
Noise
Environmental impact and monitoring
Construction
Borrow pits and quarrying
Roads and access routes
Associated structures and equipment
Grid connections
Site management issues
Shadow flicker
Electromagnetic interference
Aeronautical safety
Windtake
Financial contributions
Wind measuring masts

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Decommissioning
Time limits

Local Planning Policy


Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019
The Meath County Development Plan was adopted in December 2012 and took effect on
22nd January 2013.
Chapter 2 of the plan contains the Core Strategy and the following vision:
Meath to be a county that fosters sustainability throughout its vibrant communities,
dynamic economy and unique cultural and natural heritage.
The Development Plan has, at its centre, 12 Core Principles which are as follows:
Core Principle 1

To develop Meaths critical role in the Dublin and Mid East Region
and its role as part of the Dublin City National Economic Gateway
maximising on its proximity to Dublin Airport.

Core Principle 2

To facilitate the development of sustainable and socially inclusive


communities which generate pride, a sense of place, and a healthy
lifestyle; are safe, well connected, well served, environmentally
sensitive, thriving and well designed.

Core Principle 3

To promote sustainable economic development to support the


population of County Meath.

Core Principle 4

To support the sustainable heritage of the County by safeguarding


the cultural, natural and built heritage and natural resources,
including biodiversity, of the County.

Core Principle 7

To protect and support rural areas though careful management of


physical and environmental resources and appropriate, sustainable
development.

Core Principle 8

To support agriculture and agricultural related development in


Meath and strengthen the county as a hub for the vibrant
agricultural and food sectors.

Core Principle 11

To integrate climate change considerations into the policies and


objectives of Meath County Council and its key stakeholders.

Core Principle 12

To ensure that future development patterns in Meath accord with


the sustainable management of water resources.

Core Strategy Objectives


CS OBJ 7
To promote and facilitate the development of sustainable
communities through land use planning, by providing for land uses
capable of accommodating employment, community, leisure,
recreational and cultural facilities having regard to the quality of the

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environment, including the natural environment, landscape


character and the archaeological and architectural heritage.
Section 2.4 addresses the need for the creation of a sustainable economy in the County and
has as a goal:
To build on and enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of County Meath in order
to make it one of the countrys prime locations for indigenous and foreign economic and
employment generating investment.
CS OBJ 16

To promote rural economic development by recognising the need to


advance the long term sustainable social and environmental development of
rural areas and encouraging economic diversification and facilitating growth
of rural enterprises.

CS OBJ 17

To promote the development of sustainable tourism as a key driver of the


Meath economy.

Section 2.5 has three goals as follows:


To ensure that the unique cultural heritage of Meath is protected, conserved, enhanced and
sensitively integrated into the sustainable development of the county for the benefit of
present and future generations.
To ensure that features of Meaths natural heritage and green infrastructure that provide
ecosystem services are protected and that tourist and recreational uses are facilitated in a
sustainable manner.
To protect the landscape character, quality and local distinctiveness of County Meath.
Section 2.6 Infrastructure and Supporting Services has the following goals:
To facilitate the provision of the Countys infrastructure in a sustainable and efficient
manner that promotes the social and economic development of the County.
To promote and facilitate the provision of the necessary transport infrastructure to fully
accommodate existing and future population needs as well as the demand for economic
development in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Section 2.7 in respect of Rural Areas states:
RD POL 4

To consolidate and sustain the stability of the rural population and to strive
to achieve a balance between development activity in urban areas and
villages and the wider rural area.

Chapter 4 contains the Councils Economic Development Strategy, whose goal is as follows:

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To build on and enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of County Meath in order
to make it one of Irelands prime locations for indigenous and foreign economic and
employment generating investment.
4.3 Employment Sectors
ED POL 5

4.4 Rural Areas

To recognise the contribution of rural employment to the continued and


sustainable growth of the economy and to promote this continued growth by
encouraging rural enterprise generally, especially those activities that are
resource dependent, including energy production, extractive industry, small
scale industry and tourism in a sustainable manner and at appropriate
locations.

ED POL 14

To promote rural economic development by recognising the need to


advance the long term sustainable social and environmental development of
rural areas and encouraging economic diversification and facilitating growth
of rural enterprises.

ED POL 16

To recognise the contribution of rural employment to the overall growth of


the economy and to promote this growth by encouraging rural enterprise
and diversification generally and to promote certain types of rural
enterprise, especially those activities which are rural resource dependent,
including renewable energy production, food production / processing and
the extractive industries..

ED POL 18

To permit development proposals for industrial or business enterprises in the


countryside where generally the following criteria are met:
(i) The proposed use has locational requirements that can more readily be
accommodated in a rural location than an urban setting and this has been
demonstrated to the satisfaction of Meath County Council;
(ii) The development will enhance the strength of the local rural economy;
(iii) The resultant development is of a size and scale which remains
appropriate and which does not negatively impact on the character and
amenity of the surrounding area;
(iv) The proposal demonstrates that it has taken into account traffic, public
health, environmental and amenity considerations;
(v) The proposal is in accordance with the policies, requirements and
guidance contained in this plan;
(vi) It is demonstrated to the satisfaction of Meath County Council that the
proposal would not generate traffic of a type and amount inappropriate for
the character of the access roads or would require improvements which
would affect the character of these roads. This policy shall not apply to the
National Road Network.

4.6 Tourism

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ED POL 27

To promote the development of sustainable tourism and encourage the


provision of a comprehensive range of tourism facilities, subject to
satisfactory location, siting and design criteria, the protection of
environmentally sensitive areas and areas identified as sensitive landscapes
in the Landscape Character Assessment for the county.

ED POL 28

To encourage new and high quality investment in the tourism industry in


Meath with specific reference to leisure activities (such as golf, equestrian,
walking, cycling, angling, outdoor pursuits and family orientated activities)
and accommodation in terms of choice, location and quality of product.

ED POL 29

To protect and conserve those natural, built and cultural heritage features
that form the basis of the countys tourism attraction and to seek to restrict
development which would be detrimental to scenic and identified natural
and cultural heritage assets.

ED POL 30

To co-operate with Filte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Meath Tourism, Louth


County Council, the Boyne Valley Tourism Officer and any other relevant
bodies in the implementation of the Boyne Valley Destination Development
Strategy.

ED POL 31

To enable, facilitate and encourage the growth and sustainability of the


tourism sector through the provision of tourism enterprise developments in
rural areas including open farm and integrated rural developments subject
to the provision of adequate infrastructure and compliance with normal
planning considerations.

ED POL 32

To facilitate, where appropriate, the conversion of former demesnes and


estates and their outbuildings into resort type developments subject to good
planning and architectural conservation practice.

ED POL 40

To support developments which will enable and encourage countryside


recreation and an increased appreciation of the natural environment,
through facilitating the development of community walks, off road trails /
rural trail developments, parks and other outdoor amenities and recreational
infrastructure. All proposals will require screening to determine if a full
Appropriate Assessment of the likely significant effects on Natura 2000 sites
is required.

ED POL 42

To encourage and support sensitive development which provides for the


appreciation, interpretation, upgrade and provision of access to natural
habitats, scenic vistas and heritage features for the benefit of rural tourism
subject to normal planning and nature conservation considerations.

ED OBJ 9

To explore the provision of sustainable medium and long distance walking


routes.
To support Meath Tourism and other relevant bodies to identify, develop and
implement a common brand of signage in the county.

ED OBJ 10

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Chapter 6 Transportation has as its goal:


To promote and facilitate the provision of the necessary transport infrastructure to fully
accommodate existing and future population needs as well as the demand for economic
development in an environmentally sustainable manner.
TRAN SP 14

To ensure the protection of the existing roads infrastructure while


improving the capacity and safety of the road network to meet future
demands.

TRAN SP 15

To protect investment in the capacity, efficiency and safety of national roads


by applying the guidance contained in the Spatial Planning and National
Roads - Guidelines for Planning Authorities and collaboration with the NTA
and the NRA.

TRAN SO 2

To promote the development of sustainable settlement and transportation


strategies in urban and rural areas which include measures to
(i) Reduce energy demand in response to the likelihood of increases in
energy and other costs due to long-term decline in non-renewable resources;
(ii) reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and;
(iii) address the necessity of adaptation to climate change; in particular,
having regard to location, layout and design of new development.

6.8 Public Transport


TRAN POL 2

Restrict development which would give rise to conflicts with aircraft


movements on environmental or safety grounds on lands in the vicinity of
Dublin Airport and on the main flight paths serving Dublin Airport, and in
particular restrict residential development in areas likely to be affected by
levels of noise inappropriate to residential use.

TRAN POL 3

Promote appropriate land use patterns in the vicinity of the flight paths
serving Dublin Airport, having regard to the precautionary principle, based
on existing and anticipated environmental and safety impacts of aircraft
movements.

TRAN POL 4

Implement the policies to be determined by the Government in relation to


Public Safety Zones for Dublin Airport.

TRAN POL 5

Take account of the advice of the Irish Aviation Authority with regard to the
effects of any development proposals on the safety of aircraft or the safe and
efficient navigation thereof.

6.9 Walking and Cycling


TRAN POL 14

To co-operate with the NTA on the development of a cycle network


for the Greater Dublin Area and to promote, enhance and provide
the development of cycling and walking facilities in the County in
accordance with relevant national policy and guidelines.

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TRAN POL 15 To identify and seek to implement a strategic, coherent and high quality cycle
and walking network across the county that is integrated with public
transport and interconnected with cultural, recreational, retail,
educational and employment destinations and attractions.
TRAN OBJ 8

To promote and explore the development of the following linkages within


the lifetime of the Development Plan subject to the appropriate
environmental assessments, including Appropriate Assessment of the likely
significant effects on Natura 2000 sites in accordance with Article 6(3) of the
EC Habitats Directive;
(i) To explore the feasibility of developing former disused transportation
corridors for cycle / greenways.
(ii) To provide the development of a cycle / greenway on the disused Navan
Kingscourt rail line in conjunction with Cavan County Council subject to the
completion of a feasibility study obtaining the necessary statutory planning
consent, landowner co-operation and the securing of the necessary funding.
(iii) To provide for the development of the Trim Navan Slane Drogheda
cycle / greenway along the River Boyne subject to obtaining the necessary
statutory planning consent, the carrying out of Appropriate Assessment,
landowner co-operation and the securing of the necessary funding.
(iv) To develop a system of cycle / greenways, subject to the availability of
resources, along the banks of the Boyne and Blackwater Rivers, in such a
manner so as not to significantly negatively impact on the conservation
status of the Natura 2000 site either alone or in combination with other
objectives in this or other plans.
(v) To explore the development of the following cycle/greenway options as
part of the Dublin Galway cycle network a) along the Royal Canal located
within the administrative area of Meath County Council in consultation with
relevant agencies or b) along the former N4 (R148) located within the
administrative area of Meath County Council in consultation with relevant
agencies or c) Combinations of the above.

TRAN OBJ 9

To encourage pedestrian access to certain areas of Natura 2000 sites for


their appreciation and in a manner so as not to impact negatively on the
sites integrity or long term conservation status.

6.10 Road Infrastructure


TRAN POL 27

To co-operate with the NRA, NTA and other Local Authorities to provide
the Leinster Outer Orbital Route as proposed in the Regional Planning
Guidelines and the NTAs draft Transport Strategy.

TRAN POL 28

To safeguard the capacity and safety of the National road network by


applying the provisions of the Department of Environment Community and
Local Governments Spatial Planning and National Roads-Guidelines for
Planning Authorities

TRAN POL 40

To avoid the creation of any additional access point from new development
/ intensification of traffic from existing entrances onto national roads outside
the 60 kph speed limit, except as indicated on Maps No 6.4.1 - 6.4.7 which
identifies a number of locations close to and within designated Economic

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Growth Towns or existing / proposed developments of a regional


significance.
TRAN OBJ 21

To co-operate with the NRA, NTA and other Local Authorities in clarifying
and finalising the route of the Leinster Outer Orbital Route (linking
Drogheda, Navan, Trim and Naas) proposed in the Regional Planning
Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area and the NTAs draft Transport
Strategy. This is particularly important in the vicinity of proposed major
junctions along the route in order to protect the identified corridor from
development intrusion.

TRAN OBJ 23

To prepare a Thematic Spatial Strategy for industrial development and


enterprise which would identify and support the development of
areas where significant clusters of power, broadband, roads, water and gas
could be harnessed to become regionally important areas to accommodate
very large scale value added employment while avoiding potential for future
environmental and planning conflicts. Upon the preparation of this Strategy,
the extent of locations to which the Exceptional Circumstances or
Development at National Road Interchanges or Junctions, provisions may
apply, if any, and as agreed with the NTA and the NRA, shall be advanced as
a Variation to the County Development Plan and Maps No. 6.4.1 - 6.4.7
amended accordingly.

Chapter 7 Water, Drainage & Environmental Services has as its goal:


To develop, protect, improve and extend water, wastewater, surface water and flood
alleviation services throughout the county and to prioritise the provision of water services
infrastructure to complement the overall strategy for economic and population growth and
to achieve improved environmental protection.
WS SOBJ 9

To promote compliance with environmental standards and objectives


Established i. for bodies of surface water, by the European Communities
(Surface Waters) Regulations 2009;
ii. for groundwater, by the European Communities (Groundwater)
Regulations 2010; which standards and objectives are included in river
basin management plans.

WS POL 19

To protect groundwater resources having regard to the County Meath


Groundwater Protection Plan.

WS POL 20

To ensure through the implementation of the River Basin Management Plans


and their associated programmes of measures, and any other associated
legislation, the protection and improvement of all drinking water, surface
water and ground waters throughout the county.

WS POL 21

To work, in co-operation with relevant organisations and major stakeholders


to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the protection and improvement of the
countys water resources.

WS POL 22

To continue efforts to improve water quality under the Local Government


(Water Pollution) Act 1977, as amended and by implementing the measures
outlined under the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and complying with the

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requirements of the Surface Water Legislation Environment Objectives


(Surface Waters) Regulations 2009 and other relevant regulations.
WS POL 25

To protect, maintain and improve the natural character of the watercourses


and rivers in the county Meath.

WS POL 26

To seek the continued improvement of water quality, bathing facilities and


other recreational opportunities in the coastal, estuarine and surface waters
in the County.

WS OBJ 10

To develop groundwater protection schemes in line with the


recommendations contained within the DoEHLG /GSI/ EPA publication
Groundwater Protection Schemes, 1999 or any revised or replacement
publication.

7.15 Flood Risk Management


WS POL 29

To have regard to the Planning System and Flood Risk Management


Guidelines for Planning Authorities (DoEHLG/OPW, 2009) through the use
of the sequential approach and application of the Justification Tests for
Development Management and Development Plans, during the period of this
Plan.

WS POL 30

To have regard to the findings and recommendations of the current Strategic


Flood Risk Assessment prepared as part of the County Development Plan
review. See Appendix 6.

WS POL 31

To ensure that all developments have regard to the surface water


management policies in the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study
(GDSDS). Compliance with the recommendations contained in Technical
Guidance Document, Volume 2, Chapter 4 of the Greater Dublin Strategic
Drainage Study shall be required in all instances.

WS POL 32

To ensure that a flood risk assessment is carried out for any development
proposal, where flood risk may be an issue in accordance with the Planning
System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities
(DoECLG/OPW, 2009). This assessment shall be appropriate to the scale and
nature of risk to the potential development.

WS POL 33

To consult with the Office of Public Works in relation to proposed


developments in the vicinity of drainage channels and rivers for which the
OPW are responsible, and the Council will, retain a strip of 10 metres on
either side of such channel where required, to facilitate access thereto.

WS POL 34

To consult, where necessary, with Inland Fisheries Ireland, the National


Parks and Wildlife Service and other relevant agencies in the construction of
flood alleviation measures in County Meath.

WS POL 36

To have regard to the recommendations of the Fingal East Meath Flood Risk
Assessment and Management Study, the Eastern, North West and Neagh

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Bann Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study when


finalised and approved
WS OBJ 15

To seek to ensure that construction works are designed so as not to result in


surface water runoff into cSAC or SPAs either directly or indirectly via a
watercourse.

WS OBJ 16

To incorporate and promote the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems


within County Council Developments and other infrastructural projects as
required in the Greater Dublin Regional Code of Practice for Drainage Works.

WS OBJ 12

To design flood relief measures to ensure appropriate protection for alluvial


woodland (i.e. a qualifying interest) along the Boyne.

WS OBJ 13

To design flood relief measures to protect the conservation objectives of


Natura 2000 sites and to avoid indirect impacts of conflict with other
qualifying interests or Natura 2000 sites.

WS OBJ 17

To require the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in accordance


with the Greater Dublin Regional Code of Practice for Drainage Works for
new developments (including extensions).

WS OBJ 18

To ensure that all new developments comply with Section 3.12 of the Greater
Dublin Regional Code of Practice for Drainage Works V6 which sets out the
requirements for new developments to allow for Climate Change.

7.15 Waste Management


WM OBJ 17

To require developers to prepare construction and demolition waste


management plans for new construction projects over certain thresholds
which shall meet the relevant recycling/recovery targets for such waste in
accordance with the national legislation and national and regional waste
management policy.

PC POL 1

To seek to preserve and maintain air and noise quality in the county in
accordance with good practice and relevant legislation.

PC OBJ 1

To update Noise Mapping in accordance with revised or updated thresholds


for Noise Mapping.

Chapter 8 Energy and Communications


EC POL 1

To facilitate energy infrastructure provision, including the development of


renewable energy sources at suitable locations, so as to provide for the
further physical and economic development of Meath.

EC POL 2

To support international, national and county initiatives for limiting


emissions of greenhouse gases through energy efficiency and the
development of renewable energy sources which makes use of the natural
resources of the county in an environmentally acceptable manner, where it is
consistent with proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

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EC POL 3

To encourage the production of energy from renewable sources, such as


from biomass, waste material, solar, wave, hydro, geothermal and wind
energy, subject to normal proper planning considerations, including in
particular, the potential impact on areas of environmental or landscape
sensitivity and Natura 2000 sites.

EC POL 4

To support the National Climate Change Strategy and, in general, to


facilitate measures which seek to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

EC POL 6

To encourage that development proposals maximise energy efficiency


through siting, layout, design or which incorporate best practice in energy
technologies, conservation and implementation of smart technology.

EC POL 7

To encourage the attainment of high standards of energy efficiency and


environmental sustainability in development, including the following:
1. Bio-climatic site design;
2. Water Conservation;
3. Ventilation;
4. Energy efficient strategies;
5. Daylight analysis,
6. High insulation standards, and;
7. Smart technologies.

EC POL 8

To support and encourage pilot schemes which promote innovative ways to


incorporate energy efficiency.

EC POL 9

To support the development of innovative energy efficient technologies such


as district-heating and combined heat and power.

EC POL 10

To facilitate the provision of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

EC POL 11

To support and facilitate the development of enhanced electricity and gas


supplies, and associated networks, to serve the existing and future needs of
the County.

EC POL 12

To co-operate and liaise with statutory and other energy providers in relation
to power generation in order to ensure adequate power capacity for the
existing and future needs of the County.

EC POL 13

To ensure that energy transmission infrastructure follows best practice with


regard to siting and design particularly to ensure the protection of all
important recognised landscapes.

EC POL 14

To require that, in all new developments, multiple services are


accommodated in shared strips and that access covers be shared whenever
possible.

EC POL 15

To ensure any proposal for geothermal or other energy subsurface


exploration is accompanied by an assessment that addresses the potential
impacts on groundwater quality.

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EC POL 16

To require that the location of local energy services such as electricity, be


underground, where appropriate.

EC POL 17

To seek to avoid the sterilisation of lands proximate to key public transport


corridors such as rail, where future energy transmission routes/pipelines are
being designed and provided.

EC POL 18

To generally avoid the location of overhead lines in Natura 2000 sites unless
it can be proven that they will not affect the integrity of the site in view of its
conservation objectives i.e. by carrying out an appropriate assessment in
accordance with Article 6(3) of the E.U. Habitats Directive.

EC POL 19

To promote the undergrounding of existing overhead cables and associated


equipment where appropriate.

EC POL 20

To encourage the development of wind energy, in accordance with


Government policy and having regard to the Landscape Characterisation
Assessment of the County and the Wind Energy Development Guidelines
(2006).

EC POL 21

To support the preparation of a study on wind energy potential by local


authorities jointly in the GDA.

EC OBJ 1

To ensure that all plans and projects associated with the generation or
supply of energy or telecommunication networks will be subject to an
Appropriate Assessment Screening and those plans or projects which could,
either individually or in-combination with other plans and projects, have a
significant effect on a Natura 2000 site (or sites) undergo a full Appropriate
Assessment.

EC OBJ 2

To support the review and implementation of the actions of the Meath


County Council Climate Change Strategy and Energy Management Action
Plan 2011- 2012, Think Globally Act Locally.

EC OBJ 3

To investigate the preparation of a renewable energy strategy promoting


technologies which are most viable in County Meath.

EC OBJ 4

To seek the delivery of the necessary integration of transmission network


requirements to facilitate linkages of renewable energy proposals to the
electricity transmission grid in a sustainable and timely manner.

EC POL 35

To secure a high quality of design of masts, towers and antennae and other
such infrastructure in the interests of visual amenity and the protection of
sensitive landscapes, subject to radio and engineering parameters.

EC POL 38

To assess proposals for the location of structures in sensitive landscapes in


accordance with the policies set down in Chapter 9 of this Development
Plan.

Chapter 9 Cultural and Natural Assets

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CSA SP 1

To ensure that the unique cultural heritage of Meath is protected,


conserved and sensitively integrated into the sustainable development of the
county for the benefit of present and future generations.

CSA SP 2

To ensure that features of Meaths natural heritage and green infrastructure


that provide ecosystem services are protected; that biodiversity is conserved
and where possible enhanced, and; that the character of landscapes are
maintained and enriched, and that tourist and recreational uses are
facilitated in a sensitive manner.

CSA SP 3

To promote the understanding of County Meaths landscape in terms of its


inherent and unique character and to recognise what elements should be
preserved, conserved or enhanced.

CSA SP 4

To implement, in partnership with the County Meath Heritage Forum,


relevant stakeholders and the community, the County Meath Heritage Plan
and any revisions thereof.

9.5 Cultural Heritage


CH POL 1

To work in partnership with the relevant agencies/organisations and the


public to promote, understand, conserve and sustainably manage the
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Br na Binne.

CH OBJ 1

To protect and enhance the Outstanding Universal Value of the cultural


landscape in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Br na Binne in accordance
with the relevant guidelines and national legislation, so that its integrity,
authenticity and significance are not adversely affected by cumulative
inappropriate change and development, and to enhance views within and
adjacent to the site.

CH OBJ 2

To protect the ridgelines which frame views within and from the UNESCO
World Heritage Site of Br na Binne from inappropriate or visually intrusive
development.

CH POL 5

To recognise and respect potential World Heritage Sites in Meath on the


UNESCO Tentative List Ireland-2010 and support their nomination to World
Heritage status.

CH POL 6

To promote awareness of, and access to, the archaeological inheritance of


County Meath.

CH POL 7

To ensure that development in the immediate vicinity of a recorded


monument is sensitively sited and designed so that it does not significantly
detract from the monument. Where upstanding remains exist, a visual
impact assessment may be required.

CH OBJ 7

To protect archaeological sites and monuments, underwater archaeology,


and archaeological objects, which are listed in the Record of Monuments and

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Places, and to seek their preservation in situ (or at a minimum, preservation


by record) through the planning process.
CH OBJ 8

To seek to protect important archaeological landscapes from inappropriate


development.

CH OBJ 11

To encourage and promote the appropriate management and maintenance


of the Countys archaeological heritage, including historical burial grounds,
in accordance with conservation principles and best practice guidelines.

CH POL 10

To conserve and protect the architectural heritage of Meath.

CH OBJ 13

To protect all structures (or, where appropriate, parts of structures) within


the county which are of special architectural, historical, archaeological,
artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest and which are included
in the Record of Protected Structures (See Appendix 8).

CH POL 16

To protect the industrial heritage of Meath, including the Royal Canal and
Boyne Navigation, historic bridges, roadside features and street furniture.

CH POL 18

To require that all development proposals within an ACA should be


appropriate to the character of the area, inclusive of its general scale and
materials, and are appropriately sited and sensitively designed having regard
to the advice given in the Statements of Character5 for each area.

CH OBJ 21

To ensure that any new development within or contiguous to an ACA is


sympathetic to the character of the area and that the design is appropriate
in terms of scale, height, plot density, layout, materials and finishes.

CH POL19

To encourage the protection, promotion and enhancement of heritage


gardens and parks in the county and support public awareness, enjoyment of
and access to these sites.

CH OBJ 22

To discourage development that would lead to a loss of, or cause damage


to, the character, the principal components of, or the setting of historic
parks, gardens and demesnes of heritage significance.

CH OBJ 23

To require that proposals for development in and adjoining designed


landscapes and demesnes include an appraisal of the landscape, designed
views and vistas, and an assessment of significant trees or groups of trees, as
appropriate. The appraisal shall ensure that development proposals respect
and are consistent with the historic landscape and its protection. Any
development within such areas shall comply with the policies and objectives
of 'Architectural Heritage Protection, Guidelines for Planning Authorities'
(2011), as appropriate.

9.6 Natural Heritage


NH POL 1

To protect, conserve, and seek to enhance the Countys biodiversity.

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NH POL 2

To promote measures to protect biodiversity in the development


management process by creating and improving habitats, where possible.

NH POL 3

To raise public awareness and understanding of the countys natural


heritage and biodiversity.

NH POL 7

To undertake appropriate surveys and collect data to provide an evidencebase to assist Meath County Council in meeting its obligations under Article 6
of the Habitats Directives, subject to available resources.

NH OBJ 1

To implement, in partnership with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the


Gaeltacht, relevant stakeholders and the community, the objectives and
actions of Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016; Irelands National Biodiversity
Plan that relate to the remit and functions of Meath County Council and the
County Meath Biodiversity Plan and any revisions thereof.

NH POL 5

To permit development on or adjacent to designated Special Areas of


Conservation, Special Protection Areas, National Heritage Area or those
proposed to be designated over the period of the plan, only where an
assessment carried out to the satisfaction of the Meath County Council, in
consultation with National Parks and Wildlife Service, indicates that it will
have no significant adverse effect on the integrity of the site.

NH POL 6

To have regard to the views and guidance of the National Parks and Wildlife
Service in respect of proposed development where there is a possibility that
such development may have an impact on a designated European or
National site or a site proposed for such designation.

NH OBJ 2

To ensure an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with Article 6(3) and


Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive, and in accordance with the Department
of Environment, Heritage and Local Government Appropriate Assessment of
Plans and Projects in Ireland Guidance for Planning Authorities, 2009 and
relevant EPA and European Commission guidance documents, is carried out
in respect of any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to
the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect on a Natura
2000 site(s), either individually or in combination with other plans or
projects, in view of the sites conservation objectives.

NH OBJ 3

To protect and conserve the conservation value of candidate Special


Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, National Heritage Areas and
proposed Natural Heritage Areas as identified by the Minister for the
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and any other sites that may
be proposed for designation during the lifetime of this Plan.

GI POL 1

To recognise the economic, social, environmental and physical value of


Green Infrastructure.

GI POL 2

To protect existing green infrastructure within the County and to provide


additional green infrastructure, where possible.

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GI POL 3

To require that all Land Use Plans protect, manage and provide where
possible green infrastructure in an integrated and coherent manner.

GI OBJ 1

To develop and support the implementation of a Green Infrastructure


Strategy for County Meath.

GI OBJ 2

To identify sites of local biodiversity value in County Meath over the lifetime
of the Plan.

GI OBJ 3

To encourage, pursuant to Article 10 of the Habitats Directive, the


management of features of the landscape, such as traditional field
boundaries, important for the ecological coherence of the Natura 2000
network and essential for the migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of
wild species.

NH POL 8

To seek to ensure that development does not have a significant adverse


impact, incapable of satisfactory avoidance or mitigation, on plant, animal
or bird species protected by law.

NH POL 9

To consult with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and take account of
any licensing requirements, when undertaking, approving or authorising
development which is likely to affect plant, animal or bird species protected
by law.

NH POL 10

To promote best practice in the control of invasive species in the carrying out
of development.

NH POL 11

To seek to ensure that peatland areas which are designated (or proposed for
designation) as NHAs, SACs or SPAs are conserved for their ecological,
archaeological, cultural and educational significance.

NH OBJ 4

To work in partnership with relevant stakeholders on a suitable peatland


site(s) to demonstrate best practice in sustainable peatland conservation,
management and restoration techniques and to promote their heritage and
educational value subject to Ecological Impact Assessment and Appropriate
Assessment Screening as appropriate.

NH POL 12

To have regard to the geological and geomorphological heritage values of


County Geological Sites listed in Appendix 13 and avoid inappropriate
development, through consultation with the Geological Survey of Ireland.

NH POL 13

To encourage the retention of hedgerows and other distinctive boundary


treatments in rural areas and prevent loss and fragmentation, where
possible. Where removal of a hedgerow, stone wall or other distinctive
boundary treatment is unavoidable, mitigation by provision of the same type
of boundary will be required.

NH POL 14

To promote and encourage planting of native hedgerow species of local


provenance.

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NH POL 15

To recognise the archaeological importance of townland boundaries


including hedgerows and promote their protection and retention.

NH POL 16

To seek to maintain the natural heritage and amenity of the county by


promoting the preservation and enhancement of native and semi-natural
woodlands, groups of trees and individual trees.

NH POL 17

To encourage the use of native species wherever possible in Meath County


Councils own landscaping work, and on Council property.

NH POL 18

To encourage the retention of mature trees and the use of tree surgery
rather than felling where possible when undertaking, approving or
authorising development.

NH POL 19

To protect Champion and Heritage Trees identified on the Tree Register of


Ireland and Heritage Tree Database when undertaking, approving, or
authorising development.

NH OBJ 5

To promote awareness, understanding and best practice in the management


of Meaths woodland, tree and hedgerow resource.

NH POL 20

To preserve and protect for the common good, existing public rights of way
which give access to seashore, mountain, lakeshore, riverbank or other place
of natural beauty or recreational utility as identified in Appendix 14 & Map
Series 9.4 (Volume III).

NH OBJ 8

To seek to identify and protect over the lifetime of the plan further existing
rights of way which give access to seashore, mountain, lakeshore, riverbank
or other place of natural beauty or recreational utility (accompanied by
mapping showing public rights of way).

NH POL 21

To protect the recreational, educational and amenity potential of


navigational and non-navigational waterways within the County, towpaths
and adjacent wetlands.

NH POL 26

To require that development proposal, on both designated and undesignated


sites, enhance and appropriately integrate with the natural environment,
respecting and complementing the habitats, biodiversity, landscape and
natural heritage of the area.

9.8 Landscape
LC POL 1

To support and implement the provisions of the National Landscape


Strategy.

LC SP 1

To protect the landscape character, quality, and local distinctiveness of


County Meath in accordance with relevant government policy and guidelines
and the recommendations included in Meath Landscape Character
Assessment (2007) in Appendix 7.

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LC POL 2

To require that any necessary assessments, including landscape and visual


impact assessments, are provided when undertaking, authorising, or
approving development.

LC OBJ 1

To seek to ensure the preservation of the uniqueness of all landscape


character types, and to maintain the visual integrity of areas of exceptional
value and high sensitivity.

LC OBJ 2

To assess development proposals having regard to the recommendations


contained in the Meath Landscape Character Assessment 2007.

9.9 Historic Landscape Characterisation


LC OBJ 4
To complete the pilot study on Historic Landscape Characterisation and
utilise the results to complement and contribute to Landscape Character
Assessment (LCA).
Views and Prospects
LC OBJ 5
To preserve the views and prospects and the amenity of places and features
of natural beauty or interest listed in Appendix 12 and shown on Map 9.5.1
from development that would interfere with the character and visual
amenity of the landscape.
9.10

9.11 Landscape Conservation Areas.


LC POL 3
To protect the archaeological heritage, rural character, setting and amenity
of the Tara landscape and Loughcrew and Slieve na Calliagh Hills.
LC OBJ 6

To progress the designation, in a timely fashion, of a Landscape Conservation


Area, pursuant to Section 204 of the Planning & Development Acts 2000
2011, for the Tara Skryne Landscape.

LC OBJ 7

To explore, over the life of the plan, the designation of a Landscape


Conservation Area, pursuant to Section 204 of the Planning & Development
Acts 20002011, in respect of Loughcrew and Slieve na Calliagh Hills.

LC OBJ 8

To develop and support the implementation of an agreed and innovative


Landscape Action Plan for the Tara Skryne Landscape.

Chapter 10 Rural Development has as its goal:


To encourage the continued sustainable development of rural communities without
compromising the physical, environmental, natural and heritage resources of the
County.
RUR DEV SO 1

To support the continued vitality and viability of rural areas,


environmentally, socially and commercially by promoting
sustainable social and economic development.

RUR DEV SO 2

To identify and protect rural resources such as locally and regionally


important aquifers and water sources from development which
would prejudice their sustainable future usage.

RUR DEV SO 4

To recognise the strategic roles the county will play in the regional
and national context in terms of recreation, heritage conservation,

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natural resources and food production, and to ensure compatibility


between this plan and regional and national strategies.
RUR DEV SO 6

To protect and enhance the visual qualities of rural areas through


sensitive design.

RUR DEV SO 7

To support the continuing viability of agriculture, horticulture and


other rural based enterprises within rural areas and to promote
investment in facilities supporting rural innovation and enterprise
with special emphasis on the green economy, in the context of
sustainable development and the management of environmental
resources.

RUR DEV SO 8

To support and protect the existing economic base and seek to


diversify the economy through both inward investment and the
promotion of agriculture, forestry and tourism- related industries in
rural areas.

RUR DEV SO 9

To ensure that plans and projects associated with rural development


will be subject to an Appropriate Assessment Screening and those
plans or projects which could, either individually or in-combination
with other plans and projects, have a significant effect on a Natura
2000 site (or sites) undergo a full Appropriate Assessment.

Section 10.8 Agriculture has as its goal:


To maintain a vibrant and healthy agricultural sector based on the principles of sustainable
development whilst at the same time finding alternative employment in or close to rural
areas to sustain rural communities.
RD POL 10

To encourage and facilitate agricultural diversification into agri-businesses


such as organic foods, rural tourism and small to medium sized enterprises
subject to the retention of the holding for primarily agricultural use and the
proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Section 10.10 Forestry


RD POL 18

To promote the avoidance of deforestation or commercial afforestation


within Natura 2000 sites unless directly relating to the management of the
site for its qualifying interests.

RD OBJ 3

To co-operate with the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food


and the Marine to encourage and promote the preparation and
implementation of an Indicative Forest Strategy for the County.

Section 10.11 Tree Preservation


RD POL 19

To consider the preservation of any tree, trees or groups of trees or


woodland of special amenity or environmental value by use of Tree
Preservation Orders.

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Section 10.12 Extractive industry and Building Materials Production has as its goal:
To facilitate adequate supplies of aggregate resources to meet the future growth needs of
the County and the wider region while addressing key environmental, traffic and social
impacts and details of rehabilitation.
RD POL 21

To ensure that projects associated with the extractive industry carry out
screening for Appropriate Assessment in accordance with Article 6(3) of the
E.C. Habitats Directive, where required.

RD POL 22

To facilitate the exploitation of the countys natural resources and to


exercise appropriate control over the types of development taking place in
areas containing proven deposits, whilst also ensuring that such
developments are carried out in a manner which would not unduly impinge
on the visual amenity or environmental quality in the area.

RD POL 23

To support the extractive industry where it would not unduly compromise the
environmental quality of the county and where detailed rehabilitation
proposals are provided.

RD POL 24

To seek to ensure that the extraction of minerals and aggregates minimise


the detraction from the visual quality of the landscape and do not adversely
affect the environment or adjoining existing land uses.

RD POL 25

To ensure that the extractive industry and associated development


minimises adverse impacts on the road network in the area and that the full
cost of road improvements, including during operations and at time of
closure, which are necessary to facilitate those industries, are borne by the
industry itself.

RD POL 26

To ensure that all existing workings shall be rehabilitated to suitable land


uses and that all future extraction activities will allow for the rehabilitation
of pits and proper land use management. The biodiversity value of the site
should be considered in the first instance when preparing restoration plans.
Where land filling is proposed, inert material is the preferred method. Each
planning application shall be considered on a case by case basis and, where
relevant, will be dealt with under the relevant regional Waste Management
Plan.

RD POL 27

To ensure that development for aggregates / mineral extraction, processing


and associated processes does not significantly impact in the following
areas:
i. Existing & Proposed Special Areas of Conservation (SACs);
ii. Special Protection Areas (SPAs);
iii. Natural Heritage Areas and Proposed Natural Heritage Areas;
iv. Other areas of importance for the conservation of flora and fauna;
v. Areas of significant archaeological potential;
vi. In the vicinity of a recorded monument;
vii. Sensitive landscapes, and;
viii. World Heritage Sites.

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Section 10.13 The Meath Gaeltachts/Gaeltachta na Midhe has as its goal:
To ensure the continued survival and development of the Gaeltachts as an area distinct in
the linguistic and cultural life of the county, whilst seeking to realise their economic and
development potential in a balanced and sustainable manner over the lifetime of the Plan.
RD POL 28

To ensure that all new development in the Gaeltachts have a positive


impact upon the use of Irish in the area and the cultural heritage of the area,
whilst seeking to realise their economic and development potential in a
balanced and sustainable manner over the lifetime of the Plan.

RD OBJ 6

To require that a Linguistic Impact Study be carried out before any


application for housing (for single and multiple housing developments) is
considered within the Gaeltacht Area. Such a study, by reference to the
linguistic background of intended users or occupants, or identification of its
relationship with linguistic or cultural development objectives of groups
associated or charged with the development of Gaeltacht areas, will need to
prove that a given proposal will have a positive impact upon the promotion
and use of Irish as the language of the community.

RD OBJ 7

To promote the provision of signage in Irish in the Gaeltachts regarding:


a) entry and exit points with explanatory details of the cultural significance
of the areas to visitors;
b) the provision of all commercial signage in Irish, and;
c) in association with the relevant professional and vocational groups, that
auctioneers and other temporary signs are in Irish.

10.16 Restricting Access to Certain Categories of Roads


RD POL 36

To develop and maximise the opportunities of the countys national primary


and secondary roads as key strategic infrastructure vital to the countys
continued economic development and to protect this strategically important
infrastructure from unplanned ribbon development or random one-off
housing development

RD POL 37

To ensure that future development affecting national primary or secondary


roads, shall be assessed in accordance with the guidance given in the
document Spatial Planning and National Roads - Guidelines for Planning
Authorities.

RD POL 38

To ensure that all development accessing off the countys road network is at
a location and carried out in a manner which would not endanger public
safety by way of a traffic hazard.

RD POL 39

To identify and protect those non-national roads of regional or local


importance from unnecessary and excessive individual access/egress points,
which would prejudice the carrying capacity and, ultimately, the function of
the road.

RD POL 41

To avoid the removal of existing roadside boundaries where they are more
than 3 meters from the road edge (edge of carriageway), except to the
extent that this is needed for a new entrance, and where required for traffic

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safety reasons. (Please refer to policies contained in Section 9.7.8


Woodlands, Hedgerows and Trees in this regard).
RD POL 44

To ensure that new development meets the highest standards in terms of


environmental protection.

RD POL 45

To utilise a Groundwater Protection Response Matrix to assist in deciding


the appropriateness of various categories of development to areas that have
different levels of vulnerability in terms of groundwater contamination. This
approach will support the proper input of information into planning decision
making processes.

RD POL 46

To ensure that new development is guided towards sites where acceptable


wastewater treatment and disposal facilities can be provided, avoiding sites
where it is inherently difficult to provide and maintain such facilities. Sites
prone to extremely high water tables and flooding or where groundwater is
particularly vulnerable to contamination shall be avoided.

Chapter 11 contains the Councils Development Management Guidelines & Standards


11.15 Renewable Energy Development
11.15.1 All Renewable Energy Developments
In the assessment of individual proposals, Meath County Council will take the following into
account:
- the proper planning and sustainable development of the area;
- the environmental and social impacts of the proposed development, including
residential amenity and human health;
- impact of the development on the landscape;
- impact on public rights of way and walking routes;
- connection to the National Grid (where applicable);
- mitigation features, where impacts are inevitable, and;
- protected or designated areas NHAs, SPAs and SACs, areas of archaeological
potential and scenic importance, proximity to structures that are listed for
protection, national monuments, etc.
The Council encourages and will facilitate early pre-planning discussion with providers of
energy infrastructure and to support local community participation within this process.
11.15.2 Wind Energy
In considering the siting of wind energy projects, Meath County Council will assess the
development siting based on locations identified in the Landscape Character Assessment of
the County (Appendix 7), compliance with the DoEHLG Wind Energy Development Guidelines
and the relevant development management standards. Regard will also be had to best
practice and guidelines published in this area.
The visual impact of wind turbines is among the most important considerations to be taken
into account. Wind farms are tall and their prominence is emphasised by the movement of
the rotors. Given the nature of wind farms, there are areas that can be identified as
unsuitable for wind development, on the basis that they conflict with existing land uses and

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planning policies, and are therefore excluded from consideration. The location of wind farm
development must also have regard to the Landscape Character Areas of the County
(Chapter 9 & Appendix 7).
The aim of this Development Plan is to promote a policy of preferential avoidance of siting
wind energy projects in Natura 2000 sites, or sites that are on the flight lines of wintering
birds unless it can be proven that there are no risks to the integrity of the sites (by carrying
out an appropriate assessment).
Any proposals for the development of wind power will need to be supported by both a
technical and an environmental statement prepared to an acceptable standard. In this
regard applicants applying for wind energy development are advised to consult with Meath
County Council before detailed proposals are drawn up. Consultations should also be held
with the appropriate bodies, such as Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
Resources, the Irish Energy Centre and the energy providers. In addition, potential applicants
are advised to consult with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Forest,
Service, Irish Aviation Authority and other appropriate statutory and non-statutory bodies in
areas which may require special protection.
It is important that certain design guidelines are adhered to:
- Topographical enclosures and extensive areas of degraded or previously developed
lands should be identified for wind farm development to help minimise visual
impacts and to harmonise wind turbines with the landscape. Where elevated sites
are required, the location to site the turbines should be selected to minimise the zone
of visual influence by avoiding summits and ridgelines and by using side slope
locations only;
- The layout and design of the wind farm should directly relate to the key landscape
characteristics, for example using a regular grid on regular surfaces such as cutaway
bogs and more irregular lines on flowing topography such as foothills;
- The turbines and the landscape need to form a coherent unit and avoid visual
confusion; all turbines should be of the same size and proportions, same colour and
number of blades and same rotational speed. The spacing of the turbines should be
regular so as to give a consistent and repetitive image;
- The use of a small amount of larger diameter turbines is recommended rather than a
larger number of smaller turbines;
- In general, matt finishes and neutral colours for turbines and structures are
encouraged to minimise their conspicuous nature;
- Meath County Council will support appropriate innovative design for wind farms,
and;
- Measures should be taken to ensure a good acoustical design of turbines, to
guarantee that there are no significant increases in ambient noise level in the nearby
surroundings, which could affect private properties and wildlife, as well as the
tranquillity of the landscape.
Where new access roads are required measures should be taken to ensure minimum
disturbance of the proposed site. Cables connecting the wind farm to the national grid should
be located underground, where feasible. Proposals for the restoration of the site after
removal of the turbines should be included with a planning application. Adequate financial
security will be required by planning condition to ensure site restoration and removal of the
wind farm where appropriate.

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11.15.4 Energy Networks


As outlined in Chapter 8, it is a policy of the Council in principle to facilitate the provision of
energy networks and network extensions. In the assessment of proposed energy network
extensions, the following issues will be taken into account by Meath County Council:
- The development is required in order to facilitate the provision or retention of
significant economic or social infrastructure;
- The route proposed has been identified with due consideration for social,
environmental and cultural impacts;
- The design is such that will achieve least environmental impact consistent with not
incurring excessive cost;
- Where impacts are inevitable, mitigation features have been included;
- Where it can be shown the proposed development is consistent with international
best practice with regard to materials and technologies, that will ensure a safe,
secure, reliable, economic and efficient and high quality network and;
- Natura 2000 sites, proposed NHAs, areas of archaeological potential, landscapes of
exceptional or high value, international or national importance and high sensitivity,
proximity to structures that are listed for preservation, national monuments etc.
Appendix 7

Meath Landscape Character Assessment

Physical landscape character


1.
To recognise, protect and enhance the unique sense of place provided by every
landscape character area and to promote appreciation of landscape character
through local design initiatives such as advertising and publication of information in
the public (e.g. this Landscape Character Assessment).
2.

To commission further supplementary guidance to assist the achievement of


objective 1. For example; enhancement strategies where landscape character areas
are not in optimum condition, Village Design Statements for villages and graigs that
are inextricably linked to their landscape setting, design guides for new development
such as tourism, housing, infrastructure corridors and one-off houses, and
management plans for sensitive and popular sites.

3.

Every objective and policy should have regard to the need to maintain distinctiveness
and variety as the primary asset of all LCAs.

4.

To respect historic patterns of land use to ensure that development and change is
appropriate to its setting. Design guidelines should define the character of individual
settlements and make recommendations regarding suitable building materials,
styles, layouts, scales, etc. The objective of design guidelines may be to encourage
local involvement and comment, ensure consistency in development control decisions
and allow designs to be developed in response to local context.

5.

To ensure that development, particularly in sensitive landscapes, adheres to tailored


design guidelines. Sensitive landscapes include demesne villages and LCAs identified
as being sensitive (see section 9).

6.

To establish methods for improving existing landscape character and condition and
incentives for landowners and managers to do this, e.g. through the availability of
grants, guidelines and promotion of the economic benefits of high value landscapes.

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7.

To ensure maximum use of landscape character guidelines they must be fully


coordinated with other statutory documents and statutory bodies should be
consulted.

8.

To conserve landscapes of significant scenic, geological, ecological, cultural and


historic value that contribute to Meaths uniqueness.

9.

Recognise, enhance and maintain the rich mosaic of wildlife habitats including those
which are not statutorily protected but which are still highly valuable, including
roadside verges, hedgerows and mature trees, canal and minor river corridors,
lowland heath areas etc.

Visual character
10.
To review existing designations for areas of visual quality and to ensure adequate
protection of views and vistas that contribute to the appreciation of landscape
character.
11.

To maintain scenic vistas and panoramic views from key vantage points and towards
key landmarks and features within the landscape.

12.

To maintain the visual integrity of sensitive and exceptional high value areas.

13.

To increase the visual integrity of sensitive and moderate - low value areas.

History and archaeology


14.
To accurately assess and define objectives and policies for conservation and
preservation of all important historic landscapes and landscape settings in Co Meath
to ensure their adequate protection alongside the need to allow public enjoyment of
them.
15.

To preserve the integrity of the landscape setting of key historic landscape features
for the purposes of maintaining unique and unspoilt areas of landscape character,
visual amenity and attractiveness to visitors.

Agriculture
16.
To retain and create robust habitats through good agricultural practice, such as
maintenance and replanting of hedgerows and woodland.
17.

To sustain a viable working rural landscape by maintaining and facilitating


agricultural practices that positively contribute to landscape character, value and
condition.

18.

Where the decline in traditional agricultural practices is causing a decline in


landscape value and condition, encourage sensitive diversification of the rural
economy. Alternative economic activities may include light technology, crafts, green
tourism and associated supporting services for such enterprises. Reuse of redundant
traditional buildings should form a key part of economic diversification in rural areas,
as this will make a positive contribution to landscape character.

Transport and infrastructure

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35.

To develop design guidelines related to planned public transport routes including rail
and road corridors, bus stops in rural areas and tourist routes.
36.
To have regard to the potential environmental impacts of new infrastructure
development, such as noise and air pollution, impinging on views, tranquillity and
character and the consequences that such development may have for the evolution
of settlements, e.g. encouragement of out-of-town development. Measures such as
integrated transport systems and reducing the overall need to travel will assist in
achievement of this objective.
Tourism
37.
To maximise the potential tourist value of Meaths diverse range of landscape assets
and attractions and identify a hierarchy of sites by interpreting and communicating
the landscape character of Meath in a range of accessible media.
38.
To maximise the value of the landscape as an educational resource by providing
opportunities for students at all levels of the education system to access landscapes
and information on landscapes.
39.
To ensure that the provision of new or enhanced visitor facilities does not detract
from landscape character and are designed to the highest standards.
40.
To promote sustainable and integrated transport routes as a means of accessing
visitor attractions.
41.
To provide advice and incentives to landowners and land managers to conserve
historic landscapes and features through appropriate management techniques

Landscape character types


Type 1: hills and upland areas
General recommendations
1.
To preserve and enhance the rich heritage assets of these LCTs which provide visible
evidence of all four key phases of the Countys history (see section 4).
2.
To have due regard to the positive contribution that views across adjacent lowland
areas and landmarks within the landscape make to the overall landscape character.
3.
To respect the remote character and existing low-density development in these LCTs.
4.
To implement improvements to the visitor attractions, primarily Loughcrew and the
Hill of Tara.
5.
To explore the potential to create way marked walking trails that facilitate
interpretation and appreciation of historic landscape features.
6.
To continue and encourage the improved management of field boundaries such as
hedgerows and stone walls and hunting copses/ wooded copses.
7.
To maximise the potential amenity value of water bodies with this LCT.
8.
Facilitate the development of sustainable rural industries that encourage interaction
between urban and rural landscapes and dwellers, e.g. farmers markets.
Type 2: lowland areas
General recommendations
1.
Promote good agricultural practices to create a sustainable rural economy e.g. stud
farms.
2.
Provide incentives for smaller rural/family farms to manage their land to avoid loss
of hedgerows and field patterns.
3.
Maintain and enhance the 18th century estate landscapes and associated parkland
& woodland to develop them as a tourism resource.

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4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Diversify the urban fringe by developing mixed-use amenity areas, which will create
a landscape buffer creating a transition between urban and rural areas.
Define the urban fringe with planting of native species and mixed woodland to tie
into existing rural landscape.
Reflect the 18th century field pattern in the scale of new development.
Restoration of historic boundaries; walls to original standard with coursing and
materials to match existing. Hedges; timing and thinning of hedges.
Preserve views of upland areas that contain the lowlands e.g. Loughcrew, Tara and
Skryne.

Type 3: river corridors and estuaries


General recommendations
1.
To recognise the importance of river corridors for scenic value, recreation, ecology,
history and culture.
2.
To preserve historic features and their landscape settings.
3.
To conserve valuable habitats focused on and around river corridors and estuaries
including European SAC designations and national ASI and NHA designations.
4.
To maintain current agricultural practices that are responsible for the current strong
landscape character in these LCAs.
5.
To maintain attractive and unspoilt open views particularly along estuaries where
the interface between river corridors and the coast creates very attractive
landscapes.
6.
To continue and encourage the improved management of field boundaries such as
hedgerows and stonewalls and hunting copses/ wooded copses.
7.
To reinforce the appearance of urban fringe areas adjacent to river corridors.
8.
To further define popular tourist routes such as the Bru Na Boinne drive and create
links with new routes to additional areas of interest. Vehicular and pedestrian routes
should be developed in tandem
9.
To recognise the potential constraints on development created by river flood plains
and the value of these flood plains as increasingly rare habitats.
10.
To reflect existing vegetation species and patterns in new planting schemes in these
LCAs.
11.
To avoid unsustainable exploitation of watercourses, e.g. for abstraction and dilution
of effluent, to the point that these water courses lose their ecological and amenity
value.

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North Navan Lowlands page .37 of LCA

Landscape Value: Moderate


Landscape Sensitivity: Medium
Landscape Importance: Regional

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Landscape Description
A large area of agricultural land to the north of Navan contained in the east and west by the
Rivers Blackwater and Boyne respectively and to the north by a more complex hilly landscape
along the north Meath border (LCA 1). Overall this landscape character area is in a degraded
condition. It comprises of a mixture of pasture and arable fields that have been enlarged by
loss or removal of traditional boundaries, now often consist of post and wire or timber fences
and drainage ditches along road corridors.
The landscape around the fringes of Navan is flat - an extension of the river plains to the east
and west. It has a mix of land uses including ribbon housing development, retail units, a large
quarry and a racecourse which are not well integrated into the landscape and which have
caused the loss of traditional field boundaries, trees and vernacular field and road
boundaries. The racecourse in particular has a visually detractive corrugated fence along the
road corridor as has the Tara Mines Development. There are good views across this plain
towards more undulating and well treed farmland in the north and north east.
Further from Navan the landscape becomes more attractive although condition of field
boundaries is often poor. The topography is more undulating and the occurrence of trees is
more common. In the centre the farmland is reasonably well managed and characterised by
horse paddocks. To the north east the landscape becomes slightly wetter, much more
undulating and has a closer physical relationship with LCA 1 (although better managed).
There is a sub-area to the west of Wilkinstown that is covered by coniferous plantations,
regenerating birch and peaty heathland with wet birch and ash woodland on its fringes. It
has a very remote character and habitat value that is rare within Meath. However, it is in
poor condition in some places with boundary fences and gateposts in a state of disrepair. The
western part of this LCA, around Moynalty, has a better network of hedgerows and
woodland.
Moynalty is an estate village with ribbons of houses along its approach roads. It is a quiet
and attractive with little through traffic and several shops, pubs and a church. The village
and its environs are rich in archaeological and historic structures such as stone boundary
walls, traditional buildings and mottes. The Boyne river corridor, which bounds this character
area, is an historic landscape. Other settlements include the northern fringes of Navan,
Kilberry, Carlanstown, Wilkinstown and Gibbstown which are expanded graigs.
This area is well served by transport routes and infrastructure because of its proximity to
Navan and Kells: the N52 and several regional roads all traverse this character area. Road
corridors often have quite an open character but hedgerows are usually well maintained. The
tertiary roads around Gibbstown in the southern part of this area are more enclosed by trees
and the road corridors around Drumconrath in the northeast are more enclosed by drumlin
topography, trees and hedgerows. A railway also crosses through the centre of this area
from north to south and provides potential connections between Drogheda, Navan and
Kingscourt. The railway line is not a very prominent part of the landscape character but it
does form a well-wooded spine through the centre of this area and is most visible at level
crossings with the road network. There are a number of pylon lines, which converge at the
edge of Navan and are visually detractive.
Key characteristics
Geology
Complex geology of limestone, sandstone, shale and volcanic rock creating diverse
landscape.

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Poorly drained peaty soils in the North West derived from shaly limestone have created a
wet habitat which is scrappy in parts.
For the most part well drained mineral soils formed from limestone and sandstone has
been developed for agriculture.
Due to the variety of geological parent material there are several quarries and pits in the
area.
The Tara Mine north west of Navan was one of the largest lead-zinc mines in Europe.
Land Use
Predominantly large agricultural fields, mix of pasture and arable crops.
Field boundaries in degraded condition.
Significant sub-area of coniferous plantation, wet birch woodland and heath in the centre
of this LCA
Small areas of mixed and broadleaf woodland in western section with more attractive
character.
Urban fringe landscape around Navan with mix of uses, degraded condition and visually
detractive developments.
Ecology & Habitat
Corstown Lough and Mentrim Lough, 2 proposed National Heritage Areas (PNHAs): these
lakes comprise a variety of habitats associated with the lakes including wetland and cut
away bogs.
Grangegeeth Quarries Former Area of Scientific Interest (ASI).
Mixture of pasture and arable fields.
Some replacement of hedgerows with post and wire fences in western section.
Large area of regenerating birch woodland and peaty heathland to west of Wilkinstown.
History & Culture
Moynalty and Navan: historic settlements.
Evidence of original line of the Pale indicated by presence of Norman mottes and
Woodstown lower pale ditch
Ruined churches, round towers and castles throughout the area.
Protected churches include those at Rathkenny and Castletown plus Syddan, Newton and
Fletchertown.
Estate landscapes evident around edge of Navan and in the west.
Protected Structures include Stackallen country house (circa 1716) plus numerous other
country houses, farmhouses and buildings Tourism
Navan is a good base for exploring the County because it has a wide choice of
accommodation and a tourist information point.
Navan Racecourse attracts large numbers of spectators throughout the year with an
extensive fixture list.
Navan Golf course which is situated at the racecourse welcomes visitors and societies.
No other specific attractions in this area, although historic features would be of interest if
they were interpreted.
Settlements and Built Structures
A number of graigs have grown due to new development over the past few decades.
Mixed use development on urban fringe of Navan: commercial and light industrial,
residential, quarrying and leisure (racecourse).
Small quiet villages with little new development within the last 5 years.
Moynalty has an intact historic structure but Drumconrath is more modern.

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Key Settlements
Navan: A historic town located at the meeting of the Rivers Boyne and Blackwater. Good
historic structure in centre and significant archaeological value in surrounding landscape.
Northern fringes of town which fall within this LCA are within flat plain surrounding river
valley. A chaotic mix of uses including large quarry, racecourse, suburban housing and ribbon
development. The railway line degrades landscape character here.
Drumconrath: small quiet village with mostly modern houses but little new development
within the past five years and little through traffic. Occupies and elevated position in eastern
part of this landscape character area with good views to north east, framed by hills around
Carlingford.
Moynalty: large estate village with ribbons of houses along its approach roads. It is quiet but
attractive with a wealth of vernacular stone buildings and historic features such as stone
boundary walls
Kilberry: a small graig on the busy R162 between Navan and Kingscourt that has expanded
into an incoherent collection of buildings a number of agri-industrial/ commercial units, a
large palette yard, church, thatched pub and a few houses. There is little of the original
character left and almost continuous residential ribbon development between it and Navan.
Carlanstown: Small village located on the N52 road junction. Ribbon of modern development
built over former deer park. Remains of Norman motte to the north of the village may
indicate early line of the Pale.
Wilkinstown: Small village centred on busy road junction. Village centre is small and
comprises of pub, shop, petrol station and some warehouse units. Some modern one-off
houses around the edges but only a few remaining vernacular buildings.
Traditional stone boundary walls alongside road corridor are still largely intact. Surrounded
by relatively degraded farmland and large areas of coniferous plantations.
Gibbstown: A medium to large village within 5km of Navan comprised of a long ribbon of
buildings along the road corridor. Gibbstown is part of a Gaeltacht and flanks LCAs 3 & 5.
The village centre is not well defined but is a mix of small vernacular cottages and large oneoff bungalows and houses with a mixture of styles and materials. Potentially attractive but
slightly degraded wooded setting. Vernacular character could potentially be lost.
Forces of change
continued extension of graigs and other settlements.
continued degradation of urban fringe and river plain around Navan.
Likely future realignment of the n52 road.
Recommendations
1.
Provide incentives to landowners to improve condition of farmland, including
management of hedgerows and trees in field boundaries.
2.
Recognise the importance of stud farming to the upkeep of the landscape in the
centre of the North Navan farmland and maintain the viability of this industry by
sensitive siting of development that may adversely affect it.
3.
Maintain the integrity of 18th Century farming landscape by encouraging the
management of estate parkland, avenues of mature trees, boundary walls and
clipped hedges.
4.
Protect and enhance the area of regenerating birch woodland to west of
Wilkinstown for its value as a rare habitat within the county, including production of
a management plan for surrounding coniferous woodland.
5.
Consolidate northern urban fringes of Navan. Favour location of development on
infill sites rather than ribbon development extending along approaches to town. Use
appropriate landscape treatment along edges of development to soften urban fringe.

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6.
7.
8.

9.
10.
11.

Compliment landscape enhancement of urban fringe with opportunities to increase


amenity value of urban fringe of Navan for public access and recreation.
Consider the potential to increase public transport infrastructure by upgrading
existing rail line linking Navan with Drogheda and Kingscourt. Any upgrading should
happen within the context of comprehensive landscape design guidelines.
Recognise the potential of Nobber and Kilmainhamwood as attractive settlements
with features that could be interpreted and developed as visitor attractions. These
include wooded settings, rivers and loughs and proximity to Kingscourt, Co. Cavan,
which is a lively town.
Promote historic features to visitors and residents, e.g. by development of sensitive,
low key signage, interpretation leaflets, inclusion of most visible or intact features as
part of way marked trails and driving routes.
Continued promotion of Navan as hub/base for visitors to explore the county.
Improve availability of tourist info, connection with key attractions e.g. the town may
be developed as the start/end of way marked trails, driving routes etc.
Continue to promote the Gaeltacht around Gibbstown as a cultural resource and
promote links between other Gaeltachts including Rathcairn.

Potential capacity
1.
Medium potential capacity to accommodate large farm buildings although setting
and location would need to be considered to avoid degrading the condition of
farmland. If buildings are necessary to increase viability of farmland, good
management will be necessary.
2.
High potential capacity to accommodate visitor facilities particularly if these would
provide opportunities to improve the currently poor condition of the landscape. Care
should be taken not to add visual clutter and opportunities taken to improve links for
visitors between the rural landscape and the key towns of Navan and Moynalty.
3.
Medium potential capacity for multi-house residential development if it consolidates
existing disparate development around the edge of Navan. However, the capacity of
Drumconrath to accommodate such development would be low because of its
elevated position. Multi-house development in Moynalty would need to relate to the
small scale and historic nature of the village.
4.
Low potential capacity for one off houses, as they are already very common in this
LCA. Residential development should focus on consolidating urban edges and
improving landscape condition.
5.
High potential capacity to accommodate development of new visitor facilities around
existing features which are not currently interpreted, such as archaeological and
historic artefacts, demesnes and demesne villages. Such development could be used
to facilitate improvements to and maintenance of existing landscape patterns.
6.
High to medium potential capacity to accommodate overhead cables, masts and
substations around urban fringe where built development is more common. Low
potential capacity in rural areas and around smaller settlements, where landscape
character is of higher value.
7.
High potential capacity to accommodate new transport infrastructure with potential
associated opportunities to improve the condition of degraded field boundaries and
enhance passenger rail network by utilising disused lines.
8.
Low potential capacity to accommodate new underground service routes in parts of
this LCA which are rich in historic features. However, in areas which are in a
degraded condition potential capacity would be medium to high because of the
potential associated opportunities to improve landscape condition.

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9.

10.

Medium potential capacity to accommodate the development of wind farms and


individual turbines because there are few long range views except to the adjacent
LCA. The number of viewers of such development would be relatively high but their
proximity to several large urban areas is likely to lower their sensitivity. The
presence of buried archaeology and upstanding historic features is a potential
constraint on the location of wind turbines.
High potential capacity to accommodate biomass and forestry development except
in the central sub-area of this LCA where large scale plantations are already an
established feature of the landscape. Adverse effects on local habitats would need to
be assessed and mitigated.

Appendix 12 Protected Views and Prospects


View
1

Location
County road
between Ross
and Moneybeg

Direction
North
West

County road at
Bellewstown

South

County road
from
R154 at Boolies

South

R154 between
Patrickstown
and
Oldcastle I

North

R154 between
Patrickstown
and
Oldcastle II

South

Description
View looking north west across
mixed landscape of woodland
and trees of low enclosure.
Lake and skylines visible in
distance.
Working landscape containing
housing, agricultural structures
and infrastructure.
Views to south of Loughcrew
skyline. Foreground contains
extensive housing.
Extensive views south west
across unusually open and
unenclosed landscape towards
skyline of cultural and scenic
significance. Foreground and
middleground obstructed by
housing and infrastructure.
Extensive view northwards
across extensive settled
landscape with settlements,
housing, infrastructure and
agriculture all visible.
Infrastructure and housing
visible in near and middle
foreground. Few mature trees
in foreground or middle
distance. Extensive view
southwards across extensive
settled landscape with low
densities of housing.
Extensive view south across
extensive landscape with
relatively low levels of
enclosure and relatively low

Significance
Local

Local

Regional

Regional

Regional

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Slieve na Calliagh Panorama

County road
between
Rahaghy and
Patrickstown
County road
between Skerry
Cross Roads and
Ballinlough
County road
between
Crossakeel and
Magees Cross
Roads

South East

10

County road
between
Crossakeel and
Ardglassan

North
West

11

County road
between
Ardglassan and
Rathniska

South and
West

12

County road
between
Keerans Cross
Roads and
Commons
of Lloyd at
Castlepole

North

levels of visible development.


Panoramic views in all
directions including
intervisibility between the 3
peaks. Site of high cultural and
scenic significance
characterised by absent or very
low levels of enclosure.
Extensive view across
important scenic and cultural
landscape.

National

Regional

South
West

Framed View from local road


across Lough Bane

Regional

West

Extensive view of cultural


significance. Skyline to the west
across normal pasture and
tillage landscape with extensive
housing and agricultural
buildings and infrastructure.
Extensive view across mature
agricultural area with low
densities of non-agricultural
development and low
intensities of infrastructure
visible. Extensive view of
Loughcrew and extensive view
to south of wooded skylines
and distant hills. Similar views
available along much of this
road.
View to south: Extensive views
across tillage lowlands. Very
low levels of development
visible.
Many mature trees and large
fields.
View to west: Occasional views
of Loughcrew. Established
pattern of settlement and
infrastructure.
View to the north. Typical
lowland pasture and tillage.
Fields bounded by mature
trees. Extensive development
visible including housing,
agricultural structures and
infrastructure (including
bypass).

Regional

National

Local

Local

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13

Tower of Lloyd
at
Kells

Panorama

14

R163 between
Kells and
Drumbaragh

North
North East

15

County road
between
Carlanstown and
Ardlonan
County road
to north of
Moydorragh

East

County road
between
Mullagheven
Cross Roads and
Gorrys Cross
Roads
County road
between
Mullystaghan
and
Robertstown

North
North East

19

Car Park at
Whitewood
Lough

East and
North East

20

County road
between
Cormeen and
Breaky Bridge

North

16

17

18

North East
and South
West

North,
North East
and East

360 degree panoramic views to


surrounding landscape.
Significant visual relationships
including Loughcrew to the
west and toward Carlingford
Lough and the Mourne
Mountains to the north east.
Views also including extensive
areas of development including
infrastructure and urbanisation.
Site is also of cultural heritage
significance.
Extensive view to north-northeast across a landscape of
settlement, infrastructure,
mixed farming and woodland.
Expansive views to east across
typical agricultural lowlands
with low levels of scattered
development.
Short range views to north-east
towards tower. Expansive views
to south west across complex
of mixed landscape types this
view is visible from a number of
locations along this road.
Expansive views to distant
locations to north and to views
of Carlingford, Mourne
Mountains to the north
east. Highly varied topography.
Woodland in lowlands.
Extensive views to north, north
east and east from this point
and approach roads. Land is
open with occasional woodland
blocks and complex
topography. Development
evident, especially in lowland
areas.
Lakeland view to east with
woodland and Whitewood
House on horizon. Open view
towards north east of horizon.
Low levels of development
visible in near ground.
View to north across
drumlin/low hills to near
horizons. Extensive areas of
woodland and small fields

National

Local

Local

Local

Regional

Local

Local

Local

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21

County road
between
Miltown Cross
Roads and Ervey
Cross Roads

North

22

County road
between
Corratober
Bridge
and Rathlagan

North East

23

County road
between R165
and
Mullaghmore
County road
between
Rathkenny and
Parsonstown
Demesne

North East

County road
between
Horistown and
Creewood I
County road
between
Rathkenny and
Dreminstown
County road
between
Horistown and
Creewood II

North
West

24

25

26

27

28

29

County road
between
Rathkenny
Cross Roads
and Sallygarden
Cross Roads
Car Park at Hill

West and
North
West

in foreground. These views


exist along much of this stretch
of road.
Views to north of high amenity
mature mixed woodland on
steep sided stream valley with
occasional rock outcrops.
Absence of any visual
residential or agricultural
development.
Expansive views to north
east distant horizon including
mountains. Very little
settlement visible.
Infrastructure, power lines
concentrated in this area
around substation to the east.
Expansive views to north east
distant horizon including
mountains.
Very little settlement visible.
Expansive views to the west
and north west across settled
landscape including
infrastructure and widely
scattered housing and some
settlements.
Extensive view especially to the
north west. Working landscape,
densely settled.

Local

Regional

Regional

Regional

Regional

West

Extensive views to west across


working landscape with
scattered development and
woodland.

Regional

South East

Very distant views across


settled landscape. Relatively
open. Mature woodland in
foreground. Low density of
visible development to
the south east. Powerlines and
houses visible to southwest.
View north east across settled
working landscape with large
fields, woodland lots, and low
levels of enclosure. Settlements
and infrastructure visible.

Regional

Extensive view from east to

National

North East

East,

Local

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of
Slane

South
East and
South

30

Hill of Slane

Panorama

31

County road
between Boyne
Canal and
Roughgrange

North

32

At cross off
county road to
north of N51

East,
South
and West

33

At Proudstown
Cross Roads on
R162

East

34

N2 between
Slane and
Balrath
at McGrunders
Cross Roads

North East

35

County Road
between
Beaupark and
Painestown

North
West

south east across open working


and settled landscape. Modern
housing and agricultural
development visible.
Extensive panorama across
open working and settled
landscape.
Modern housing and
agricultural development
visible.
Intermittent views of the main
tumulus in Newgrange can be
obtained from many points
along this road and adjacent
areas. Visibility often [less in
summer] determined by the
season and the current state
of hedgerow maintenance.
Extensive view from east to
west encompassing woodland
and large open fields in
foreground.
Settled working landscape
visible in all directions. Very low
density of settlement in
foreground to middle ground
distance. This View is typical
of a series of such views from
the N 51 between N53
[Western Boundary] and N53
[Eastern Boundary].
Extensive eastward view to
distant location across settled
landscape.
Dense urbanisation on right
hand side of view. More open
but still undeveloped left hand
side.
View of Boyne Valley with open
view of Knowth and
Newgrange. Mixed composition
of working landscape.
Slane visible on left (west).
Roads, power lines and housing
visible.
View to northwest across
settled landscape with
settlements and infrastructure
(powerline, windfarm, roads
visible). Many large woodland
lots.

National

International

Local

Local

International

Regional

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County road
to north of
Brownstown
Cross
Roads on R153 I
County road
to north of
Brownstown
Cross Roads on
R153 II
At Carn Hill on
county road to
north of Caseys
Cross Roads on
R153

North
West

View to north west across


working landscape with visual
agricultural structures.

Local

South East

View to south east across


working landscape with visual
agricultural structures.

Local

South
West

Local

39

At Johnstown on
county road to
south of Caseys
Cross Roads on
R153

North East

40

On road to south
of Cannistown
Church and M3

South East
and South

41

On county
road between
Dowdstown
Bridge and
Garlagh Cross
Roads

South

42

On county road
between Bective
and Ballinter
cross roads

East

43

Hill of Tara Car


Park

East

44

Hill of Tara

Panorama

South west view to very


distant horizon across settled
landscape with visual
settlement, infrastructure and
housing on the outskirts of
Navan.
Extensive view to north-east
across working landscape with
visible infrastructure
(powerline, major road) and
scattered residential
development.
Extensive view mainly to south
east and south over settled
landscape with infrastructure
(motorway), powerlines,
playing fields and houses.
View looking south towards Hill
of Tara across open landscape
with significant concentration
of development to east and
woodland to west. Contains
infrastructure including road,
220kV powerline and
anglemasts.
View sustained for 500m taking
place across unoccupied level
countryside with few
enclosures.
View east to Skryne. Settled
landscape. Historic features.
Views across settled landscape
with visible development
including foreground
powerlines, agricultural
buildings, houses, quarries and
roads.
View to the west: other
prominent hilltops visible at
great distance.

36

37

38

Local

Local

Regional

Local

Local
National

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45

46

47

On county
road between
Kilmessan and
Castleboy
On county road
between Balpere
Hill and Tara
Skryne Church

Foreground contains extensive


areas of hedgerows and
woodland.
View to the south: Wicklow and
Dublin Mountains visible on
horizon.
Relatively little development
visible. Substantial woodland in
the foreground. View to the
east: across settled working
landscape with a variety of
structures and development
visible including historic
structures such as Skryne.
Distant industrial
plants. View to the north:
panoramic views into very
distant horizons.
Encompassing a settled
landscape
with many buildings and
structures visible in near and
middle distance.
Note areas immediately below
hill to the north and south are
obstructed by topography at
variance with protection plan.
North East

Local View of Tara hill top.

Local

North

Road has a distinct character at


present coming through an
arch of trees. It forms an
important context for the
approach to Tara.
Extensive panoramic views.
View to the west: very distant
horizon across settled
landscape with the Hill of
Tara forming foreground.
Intervening landscape contains
housing, farm buildings, roads
and woodlands. View to the
north: contains significant
amount of trees and woodland
and nearby housing. View to
the north east: very distant
panorama including Carlingford
peninsula. Foreground is a
settled working landscape

Regional

Panorama

National

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48

On M3 at
Baronstown

North East

49

On county
road between
Collierstown and
Trevet
On R154
between
Trim and
Scurlockstown

North
West

51

On R158
between Trim
and Laracor

North

52

Hill of Ward

Panorama

53

On R161 at
Inchatore Bridge
to west of
Donore

North,
North East
and South

50

North
West

containing many visible


structures including houses,
telecom masts, and distant
factories. View to the south:
very extensive (including
Dublin and Wicklow Mountains
and Howth peninsula), heavily
wooded foreground and middle
distance.
Many structures visible.
Iconic view. View only towards
Skryne Hill. Motorway in the
foreground. Concentration of
housing on road side. View of
very distant horizon to the
north.
Distinctive local view towards
Skryne Church.
View looking to north west
across very open fields of flood
plain across river, toward
important collection of cultural
heritage remains silhouetted on
the skyline.
An iconic image of Trims status
as a Heritage Town. Much
modern development visible to
the left.
Expansive view to north of
Trims Heritage buildings in
profile creating a distinctive
urban style.
Panoramic views in all
directions to very distant
horizons. Very open landscape
in foreground and middle
distance across a working
landscape with relatively little
settlement visible except for
town of Athboy to west.
View of Boyne in open and
largely undeveloped
countryside.
View to the north and north
east of typical river corridor
with immature vegetation from
R161.
No development currently
visible.

Local

Local

Regional

Local

Regional

Local

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54

On R161 at Royal
Canal

East and
West

55

On Stonyford
Bridge on county
road between
Blackshade and
Moyfin
Along Royal
Canal at
Boolykeagh

North

57

County road
between
Rathcore and
Clonguiffin

West and
North
West

58

County road
between N51
and Knowth

59

No apparent cultural heritage


significance is visible.
Views along Royal Canal to the
east and west at intersection
with R161.
View to middle distance along
the River Boyne. Typical
lowland countryside. Very little
development visible.

Regional
Local

An unusual view to south


containing water in the
foreground with elevated views
to distant horizons mostly to
the south west. Very little
development evident.
Views to west/north west like
this available from this location
where there are gaps in the
hedge. Expansive views
available to very distant
horizons across mixed farmland
working landscape with
relatively low levels of
development.

Regional

South

First view of tumulus looking


south.

Regional

Knowth Tumulus

Panorama

International

60

Obelisk Bridge at
Oldbridge

North
West

61

Hill at Graveyard
at Sheephouse

North,
East
and West

Panoramic views in all


directions from top of Knowth
tumulus.
Extensive views across a
working countryside.
View west from south of
Obelisk Bridge is selected as
typical of the quality of local
visual amenity at this location.
A site of considerable
scenic and historic significance.
Site of Battle of Boyne.
Expansive view of settled
lowland with extensive
urbanisation and industry
visible to the east and north.
Views to the north are
extensive and encompass
important cultural landscape of
significance.
Much woodland to north and
west.

56

South

Local

National

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62

County road
between Duleek
and Boyne Canal
I

North and
West

63

County road
between Donore
and
Redmountain

North

64

County road
between Duleek
and Boyne Canal
II

North
West

65

Laytown Strand

North

66

County road
between Duleek
and Carnes East

67

County road
between Carnes
West and Carnes
East

South
West,
West,
North
West
and North
South
West

68

County road
between
Bellewstown and
Carnes East
County road at
Bellewstown

South

R108 between
Naul and

East

69

70

North East

Panoramic views across mixed


agriculture and tillage, pasture
and woodland. Views to north
and west
- dense woodland. Distant
horizon skyline to north and
west.
Extensive view to north across
woodland, pasture and tillage.
Middle distance views of
Newgrange and Knowth in
centre of view and very little
development visible.
Extensive view to north across
woodland, pasture and tillage.
Middle distance views of
Newgrange and Knowth in
centre of view and very little
development visible.
Distinctive View northwards
along the shore from Laytown.
Panoramic views from south
west to north. South West Very distant horizons visible.
Views to north and west - very
compromised by industry and
urbanisation.

International

Very long distance views to


south west and west across
open tillage landscape with
occasional settlement and very
large fields.
View provided is typical. There
are similar views from many
equivalent vantage points in
this general area.
Extensive views across
predominantly agricultural
countryside Telecom and
electricity infrastructure visible.

Regional

Extensive north-eastward view


to sea, Mourne Mountains and
horizon north of Boyne. View
encompasses a settled
landscape with industry,
infrastructure, settlement and
sea to the east. Views to north
and east most important.
Extensive view to east and sea
from junction of local road with
R108.

International

International

Regional
Regional

Local

Regional

Regional

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71

Mullaghteelin
County road
off R108 at
Snowtown

South East

View at gate along hedgerow of


extensive tillage landscape,
visible settlement and
infrastructure.
Expansive view to west/south
west across settled landscape
with distant views towards
Skryne. Landscape is densely
vegetated in foreground.
Extensive views to the north
east, mid distance heavily
wooded. Dwellings,
infrastructure and agriculture
on left hand side. View to
skyline with distinctive tower is
locally distinctive.

72

County road
Hawkinstown
and
Gilliamstown

West and
South
West

73

County road
between
Robinsons Cross
Roads on R108
and Windmill Hill

North East

74

Boyne valley
from Rosnaree
House
Boyne Estuary
view from coast
road between
Mornington and
Drogheda (past
Grammar
School)
Rathkenny Hills
View from
Creewood in
south eastward
direction
View of Kileen
Castle/Skane
Valley from
southeast
direction of
the
Warrenstown
college.
Boyne valley
from
Derrindaly
Bridge
Boyne valley
from Scarrif
Bridge
Blackwater
Valley

East

Boyne valley from Rosnaree


House.

National

North

Expansive views of the Boyne


Estuary with associated long
views and open skylines.
Prospects towards Beaulieu are
included. This view is typical of
many such views along this
road.

Local

East

A typical view of open


countryside with little visible
development.

Local

North
West

A typical view of open


countryside with little visible
development.

Local

East West

View of Boyne in open and


largely undeveloped
countryside.

Local

North East
and South
West

View of Boyne in open and


largely undeveloped
countryside.

Local

River view in context of mature


trees.

Local

75

76

77

78

79

80

South East

Local

Local

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81

82

83

Navan from
R147
Kells Road in
the vicinity of
Bloomsbury
Blackwater
Valley
from Maudlin
Bridge
Blackwater
Valley
from Mabes
Bridge
Clonard
Blackshade

South East
and North
West

River view in context of mature


trees.

Local

East and
West

River view in context of mature


trees.

Local

South East
and North
West

Blackshade Bridge over the


Royal Canal and with views
along the canal in both
directions.
Elevated Views across open
countryside at Coole hill off
road from Kilcock to
Summerhill.
View of River Blackwater from
Headford Bridge with estate
landscape visible.
View looking northward from
Bective Bridge towards Bective
Abbey and along river Boyne in
both directions.

Local

84

Coole Hill

West

85

Headford Bridge

East and
West

86

Bective Bridge

87
a to d

Newgrange
Passage Tomb

North
West,
North East
and South
West
East,
West,
North and
South

88

Dowth Passage
Tomb

Panorama

89a

Views towards
Br na Binne
from N51
Views towards
Br na Binne
from N51

South

89b

South

Local

Local

Local

Elevated panoramic View


across the landscape within the
World Heritage Site of Br na
Binne. Note that this is a
working landscape containing
agricultural structures,
dwellings, infrastructure.
Elevated panoramic View
across the landscape within the
World Heritage Site of Br na
Binne. Note that this is a
working landscape containing
agricultural structures,
dwellings, infrastructure.
Views along the N51 looking
south into the Core Area of the
World Heritage Site.

International

Views along the N51 looking


south into the Core Area of the
World Heritage Site.

National

International

National

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Views towards
Br na Binne
from N51
West of
crossroads at
Monknewtown
Views from
Boyne and
Towpath

South

Views along the N51 looking


south into the Core Area of the
World Heritage Site.

National

South

Views at Monknewtown
towards the Core Area of the
World Heritage Site.

Regional

North and
North
West
(sample
view on
Map 9.5.1)

International

92

Corballis

North
West

93a

Local Road
L16002, 1.2km
east of Fenner
Cross Roads
Local Road
L16002,
0.7km west of
Rossnaree
Local road
L16002, 1.65km
east of Fennor
Cross Roads.
Moylagh Castle
from local road
to
east of R195

North East

All views from within the World


Heritage Site boundaries along
the Boyne/Boyne Navigation
tow path and proposed
greenway looking towards the
core area of the World
Heritage Site.
Views in from the road at
Corballis looking in north
westerly directions towards the
Core Area of the World
Heritage Site.
View towards the Core Area of
the World Heritage Site.

East

View towards the Core Area of


the World Heritage Site.

Regional

East

View towards the Core Area of


the World Heritage Site.

Regional

South East

View of Moylagh Castle and


Motte.

Local

89c

90

91

93b

93c

94

Regional

Regional

Kells Development Plan 2013-2019


The current Kells Development Plan was adopted on 7th October 2013. The Strategic aims for
Kells as outlined in the plan include:
1. To facilitate the growth of Kells as a Moderate Sustainable Growth Town in line
with its status provided for in the Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin
Area.
1. To build upon the Heritage Town status of Kells and to develop specific niche tourism
products so as to create sustainable job growth in the tourism sector for the town.
Chapter 3 of the plan contains the Councils economic strategy. The following policies relate
to tourism:

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TOUR POL 1 To support the development of Kells as a significant tourism centre in the
county, a gateway to the Boyne Valley and a bridge between Dublin and the North West
regions
TOUR POL 4 To protect and conserve those natural, built and cultural heritage features that
form the principal assets of the towns tourism asset and in particular, to protect the
medieval area of the town from inappropriate or visually intrusive development
Chapter 10 addresses heritage and environment matters.
HER POL 1 To protect and enhance the quality of the natural and built heritage of Kells, to
safeguard it as a resource in its own right and ensure that future generations can understand
and appreciate their heritage.
HER POL 2 To interpret and promote the importance and cultural significance of natural and
built environment and its potential in the promotion of tourism and enhancing the image of
Kells as a place to live and visit
HER POL 7
To conserve, protect and enhance the architectural heritage of Kells and to ensure that new
development makes a positive contribution to the historic character of Kells.
There are two separate Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) in Kells, namely the Historic
Core ACA and the Headfort Place ACA. Appendix I of the plan contains a description of each
ACA.
HER POL 8 states: To preserve the character of the following Architectural Conservation
Areas in Kells:
I) Historic Core ACA
ii) Headfort Place ACA
World Heritage Status Tentative List 3
Two sites in Meath have been included on the Tentative List as part of larger assemblies of
sites:
The Royal Sites of Ireland (Cashel, Dn Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan
Complex and Tara Complex), and;
Early Medieval Monastic Sites (Clonmacnoise, Durrow, Glendalough, Inis Cealtra,
Kells and Monasterboice)
The six Early Medieval Monastic Sites chosen are the epitome of the Early Medieval Monastic
Cities which derived their unique settlement patterns from the major sites of pre-Christian
Celtic Ireland which themselves developed over the several centuries of the Iron Age.The
monastic site in Kells has been nominated by the Irish State in the draft new Tentative List for
UNESCO World Heritage Status grouped in a category of 6 settlements of Early Medieval
Monastic Sites. The nomination acknowledges the significant potential that exists to
showcase the historic Columban monastic site that developed in Kells from the 9th Century
onwards as one of the finest examples of early medieval monastic settlements in Ireland. The
monastic site at Kells, being the only urban monastic site, can offer a tangible reminder of
the interconnectedness of the monastery, its educators, craftsmen and scribes within, the
farming community within and around the enclosure, and the market town which grew
3

A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which a country intends to consider for nomination to the World Heritage
List. The new Tentative List was approved by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and submitted to UNESCO in
March 2010.

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around it. Having regarded to the significant tourism and cultural heritage benefits the
nomination can bring to the town of Kells and wider afield, it will be Kells Town Council /
Meath County Council strong ambition to support, promote and seek the designation of the
Kells monastic site for full UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
HER POL 12 To support, promote and encourage the nomination of the Columban Monastic
Site in Kells for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
HER POL 13 To protect the tentative World Heritage Site in Kells from inappropriate
development.
HER OBJ 3 The following view shall be protected as illustrated on Map 3 of the Plan.
View No. 2: View from the top of Church Lane looking east over Kells.
Variation No. 2 to the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019
This variation was made at a Special Meeting of Meath County Council held on Monday 19th
May, 2014 and gives effect to the Core Strategy of the Meath County Development Plan
2013-2019 and in particular objectives CS OBJ 2, 3 and 5 therein and also to objective ED OBJ
2 contained in the Economic Strategy. Variation No. 2 has introduced land use zoning
objectives and an Order of Priority into the Meath County Development Plan 20132019,
which will manage the release of residential and employment lands for 34 no. centres /
group of centres across the county. Volume V of the County Development Plan (as varied)
now contains a written statement and a land use zoning map for Carlanstown and Moynalty.
There are two separate views to the south of the village orientated both east and west of
Carlanstown Bridge, which is a Protected Structure, of the Moynalty River and its associated
bank verges. These views are identified on the land use zoning objectives map and have not
been referenced by the applicant in the EIS.
Carlanstown Written Statement (now in V2)
The statutory land use framework for Carlanstown promotes the future development of the
village in a co-ordinated, planned and sustainable manner in order to conserve and enhance
the established natural and historical amenities of the village and its intrinsic character.
Particular regard is afforded to the protection and enhancement of natural features such as
the Moynalty River, historical features of interest, open space needs and the existing
topography character within and surrounding the village. There are two separate views to
the south of the village orientated both east and west of Carlanstown Bridge, which is a
Protected Structure, of the Moynalty River and its associated bank verges.
Proposed Variation of the County Development Plan 2013-2019
At the meeting of Meath County Council of 3rd November 2014 4, the following motion was
unanimously adopted:
That this Council resolves to commence the process of varying the County Development Plan
by adding the following policies to Section 8 Energy and Communications.
(1) To support generation of Wind Power in Meath by commercial and
residential users, where a majority of the electricity produced is used
directly by the business generator or residential generator (otherwise
4

Subject to acceptance of the draft meeting minute by the Elected Members

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known as auto-producer production or producer consumption) subject to


sustainable planning and development.
(2) To allow wind power generation for the National Grid or for export from
Ireland, only on sites with average annual wind speeds greater than 9
metres per second, (measured at 100 metres above ground level,) in the
interests of securing National and EU policy objectives, of minimising the
cost of wind energy, maximising efficiency of generation, and in the
interests of sustainable planning and development.
The Chief Executive advised the Council against varying the County Development Plan in her
report and, should the Council adopt the Motion, it may be directed not to proceed. On 13
June 2016 there was a notice of motion that the Council proceed with the variation referred
to in 2014. In relation to the above, clarification was sought from the DECLG with regard to
the contents of relevant Circulars and timeframe for the publication of the Wind Energy
Guidelines and the Renewable Energy Export Policy and Development Framework. A reply
was received from the DECLG and is summarised below:
A response was received from the DECLG on 05th September 2016 which highlighted the role
of Departmental Planning Circulars do not have a statutory basis when compared with the
Planning Acts, Regulations, ...... or any Ministerial Guidelines, Directives or Directions issued
under the Acts. Departmental Circulars, which are generally advisory in nature, are used as a
means of providing information to Planning Authorities........ The letter goes on to state that
in the context of the issue at hand, I wish to confirm the advice provided in Circular letter
PL20-13 continues to apply pending the completion of the review of the Wind Energy
Development Guidelines, and indeed, the Renewable Electricity Policy and development
Framework by the DCCAE. Development Plans must take account of all relevant and up to
date national policy, two key elements of which are subject to review and not yet completed
The letter concludes with the point that it would be unwise to amend any wind or energy
policy within the Development Plan until such times as the aforementioned reviews are
complete.
Variation 3 of the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019
On the 23rd May 2016, the Elected Members of Meath County Council varied the Meath
County Development Plan 2013-2019, this variation is titled Variation No 3. The purpose of
Variation No. 3 was to align the County Development Plan 2013-2019 with the key tenets of
the Meath Economic Strategy 2014-2022 as they relate to statutory land use planning.

SECTION 4 REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

An Bord Pleanala has determined5 (meeting of 11th May 2016) that the proposed
development would comprise of strategic infrastructure development. Under Section 37 E of
the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2014 any development which falls within the
scope of Section 37 A must be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement.

Paragraph 1 of the Seventh Schedule, Planning and Development Acts 2000-2014 states as follows:
An installation for the harnessing of wind power for energy production (a wind farm) with more than 25 turbines or having a
total output greater than 50 megawatts

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The EIS has been prepared following the grouped format structure.
Volume 2 of the EIS contains the following chapter headings:
- Introduction
- Description of the proposed development;
- Policy;
- EIA Scoping, consultation and key issues;
- Air and Climate;
- Noise and Vibration;
- Ecology;
- Geology;
- Hydrology and Water Quality;
- Human Environment;
- Shadow Flicker;
- Traffic;
- Archaeology,
- Landscape and Visual
- Telecommunications and Aviation
- Interaction of the foregoing.

As the development description and policy context are dealt with earlier in this report, it is
not proposed to further elaborate on same in this section. A summary of each chapter is
outlined below.
Firstly site selection/examination of alternatives will be explored. Volume 3 Appendix C
contains a site selection report. An examination of alternatives is required by the EIA
directive. 6 Castletownmoor was originally part of the proposed Emlagh wind farm in County
Meath, and prior to that, was part of the Greenwire Wind Energy Export project. Element
Power subsequently acquired 120MW of grid capacity from the Irish transmission system. It
is therefore now proposed to supply power to the national grid via underground cabling. The
Emlagh Wind Farm (An Bord Pleanala (ABP) Ref. 17.PA0038) was submitted to An Bord
Pleanala in October 2014 for a larger and more extensive site comprising of up to 46
turbines in Co. Meath. The proposed development was refused permission on 27 January
2016. The refusal reasons associated with the Emlagh Wind Farm application have been
reviewed by the developer and it stated by them that the current proposal of up to 25
turbines by reason of the reduced extent and scale of the development addresses the key
reasons for the Emlagh refusal and it is on this basis that the Castletownmoor Wind Farm is
proposed. This reasoned argument put forward by the developer will be considered in the
assessment of this EIS.
The EIS report states in Section 1.1.1 that proximity to a sustainable connection to the
national grid is critical. The report goes on to state that grid connection became available at
the Gorman substation approximately 16km away from the site. The site selection report is
based on the need to connect to Gorman, therefore a search for potential sites within a
25km radius of the Gorman substation was carried out. The report does not sufficiently
address the potential of connection to other substations with connection capacity, if any
exist, this matter would need to be addressed in a revised site selection report.

Article 5 requires: an outline of the main alternatives studied by the developer and an indication of the main reasons for his
choice, taking account the environmental effects.

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The report looks at Meath and Louth as potential sites as both counties have lands within
25km of Gorman substation. The wind energy policies for both counties are outlined. The
Meath Landscape Character Assessment is referred to and of the 20 LCAs in the County
those with low capacity to the south of the Gorman station i.e. 5, 6 and 12 were not
considered suitable. LCA 16 is south of the Gorman substation with a medium capacity to
accommodate a wind farm, a crossing of the Blackwater would be required and this area
was also then considered unsuitable. The remaining areas within 25km of the Gorman
station that have a medium capacity to accommodate a wind farm are LCA 2 and LCA 3. LCA
3 was selected based on proximity to the Gorman substation (appendix C page 7 of 25).
The Louth County Development Plan, 2015-2021 at Map 9.1 identifies areas suitable for
wind development. The report states that within 25km of Gorman lies part of south Louth,
some of this area is identified as a preferred location for a wind farm. Figure 1 of this report
is a constraints map of a 25km buffer of the Gorman substation and the applicant based on
an examination of same considered lands in County Louth unsuitable.
The report concludes the site area selected has the highest identified capacity within the
Meath County Development Plan to accommodate a wind farm, i.e. medium; there is no
direct impact on designated sites; site can be accessed via the national road network;
avoidance of direct impact on cultural heritage; proximate to national transmission network;
wind speeds; distance from larger settlements and constructability (low risk of peat
slippage).
The second section of the report discusses the evolution of the internal site layout including
cabling routes, substation design and alternative technologies. This part of the report is very
much emerges from previous assessment, feedback and learning from the previous Emlagh
wind farm and subsequent refusal.
As stated above addressing what are considered to be deficiencies in the site selection
report will form part of the recommendation of this report.
Chapter 5: Air and Climate Change
This section of the EIS describes the existing air and climate environment of the proposed
wind farm, examines the various elements of both construction and operational phases
which have potential to impact on air quality and climate and further describes the
mitigation measures to be implemented.
In the first instance it is reasonable to concur with the applicants assertion that the
operational phase would not give rise to emissions and as such the construction phase,
inclusive of cable laying, is the primary focus of the chapter.
Air Impacts
The principle source of air emissions would be dust arising from the substantial earthworks,
trench excavation, construction of access tracks and working of borrow pits. The amount of
dust generated is dependent on the type and quality of material, distance between site
activity and sensitive receptors and local topography. To assess the potential impacts on air
quality the applicant applied NRA assessment criteria and a DMRB modelling system to
estimate a baseline for a variety of emissions at numerous receptors along the route. The
assessment then undertaken for the period of construction indicate that traffic emissions
will remain within relevant air quality guidelines and therefore will not impact on ambient

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air quality. Plant and machinery such as generators and excavators would have a minimal
impact in terms of emissions given the limited operation timeframe of same.
Climate Impacts
There is potential for greenhouse gas emissions during construction from construction
vehicles, generators, pumps etcalthough for the limited period of operation it is considered
that the impact on the climate would be negligible. The applicant primarily focuses on the
positives of the proposal in that fossil fuel power is the primary alternative to the
development which would hinder Ireland in its commitments to increase electricity
production from renewable sources. It is estimated that a potential output of 85MW for
Castletownmoor wind farm will result in the net displacement of 115,000 tonnes of CO2 per
annum.
Mitigation Measures
Relevant to air quality mitigation measures to be provided include the provision of a water
bowser to spray work areas especially during periods of excavation works coinciding with
dry weather periods, the covering of all loads that could cause dust nuisance, aggregates and
sand stockpiles to be kept damp, gravel to be used at site exit points and a dust control plan
will be submitted for approval.
Cumulative Impacts
There are potential cumulative impacts if the construction phase of the proposal were to
overlap with the North/South Interconnector development due to the nature of both
projects which would necessitate excavation, transportation of material etcIt is submitted
that the implementation of similar mitigation measures as prescribed above will result in
there not being cumulative negative impacts.
Comments
The Planning Authority would be largely satisfied with the modelling utilised on the baseline
air quality data and further the methodology utilised to predict potential air and climate
impacts. It is considered in agreement with the applicant that the proposal once operational
would have positive impacts in terms of a reduction in greenhouse emissions and would
contribute towards achieving Irelands targets in respect of renewable sources of energy.
Further comments in relation to Air & Climate are dealt with in the Planning Assessment
Section of this report.
Chapter 6: Noise and Vibration
Vibration from operational windfarms is below the human threshold of perception such that
no operational vibration effects are predicted. It is noted that vibration arising from
construction activities would be below any thresholds for structural damage to property.
This is accepted in the report of the Environment Section. As such the central focus of this
section of the EIS relates to noise.
Noise Impacts
Potential noise impacts from the scheme include construction phase with noise from
vehicles, excavation works, erection of turbines and the construction of compounds and
hard standings. Noise from the operational stage includes blades rotating in the air and
internal machinery.
The current Wind Energy Guidelines document recommends a lower fixed limit of 45dB (A)
or a maximum increase of 5dB (A) above background noise at nearby noise sensitive

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locations. In very quiet areas where the background noise is less than 30dB(A) it is
recommended that the daytime level of the L90, 10 mins of wind energy noise be limited to
an absolute level in the range of 35-40dB(A). A fixed limit of 43dB (A) should apply for night
time.
The applicant has calculated predicted construction noise levels, which assume that plant is
operating 100% of the time and that there is no barrier attenuation. The results of the
calculations show that construction activity will not exceed 65dBLaeq and therefore will not
be significant. In terms of the operational phase of the turbines themselves the predicted
noise levels would exceed both night and daytime limits in a number of instances. Section
6.5.2.1 states that Operational noise from the wind farm is predicted to exceed the DoEHLG
43dB La90 night noise limit at a number of properties not involved with the development,
and therefore mitigation will be required where this occurs.
Mitigation Measures
The noise impact for construction traffic would be mitigated by generally restricting traffic to
standard working hours. The substation transformer will be selected to ensure that it
conforms to a reference sound pressure level of 80dB (A) or lower such that the noise at
nearby property will not be significant (i.e. below 35db (A).
As the results of the predicted operational noise levels exceed night and day limits in some
instances it is proposed to run turbines in a noise reduced mode of operation whereby the
noise level is reduced by reducing the rotational speed of the turbines. The applicant also
submits that any new noise limits that are proposed following the review of the Wind Energy
Guidelines could be complied with at the site by implementing the necessary mitigation
through the control systems.
Comments
Construction noise may come from a number of areas within the construction of the wind
turbines, for example, excavation of foundations, borrow pits, trenches, construction of hard
standing areas and access roads, erection of the turbines and noise caused by site traffic and
vehicles delivering construction materials and components. This type of noise will be limited
to the construction period of the project, estimated at 18 months.
While there are no published limits for construction noise in Ireland the IWEA documents
recommends utilising the BS 5228-1:2009 Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control
on Construction and Open Sites and the NRA Guidelines for the treatment of Noise and
Vibration in National Roads Schemes. It is anticipated that due to the large size of some of
the components and size of foundation pours these deliveries and activities may have to
take place at outside normal working hours. While the construction activities are remote to
rural residential areas the delivery of large turbine components will pass by residential
properties and due to the health and safety factors will likely have convoy and support
vehicles with appropriate warning beacons.
Chapter 7: Ecology
The subject site is predominantly rich agricultural land of either tillage or grass however
there are also a number of plots of forestry. A large section of the site ultimately drains to
the Blackwater and Boyne Rivers. Terrestrial mammal species were recorded during the
ecological surveys carried out at the subject site. Evidence of Badger was recorded at several
locations especially around T6, T11 and T12 with further details provided in Table 7.42 of

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the EIS. Otter was also present at the Moynalty River between T2 and T3. Additional
mammals also recorded within the site and around the area include Pine Marten, Red Deer,
American Mink, Bats and Red Fox. A significant addition to the EIS when compared with the
previous EIS on the Emlagh wind farm includes the presence of Greenland white fronted
geese which were recorded at a number of dates in March 2016 (EIS Vol 2, Ch 7) Both the
Whooper Swan and Greenland White Fronted Goose are listed under Annex 1 of the Birds
Directive (79/409/EEC) and are protected under Annex II of the Berne Convention on the
conservation of wildlife birds and habitats.
Additional habitats include smaller areas of conifer plantation and scattered trees and
parkland. Linear habitats such as hedgerows and treelines comprise the majority of field
boundaries on site; many of which are highly modified due to the intensive nature of
farming in the area. A small area of cutover bog (less than 2ha) is also within the site
boundary.
The Moynalty River is important for brown trout and Atlantic salmon also occur. In addition
to these species, European eel, brook lamprey and stone loach (additional fish species) were
also recorded during surveys for the proposed wind farm.
A flock of Whooper Swans regularly winters within the hinterland of the subject site. This
flock was found to primarily roost at the Tara Mines tailings pond, located c.5km to the
southeast of the proposed wind farm site. Birds radiate outwards from this site at dawn to
forage in the surrounding areas and return at dusk. Additional roosting areas close to the
proposed wind farm site were found to contain fewer birds than documented historically
and this may represent a change towards the utilisation of the Tailings Pond at Tara Mines as
the main winter roost in the area. Individuals of Whooper Swan were recorded feeding
within the subject site during the first winter of survey however flight activity was primarily
below the predicted rotor height.
Potential Impacts
The land take associated with the proposed development will be low in relation to available
habitats within the broader area of the proposed wind farm. Areas to be utilised for internal
roads and turbine hardstands will primarily be habitats classified as of low value such as
improved agricultural grassland, conifer woodland and arable crops. There is a risk that
machinery or materials imported onto the site could transport non-native species of plants.
Wind farms have the potential for different effects on birds, including potential loss of nest
sites or habitat fragmentation, displacement due to disturbance (where birds are forced to
move or seek alternative feeding or nesting areas), death and injury due to collisions, and
disruption of local or migratory movements. Larger species such as Whooper Swan and the
Greenland White Fronted Goose (present at the subject site) may be affected by collision or
disturbance, or through alteration of flight paths which may force them to expend more
energy on a daily basis.
The proposed development has the potential to impact negatively on two designated Natura
2000 or European sites, namely the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC and River Boyne
and River Blackwater SPA, both of which are 1-2km by land and 3.4km via hydrological links
from the subject site. The primary potential impact arises from siltation and contaminated
run-off from the during construction process. In the event of such siltation and run-off, there
may be an effect on the conservation interests of the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC
such as Salmon and Lamprey through reduced water quality. Otter may be affected by a

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reduction in quality of foraging habitat available or prey item density as a result of these
indirect effects. Kingfisher, the cited conservation interest of the River Boyne and River
Blackwater SPA may be indirectly affected through water quality impacts affecting prey item
availability or general habitat quality.
There may also be cumulative effect from the development due to the construction of the
north-south interconnector; with possible in combination impacts being increased run-off or
siltation due to the construction of the interconnector and possible collision risk to swans
through flying into overhead wires.
Mitigation Measures
Re-instated habitats such as Hedgerows or landscaping measures will utilise native species
suitable for the area. This will benefit species of birds such as Yellowhammer and general
wildlife. Measures will be implemented to prevent the spread of invasive species of plants.
These will follow best practice and include measures such as wheel washes which prevent
the accidental transport of seeds of invasive plants.
Tree removal and clearance of any other vegetation likely to hold high numbers of nesting
birds will take place outside of the bird breeding season e.g. not during the period of March
to August inclusive where possible. An exclusion zone of 500m shall be placed around
recorded nest sites April to June, to reduce the possibility of disturbing birds during critical
periods of the breeding season and will be monitored by the project ecologist.
During operation a comprehensive bird monitoring programme including fatality monitoring
will be implemented at the site. An initial programme will monitor the operation of the wind
farm for a period of seven years; with further monitoring proposed dependant on results
and consultation with NPWS. All locations where river crossings are to occur and where
construction of bridges or enhancement of existing bridges is required will be surveyed for
Otter prior to construction.
With regard to Bats, any mature broadleaved trees that are to be removed, will first be
surveyed for bat presence by a suitably experienced specialist. If bats are found, an
application for the required licence to disturb Bats will be made to the National Parks and
Wildlife Service to allow its legal removal. Tree felling will be completed by Mid-November at
the latest in instances where bats are located. Severed linear features such as hedgerows
and treelines will, where possible, be reconnected using semi-mature trees under-planted
with hedgerow species to compensate for the loss of treelines and hedgerows that are
currently used by bats and will utilise native species of plants. Where lighting is required,
directional lighting (i.e. lighting which only shines on work areas and not nearby countryside)
will be used to prevent light disturbing Bats as they forage nearby. A post construction
monitoring programme including a complete bat fatality study is to be implemented, so as to
confirm the proper implementation of mitigation measures outlined in the EIS.
In regard to aquatic ecology, mitigation measures have been proposed to avoid siltation,
erosion, surface water run-off and accidental pollution events which all have the potential to
adversely affect water quality within the site during the construction phase. These
mitigation measures are referenced at other sections of the report.
Full details of the mitigation proposed to prevent adverse effects on the integrity of the
River Boyne and River Blackwater SPA and cSAC are outlined in the Natura Impact
Statement; these include, in addition to the measures outlined in relation to aquatic

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ecology, a detailed water quality monitoring programme and additional measures outlined
in the relevant hydrology and water quality chapters of this EIS.
Comments:
The report of the Heritage officer addresses the content of this chapter and her comments
are discussed in the planning assessment.
Chapter 8: Soils and Geology
The Geology Survey of Ireland bedrock geology map shows that Carboniferous limestone,
sandstone, shale and siltstone underlies the site. The subsoils present comprise
predominantly glacial till derived from limestone bedrock, glacial till, a mixture of cutover
peat, lake sediments, fluvio-glacial and limestone based sand, gravel and alluvium.
It is submitted that the material observed at the proposed 2 number borrow pits would be
suitable for re-use in road construction, but may be unsuitable for use as structural fill
beneath turbines. Preliminary calculations show that the amount of aggregate required
during construction will be in the order of 141,126m3 with the maximum amount being
available from the 2 borrow pits being 99,875m3. The balance of aggregate material
required for the site will be imported from quarries which have not been identified in any
documentation. The total quantity of soil to be excavated from roads, hardstandings, turbine
bases, compounds and substations is estimated to be approximately 200,889m3. It is
proposed that majority of this material will be re-used onsite for various uses such as
banking on roads, backfill around turbines, landscaping and hard stands etc. The amount of
soil due to be removed is significantly in excess of 137,441m3 quoted in the original Emlagh
Wind Farm despite the fact that it was a significantly larger site. It is assumed that the
current figure is more accurate.
Potential Impacts
Site walkover was undertaken to determine the presence/depth of peat and to assess the
stability of soil slopes and rock exposures. No evidence of slope instability was observed
although peat was identified at two locations that exceeded 0.5m thickness with a maximum
peat depth of 1.2m recorded at T10. This will have implications for turbine foundation at this
location.
Construction works relating to significant levels of excavation can have a direct impact on
exposed soils inclusive of potential contamination of the soils and slope failure. It is
envisaged that there would be significant additional impacts at operational stage with minor
risks of contamination from maintenance vehicles or machinery.
Mitigation Measures
With regard to slope stability, detailed design best practice is to be implemented with works
designed and checked by suitably qualified professionals with the principles or avoidance,
prevention and protection employed. In terms of mitigation measures for the excavation,
storage and removal of subsoils and rock, the primary measure relates to the minimisation
of volumes of excavation with the turbine locations selected in relatively close proximity to
existing access tracks and drainage towards existing channels. Refuelling of machinery will
take place off site and all temporary excavations will be carried out such that they are
adequately supported.

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Comments
Cutover raised peat (Cut). A large area of cutover peat occurs centrally in the turbine cluster
with smaller plots extending to the northeast from it. Cutover peat underlies turbines T6, T7,
T8, T10, T14, T15, T18, T20, T21, the borrow pit and the substation. The Applicant will need
to ensure adequate slope stability analysis takes place prior to the construction stage.
In terms of mitigation, the Applicant states the works will be designed and checked by
suitably qualified personnel, this statement should be defined to include temporary works
and storage areas and slope stability of same.
Chapter 9: Hydrology and Water Quality
This section of the EIS describes the existing hydrological environment and the potential
impacts of the proposal on the hydrological environment. The relevant waterbodies and the
associated turbines, located within these waterbody catchments are identified as follows:
EA_Boyne159BlackwaterKells_MoynaltyTRIB_Horath1_Lower (IE_EA_07_1371)
(Turbines T1 and T2)
EA_Boyne159BlackwaterKells_MoynaltyTRIB_Drakestown2_Upper (IE_EA_07_1725)
(Turbines T22
and T23)
EA_Boyne159BlackwaterKells_MoynaltyTRIB_Drakestown1_Lower (IE_EA_07_1356)
(Turbines T15,
T16, T17, T18, T19, T20, T21, T24 and T25)
EA_Boyne159BlackwaterKells_BlackwaterTRIB_Moynalty1_Lower (IE_EA_07_940)
(Turbines T3, T4, T5, T6, T14 and the Substation)
EA_Boyne159BlackwaterKells_yellowTRIB_Gibstown (IE_EA_07_886) (Turbines T7,
T8, T9, T10, T11, T12 and T13)
The southern section of the site drains to tributary streams of the Yellow River. The Yellow
River rises in the vicinity of the townland of Leggagh and it flows in a southerly direction to
its confluence with the River Blackwater approximately 8.4 km by hydrological links,
downstream of the site. The majority of the Castletownmoor Wind Farm site, however,
drains to both the main river channel, and various tributary streams of the
Owenroe/Moynalty River which rises from Mullagh Lough in County Cavan and flows in a
south easterly direction through Mullagh and Moynalty. The Owenroe/Moynalty River
meets the River Blackwater approximately 3.4 km to the south of the site boundary. The
River Blackwater meanders in a south-easterly direction for 13.7km where it meets the River
Boyne in the centre of Navan Town in Co. Meath. The River Boyne continues in a north
easterly direction and flows for 30km towards Drogheda. It flows into the Irish Sea at
Baltray, 6km east of Drogheda.
In terms of flooding, there are a number of downstream flood events as recorded on the
OPW Flood Maps website as follows:
Bloomsbury Bridge over the Blackwater has a flood event recorded from 17 August
2008 approximately 2.5km downstream of site.
Flooding has also been recorded further downstream in the Blackwater River
approximately 8.5km downstream of the site at Donaghpatrick which occurred on
19 November 2009.

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The road at Fyanstown, approximately 1.5km to the south of the site, floods every
year after heavyrain as a result of a drain being blocked by the landowner.

The OPW has produced indicative flood mapping to assist in a preliminary flood risk
assessment (PFRA) on its website www.cframs.ie . These maps were produced by the OPW
from a number of sources. The indicative flood mapping indicates a number of the proposed
access tracks to turbines and the access to the substation as crossing an indicative floodplain
(Flood Zone A). Turbines T5, T16, T18, T20 and T21 are also shown to be located within or
skirting a Flood Zone A area i.e. an area with a probability of flooding in a 1 in 100 year
flood, as shown in Figure 9.2. OPW Flood Data Map.
Potential Impacts
During the operational phase there is potential for small oil spills although in general there is
limited potential impact on Hydrology once the turbines are commissioned.
The main potential impact of the development on water quality is an increase in sediment
concentration in watercourses during the construction phase with increased sediment
loading, haul routes close to watercourses, potential blockages and resultant flooding,
contamination of groundwater and tree felling. During construction the transport of both
dissolved and sediment bound nutrients from soil to water could affect water quality
downstream in the absence of any mitigation measures. Removal of subsoils may expose
underlying rock to sources of contamination and chemical pollutants may enter
groundwater supplies with consequential implications for groundwater wells in the area.
It is not envisaged that the operational phase of the development would have significant
impacts on water quality in the area as there will be no further disturbance of soils and a
minimum amount of traffic.
The submitted flood risk assessment sets out that a wind farm is low intensity development
and can be deemed water compatible as interpreted from The Planning System and Flood
Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities.
Mitigation Measures
Section 9.7 of the EIS outlines the substantial mitigation measures to be implemented to
protect the receiving waters from potential impacts. In summary the following is proposed:
Increase in run-off along access roads and hard standing areas mitigated by
proposed drainage system which includes provision of stilling ponds and addition of
silt fencing
Stilling ponds will be regularly maintained during construction
Excavated subsoil material will be removed to designated areas at borrow pit
locations
Drains around hard standing areas will be shallow to minimise disturbance to
subsoils
Cables installed in trenches adjacent to site access road which will be excavated
during dry periods
Wheel wash facilities provided at entrances
All open water bodies adjacent to the proposed construction will be protected by
fencing, including proposed stilling ponds
Roads capped as soon as possible to cover exposed subsoils and reduce suspended
solids in the run-off

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Sanitary waste removed from the site via a licensed waste disposal contractor
Proposed three stage treatment train (swale-stilling pond-diffuse outflow) will retain
and treat discharges
Silt Protection Controls are proposed
All stockpile material will be bunded adequately and protected from heavy rainfall to
reduce silt run-off
Cross-drains of 450mm diameter provided to prevent risk of clogging
Cables installed in trenches adjacent to site access road which will be excavated
during dry periods
Wheel wash facilities provided at entrances
All open water bodies adjacent to the proposed construction will be protected by
fencing, including proposed stilling ponds
A monitoring programme will be established to ensure that the water quality is
maintained. This will involve visual inspection and grab samples.

Comments
The greatest risk to water quality will occur during the construction phase of the works;
these risks include sedimentation, pollution from construction activities, increased run-off
and nutrient enrichment. There is less risk during operation and maintenance stage however
there will be greater areas of impermeable surfaces which may lead to greater run-off
during storm events. The impacts during the decommissioning stage are similar to the
construction stage but to a lesser extent given that much of the buried infrastructure and
access tracks will be left in-situ. Further discussion and comments are outlined in the
Planning Assessment Section of this report.
Chapter 10: Human Environment
Section 10.2.1 outlined that Geodirectory data was obtained on house locations in the
vicinity of the site and this data was supplemented by a detailed house survey which was
undertaken in 2013 and updated in June 2014 by North Meath Wind Farm Ltd. It is stated
that there are no houses located within 500m of the proposed turbines with a total of 136
(existing, permitted and assessed through the planning process) identified between 500m
and 1 km of the proposed turbines. Residences in the surrounding townlands are mainly
farm houses and rural domestic dwellings. There are 4 planning applications granted for
houses, within 1km of the proposed development. Figure 10.1 indicates houses in the
vicinity of the proposed development.
In addition to the impact of the Wind Farm Site itself, the other significant impact of the
proposed development will be the proposed cable route which will be constructed within
private lands as well as within the public road network from the L-74113 local road near T 9
and T11. The L-74113 has a width of approximately 3m and has an AADT of approximately
100 (based on short duration traffic counts). The cable route travels east along the L-74113
for approximately 3 km as far as the R162. The proposed cable route will be constructed
within the R162 for approximately 1 km between the R162/L-74113 junction as far as
Wilkinstown where it joins the L-3410 just after it crosses a disused railway line which has
been granted Part 8 planning permission from Meath County Council and Cavan County
Council for the conversion of the disused railway to a green way. Funding was granted for
the initial 8km of 30km section of the green way in April 2015. The cable route travels east
for approximately 130 m on the L-3410 which is locally 5-6m in width. From Wilkinstown the
cable route then heads southeast along the L-34101, a local road generally 3m in width, for
approximately 3.9 km before meeting the R163 at Corbillis Cross Roads. The cable route will
then proceed east along the R163 from Corbillis Cross Roads to Gormanlough Cross Roads (a

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distance of approximately 2 km). At Gormanlough Cross Roads the cable route joins the L3411 local road (typical width 5-6 m) and proceeds south for approximately 1.1 km before
leaving the public road network and proceeding west towards the existing Gorman
Substation.
A survey of equine facilities in the Castletownmoor Wind Farm area was undertaken, (see
Figure 10.3). While there are no public horse trails or bridleways within 1km of a proposed
wind turbine, it is stated that there are a number of other equine facilities located less than
1km from the proposed development, but not within 500m of the development. There are
no equestrian facilities on any of the lands at any of the proposed turbine locations and also
no equestrian facilities on any of the lands at any of the proposed wind farm access roads.
The nearest quarry is located outside east of the site boundary, in Ricetown, Lobinstown
(Quarry Register: Qy80) and is a sand and gravel quarry. This quarry is in use and is referred
to as Stokesquarter Sand and Gravel Quarry however it is noted that no excavation material
from that location will be sourced for this project. The proposed North-South Interconnector
(400kV) traverses through the middle of the wind farm in a north south direction entering
the southern part of the site between T8 and T10, goes NE between T9 and T11 and then
continues directly north in a straight line between T20 and T21.
Potential Impacts
The applicant has outlined the positive impacts in terms of Ireland meeting its renewable
energy targets and further has specified that the proposal may generate up to 120 staff
during the construction phase and a further 0.4 jobs are created per megawatt of total
installed capacity in operations and maintenance of the wind farm. Based on the current
proposal, it is stated that annual funding could be set aside of up to 85,000 per annum or in
the region of 2,000,000 over the life of the project. A community benefit leaflet is
contained within Appendix I8.
Information is provided as to the potential to impact on house prices in the vicinity with
references made to a number of studies in the UK wherein it has been claimed that there is
no significant impact on property prices as a result of wind farms.
The applicant has undertaken an appraisal of the impacts of the proposal on the bloodstock
industry (as advised in pre-planning discussions) and which centres on the impacts of noise
at operational phase. Reference is made to Marshal Day Acoustics literature which examined
the impacts of noise on animals and suggests that there is no evidence to suggest that the
wind farm will have a significant impact during the operational phase of the wind farm.
Rigorous safety checks imposed on the turbines during design, construction
commissioning should ensure the risks posed to humans are negligible. Access to
turbines is through a door at the base of the structure which is locked at all times.
proposed substation will be enclosed by palisade fencing and equipped with intruder
fire alarms in line with ESB and EirGrid standards.

and
the
The
and

Mitigation Measures
The mitigation measures have provided focus of construction management with detailed
day to day updates provided, traffic management plans and the employment of an equine
expert who can advise on recommended measures to minimise impacts on the equine
industry.

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Comments
The Planning Authority is generally satisfied with the content of Chapter 10 of the EIS and
further comment and views are outlined in the Planning Assessment in Section 7.
Chapter 11: Shadow Flicker
Shadow flicker is the phenomenon caused by the projected shadow of the wind turbine and
the rotating blades which appear to cause a flickering effect in a dwelling. For shadow flicker
to occur at a dwelling certain conditions must exist concurrently:
The sun is shining at a low angle i.e. after dawn or before sunset.
There is sufficient sunlight to cast shadows i.e. no significant fog, mist or cloud
cover.
The turbine is directly between the sun and the dwelling.
The dwelling has a window facing in the direction of the wind turbine.
The wind direction is parallel with the line between the sun, the turbine and the
window in question
(a condition which means the turbine will be facing the dwelling).
There is sufficient wind speed that the turbines are operating.
The dwelling has a direct view of the turbine i.e. no screening (trees, hedges, etc.) or
no obscuring features around the receivers which would minimise views of the
development, and hence reduce or eliminate the potential for shadow flicker.
It is stated that all of the above seven conditions must exist simultaneously for shadow
flicker to occur at a dwelling. Shadow flicker does not generally have any effect on health or
safety, but could on limited occasions present a brief nuisance effect for some neighbours.
A building survey was undertaken in April 2016 by North Meath Wind Farm Ltd. All buildings
within 1,310 m (10 rotor diameters) of a proposed turbine were recorded. These buildings
were included in the shadow flicker assessment for the proposed development. There are
293 buildings, including occupied, unoccupied and permitted are located within 10 rotor
diameters (1,310 m) and these were included in the shadow flicker assessment. Of these
buildings, 9 buildings are derelict, 25 are non-residential and there are 8 buildings that have
been considered in the planning process but not yet built. The locations of all buildings
referred to above are identified in Figure 11.1.
Based on the potential shadow flicker calculations for Castletownmoor Wind Farm, there are
45 buildings where the potential annual shadow flicker guideline limit (30 hours) is exceeded
when the 32 % sunshine assumption is applied. The full and detailed results of the shadow
flicker analysis are outlined in Table 11.2 of the EIS.
However, when the estimated actual shadow flicker is considered, the number of buildings
where potential shadow flicker occurrences slightly exceed the guideline limit of 30 hours
per year, is three (buildings no. 159, 160 and 296). The potential annual shadow flicker
occurrences at these three buildings are 31, 32 and 32 hours per year.
Mitigation Measures
Where the specific conditions arise, the turbines causing shadow flicker exceedance will be
shut down for the duration of the time during which the conditions can exist. In essence
turbine control will ensure that no excedance of the shadow flicker guideline limits takes

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place. It is indicated that should the revised wind energy guidelines revise detail in respect of
shadow flicker; the turbine control system will be modified to meet requirements.
Comments
The Planning Assessment discusses the impacts on Shadow Flicker and the concerns that the
Planning Authority has in respect of same.
Chapter 12: Traffic
All of the key routes that will be affected by the proposed development during construction
and operational phases are outlined and identified in Figures 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3. It is
intended that all cabling will be installed on existing local, regional and national roads. The
applicant did undertake traffic surveys to detail that the existing road network is operating
below capacity.
Potential Impacts
At operational stage the only traffic associated with the wind farm will be from maintenance
personnel and it is estimated that 3-4 vehicle movements per day and on average 6-8 trips
will be required post-construction for routine maintenance, which will have a negligible
impact. All significant traffic likely to be generated will be during the construction and
commissioning phase. It is envisaged that the construction period will span 18 months with
the main bulk civil works undertaken over full construction period.
Table 12.4 of the EIS outlines the traffic generated during the construction phase of the
project with the busiest months being:
HGV traffic is month 5 with an estimated 125 trips per day.
LGV traffic are months 8, 9 and 10 with an estimated 90 trips per day.
It is however stated that, in the interests of presenting a conservative traffic appraisal, it is
assumed that all construction traffic will utilise the N52 and the R162 and further assumed
that 215 additional trips per day arise as a result of the construction works. The N52 has an
existing AADT of 2,831 and the addition of 215 trips would see this daily traffic temporarily
rise by 7.6% to 3,046. The R162 has an existing AADT of approximately 6,400 and the
addition of 215 trips would see this daily traffic rise by 3.4% to 6,615. These temporary
increases are relatively modest and are not anticipated to lead to any significant impact on
these existing roads.

Mitigation Measures
A construction management plan has been included with the outline Construction
Environmental Management Plan with all vehicles hauling materials to and from the site
only using approved haulage routes. It is stated that the borrow pits will reduce traffic
numbers as aggregates can be sourced from within the site.
It is envisaged that temporary road closures will be necessary for the carrying out of cable
trenching although a number of diversion options are available and which would be agreed
with Meath County Council.

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Comments:
The Transportation Department considers that the impacts of the proposed development on the
road network and its users can be accommodated with the appropriate consultation, planning
and management. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Planning Authority would seek more detail
on elements of the proposal as they pertain to the local road network and which is discussed at
Section 7 below. Two main issues arise in terms of the amended wind farm proposal in that a
reduced number of borrow pits with a questionable amount of quality and quantity of material
and removal of the batching plant will increase traffic volumes into and out of the site.
Chapter 13: Archaeology, Architecture and Cultural Heritage
The desk study review outlined in the EIS was carried out on all recorded statutory cultural
heritage assets within a 5km zone (Figure 13.23). Its stated purpose was a broad review to
identify and understand the character, context and significance of the archaeological,
architectural and cultural heritage assets surrounding the proposed wind farm site.
The assessment of the impact of the proposed development included all statutory cultural
heritage assets i.e. RPS, RMP, ACAs within the immediate vicinity of the wind farm up to
3km from the closest wind turbine and all national monuments up to 5km. World Heritage
Sites (including candidate sites) were assessed within a much wider 30km zone along with
selected number of national monuments in elevated positions where longrange visual
change was thought to be relevant (using the Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) map
produced for the project). The assessment also included newly identified cultural heritage
features identified through fieldwork within 500m of the wind turbines or access/cable
routes.
Within the 30km Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) for the Castletownmoor Wind Farm
there is one World Heritage (WH) Site the Br na Binne - Archaeological Ensemble of the
Bend of the Boyne (Figure 13.1). Br na Binne, or in English the bend of the Boyne, in the
lower Boyne valley is internationally renowned for its elaborate Neolithic passage tombs,
which are unparalleled in the scale of their construction and contain the largest assemblage
of megalithic art in Europe.
The UNESCO statement of integrity of the World Heritage property states that the Core Area
encapsulates the attributes for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The Buffer Zone encompasses carefully mapped views into and out of the property and
preserves the setting of the site. The Castletownmoor Wind farm is located circa 16km
northwest of the Buffer Zone and circa 17.5km from the Core Area (Figure 13.1, from the
nearest turbine T13 to the nearest point of the buffer zone).
There are two sites in County Meath within the 30km ZTV zone that are candidate World
Heritage sites which have been included on the UNESCO Tentative List as part of larger
assemblage of sites and include the Tara Complex nominated as part of The Royal Sites of
Ireland assemblage and the monastic site of Kells nominated as part of a group of Early
Medieval Monastic Sites.
A total of 54 protected structures and 88 recorded monuments were identified by the
applicants within a 3km radius of the site. A total of 6 recorded monuments were identified
by the applicants within the site boundary which may be directly or indirectly impacted upon
as a result of the development. Possible direct and indirect impacts were examined for sites
of national and international significance in prominent locations within 30km (Zone of
Theoretical Visibility). There are three ACAs within 5km namely Headfort Demesne, Headfort
Place and Kells Historic Core.

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Photomontages have specifically been provided to illustrate the visual presence of the wind
farm at sites of significance. The photomontages are listed in Volume 4 (b) of the EIS and
may be summarised as follows:
Book 1 LVIA for Viewing Points (VP1- VP30)
Book 2 LVIA for Viewing points (VP31-VP59)
Book 3 Cultural Heritage Assessment (H1-H17)
Further information is provided in Appendix M.2 which details the methodology for
landscape and visual analysis tools.
Potential Impacts
The EIS states that the development will have no direct impact on the World Heritage Site at
Bru na Boinne or candidate sites on the tentative list of properties for potential nomination
and inscription on the World Heritage List. It is also submitted that there are no direct
impacts on National Monuments within 5km of the windfarm.
A geophysical survey (licence number 14R0071) was carried out as part of previous Emlagh
Windfarm application within the wind farm lands where turbines or cable routes were found
to be located immediate proximity of recorded archaeological monuments. The survey
results that remain relevant to the Castletownmoor application are those at T17, in
proximity to Ringfort ME011-036; T2 and the cable route, in the vicinity of standing stones
ME011-046-001002 and ME011-047. (see Appendix L8 and results in Appendix L1).
Indirect impacts comprise primarily of impacts on the settings of properties, sites and
monuments arising from visual intrusion. The EIS submits that there will be a moderate
indirect impact on the setting of Cruicetown Church and a moderate/large indirect impact
on the Hill of Lloyd. There will be a moderate indirect impact on the protected structure of
Mountainstown House and recorded monument Killary Church. The EIS submits that there
will only be indirect slight impacts on any other historical features.
Mitigation Measures
All archaeological works are to be undertaken under licence with monitoring required on all
earthmoving. At design stage it is submitted that the number of turbines was reduced to
take cognisance of recorded features. It is stated that Archaeological testing will be required
at a number of locations at construction phase.
Comments
The report of the Conservation officer assesses the content of this report and this is fully
discussed in the planning assessment.
Chapter 14: Landscape and Visual
A Landscape Impact Assessment and Visual Impact Assessment have been undertaken as
part of the EIS. The LIA relates to changes in the physical landscape brought about by the
development which may alter its character and how it is experienced whilst the VIA relates
to changes in the composition of views as a result of changes to the landscape, how these
are perceived and the effects on visual amenity. The significance of landscape and visual
effects is determined on the basis of receptor sensitivity weighed against the magnitude of
impact. The magnitude of a predicted landscape impact is a product of the scale, extent or
degree of change that is likely to be experienced as a result of the development and the

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magnitude of visual effects is determined by the visual presence of the proposal and its
effect on visual amenity.
The Wind Energy Guidelines specify different radii for examination of theoretical visibility
which is influenced by turbine height and taking cognisance of landscapes of specific
interest. In this instance the applicant has applied a 30km radius, which is reasonable. The
classification system used by the applicant to determine the significance of landscape and
visual impacts is based on the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment. The
sensitivity of the landscape to change is the degree to which a landscape receptor
(Landscape Character Area) can accommodate changes or new features without
unacceptable detrimental effects to its characteristics.
The Wind Energy Development Guidelines provide guidance on wind farm siting and design
criteria for different landscapes and the site is considered to be located within a landscape
that is generally consistent with the Hilly and Flat Farmland type but with a significant
element of the Flat Peatland type.
The visual impact of a proposed development was assessed using up to 6 categories of
receptor type as listed below:
Key Views (from features of national or international importance);
Designated Scenic Routes and Views;
Local Community views;
Centres of Population;
Major Routes; and
Amenity and heritage features;
In order to determine the nature of visibility of the project the applicant has considered
three forms of mapping and analysis as follows:
Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV)
Theoretical Visual Intensity (TVI)
Route Screening Analysis (RSA)
In total the applicant selected 76 photomontages and viewpoints to assess potential impact
of the turbines on landscape. 56 significant viewpoints were used to assess the significance,
or not, of the proposed windfarm with the results outlined in a table in Appendix M. Within
this appendix is also a RSA which looks at the impact of the proposed windfarm from all
public roads within 5km of turbines.
In Table 14.8 of Vol 2, Ch 14 of the EIS, a list of 24 viewpoints (of the 94 presented in the
CDP) are presented as being relevant designated views of the Development Plan.
Potential Impact
The results of the RSA as presented outlined that only within 1km is it more likely that open views
of the proposed wind farm consist of more than 10 turbines and this is only marginally more likely
than a view of between 5 10 turbines. At viewing distances of 1-2km there is an even split
between open views of the scheme consisting of either 0-5 or 5-10 turbines. A proportionately
lesser percentage of open views consist of more than 10 turbines. By the 2-3km threshold the
results alter dramatically indicating that nearly 50% of open views consist of less than 5 turbines
and only about 16% consist of more than 10. This trend continues sharply for the 3-4km distance
threshold with around 75% of open views consisting of less than 5 turbines and 10% registering
more than 10 turbines. By the final 4-5km distance band, no open views of more than 10 turbines

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are registered from within the surrounding road network though the potential for views of
between 5-10 turbines has risen proportionately against the less than 5 turbines visible category.
This is likely to be due to the fact that for a view of the scheme to register as an open one at this
distance it is likely to be slightly elevated above the lowland landscape of the site within the
transitional drumlin zone to the north or the base of the Rathkeny Hills for example. In reality,
there is very little open visibility to classify in the outer band as can be seen from the RSA map
above.
Overall, the findings from the analysis of the RSA open visibility category confirm that open views
of more than 10 turbines are most likely to occur within the nearest 1km of the scheme. This still
represents less than 50% of the open views of the scheme afforded from within this nearest band.
Thereafter, it is increasingly more likely that open views of scheme consist of less than 10 turbines
and most commonly less than 5 turbines, particularly beyond 2km.
Mitigation Measures
Given the highly visible nature of commercial wind energy developments it is not generally
feasible to screen them from view using on-site measures as would be the primary form of
mitigation for many other types of development. Instead, landscape and visual mitigation for
wind farms must be incorporated into the early stage site selection and design phases. In
this instance the two main forms of landscape and visual mitigation employed are;
The use of fewer taller turbines rather than a greater number of shorter turbines
(height versus density relationship)
The removal of turbines found to be in close proximity to highly sensitive landscape
and visual receptors
Comments
The impact of the proposed wind farm on landscape and receptors is considered significant.
The technical assessment of this is however discussed further in the Planning Assessment
and report of the Conservation Officer and Heritage Officer, together with the work carried
out by CAAS to assess the contents of this chapter.
Chapter 15: Telecommunications & Aviation
In the context of wind farm development, electromagnetic interference is the impact of a
wind farm on existing telecommunications services. A data gathering exercise was carried
out to establish the locations of all known telecommunications services in the vicinity and
includes mobile communications, broadband providers and television providers.
Navan Airfield is located approximately 10km southeast of the nearest proposed turbine
(T13), Ballyboy Airfield is located approximately 12km southwest of the nearest proposed
turbine (T4), Trim Airfield is located approximately 18km south of the nearest proposed
turbine (T13) and Trevet Airfield is located approximately 26km southeast of the nearest
proposed turbine (T13). The proposed development is located approximately 50 km
northwest of Dublin Airport, the nearest major airport.
Chapter 15 of the EIS outlines that there are two telecommunication towers within the
Castletownmoor study area boundary, ( Table 15.1 and Figure 15.1). Operators utilising the
towers include Telefonica (02), Meteor, Vodafone and Hutchinson 3G Ireland. The structures
house telecommunication equipment and are used to transmit and receive
telecommunication links. There are also a number of telecommunications links dissecting

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the site between towers in other areas of Meath including, Kells, Navan, Mount Oriel and
Woodland.
Potential Impacts
Potential impacts include signal scattering and signal obstruction. 8 turbines proposed do
not achieve a 100m separation distances to known telecommunications providers which
could result in interference issues.
No significant impacts are expected in relation to Aviation given that the Irish Aviation
Authority confirmed to the applicant that they have no objection to the development
subject to conditions. Of the remaining airfields, all are located within Class G uncontrolled
airspace, where terrain and obstacle avoidance is deemed to be the responsibility of the
pilot.
Mitigations Measures
A number of link mitigation measures can be implemented to overcome electromagnetic
interference including technology upgrades, diverting telecommunications links, special
purpose mitigation tower, relocation of telecommunications equipment, fiber-optic
communications systems or a combination of any of the above. All affected operators have
confirmed to the applicant that they are satisfied that more detailed design on mitigation
measures could be undertaken and post planning is the appropriate time to undertake
same.
In accordance with the requirements of the IAA the applicant has indicated that they
undertake to agree a scheme of aviation obstacle warning lights, provide at least 30 days
notice prior to the construction and provide as built co-ordinates of the completed
development for charting purposes.
Comments
The Planning Authority is generally satisfied with the content of Chapter 15 of the EIS.

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SECTION FIVE

APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT

Article 6(3) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive) compels competent
authorities to undertake an appropriate assessment of any plan or project not directly
connected with or necessary to the management of a Natura 2000 site but likely to have a
significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects.
The document, Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland: Guidance for
Planning Authorities, states that where from the nature, size and location of the
development it is unclear if the proposal, will have a significant effect on a Natura 2000 site
(s) an Natura Impact Statement will be required.
Section 5.4 contains the Stage One Screening conclusion which states that there is the
possibility that there could be effects on the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC and the
River Boyne and River Blackwater SPA as a result of the proposed Castletownmoor Wind
Farm. In the absence of mitigation measures (which are not considered at this stage), these
potential impacts could be of significance. As a result, there is an obligation on the
competent authority to carry out an appropriate assessment (i.e., Stage Two of the AA
process) and, in this context, a Natura Impact Statement has been completed by the
developer in respect of both the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC and the River Boyne
and River Blackwater SPA. No potential impacts on Kilconny Bog cSAC or StrabannanBraganstown SPA were identified.
Therefore both of these sites have been Screened Out at Stage One of the AA process. In
accordance with the recommendations of the guidance document, Assessment of Plans and
Projects significantly affecting Natura 2000 Sites: Methodological guidance on the provisions
of Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, European Commission, 2001 (5),
a Finding of No Significant Effects Report has been recorded in respect of these completed
for these two Natura 2000 sites
The Natura Impact Statement (NIS) predicts no direct impacts on any Natura 2000 site as a
result of the proposed development. In the event of a large release of suspended sediment
into onsite watercourses during construction works, there could be significant indirect
impacts downstream of the development area. As the River Boyne and River Blackwater
cSAC and the River Boyne and River Blackwater SPA are c3.4km downstream of the
development area, there could be indirect impacts, via water quality, on the key species and
key habitats for which these Natura 2000 sites have been designated. In the event of
siltation or pollution of watercourses from the site, the aquatic habitats and species of the
River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC could be indirectly damaged by changes to water
turbidity and water quality. This could in turn reduce prey availability of breeding Kingfisher
in the River Boyne and River Blackwater SPA.
Section 6.4 identifies potential impacts on the Integrity of the Sites. The integrity of the River
Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC could be indirectly affected by the proposed development
through a reduction in water quality and foraging potential for aquatic species such as River
Lamprey, Atlantic Salmon and Otter. This could in turn lead to reduced numbers or reduced
breeding success of River Lamprey, Atlantic Salmon or Otter which are qualifying interests of
the cSAC. Changes to water quality could lead to a reduction in prey densities for Kingfisher
in the River Boyne and River Blackwater SPA. This could then lead to a decline in breeding
numbers or lower reproductive success of breeding Kingfisher which is the qualifying
interest of the SPA.
Table 6.2 contains details of the proposed mitigation measures.

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The conclusion of Stage 2 assessment was as follows:


In summary, it can be concluded that in light of the conservation objectives and rationale for
designation of the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC, and the River Boyne and River
Blackwater SPA; the potential for significant indirect impacts exists as a result of aspects of
the Castletownmoor wind farm project. These potentially significant impacts have been
evaluated, however, with the implementation of the proposed mitigation measures, it is
concluded that the proposed development will not result in any impacts that will adversely
affect the integrity of either the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC and the River Boyne
and River Blackwater SPA, having regard to the sites respective conservation objectives, in
circumstances where no reasonable scientific doubt remains as to the absence of such
adverse effects

SECTION SIX

INTERNAL REFERRALS

The application was referred to the following internally within Meath County Council.
Caroline Corrigan, Senior Executive Engineer, Environment.
David Keyes, Senior Executive Engineer, Environment (Flooding).
Jim Gibney, Senior Executive Engineer, Transportation.
Jill Chadwick, Conservation Officer.
Loreto Guinan, Heritage Officer.
Paul OBrien, Executive Engineer, Water Services.
Fiona Beers, Senior Executive Engineer, Kells Municipal District
The full text of all internal returned referrals is contained in Appendix 2. The report of Jim
Gibney is a composite response of the transportation section which addresses all relevant
transportation issues in respect of the proposed development. The content of these reports
will be discussed further in the planning assessment section of this report.

SECTION SEVEN

PLANNING ASSESSMENT

Meath County Council is generally satisfied with the overall adequacy of the Environmental
Impact Statement as submitted. There are a number of specific issues which will be
addressed below pertaining to elements of the EIS. The following are considered to
constitute the key planning issues which are discussed below:

Principle of Development
Environmental Matters
o Air and climate;
o noise and vibration;
o shadow flicker;
o water quality and hydrology;
o soils and geology;
o flood risk.
Transportation
Landscape and Heritage
Ecology and the Natura Impact Statement

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Principle of Development
Section 3 of this report outlines in detail the wide variety of European and National Policy
promoting the use of renewable energies to which this Planning Authority is cognisant of in
this assessment. European Union (EU) and Irish Government policies identify the
development of renewable energy, including wind energy, as a primary strategy in
implementing national energy policy. The EU Directive 2009/28/EC, in the promotion of the
use of energy from renewable resources, sets targets for each EU member state, to be
achieved by 2020. Ireland is legally obliged to meet 16% energy consumption by 2020 from
renewable sources, with a sub-target of 10% in the transport sector and this application
would go some way to achieving the targets set out. Government policy in relation to wind
farms is largely set out in the 2006 Guidelines. Within these Government guidelines, there is
a presumption in favour of wind farm developments in suitable circumstances.
The Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area state: Renewable energy
provision within the GDA will continue to become a more central issue in terms of
environmental concerns, economic viability and development, and employment creation in
green technologies. Approximately 5,500 MW of renewable generation by 2020 is required to
meet the government target of 40% total consumption from renewable energy. To achieve
this, upgrading, strengthening and facilitation of the electricity transmission network is
needed alongside the replacement of older plants by conventional generation to integrate
the large amount of renewable required. The delivery of a sustainable energy future as
outlined in the Energy Policy Framework 2007-2020 is closely linked to the national climate
change policy. Achievement of these national targets will require development of renewable
energy options such as offshore wind generation, marine based energy generation, solar
energy and geothermal both within, adjacent to, and outside the GDA.
The RPGs promote the preparation of a cross-council regional wind energy strategy which
would study the potential of wind energy; appropriate locations for varying types of
turbines; and associated land-use policies to guide, assist and promote this new green
business be undertaken. As such it is a strategic recommendation of the RPGs at PIR34 that
a study is undertaken on wind energy potential by local authorities jointly in the GDA
focusing on suitable areas for larger wind energy projects, role of micro wind energy in urban
and rural settings and the potential for wind energy within industrial areas with the outcome
presenting regionally consistent new land-use policies and objectives and associated
development management guidance to potential projects. Having regard to the Hierarchal
order of the plans, Meath County Council have adhered to the approach of the RPGs and
have included EC POL 21 into the CDP which states that it is policy to support the
preparation of a study on wind energy potential by local authorities jointly in the GDA. To
date, a cross-council wind energy strategy has not been prepared, however that is not to
suggest that wind energy development proposals cannot be presented or considered prior
to the adoption of such a strategy.
The policies and objectives of Meath County Council on renewable energy development are
contained in Chapter 8 Energy and Communications of the CDP 2013 and have been
informed relevant European and National policies. As outlined in Section 8.1.3 Renewable
Energy Meath is committed to developing a more diverse range and combination of energy
sources including wind energy, micro hydro power, solar energy, biofuels, geothermal (deep
and shallow), anaerobic digestion and combined heat and power in order to deliver on the
targets set down in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) IRELAND. The
potential feasible renewable energy options for the county include: Wind - onshore wind,

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offshore wind (single turbines and groups). It will be an objective of the current plan that
Meath County Council will investigate the potential of renewable energy identified in the
initial assessment areas with a view to developing a renewable energy strategy for the
County. The foregoing is reinforced by EC POL 3 of the CDP 2013 where it is policy To
encourage the production of energy from renewable sources, such as from biomass, waste
material, solar, wave, hydro, geothermal and wind energy, subject to normal proper planning
considerations, including in particular, the potential impact on areas of environmental or
landscape sensitivity and Natura 2000 sites. Of particular relevance in the stated policy (as
it relates to this application) is the fact that Meath County Council will encourage wind
energy development subject to normal planning considerations, which are assessed in detail
elsewhere in this report. Whilst it is not the sole planning consideration, a key fundamental
in assessing the principle of development pertains to the siting of a development of this
scale and nature in an appropriate landscape setting.
The application site is located within LCA 3 i.e. the North Navan Lowlands in the Meath
Landscape Character Assessment. The County Development Plan, in Section 9.8.6 addresses,
capacity of a landscape to accommodate a development and is clear that this has to be
examined on a case by case basis. This LCA is stated to have medium capacity to
accommodate wind farms and identifies that buried archaeology and upstanding historic
features are possible constraints on location. The potential therefore to accommodate a
wind farm type development within this LCA does exist although this does not negate the
necessity to ensure that there is not undue impact on designated views or indeed other
landscape areas prescribed in the plan.
To summarise, the Planning Authority would state that the nature of development is one
that is generally supported in National, Regional and Local Planning Policy, the siting of the
scheme is within a landscape character area that could absorb such a development and
there is a general presumption in favour of wind energy as expressed in government
guidelines. The foregoing comes with the caveat that such development must still be
appropriate from an environmental, technical and visual perspective.
Environmental Matters
The proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm therefore comprises up to 25 wind turbines with
a maximum blade tip height of up to 169m. The proposed site is located approximately
2.9km to the northeast of Kells, 1km east of Carlanstown, 5.3km southeast of Moynalty,
4.9km from Nobber, 6.7km west of Lobinstown and 7.4km north of Navan.
Having regard to the scale of the development a mandatory EIS is required and has been
submitted with the application. The content of the EIS has been summarised elsewhere in
this report and thus the purpose of this section of the report is not to replicate the content
of the EIS but to focus on the main environmental issues that arise as they relate to the
proposed development. It is proposed to deal with the Environmental Issues under a
number of subsections as follows:
Siting
Air & Climate,
Noise & Vibration,
Shadow Flicker,
Water Quality & Hydrology,
Soils & Geology and

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Siting of Turbines
As outlined in the introduction to this report, the Castletownmoor Windfarm application is
broadly similar to that central portion of the former proposed Emlagh Windfarm that was
refused by the board (save for the re-siting of new turbines 13 and 24 and associated
amendments). In addition to this, there are other siting issues relating to peat depths and
therefore proposed stability of turbines. These applicant will be afforded the opportunity to
provide further information regarding the issues.
Air & Climate
In general the Planning Authority would be of the opinion that the proposed development,
once operational, would have generally positive implications on air quality and the local
climate with a potential reduced dependence on fossil fuels. In terms of the construction
phase of the scheme there will be inevitable local disturbances to air quality and increased
dust emissions, which can be easily mitigated through appropriate site construction
management protocols. A number of recommended conditions should be included in this
report inclusive of the submission of a dust control plan and prescribed dust emission limits.
The Planning Authority would have some reservations that the applicant has not adequately
addressed matter of potential air impacts arising from the 2 number borrow pits proposed,
particularly having regard to the site conditions experienced on inspection whereby there
was little or no evidence of existing borrow pits. Given the proximity of a number of
residential units beside the main access to the site to the north of T25 along the county
road, and the presence of a borrow pit and compound in close proximity to the
aforementioned residential units, further analysis and assessment is required that address
these specific issues. It is also not clear from the supporting documentation the quality and
therefore quantity of material that actually exists within the proposed borrow pits. These
matters shall formulate part of a further information request.
Noise & Vibration
The current Wind Energy Guidelines document recommends a lower fixed limit of 45dB(A)
or a maximum increase of 5dB(A) above background noise at nearby noise sensitive
locations. In very quiet areas where the background noise is less than 30dB(A) it is
recommended that the daytime level of the L90, 10 mins of wind energy noise be limited to
an absolute level in the range of 35-40dB(A). A fixed limit of 43dB(A) should apply for night
time.
The applicant has calculated predicted construction noise levels, which assume that plant is
operating 100% of the time and that there is no barrier attenuation. The results of the
calculations show that construction activity will not exceed 65dBLaeq and therefore will not
be significant. In terms of the operational phase of the turbines themselves the predicted
noise levels would exceed both night and daytime limits in a number of instances. Section
6.5.4 states that Operational noise from the wind farm is predicted to exceed the DoEHLG
43dB La90 night noise limit at a number of properties not involved with the development,
and therefore mitigation will be required where this occurs.
The Environment Section has expressed no objection to the proposal in terms of vibration
subject to a number of conditions, which are considered to be reasonable.

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Shadow Flicker
Shadow flicker is the phenomenon caused by the projected shadow of the wind turbine and
the rotating blades which appear to cause a flickering effect in a dwelling. Shadow flicker will
only occur if the following conditions occur concurrently:
The sun is shining at a low angle i.e. after dawn or before sunset.
There is sufficient sunlight to cast shadows i.e. no significant fog, mist or cloud
cover.
The turbine is directly between the sun and the dwelling.
The dwelling has a window facing in the direction of the wind turbine.
The wind direction is parallel with the line between the sun, the turbine and the
window in question
(a condition which means the turbine will be facing the dwelling).
There is sufficient wind speed that the turbines are operating.
The dwelling has a direct view of the turbine i.e. no screening (trees, hedges, etc.) or
no obscuring features around the receivers which would minimise views of the
development, and hence reduce or eliminate the potential for shadow flicker.
While there are no negative health impacts of shadow flicker it can be a nuisance, albeit for
a short duration, to the dweller of the affected property. Similar to noise, the extent of the
nuisance factor is subjective. The WEDG recommend that shadow flicker at dwellings within
500m of the turbines should not exceed 30 hours per year or 30 minutes per day. At
distances greater than 10 rotor diameters the potential for shadow flicker is very low. A
shadow flicker appraisal was carried out for all buildings within 10 rotor diameters of a
proposed turbine in accordance with best practice and for the purposes of this evaluation a
rotor diameter of 120m has been utilised. Therefore an assessment of all buildings within
1,310m of a turbine was undertaken.
Based on the potential shadow flicker calculations for Castletownmoor Wind Farm, there are
45 buildings where the potential annual shadow flicker guideline limit (30 hours) is exceeded
when the 32 % sunshine assumption is applied. The full and detailed results of the shadow
flicker analysis are outlined in Table 11.2 of the EIS.
However, when the estimated actual shadow flicker is considered, the number of buildings
where potential shadow flicker occurrences exceed the guideline limit of 30 hours per year,
is three (buildings no. 159, 160 and 296). The potential annual shadow flicker occurrences at
these three buildings are 31, 32 and 32 hours per year.
The Planning Authority notes the above and recommends that Further Information should
be sought to investigate this matter further. The Environment Section report also
recommends the inclusion of a number of conditions which would pertain to mitigation
measures as they relate to shadow flicker and which are considered to be reasonable.
Water Quality & Hydrology
The main potential impact of the development on water quality and hydrology is an increase
in sediment concentration in watercourses during the construction phase with increased
sediment loading, haul routes close to watercourses, potential blockages and resultant
flooding, contamination of groundwater and tree felling. During construction, the transport
of both dissolved and sediment bound nutrients from soil to water could affect water quality
downstream in the absence of any mitigation measures. Removal of subsoils may expose

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underlying rock to sources of contamination and chemical pollutants may enter


groundwater supplies with consequential implications for groundwater wells in the area.
It is not envisaged that the operational phase of the development would have significant
impacts on water quality in the area as there will be no further disturbance of soils and a
minimum amount of traffic.
The applicants have indicated that there will be no wastewater treatment system on site and
that the wastewater will be collected in a wastewater holding tank. In Chapter 10 (Water
Quality) of Volume 2 (Main EIS) the applicants have indicated that Portaloos and/or
containerised toilets and welfare units will be used to provide toilet facilities for site
personnel during construction. Sanitary waste will be removed from site via a licensed waste
disposal contractor. Comment has been received from the Water Services Section in respect
of the foregoing and recommended that conditions are attached to any grant of permission.
Soils & Geology
Preliminary calculations show that the amount of aggregate required during construction
will be in the order of 141,126m3 with the majority sourced from the 2 proposed borrow
pits, the maximum of which they could supply is 99,875m3. The total quantity of soil to be
excavated from roads, hardstandings, turbine bases, compounds and substations is
estimated to be approximately 200,889m3 with a portion of this peat and topsoil to be used
for landscaping.
The Planning Authority notes a number of references in the EIS regarding the volume of
material to be excavated from the borrow pits and the suitability of the material to be
excavated for fill purposes (and the construction of concrete for foundations) and in
particular would highlight where the EIS which states that material in the borrow pits would
be suitable for re-use in road construction but may be unsuitable for use as structural fill
beneath turbines. The applicant should be requested to undertake appropriate site testing
to demonstrate the suitability of material to be utilised and should provide specific detail on
alternative sources of aggregate in an instance where the material is deemed unsuitable.
This is particularly relevant given the site conditions experienced on site inspection whereby
there would appear to be insufficient reserves at the locations indicated. This information is
also significant in that, where insufficient quality aggregate material exists within the site, a
greater volume of material must be imported, and therefore the greater will be the number
of traffic movements into and out of the site.
Traffic & Transportation
At operational stage the only traffic associated with the wind farm will be from maintenance
personnel and it is estimated that 3-4 vehicle movements per day will be required postconstruction for routine maintenance, which will have a negligible impact. All significant
traffic likely to be generated will be during the construction and commissioning phase. It is
envisaged that the construction period will span 18 months with the main bulk civil works
being undertaken throughout this period.
The local roads off both the N52 and the R162 experience very low volumes of traffic with
the majority carrying less than 500 vehicles per day. As a result, they will be able to
accommodate the increase in traffic associated with the proposed development. In the
previous application for the Emlagh Windfarm, traffic was spread out over a greater area a
due to the nature widespread nature of the proposed wind farm however, in the current
application, traffic volumes will increase over a much smaller area and could have a greater

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impact on the roads themselves and their carrying capacity. It is stated within the Roads
Engineers report that In general, the development has the potential to have a significant
effect on both road users and on the road network itself due to the extent of the associated
underground cabling and the delivery of materials to site, particularly the turbines. The
proposal would result in a certain amount of delay and disruption and have the potential to
cause damage to the road pavements and structures along the affected routes. There is also
a potential increased safety risk due to the works and the additional traffic that would be
generated during the construction period. The report however concludes that the
Transportation Department considers that the impacts of the proposed development on the
road network and its users can be accommodated with the appropriate consultation,
planning and management.
The entrances (new or altered) are generally satisfactory and show sightlines of 160m in
accordance with the DMRB for an 80kph design speed. However in many cases this may be
considered excessive as the operational speed (50 60kph) of the minor county roads (through
bog in particular) would only warrant 70m to 90m sightlines. In any case sightlines must be in
accordance with DMRB standards TD 41-42/11 and TD 9.
The majority of the proposed cable trenching will take place on existing national, regional
and local roads with circa 15km being laid along public roads in connecting the wind farm to
the ESB Gorman Substation to the SE. While the majority of the trenching will be carried out
on the local roads, there will be short sections of trenching on the national and regional
roads. This work can be carried out with appropriate traffic management. Road diversions
will need to be put in place on all narrow roads to accommodate the trenching.
A construction-phase Traffic Management Plan will be prepared in consultation with the
local authority, with the objective that the transportation needs for the Wind Farm and
associated cable trenching will have a minimal impact on the road network and local
communities.
As referenced elsewhere Geology and Soils assessment, it is intended to provide 2 number
borrow pits to provide material for the construction of access tracks, upgrading of existing
access tracks and for potential use in turbine foundations. It is submitted that the use of the
borrow pits will reduce movements on the local road network, which is reasonable however,
as stated, concern does exist that the volume of material that could be excavated would be
insufficient to cater for the 18km of new access road and 3.5km of upgraded road. The
applicant should be requested to clarify the quantity and quality of existing aggregate
material from borrow pits and then therefore the quantity of alternative source of material
required. This should clearly specify additional traffic routes and movements derived as well
as the impact on local roads and associated externalities such as potential congestion,
impact on air quality, noise etc.
Table 12.4 summarises details of HGV and LGV data during construction stage. The
information provided is questionable and should be revisited by the applicant to provide
more accurate data regarding vehicle movements throughout and around the site. For
example, it is stated that each turbine will require on average 550m3 of concrete for its
foundations. If an average cement lorry carries 7.5m3 of concrete, it will take approximately
73 lorry load of concrete per turbine, which equates to 1,833 concrete lorry deliveries for all
25 turbines. It should be noted that the above does not include the concrete base required
at each turbine for a crane platform of 50*30m in size. The applicant will be invited to clarify

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the data provided in Table 12.4 regarding trip generation for all aspects of the construction
phase. This should include aggregates and soil movement.
Landscape and Heritage
County Meath is internationally recognised as the home of heritage sites of considerable
significance. These include the World Heritage Site at Bru na Boinne, the Hill of Tara and
Slieve na Cailagh. In addition Kells Monastic Core and the Hill of Tara, as is discussed above,
are both seeking World Heritage Site status. The nature and scale of the proposed
development is such that screening it from view, in particular from local views would not, it
is considered, be possible or reasonable. The report focuses, in this section, on potential
impacts on the wider landscape and in particular on views identified for preservation in the
County Development Plan. Impacts on residential amenity are addressed elsewhere in the
report. The principal issue to be addressed in this section is how a balance can be struck
between both the acknowledged national necessity for greater usage of renewable sources
of energy and the protection of our heritage.
In respect of archaeology the applicants acknowledge that a number of turbines may have a
direct impact on archaeological remains. Geophysical surveys were carried out at T2 and T9
and T17 and are considered to have potential to affect remains. T6, T7, T8, T18, T14, T15 T16
and T20, are located in bog where archaeological remains may be located. Archaeological
testing will be required at a number of locations such as T9 and T2. The EIS proposes as
mitigation that all archaeological works are to be undertaken under licence with monitoring
required on all earthmoving.
The importance of archaeology and testing is highlighted by a recent find of a fragment of a
high cross at Emlagh Graveyard (ref ME011-039) which is believed to be c.12th Century and
suggests that this site may be of more importance than hitherto believed.
This report is recommending that, as the site as a whole is located within an area of likely
potential for archaeological remains to be uncovered, and as the sites of some of the
turbines and by extension their access roads may have a direct impact on archaeological
remains further archaeological testing may be required as a precautionary principle and
should be conditioned as part of a planning permission. As part of this, the applicant should
be requested to supply appropriate mitigation measures if applicable based on the
outcomes of test trenching.
Of critical importance is the assessment of potential impacts on the archaeological
landscape of the County. The Conservation Officer in her report states that While the
proposed turbines would not physically impact any protected structure, there would be a
visual impact on the setting of a number of protected structures, on 2 ACAs - Kells and
Headfort Demesne, and other demesne landscapes. Given the height of the turbines, and
their spread across the countryside, there will be a visual impact on long range views from
important historic vantage points such as Loughcrew, Tara, and the tower of Lloyd
In the CDP 2013-2019, the Council has identified what it considers to be the most important
views in the County deemed worthy of preservation, these include from a number of the
archaeological monuments of significance. In order to assist in the assessment of potential
impacts on landscape and designated viewpoints, the services of CAAS LTD were obtained to
examine the proposed development in the context of the 94 views identified for
preservation. The full text of this report is contained in Appendix 3.

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In Table 2.2, CAAS Consultants identified and confirmed that the relevant designated views
(25) as presented in the EIS as being relevant. In Table 2.3 the views with little or no
potential to be likely to be affected by the proposed development are presented.
Section 2 of the report presents the assessment of likelihood and significance of effects
arising from the proposed development having regard to the assessment method outlined
in section 1.3. The viewpoints where the impact of the proposed windfarm is of high / very
high / profound significance are outlined below.
In summary, of the 25 viewpoints assessed, CAAS Consultants have identified that the
proposed development will have significant effects on 12 key view points from the County
Development Plan 2013-2019. The table below outlines details of the 12 key view points.
(full details of this report is available in Appendix 3)

View No. 6 . Slieve na Calliagh


View classification by CDP
Significance
National
Sensitivity
Extreme sensitivity
to
developments
that will alter the
inter-visibility
of
these
hills
and
monuments.
High
sensitivity
to
developments that
would
reduce
openness or lack of
enclosure for visible
distance, say 1km
from ridgeline in all
directions

Likely Effect
Significantly affects the
principle sensitivity views
across about 8 degrees of
the field of vision from the
eastern end of the
complex.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
occupies a significant portion
of a view that with a prior
designation as being of
national significance.
Impact is of high/very high
significance

View No. 13 Tower of Lloyd at Kells


View classification by CDP
Significance
National
Sensitivity
Sensitive to any
structures
that
would obstruct views
towards the skyline.
Also sensitive to tree
planting at south
eastern, eastern and
northern boundary.

Likely Effect
Significantly affects the
principle sensitivity views
across 20 degrees of the
field of vision in one of the
principle
directions
identified.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
occupies a significant portion
of a view that is of national
significance.
Impact is of Profound/very
high significance

View No. 14. R163 between Kells and Drumbaragh


View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Local
The proposed development The proximity and extent
the
proposed
Sensitivity
Low - likely to be will be visually conspicuous that

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obscured
by when viewed along the
roadside
planting centreline of the road
which will not benefit from
within 5 years
the screening effect of
future tree growth.

development will occupy


means that the proposed
development
will
significantly
alter
the
appearance and character of
the countryside as viewed
from both the N52 and R 163
in the vicinity
Impact is of a high local
significance

View No. 15. County Road between Carlanstown and Ardlonan


View classification by CDP
Significance
Local
Sensitivity
Low

Likely Effect
The extent of the angle of
view occupied by turbines
combined
with
their
proximity to the nearest
visible turbine of 2.6 km
means that the proposed
development
will
be
visually dominate all other
features on account of
their contrasting scale,
form and movement.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will profoundly alter the
appearance and character of
the landscape and views as
viewed from this location
which are designated as
being of Local significance.
Impact of Profound Local
Significance

View No. 16. County Road North of Moydorragh

(Note that neither photograph examines the designated view)

View classification by CDP


Significance
Local
Sensitivity

Low

Likely Effect
The extent of the angle of
view occupied by turbines
combined
with
their
proximity of about 4 km
means that the proposed
development
will
be
visually
dominant
on
account
of
their
contrasting scale, form and
movement.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will significantly alter the
appearance and character of
the landscape and views as
viewed from this location
which are designated as
being of local significance.
Impact of local Significance

View No. 24. County Road between Rathkenny and Parsonstown Demesne
View classification by CDP
Significance
Regional
Sensitivity
Robust

Likely Effect
The extent of the angle of
view occupied by turbines
combined
with
their
proximity oabout 4km
means that the proposed
development
will
be
visually dominate all other
features on account of
their contrasting scale,

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will profoundly alter the
appearance and character of
the landscape and views as
viewed from this location
which are designated as
being
of
Regional
significance.

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form and movement.

Impact of High Regional


Significance

View No. 25. County Road between Rathkenny and Parsonstown Demesne
View classification by CDP
Significance
Regional
Sensitivity
Robust

Likely Effect
The extent of the angle of
view occupied by turbines
combined
with
their
proximity of less than 3 km
means that the proposed
development
will
be
visually dominate all other
features on account of
their contrasting scale,
form and movement.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will profoundly alter the
appearance and character of
the landscape and views as
viewed from this location
which are designated as
being
of
Regional
significance.
Impact of High Regional
Significance

View No. 26. County Road between Rathkenny and Dreminstown


View classification by CDP
Significance
Regional
Sensitivity
Sensitive to roadside
development.
Middle distance is
robust

Likely Effect
The extent of the angle of
view occupied by turbines
combined
with
their
proximity of about 7 km
means that the proposed
development
will
be
visually dominate all other
features on account of
their contrasting scale,
form and movement.

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will profoundly alter the
appearance and character of
the landscape and views as
viewed from this location
which are designated as
being
of
Regional
significance.
Impact of High Regional
Significance

View No. 33. At Proudstown Cross Roads on R162


View classification by CDP
Significance
Local
Sensitivity
Low

Likely Effect
The proposed development
will be visible at a distance
in excess of over 8 km. The
proposed development will
occupy a significant portion
of the field of view and will
be noticeable under many
types of lighting conditions

though
intervening
topography and vegetation
mitigate this visibility.
The effects will be very

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will significantly alter the
appearance of this view of a
countryside.
These factors will combine
to giver rise to a locally
significant effect on the
appearance and character of
the landscape as viewed
from this location.

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noticeable to racegoers on Locally Significant
account of the orientation.

View No. 44. Hill of Tara


View classification by CDP
Significance
National
Sensitivity
View to the west:
Visually robust
View to the south:
Visually robust.
View to the east:
Centre of view open
and
vulnerable.
Edges - north and
south - are robust on
account
of
substantial levels of
woodland.
View to the north:
Lowlands are visually
robust.

Likely Effect
From one of the cardinal
viewing directions the
proposed development will
be visible at a distance in
excess of 20 km.
Notwithstanding
this
distance the proposed
development will occupy a
significant portion of the
field of view and will be
noticible under many types
of lighting conditions

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will alter the appearance of
all of this designated view of
the countryside.
The view, though visually
robust,
has considerable
national
cultural and
historical significance.
These factors will combine
to giver rise to a significant
effect on the appearance
and character of the
landscape as viewed from
this location.
Nationally Significant Effect

View No. 47. Skryne Church


View classification by CDP
Significance
National
Sensitivity
View to the west:
central part of view
has fewer trees and
is the most visually
vulnerable
part.
Areas north and
south are more
robust.
View to north: is
more robust.
View to the north
east: not sensitive;
robust
View to the south:
Visually robust.

Likely Effect
The proposed development
will be visible at a distance
in excess of 20 km.
Notwithstanding
this
distance the proposed
development will occupy a
significant portion of the
field of view and will be
noticible under many types
of lighting conditions

Significance of effect
The proposed development
will alter the appearance of
this view of a countryside
The view, though visually
robust, has national cultural
and historical significance.
These factors will combine
to giver rise to a significant
effect on the appearance
and character of the
landscape as viewed from
this location.
Nationally Significant Effect

View No. 52 Hill of Ward


View classification by CDP
Significance
Regional

Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significantly affects the The proposed development
principle sensitivity views occupies a significant portion
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across in excess of 30 of a view that with a prior


degrees of the field of designation as being of
vision from the site at a regional significance.
distance of less than 14km
Impact is of high/very high
regional significance
The conclusion of the CAAS Report regarding viewpoints and impacts on the landscape are
as follows:
The application has demonstrated that proposed development will be visible in
whole or part throughout the majority of the north and centre of County Meath.
The assessment shows that this will affect a number of the views that are designated
in the County Development Plan. Some of these affected views are amongst the most
significant and sensitive in Meath and some are also of national and regional
significance.
The assessment carried out in this report demonstrates using the material supplied
by the applicant in conjunction with the material used to prepare the designation of
CDP Viewing Point that a number of these effects will be very significant.
The proposed development will significantly alter the established appearance and
character of a large part of the north and centre of County Meath. This alteration
will significantly impinge upon a number of protected views.
It is therefore recommended, based on this assessment, that further information is sought
to provide the applicant with the opportunity to address the above findings. The erection of
pole structures or similar at the same height as the potential tip height of the turbines at the
site of each turbine is a suggested means of addressing this matter.
The Conservation Officer in her report has focused on impacts on the historic built
environment and comments only on those sites which in her opinion are most negatively
impacted upon. She states that the EIS identifies all heritage sites in the vicinity of the
windfarm and includes an opinion as to what constitutes the setting of these sites, and an
assessment of the impacts. In a considerable number of instances she does not concur with
the determination as to what constitutes the setting, and / or the conclusions of the EIS. The
EIS frequently identifies the curtilage as identical to the setting and assigns little importance
to the visual impact of the wind farm on the wider landscape setting of a site.
The Conservation Officer considers that indirect adverse impacts will occur on the wider
landscape setting of the Hill of Lloyd. It is stated in the report that other Protected
Structures that will have an adverse impact as a result of the windfarm include, Rosmeen
House (MH017-123), Dowdstown House (MH11-124) and Mountainstown House and
Demesne (MH012-100) and St Columcilles Church (MH018-101). In respect of Cruicetown
Church it is stated that the more distant views of the wind farm will be greater than
outlined in the EIS.
UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
The most recent tentative list for Ireland was submitted to UNESCO in 2010 and includes 2
sites in Meath Tara, and Kells. These are part of serial nominations for the Royal Sites, and
the Monastic Sites of Ireland. Both sites are considered within the vicinity and local

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landscape with the proposed windfarm. The following is a summary from the Conservation
Officers Report of the potential impacts on this site from the proposed windfarm
Kells
While the core area and buffer zones for Kells Monastic Site have not yet been defined, it is
thought that the scope of the conservation plan is likely to cover at least the medieval area of
the town. The 19th century town area will also be examined as this provides the context and
setting implied by potential world heritage status, as will views and prospects into and out of
the area.
I note from the route screening analysis that there are partial views of the turbines visible
adjacent to St Columbas Church of Ireland at the centre of the Monastic site. On Church
Lane on route to St Columbas House there are open views and partial views of the turbines.
It is my opinion that the visual intrusion of the turbines would detract from the experience
and sense of place of the historic town, and in particular, of the Monastic Site.
Tara
It is my opinion that the expanse of the windfarm visible on the northern horizon from the
Hill of Tara would detract from the landscape setting of the site
In addition, the Heritage Officers full report is also available in Appendix 2 and it further
highlights the importance of Meaths landscape as being a core asset to Irelands Ancient
East which is very much related to the future viability and marketing of the local tourist
industry. In her report, the Heritage Officer identifies the significance of the proposed wind
farm to Ireland meeting its renewable energy target verses the potential impact of this
windfarm on the local landscape. In my opinion the scale (height and number of turbines),
extent and capacity (85MW and contributing over 2% of the total wind generating capacity
required to meet the 40% national target) of the proposed development should be
considered within a national planning policy context and in particular within the
development of a National Landscape Character Assessment as set out in the National
Landscape Strategy for Ireland 2015-2025 (Actions 2-4)
Architectural Conservation Areas
In respect of impacts on the Kells Architectural Conservation Areas, the Conservation Officer
highlights that adverse impacts will occur on the historic Headfort House and Demesne
Headfort House is of National importance for its interiors, containing the only example of
designs by Robert Adams in this country and since the redecoration of these interiors to
revert to the original design scheme, it has attracted increased numbers of visitors. The
images taken from the front driveway suggest that the visual impact is not excessive from
these particular vantage points, although this is due to the existing tree screening. The ACA
character assessment for Headfort Demesne describes the significant views and vistas within
the demesne and of particular relevance to this application are the views of parkland to the
north. The winter view from immediately in front of the house shows several turbines visible.
If one is to walk northwards across the lawn towards the internal sunken driveway, the view
across the parkland opens up, and additional turbines will be visible. It is evident from the
historic mapping that the line of the sunken driveway to the front of the house was not
intended to be screen planted so as to avail of the long distance views over the parkland
which contained specimen trees.

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It should be also noted that while the legislation for the protection of the architectural
heritage does not distinguish between public and private buildings, Headfort is not a private
residence, but is occupied by a school. The school regularly hosts public functions and
viewings of the interiors, and views from the upper windows are publicly accessible.
In the Heritage Officer Report it is stated that The location of these turbines must be
considered within the context of the World Heritage Convention. In my opinion the EIS does
not adequately address the impact of the proposed on the existing UNESCO World Heritage
Site at Br na Binne and the Kells (as part of the Early Medieval Monastic Sites) and Tara
Complex (as part of the Royal Sites of Ireland) on Irelands World Heritage Tentative List.
This report will recommend that further information be sought in order to afford the
applicant the opportunity to address the concerns expressed by the Conservation Officer in
respect of impacts on the two sites of Kells and Tara as listed on the UNESCO World Heritage
Tentative List, Protected Structures and ACAs.
The application site is located within LCA 3 (North Navan Lowlands) in the Meath Landscape
Character Assessment. The County Development Plan, in Section 9.8.6 addresses capacity of
a landscape to accommodate a development and is clear that this has to be examined on a
case by case basis. This LCA is stated to have medium capacity to accommodate wind farms
and identifies that buried archaeology and upstanding historic features as possible
constraints. The potential therefore to accommodate a wind farm type development within
this LCA does exist however, despite the view of the applicant in photomontages and
conclusions regarding slight to moderate potential impacts, it remains that there will be
significant detrimental changes within the wider rural landscape which would appear to
provide long lasting impacts to an area rich in heritage and culture. The presence of any
structure, whether moving or static, totalling 169m in height will appear alien and
significantly alter the landscape and ultimately change peoples perception of that
landscape, whether viewing it from short or long distant views.
It must also be noted that impacts on the landscape and designated view points are not
confined to the proposed wind farm. There are other proposed large developments such the
north south interconnector which traverses through the wind farm site. The cumulative
impact of both proposed developments will have significant adverse impacts on this
landscape. The EIS does include a section on cumulative impact assessment but it is the
considered view of the Local Authority that the impact of the two proposed developments
will be significantly greater than as outlined in the EIS.
Ecology and the Natura Impact Statement
The EIS states that no development will take place within NATURA 2000 Sites designated
under the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive, National Heritage Areas (NHAs) designated
under the Irish Wildlife Act (2000) or proposed Natural Heritage Areas. In respect of ecology
and ecological impacts generally the Councils Heritage Officer (HO) comments that there
are hydrological links between the proposed development site and three Natura 2000 sites
within 15km (the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC, River Boyne and River Blackwater
SPA and Kilconny Bog cSAC). (see Section 5 for assessment of NIS)
The Heritage Officer report also notes and highlights the importance of the recent discovery
of Greenland White Fronted Goose which was not originally recorded within the study area
(during surveys for the previous Emlagh Windfarm Development) but was discovered during

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recent surveys carried out in March 2016. It is noted that Greenland white-front geese were
not recorded within the study area during the winter survey period of 2012/13 and 2013/14
but two flocks were recorded on separate dates in late March 2016 (EIS Vol 2 Chap. 7 Section
7.3.8.7). Whooper Swan and Greenland white-fronted goose are listed under Annex 1 of the
Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and protected under Annex II of the Berne Convention on the
conservation of wildlife and natural habitats. These species are amber listed as the Birds of
Conservation Concern in Ireland (Colhoun & Cummins (2014) and the impacts of the
proposed development on same must be considered both alone and in combination with the
potential cumulative impact arising from North-South 400Kv Interconnector (EIRGRID)
application currently before An Bord Pleanla for their consideration as both developments
intersect at key sensitive locations
The Heritage Officer Report also highlights specific issues associated with the siting of T14,
T15 and the onsite substation. The habitat map (Figure 7.18.1) shows that the proposed
location of the substation, T14 and T15 are located within conifer plantation. The County
Meath Wetland Survey (2008) and aerial photography identifies this area as within a wider
complex of wetland habitats. A mosaic of wetland habitats namely; cutover bog (PB4), reed
and large sedge swamps (FS1), drainage ditches (FW4), scrub (WS1), scattered trees and
parkland (WD5) and bog woodland (WN7) (identified in EIS - Table 7.25 and Figure 7.18.1)
were recorded in this area which adjoins an area of high bog (identified in the EIS Appendix
F5 Peatland Survey Report as Carlantown Bog) that supports EU Annex I Habitat Degraded
Raised Bog (7120). County Meath represents the eastern range of raised bog distribution in
Ireland and within the county raised bogs (both active and degraded) and their associated
habitats types are a rare occurrence. Therefore raised bog (and associated habitats as
outlined above), bog woodland and wet grassland habitats (at T7) in the Meath context are
of high conservation value irrespective of whether or not they have been designated for
nature conservation under national or European legislation.
In that context, it the opinion of the Heritage Officer that this is one of the most ecologically
sensitive areas within the proposed study site and in accordance with the hierarchy of
mitigation all works within this area should be avoided. The substation is a critical
component of the development; this report will therefore be recommending that the
applicant be afforded the opportunity to address the above concerns of the Heritage Officer.
Detailed bat surveys were undertaken and recorded that a diverse range of bat species use
the landscape in the study areas. The EIS noted that that key potential impacts on these
animals arise through potential roost loss, loss of feeding areas and disruption of commuting
routes. Each of the proposed locations of the 25 turbines and sub-station was surveyed and
the bat activity findings recorded along with recommended mitigation measures to prevent
or reduce the potential negative impacts in these areas.
A number of appropriate mitigation measures are outlined (Table 7.42) and it is noted that
such measures are in line with the NRA guidelines on provisions for the conservation of bats
during the planning and construction of roads (2006). Reference is made to the NRA
Guidelines (Best Practice Guidelines for the Conservation of Bats in the Planning of National

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Road Schemes and the Guidelines for the Treatment of Bats during the Construction of
National Road Schemes) and that any works relating to bats may only be carried out under a
licence issued by the NPWS.
The EIS notes that bat activity at T6, T11 and T12 is high and Table 7.42 states as follows:
Turbine Recommended mitigation measures and general comments
T6
Relocation of T6 is not possible therefore, during operation, this turbine should be
included in a corpse search/mortality study and further mitigation such as
curtailment, if deemed necessary based on study findings, should be implemented.
T11
500m from roost at Dowdstown House Relocation of T11 is not possible therefore,
during operation, this turbine should be included in a corpse search/mortality study
and further mitigation such as curtailment, if deemed necessary based on study
findings, should be implemented.
T12
500m from roost at Dowdstown House Relocation of T12 is not possible therefore,
during operation, this turbine should be included in a corpse search/mortality study
and further mitigation such as curtailment, if deemed necessary based on study
findings, should be implemented.
In accordance with best practice and the mitigation hierarchy adverse impacts should be
avoided wherever possible, therefore in the opinion of the Heritage Officer, the above three
turbines should be re-located.
Otters
Otters are listed on Annex II and Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive (1992) and Appendix
II of the Berne Convention (Council of Europe, 1979). It is Red-data book listed as Vulnerable
(Whilde, 1993) and fully protected in Ireland under the Wildlife Acts of 1976 and 2000.
The presence of Otter within subject site is noted and the EIS states that a potential Holt
was located amongst rocks beside a bridge on the Moynalty River where a link road is
proposed to cross the river between T2 and T3. It should be noted that otters are protected
wherever they occur and are a qualifying interested on the River Boyne and River Blackwater
cSAC. Works impacting on this species their breeding sites or resting places requires a
derogation licence under regulation 54 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural
Habitats) Regulations, 2011.

SECTION EIGHT

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

Based on the examination of the EIS and documents accompanying this application, carried
out by the Executive of Meath County Council, in the context of National, Regional and Local
planning and energy policy, it is the Councils considered view that the proposed
Castletownmoor Wind Farm development as presented does not overcome the reasons for
refusal as outlined in An Bord Pleanala decision (PL.17.PA0038) on the previous Emlagh
Wind Farm development (of which the Castletownmoor site formed a central and significant
part). This view is based strongly on the evidence as presented here in this report, and in
particular, to the significant visual impact on the landscape of 25 wind turbines up to 169m
in height which will directly and indirectly impact upon an historic landscape that includes

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built and natural heritage features of local, regional, national, European and global
importance.
Notwithstanding the above, Meath County Council is of the view and recommends that An
Bord Pleanala seek further information in order to facilitate a fuller and more accurate
assessment of this application.
Further information is therefore recommended as follows:
1) The site selection report is based on the need to connect to the substation at Gorman,
therefore a search for potential sites within a 25km radius of the Gorman substation was
undertaken. The report does not address the potential of connection to other
substations with connection capacity, the applicant should be requested to address this
matter in a revised site selection report.
2) Having regard to the content of the Environmental Impact Statement which states that a
number of the turbines may impact on archaeological remains, the applicant should be
requested to carry out further archaeological testing of T2, T9 and T17, which after
surveys and testing, are considered to have potential impacts on features. It is further
stated that T6, T7, T8, T14, T15, T16, T18, T20 are located in a bog where archaeological
remains may be located. The applicant should be requested to consider the above and
consider relocation of turbines or further mitigation measures, where appropriate.
3) The EIS and all supporting documentation refer and identifies that the proposed 25
turbines are located in the same position as the central portion of the previous Emlagh
Windfarm Development. This is not the case as T13 and T24 in the current application
have been relocated without any reference to, detailed assessment or justification as to
why this has occurred. Given that the main impact from the proposed development
relates to the visual impact due to the nature, scale and height of turbines (which relate
to the reasons for refusal in the former Emlagh Windfarm), the applicant should provide
reasoning and justification for the resiting of the above turbines to assist in an accurate
technical assessment being made.
4) With specific reference to potential visual impacts on archaeological remains the
applicant should be requested to address potential impacts by way of additional
information at the following sites:
- Cruicetown Church & Cross
5) The applicant should be requested to address, by way of the submission of additional
photo montages, supplementary information and mitigation measures, what are
considered to be significant visual impacts on the following structures, their curtilage
and their settings listed for protection in the Meath County Development Plan 20132019:
-

Rosmeen House, MH017-123 and associated farm buildings MH017


Dowdstown House, MH11-124
Mountainstown House and demesne. MH012-100,
St Columcille's Church, Fletcherstown, MH018-101

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6)

Headfort House, MH017-116 is rated of National Importance for its interiors, containing
the only example of designs by Robert Adams in this country and since the redecoration
of these interiors to revert to the original design scheme; it has attracted increased
numbers of visitors. Having regard to the importance of this house and demesne, it is
essential that potential impacts on the house and its demesne are comprehensively
assessed and addressed. It is therefore recommended that the applicant be requested to
address the following in a further submission including revised and additional
photomontages:
- the photomontage taken from the front faade relies on screening by the mature
trees. It should be noted that these are deciduous trees, and that for 6 months of
the year, there will be less coverage;
- Within the demesne there are important internal views of parkland to the north of
the entrance front framed by the woods;
- Views from upper windows.

7) Section 9.10 of the Meath County Development Plan states at LC OBJ 5 To preserve the
views and prospects and the amenity of places and features of natural beauty or interest
listed in Appendix 12 and shown on map 9.5.1 from development that would interfere
with the character and visual amenity of the landscape. The report of CAAS LTD
identifies that the proposed development will have significant effects on 12 key
viewpoints, but in particular, a nationally significant impact in respect of View 44 Hill of
Tara and View 47 Skryne Church. In respect of View 6 Slieve na Calliagh and View 13
Tower of Lloyd the likely impact is of profound/very high significance. The applicant
should therefore be requested to address the impacts identified in the CAAS report by
way of the submission of revised photomontages. In addition, the erection of pole
structures or similar at the same height as the potential tip height of the turbines at the
site of each turbine should also be considered.
8) The peatland survey states that hydro-geological investigations may be required to
confirm that drainage associated with the proposed site layout will not impact on the
hydrology of the high bog. The applicant should be requested to carry out all necessary
investigations to enable a full assessment of potential impacts in this area.
9) The habitat map (Figure 7.18.1) shows that the proposed location of the substation, T14
and T15 are located within conifer plantation. The County Meath Wetland Survey
(2008) and aerial photography identifies this area as within a wider complex of wetland
habitats. A mosaic of wetland habitats were recorded in this area; cutover bog (PB4),
reed and large sedge swamps (FS1), drainage ditches (FW4), scrub (WS1), scattered
trees and parkland (WD5) and bog woodland (WN7) (as identified in the EIS - Table 7.25
and Figure 7.18.1) which adjoins an area of high bog (identified in the EIS Appendix F5
Peatland Survey Report as Carlantown Bog) that supports EU Annex I Habitat Degraded
Raised Bog (7120). County Meath represents the eastern range of raised bog
distribution in Ireland and within the county raised bogs (both active and degraded) and
their associated habitats types are a rare occurrence. Therefore raised bog (and
associated habitats as outlined above), bog woodland and wet grassland habitats (at T7)
in the Meath context are of high conservation value irrespective of whether or not they
have been designated for nature conservation under national or European legislation.

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Given the proximity of T14, T15 and the onsite substation to this area, the applicant
should consider relocation of the aforementioned features.

10) The Whooper Swan and Greenland White-Fronted Goose are listed under Annex 1 of the
Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and protected under Annex II of the Berne Convention on
the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats. These species are amber listed as the
Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (Colhoun & Cummins (2014) and the impacts
of the proposed development on same must be considered, both alone and in
combination, with the potential cumulative impact arising from North-South 400Kv
Interconnector (EIRGRID) application currently before An Bord Pleanla for their
consideration as both developments intersect at key sensitive locations.
11) The EIS notes that bat activity at T6, T11 and T12 is high. The mitigation outlines that
these turbines should be relocated in order to avoid impact on bats but the distances for
relocation outlined do not come within micro-siting. The applicant should therefore be
requested to address the impact on bat activity by way of consideration of alternative
locations by submission of further data.

12) The Planning Authority notes the content of Chapter 5 of the EIS in relation to Air &
Climate and is largely satisfied with the content of same. However, it is considered that
the EIS is slightly deficient in respect of the potential air impacts arising from significant
excavations from the 2 number borrow pits proposed. As the quantity and quality of
borrow pit material remains unknown and, in any case, at best could only provide up to
98,545m3 of aggregate material, it is contended that significant import of aggregate will
be required into the site. The EIS fails to accurately identify sources of this material and
consider the potential further impacts arising in a situation where an alternative source
of material is to be utilized e.g. increased traffic movements, congestion on local roads,
traffic hazards etc. The applicant should be invited to submit comments in respect of the
foregoing.
13) The Planning Authority notes a number of references in the EIS regarding the volume of
material to be excavated from the borrow pits and the suitability of the material to be
excavated for fill purposes (and the construction of concrete for foundations) and in
particular would reference Section 8.3.6 of the EIS which states that material in the
borrow pits would be suitable for re-use in road construction but may be unsuitable for
use as structural fill beneath turbines. The applicant should be requested to undertake
appropriate site testing to demonstrate the suitability of material to be utilised and
should provide specific detail on alternative sources of aggregate in an instance where
the material is deemed unsuitable.
14) Having regard to the extent of new and improved access roads associated with the
development, the Planning Authority has some reservations that insufficient reserves
exist in the proposed borrow pits which will necessitate the importation of material
from elsewhere. The applicant should therefore be requested to provide detail on the
source of additional material, the haulage routes to the site and should consider the
additional volumes of vehicular movements on the local road network as a result.

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SECTION NINE

CONDITIONS

It is the consideration of Meath County Council that if the Board intends to look positively
upon the application, after matters indentified in the preceding section of this report have
been addressed, conditions should be attached as detailed in the body of this report and as
set out below. The financial contribution is calculated on the basis of the provisions of the
Meath County Council Development Contributions Scheme 2016-2021 wherein a
contribution of 1000.00 per 0.1mw is to be sought.
1. The development shall be carried out and completed in accordance with the plans and
particulars lodged with the application, except as may otherwise be required in order to
comply with the following conditions. Where such conditions require details to be agreed
with the planning authority, the developer shall agree such details in writing with the
planning authority prior to commencement of development and the development shall be
carried out and completed in accordance with the agreed particulars.
Reason: In the interest of clarity.
2. The mitigation measures identified in the environmental impact statement and the Natura
Impact Statement and other particulars submitted with the planning application, shall be
implemented in full by the developer, except as may otherwise be required in order to
comply with the following conditions. The developer shall appoint a person with appropriate
ecological and construction expertise as Environmental Manager to ensure that the
mitigation measures identified in the above documents are implemented in full.
Reason: In the interest of clarity and the protection of the environment during construction
and operational phases of development.
3. The period during which the development hereby permitted may be carried out shall be
ten years from the date of this permission.
Reason: Having regard to the nature and extent of the proposed development, the Board
considered it appropriate to specify a period of validity of this permission in excess of five
years.
4. The date of commissioning of the wind farm shall be notified to, and established in
writing with, the planning authority before any commercial use of the development is
brought about. This permission shall be for a period of 30 years from the said date of
commissioning of the wind farm. The wind turbines and related ancillary structures shall be
removed at the end of this period of 30 years unless, prior to the end of the period, planning
permission shall have been granted for their retention for a further period.
Reason: To enable the relevant planning authority to review the operation of the wind farm
in the light of the circumstances then prevailing.
5. This permission shall not be construed as any form of consent or agreement to a
connection to the national grid or to the routing or nature of any such connection.
Reason: In the interest of clarity.
6. Micro-siting of turbines (by up to 30 metres) shall not result in any turbine being located
closer than 500 metres to any dwelling (except with the written consent of the owner of the
affected dwelling).
Reason: In the interest of protecting the amenities of adjoining properties.

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7. Prior to commencement of development, the developer shall submit a comprehensive


Construction-Stage Drainage Report and Construction Management Plan for the written
agreement of the planning authority, which shall include:
(a) Details of the proposed water monitoring protocol and drainage inspection regime.
(b) Full details of measures for the control of drainage during and after construction
(including tree-felling prior to construction), including the use of settlement ponds, swales
and silt traps, and measures for the control of run-off from temporary spoil storage areas.
(c) Details of the nature of all materials used in constructing access tracks to the turbines.
(d) Full details of storage proposals for hazardous materials, cement leachate, hydrocarbons
and other materials to be used during construction.
(e) Details of all aspects of the management of excess spoil, such that slope stability
measures and prevention of water pollution are fully implemented. Soil, rock, peat and
sand/gravel excavated during construction shall not be left stockpiled on site following
completion of works.
Reason: In the interest of environmental protection and orderly development.
8. The developer will ensure permanent monitoring of the existing borehole source at
Castletown, to the east of the site boundary. This shall be carried out by the installation of a
piezometer at the borehole. The piezometer, of a type and specification to be agreed with
Water Services Section of Meath Co Co shall be installed in the borehole at least 6 months in
advance of works commencing on the project and shall continue to be monitored and
information recorded for a period of 6 months post completion of the project. The full
details of the monitoring programme and reporting schedule shall be agreed with Meath Co
Co Water Services Section on behalf of Irish Water in advance of the project. Any negative
effect on the level of groundwater and yield from the borehole found to be caused by
proposed project shall be addressed by the applicant to the satisfaction of MCC Water
Services Section on behalf of Irish Water.
Reason: To protect ground water sources that provide drinking water supplies for local
communities and in the interests of health and safety.
9. (a) A detailed site investigation including slit trenches/trial holes to determine the exact
locations of all existing water services infrastructure/utilities along the proposed ducting
routes.
(b) Utilising the data gathered above in 1, a detailed design setting out the exact locations of
the proposed ducting trenches together with roads cross sections at a maximum of 50m
intervals.
(c) A full topographical survey and prepare and submit detailed longitudinal sections of the
proposed ducting trenches with respect to existing road levels and all existing
utilities/structures/features.
(d) Full details of proposed ducting trenches including width, depth of cover to ducts, ducts
formation, bedding and backfill material types.
(e) Proposals for dealing with situations where the proposed works would interfere with
existing water services infrastructure (watermains, service connections, rising mains, foul
and surface water sewers, culverts, etc.).
Reason: To protect ground water sources that provide drinking water supplies for local
communities and in the interests of health and safety.
10. Prior to commencement of development, the applicant shall provide the following
information and agree in writing with the Planning Authority:

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(a) the proposed rainwater harvesting system as outlined in the EIS. The proposed water
supply system shall be maintained and serviced as required by manufacturers instructions
and regular testing of the water supply shall be carried out to ensure safety with regard to
public health.
(b) confirm the chosen method of water supply for the construction process prior to
commencement of the project. Details of water source, extraction licence and/or
permission, method of transportation and storage shall be agreed for off-site sources.
Details of location of any ground water source including depth, yield and quality shall be
agreed prior to construction. The details (locations, depth, level of static groundwater, etc)
of all private well sources within 1km of any proposed production borehole shall be provided
to Meath Co Co Water Services Section prior to commencement of the project. The
applicant shall be responsible for the deterioration of any private well sources and shall
enable alternative supplies to those wherever affected.
(c) Agree all methods of storage, treatment and disposal of washwater arising from the
construction process with Meath Co Co Water Services Section prior to commencement of
the project and proposals for ensuring that surface water and groundwater bodies are
protected shall be embodied in the submission to be agreed.
(d) Provide a list of locations of all permanent water supply sources at wind turbine, substation and other installations connected to the project upon completion to Meath Co Co
Water Services Section. Details of source, treatment, consumption figures and uses of the
water at each source shall be supplied.
11. Prior to commencement of development, the applicant shall provide the following
information and agree in writing with the Planning Authority:
(a) details of locations for all containerised toilets/portaloos that are proposed to be used in
the project
(b) The immediate areas for the locations of all containerised toilets/portaloos shall be
covered and bunded to 150% of the storage volume of the installations.
(c) details of a Service Maintenance Schedule and Agreement with a licensed provider for
the timely removal of waste from the proposed facilities.
(d) The use of permanent on-site storage facilities for wastewater at the location of the substation/control building is not desirable from a human health and environmental point of
view and shall be the solution of last resort.
(e) Commission a Site Suitability Assessment for on-site Wastewater Management in
accordance with the requirements of The EPA Code of Practice 2009. A design for an on-site
method of disposal shall be derived from the said report and submitted for approval.
12. Noise mitigation measures outlined in the environmental impact statement shall be
carried out in full. The following conditions shall be complied with:
(a) Noise levels emanating from the proposed development following commissioning, when
measured externally at third party noise-sensitive locations, shall not exceed the greater of
43dB(A)L90, 10 min or 5dB(A) above background levels.
(b) All noise measurements shall be made in accordance with I.S.O. Recommendations
R1996/1 and 2 Acoustics Description and measurement of Environmental Noise.
(c) Prior to commencement of development, the developer shall agree a noise compliance
monitoring programme for the operational wind farm with the planning authority.
(d) The Applicant when delivering large turbine components outside normal construction
working hours shall inform residents living along local or minor roads of the anticipated time
of delivery. This information shall be displayed on the Applicants website and shall be
publicised through a community liaison group, local media, social media or newsletters.

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The Applicant shall upon completion of the commissioning of the wind turbines provide to
the Planning Authority a report on noise levels.
(e) The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection to members of the public
a complaints register in relation to complaints made about noise.
(f) The Applicant shall prepare, prior to operation of the proposed development, a detailed
report on remediation measures to be taken in the event of noise limit exceedance.
(g) Wind turbine noise emitting from the proposed development, either singularly or in
combination with other wind turbine developments shall comply with the current
government issued guidelines.
(h) The Applicant, on completion of the procurement process to select wind turbine type,
shall re-run the noise prediction calculations using the selected turbine data.
(I) Applicant shall upon completion of the commissioning of the wind turbines provide to
the Planning Authority a report on noise levels.
(j) The Applicant shall provide to the Local Authority a yearly compliance report on noise
emissions from the development, this report shall include, but not be limited to, noise
surveys undertaken at noise receptors, methodology for noise monitoring, list of complaints
and remedial measures taken. The report shall be prepared by a suitably qualified noise
specialist.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.
13. Shadow Flicker measures outlined in the EIS shall be carried out in full. The following
conditions shall be complied with:
(a) Once the final turbine design is finalised the shadow flicker assessment shall be revised
using the 10 times rotor diameter buffer zone.
(b) The Applicant shall ensure that either singularly or in combination with other wind
turbine developments shall comply with the current government issued guidelines
(c) The Applicant shall ensure that if shadow flicker does occur the turbine(s) are
immediately shut down for the duration of affected shadow flicker. Suitably appropriate
equipment and software shall be utilised to facilitate shutdown, details of same shall be
agreed, in writing, with the Local Authority prior to commencement.
(d) The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection to members of the public
a complaints register in relation to shadow flicker complaints.
(e) The Applicant shall, on an annual basis, submit a report, prepared by a suitably qualified
person detailing the number and frequency of shadow flicker incidents and shut downs and
detail compliance with the aforementioned conditions.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.
14. The Applicant shall ensure that all excavated material and all other waste material is
undertaken in accordance with the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended. The
Applicant shall retain and make available for inspection all records relating to the
movement, recovery or disposal of waste from the development site.
Reason: In the interests of the orderly development of the site
15. (a) During construction stage the Applicant shall employ a suitably qualified and
experienced geotechnical engineer to monitor the stability of all existing slopes adjacent to
the works and all temporary slopes created by the works.
(b) Should any land slippage occur during the course of the works the Applicant shall
immediately inform Meath County Council and provide details on how further slippage shall
be prevented and necessary measures to remediate the site.

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(c) The Applicant shall, prior to construction stage, fully develop the Construction and
Environmental Management Plan as detailed in Appendix D and it shall remain a live
document for the duration of the project construction stage.
(d) The Applicant shall agree, in writing, with the Local Authority a protocol for reporting
and managing accidental spillages during construction or operation stage that may cause soil
contamination.
Reason: In the interest of environmental protection and orderly development.
16. (a) Prior to commencement of construction activities the Applicant shall agree, in
writing, with the Local Authority a dust control plan for the duration of the construction
works. The plan shall include, but not be limited to, a dust monitoring regime for the
duration of the works, methodology for dust monitoring, locations of dust monitoring,
measures to be implemented to reduce dust emissions and actions to be taken in the event
of complaints.
(b) Dust emissions shall not exceed 350mg/m2/day.
(c) The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection by the local authority a
complaints record for dust complaints.
(d) The Applicant shall record and make available to members of the public the actual
construction vehicle and plant emissions to air.
(e) The Applicant, contractor and sub-contractors shall endeavour to utilise low energy and
low emissions vehicles and plant where possible.
(f) The Applicant shall liaise with the Local Authority in relation the application for an Air
Emission Licence.
Reason: In the interest of environmental protection and orderly development.
17. (a) Prior to commencement of development, details of the following shall be submitted
to, and agreed in writing with, Meath County Council:
(i) a Transport Management Plan, including details of the road network/haulage routes and
the vehicle types to be used to transport materials on and off site,
(ii) a condition survey of the roads and bridges along the haul routes to be carried out at the
developers expense by a qualified engineer both before and after construction of the wind
farm development. This survey shall include a schedule of required works to enable the haul
routes and, in particular, regional and local roads in to cater for construction-related traffic.
The extent and scope of the survey and the schedule of works shall be agreed with the
planning authority prior to commencement of development.
(iii) detailed arrangements whereby the rectification of any construction damage which
arises shall be completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority.
(iv) detailed arrangements for temporary traffic arrangements/controls on roads.
(v) a programme indicating the timescale within which it is intended to use each public route
to facilitate construction of the development.
(b) All works arising from the aforementioned arrangements shall be completed at the
developers expense, within 12 months of the cessation of each roads use as a haul route
for the proposed development.
(C) Where sightlines are interfered with by ditches, trees or hedges these must be removed
and set back behind the sightline rather than just being trimmed.
(D) Applicant shall make provision for drainage of surface water from access roads and
prevent same from flowing onto the public road either by provision of cattle grid drained to
suitable outfall or other means to be agreed with MCC.
(E) That all works to be carried out on the public road shall be subject to a road opening
licence from Meath Co. Council. This licence shall include for all insurances and bonds and
shall be agreed prior to commencement of any road works.
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Reason: To protect the public road network and to clarify the extent of the permission in the
interest of traffic safety and orderly development.
18. (a) Shadow flicker arising from the proposed development shall not exceed 30 hours per
year or 30 minutes per day at existing or permitted dwellings or other sensitive receptors.
(b) A report shall be prepared by a suitably qualified person in accordance with the
requirements of the planning authority, indicating compliance with the above shadow flicker
requirements at dwellings. Within 12 months of commissioning of the proposed wind farm,
this report shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority.
(c) The Applicant shall ensure that if shadow flicker does occur the turbine(s) are
immediately shut down for the duration of affected shadow flicker. Suitably appropriate
equipment and software shall be utilised to facilitate shutdown, details of same shall be
agreed, in writing, with the Local Authority prior to commencement.
(d) The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection to members of the public
a complaints register in relation to shadow flicker complaints.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.
19. (a) With reference to the Water Quality Monitoring Plan as detailed in the outline CEMP
the Applicant shall submit to Meath County Council, on a monthly basis, the results of the
monitoring from the previous month.
(b) The Applicant shall include in the CEMP a list of Meath County Council personnel to
contact in the event of an environmental emergency or incident. Any event or incident that
may cause threat to groundwater or receiving waters shall be notified immediately to Meath
County Council and all works cease until authorised to continue by Meath County Council
(c) Mitigation measures as outlined in the EIS for the protection of ground water shall be
adhered to and implemented in full. The works shall be supervised and monitored as
detailed in the EIS.
Reason: In the interest of environmental protection and orderly development.
20. (a) The Applicant shall prepare, for the Local Authorities approval, a Coal Tar Waste
Management Plan. This plan shall include but not be limited to locations of coal tar (verified
by intrusive works and laboratory results), extent of coal tar, methodology for removal of
coal tar and segregation from other bituminous materials, storage of coal tar, if necessary,
and details of compliance with legislation relating to same, details of end destination of coal
tar and any other items relevant to removal, temporary storage and transportation of coal
tar.
(b) the Applicant shall ensure that all excavated material and all other waste material
excavated as part of the cabling works is undertaken in accordance with the Waste
Management Act 1996, as amended. The Applicant shall retain and make available for
inspection all records relating to the movement, recovery or disposal of waste from the
development site.
(c) The Applicant shall prepare prior to commencement of the works and for the approval of
the Local Authority a detailed Waste Management Plan for the construction and
commissioning stage of the proposed project.
(d) The Applicant shall manage all waste stream during the construction and commissioning
stage of the project in accordance with the DOECLG Best Practice Guidelines on the
Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and Demolition Projects
(2006)and shall take cognisance of the current Regional Waste Management Plan in
particular to the upper tiers of the Waste Hierarchy.
(e) The Applicant shall provide to the Local Authority, on completion of the works, a
comprehensive report detailing the management of the all waste streams generated during

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the construction and commissioning stages of the project. This shall include but not be
limited to type of waste streams, amount of each waste stream generated, destination of
waste streams (including final destination if applicable), percentage of waste re-used,
recycled, recovered and disposed, and prevention and minimisation initiatives undertaken.
Reason: In the interest of environmental protection and orderly development.
21. The developer shall facilitate the preservation, recording and protection of
archaeological materials or features that may exist within the site. In this regard, the
developer shall:
(a) notify the planning authority in writing at least four weeks prior to the commencement
of any site operation (including hydrological and geotechnical investigations) relating to the
proposed development,
(b) employ a suitably-qualified archaeologist who shall monitor all site investigations and
other excavation works, and prepare a report on the results of such monitoring to be
submitted to the planning authority and to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht, and
(c) provide arrangements, acceptable to the planning authority, for the recording and
removal of any archaeological material which the authority considers appropriate to
remove. In particular, archaeological excavation shall be carried out at
Areas of Archaeological Potential identified in the environmental impact statement
submitted,
A comprehensive report on the completed archaeological excavation shall be prepared and
submitted to the planning authority and to the National Monuments Service within a period
of six months or within such extended period as may be agreed with the planning authority.
Reason: In order to conserve the archaeological heritage of the site, it is considered
reasonable that the developer should facilitate the preservation and protection or the
preservation by record of any archaeological features or materials which may exist within it.
22. (a) Cables within the site shall be laid underground.
(b) The wind turbines shall be geared to ensure that the blades rotate in the same direction.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity.
23. Prior to commencement of development, details of aeronautical requirements shall be
submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority. Subsequently, the
developer shall inform the planning authority and the Irish Aviation Authority of the coordinates of the as constructed turbines and the highest point of the turbines.
Reason: In the interest of air traffic safety.
24. In the event that the proposed development causes interference with
telecommunications signals in the area effective measures shall be implemented to
minimise such interference. Details of these measures, which shall be at the developers
expense, shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to
commissioning of the turbines, and following consultation with the relevant authorities.
Reason: In the interest of orderly planning and residential amenity.
25. Any significant works to bridges over rivers or streams shall be carried out in accordance
with the National Roads Authority guidelines for the treatment of otters.
Reason: To comply with requirements for the protection of breeding otters.
26. The developer shall review usage by birds of the wind farm site (particularly the
Whooper swan and Greenland White Fronted Goose) through an annual monitoring
programme, which shall be submitted by the developer to, and agreed in writing with, the

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planning authority prior to commencement of development. This programme shall be


developed following consultation with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
and shall be repeated annually for a period of 3 years following completion of construction.
Reason: To ensure appropriate monitoring of the impact of the development on the
avifauna of the area.
27. Removal of hedgerows shall be carried out only between September and February
inclusive. Replacement hedgerows shall be of native species.
Reason: In the interest of avian ecology and visual amenity.
28. On full or partial decommissioning of the wind farm, or if the wind farm ceases operation
for a period of more than one year, the towers, turbines and the meteorological mast
concerned shall be removed permanently within three months of such decommissioning.
Reason: To ensure satisfactory reinstatement of the site upon cessation of the project.
29. Prior to commencement of development, the developer shall lodge with the planning
authority, a cash deposit, a bond of an insurance company, or such other security as may be
acceptable to the planning authority, to secure the reinstatement of public roads which may
be damaged by the transport of materials to the site, coupled with an agreement
empowering the planning authority to apply such security or part thereof to the satisfactory
reinstatement of the public road. The form and amount of the security shall be as agreed
between the planning authority and the developer
Reason: In the interest of road safety and the proper planning and sustainable development
of the area.
30. The Applicant shall adhere and comply with guidelines and recommendations as detailed
in DECLG Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 and any subsequent amendments,
particularly as regards the ongoing Targeted Review in relation to Noise, Proximity and
Shadow Flicker December 11th 2013.
Reason: In the interests of amenity and orderly development of the site.
31. The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection a complaints register for
the construction, operational and decommissioning stages detailing the nature of complaint,
investigations and remediation undertaken.
Reason: In the interests of amenity and orderly development of the site
32. The Applicant shall appoint a Community Liaison Officer for the all stages of the
development and shall be the first point of contact for residents seeking information,
making a complaint, etc. and shall be responsible for discharging information in relation to
the project to residents.
Reason: In the interests of amenity and orderly development of the site
33. The developer shall pay to Meath County Council a financial contribution of 850,000 in
respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the
planning authority that is provided or intended to be provided by or on behalf of the
authority in accordance with the terms of the Development Contribution Scheme made
under section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). The contribution
shall be paid prior to the commencement of development or in such phased payments as
the planning authority may facilitate and shall be subject to any applicable indexation
provisions of the Scheme at the time of payment. Details of the application of the terms of
the Scheme shall be agreed between the planning authority and the developer

128

Meath County Council Planning Report for proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm Development

17.PA0046

___________________________________________________________________

Reason: It is a requirement of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, that a
condition requiring a contribution in accordance with the Development Contribution
Scheme made under section 48 of the Act be applied to the permission.

129

Appendix 1
Site History and Relevant Associated Planning History

An Bord Pleanala relevant Planning Decisions


PL.17.P0038 On 27th January 2016 the board refused planning permission for the Emlagh Wind
Farm comprising of 46 turbines each up to 169m in height, with 33km of new access tracks,
upgrades to 8km of existing tracks, 55km of underground cabling from the turbines to a new 110kV
substation, substation, and 15km of underground cabling from that sub-station to the grid at
Gorman sub-station. Reasons for refusal were as follows:
it is considered, that a windfarm of the scale, extent and height proposed would visually dominate
this populated rural area, would seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity, would
interfere with the character of the landscape and would not be in accordance with the overall
development objectives of the current County Development Plan. Furthermore, it is considered that
the proposed development would not align with the Wind Energy Development Guidelines as this
guidance document did not envisage the construction of such extensive large scale turbines in an
area primarily characterised as a hilly and flat farmland landscape and in such proximity to high
concentrations of dwellings. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper
planning and sustainable development of the area.
In deciding not to accept the Inspector's recommendation to grant permission, the Board considered
that, notwithstanding the provisions of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan, and other
national and European Union policies in support of renewable energy development (including wind),
the impacts of this very large development on the substantial local residential population, and the
impacts of the proposed development on landscape and cultural heritage, would not be acceptable in
this location. The Board further considered that the number and height of the proposed turbines
would significantly exceed the landscapes medium potential capacity to accommodate windfarm
development as set out in the Landscape Character Assessment of the County Development Plan.
PL17. 243902, Reg. Ref. KA14/0597 - On 2nd February 2015 the board granted permission to retain a
wind monitoring mast for 5 years at Drakesrath on the site of the current proposal. The reason for
the decision referred to local and national policy on wind energy development, the character of the
landscape and the distance to houses. The planning authority had decided to grant permission to
retain the mast for 20 years and also the current applications line to from south Meath to the border
to connect with Northern Irelands grid. The proposed line would run through the windfarm
proposed in this application.
PC1001. North South Interconnector. The board is currently considering the following
application. The proposed development is summarised as being approximately 103.35km long and
consists of the following:
A new single circuit 400 kV overhead transmission line (covering a distance of approximately
100.5km in the counties of Monaghan, Cavan and Meath) extending in a generally southerly
alignment from the jurisdictional border with Northern Ireland (between the townland of Doohat or
Crossreagh, County Armagh, and the townland of Lemgare, County Monaghan) to the townland of
Bogganstown (Electoral District (ED) Culmullin), County Meath. In addition the proposed
transmission line crosses the jurisdictional border with Northern Ireland at two points - from the
townland of Lemgare, County Monaghan into the townland of Crossbane, County Armagh and back
into the townland of Lemgare, County Monaghan. This transmission line comprises 299 No. new

lattice steel support structures (ranging in height from approximately 26m to 51m over ground
level), with associated conductors, insulators, and other apparatus.
Meath County Council Planning Site History
P89/1141: Permission was granted by Meath County Council for erection of livestock housing, farm
produce store and silage pit. The site is located at Drakestown.
P/92/672: Permission was granted by Meath County Council to keep one tent and mobile toilet unit
for the purpose of a paintball game site. The site is locatedat Emlagh Bog, Navan.
P/95/1320: Permission was granted by Meath County Council to construct residence, septic tank and
entrance at Fletcherstown.
P/96/562: Permission was granted by Meath County Council for the erection of a 26m high
telecommunications antennae support structure and associated containerised equipment shelter at
Clongill, Wilkinstown.
P/00/100: Permission was granted by Meath County Council for the erection of a 36m high antennae
support structure, carrying cellular antennae, radio links plus associated containerised equipment,
security fencing & access track to form part of the digital mobile communications network (GSM)
P/01/5243: Meath County Council refused permission for 1 no single storey residence, domestic
garage, septic tank and percolation areas, entrance, walls & piers and ancillary site development
works. The application was granted on appeal to ABP. The site is located at Drakestown, Castletown.
P/01/5378: Permission was refused for warehouse development consisting of 1 no building of 1762
square metres. The site is located at Glebe House, Glebe, Fletcherstown.
KA/50190: Meath County Council refused permission for the erection of a two storey house, septic
tank and percolation area and new entrance on to the public road at Rossmen, Kells.
KA/60010: Meath County Council granted permission for the retention of the existing 36m
telecommunications support structure, carrying antennae, link dishes plus associated equipment
container, security fencing and access track. (P00/100 original PP).
NA/60112: Meath County Council granted permission for the erection of a grain store at Glebe,
Wilkinstown.
NA/70566: Permission was granted for the conversion of attic to 2 no ensuite bedrooms with 5 no
velux roof windows to rear, provision of sunroom to gable and installation of proprietary wastewater
treatment system instead of septic tank, file ref PL17.127288, 01/5243 file ref PL17.127288,
01/5243. Also for revised site boundaries, site layout plans and site location maps from under that
previously granted at Drakestown, Castletown.
KA/110641: Permission was granted for retention of the existing 36m high telecommunications
support structure carrying antennas and link dishes together with ground-based equipment, security
fence and access track at Emlagh & Gravelstown, Carlanstown.

KA/130453: Permission was granted to construct Slatted Cattle Shed with 2 no. underfloor slurry
tanks, Silage Pit with Silage Apron and effluent tank at Gravelstown, Carlanstown.
KA/140597: Meath County Council granted permission for the continuation of use of an existing
lattice type meteorological mast, 80m in height and associated instruments to measure local climatic
conditions for a period of 30 years at Drakestown, Carlanstown (an Appropriate Assessment
Screening Report accompanies this application). This application is the subject of an appeal to An
Bord Pleanala (PL17.243902).
SA/50483: Meath County Council granted permission to build a 110kv single circuit overhead line
linking the Gorman 220kv substation at Causestown in Co. Meath with the Meath Hill 110kv
substation at Meath Hill Co. Meath. The proposed line will be erected over, or in the vicinity of the
County Meath Townlands of Causestown, Graigs,Rathcoon, Castletown, Kilberry, Scottstown,
Chamberstown, Coghalstown, Ladyrath, Rathkenny, Knock, Killary, Ricetown, Painestown,
Fringestown, Carnacop, Julianstown (E.D Posseckstown), Kilbride, Posseckstown, Hennigan,
Cloghmacoo, Cloghreagh, Rathlagan and Meath Hill. The total line length is approximately 26.8 km.
For the first 0.9km out of Gorman 220kv substation the line consists of seven continuous wires
supported on double circuit lattice steel towers. The angle structure for this section has an average
height of 25 metres and an average base area of 8.2 metres squared. The immediate structures for
this section consists of lattice steel towers of average height of 28 metres and an average base area
of 6.2 metres squared. On the border of the townlands of Graigs and Rathcoon the line changes to a
single circuit line with 5 continuous wires supported on double woodpole structures whose poles are
5 metres apart and of average height of 19 metres. Angle structures for this section consist of Lattice
Steel Towers of average height of 20 metres and an average base area of 6 metres squared. The
average distance between structures is approximately 200 metres. An Bord Pleanala granted the
application following appeal (PL17.218893).
SA/120024: An Extension of Duration of Planning Permission SA50483 was permitted by Meath
County Council.
Associated Relevant Planning History Outside the Site
PL17. 244357, Reg. Ref. KA14/0921 - On 19th June 2015 the board refused permission for a windfarm
of 6 turbines at Cregg, Nobber c 8km north of the current proposal. The reason for refusal referred
to the section 9.6.13 of the development plan and objective CH OBJ 22 regarding designed
landscapes, historic parks, gardens and demesnes, the protected structure at Whitewood House and
the failure to adequately consider alternatives, and stated that the development would unduly
interfere with views from that house. The inspectors recommendation also referred to a concern
that the cumulative impact with the current proposal would lead to windfarms becoming
characteristic of a landscape rich in history and archaeology. The planning authoritys decision to
refuse permission also referred to traffic hazard and impact on wildlife, and a general statement
regarding the environment and public health.
09. PA0042 An application was made to the board on the 9th April 2015 under section 37E for
permission for 47 wind turbines in north Co. Kildare and south Meath, described as the proposed
Maighne windfarm. The application was made by Element Power Ireland Ltd. It has not yet been
decided.

Appendix 2

Meath County Council


Environment & Water Services,
Units 41-42,
Navan Enterprise Centre,
Trim Road, Navan,
Co. Meath

WATER SERVICES PLANNING REPORT


21/09/2016

PLANNING APPLICATION REF.


APPLICANT
LOCATION
AGENT
DEVELOPMENT DESCRIPTION

SID - Castletownmoor Wind Farm: ABP Ref. 17.PA0046


North Meath Windfarm Limited
CastletownMoor & other townlands in North Meath
Fehilly Timoney Architects
Windfarm

In principle, Meath Co Co Water Services Section on behalf of Irish Water has no objections to
the proposed development. No current sources of potable water are directly affected by the
proposal; however the westernmost edge of the cluster is within 1.5km of the well source for
Castletown. This issue can be addressed by condition as highlighted at (1) below.
(1) Water Services Section on behalf of Irish Water shall insist on permanent monitoring of the
existing borehole source at Castletown, to the east of the cluster, by the applicant. This shall be
carried out by the installation of a piezometer at the borehole. The piezometer, of a type and
specification to be agreed with Water Services Section of Meath Co Co shall be installed in the
borehole at least 6 months in advance of works commencing on the project and shall continue
to be monitored and information recorded for a period of 6 months post completion of the
project. The full details of the monitoring programme and reporting schedule shall be agreed
with Meath Co Co Water Services Section on behalf of Irish Water in advance of the project. Any
negative effect on the level of groundwater and yield from the borehole found to be caused by

proposed project shall be addressed by the applicant to the satisfaction of MCC Water Services
Section on behalf of Irish Water.
The applicant has failed to adequately outline where underground electrical cabling shall impact
upon existing water supply services in public roads. A detailed site investigation shall be
required to be carried out prior to the construction of any cables within the public roads and
this shall enable a detailed design to be procured for any cabling route. This can be addressed by
condition as highlighted at (2) below.
(2)

A detailed site investigation including slit trenches/trial holes to determine the exact
locations of all existing water services infrastructure/utilities along the proposed
ducting routes.
Utilising the data gathered above in 1, a detailed design setting out the exact
locations of the proposed ducting trenches together with roads cross sections at a
maximum of 50m intervals.
A full topographical survey and prepare and submit detailed longitudinal sections of
the proposed ducting trenches with respect to existing road levels and all existing
utilities/structures/features.
Full details of proposed ducting trenches including width, depth of cover to ducts,
ducts formation, bedding and backfill material types.
Proposals for dealing with situations where the proposed works would interfere
with existing water services infrastructure (watermains, service connections, rising
mains, foul and surface water sewers, culverts, etc.).

The applicant has submitted full technical details and design of the proposed rainwater
harvesting system which is to be installed at the location of the central substation and control
building only for non potable water use. This proposal is acceptable to MCC Water Services
Section.
The applicant has outlined the figures for proposed water consumption during the construction
process and stated that water will be transported to the site or supplied from the on-site
groundwater source during construction. MCC Water Services Section considers the usage
figures to be conservative and they do not take sufficient cognisance of water required for
wash-down and cleaning.
If an existing or proposed groundwater source is to be used for construction purposes, MCC
Water Services Section shall insist on being notified of the proposed use and consumption data.
Monitoring of adjacent private borehole/well sources shall also be required.
If water is to be transported to the site, MCC Water Services Section shall be informed of the
source of the water and provided with copies of extraction licence and/or permission as
appropriate.
(3) The applicant shall install the proposed rainwater harvesting system as outlined in the EIS.
The proposed water supply system shall be maintained and serviced as required by
manufacturers instructions and regular testing of the water supply shall be carried out to
ensure safety with regard to public health.

The applicant shall confirm the chosen method of water supply for the construction process
prior to commencement of the project. Details of water source, extraction licence and/or
permission, method of transportation and storage shall be agreed for off-site sources. Details of
location of any ground water source including depth, yield and quality shall be agreed prior to
construction. The details (locations, depth, level of static groundwater, etc) of all private well
sources within 1km of any proposed production borehole shall be provided to Meath Co Co
Water Services Section prior to commencement of the project. The applicant shall be
responsible for the deterioration of any private well sources and shall enable alternative
supplies to those wherever affected.
The applicant shall agree all methods of storage, treatment and disposal of washwater arising
from the construction process with Meath Co Co Water Services Section prior to
commencement of the project and proposals for ensuring that surface water and groundwater
bodies are protected shall be embodied in the submission to be agreed.
The applicant shall provide a list of locations of all permanent water supply sources at wind
turbine, sub-station and other installations connected to the project upon completion to Meath
Co Co Water Services Section. Details of source, treatment, consumption figures and uses of the
water at each source shall be supplied.
The applicant is proposing to utilise portaloos/containerised toilets for the construction phase of
the project. The use of such facilities is only desirable for short periods of time and shall not be
allowed to remain in place for an extended period of time.
The applicant is proposing to use a sealed concrete tank for the gathering/storage of
wastewater from the permanent sub-station/control building at with a contract being put in
place for regular scheduled emptying/maintenance.
The utilisation of such a facility is not desirable and should only be used as a last resort. It is
preferable that treatment and disposal of the wastewater is carried out at the site of origin for
rural locations.
To this end, Meath Co Co Water Services Section shall require that the applicant commission a
Site Suitability Assessment for on-site Wastewater Management in accordance with the
requirements of The EPA Code of Practice 2009. A design for an on-site method of disposal shall
be derived from the said report and submitted for approval.

(4)
The applicant shall submit details of locations for all containerised toilets/portaloos that are
proposed to be used in the project to Meath Co Co Water Services Section prior to
commencement.
The immediate areas for the locations of all containerised toilets/portaloos shall be covered and
bunded to 150% of the storage volume of the installations.

The applicant shall submit to Meath Co Co Water Services Section for agreement, details of a
Service Maintenance Schedule and Agreement with a licensed provider for the timely removal
of waste from the proposed facilities.

The use of permanent on-site storage facilities for wastewater at the location of the substation/control building is not desirable from a human health and environmental point of view
and shall be the solution of last resort.
The applicant shall commission a Site Suitability Assessment for on-site Wastewater
Management in accordance with the requirements of The EPA Code of Practice 2009. A design
for an on-site method of disposal shall be derived from the said report and submitted for
approval. The final details of the method of treatment of wastewater shall be agreed with
Meath Co Co Water Services Section prior to commencement of the project.
__________________
Regards,
Paul O Brien | Executive Engineer | Water Services Section
Meath County Council, Unit 41-42 Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath
T: +353 46 9067386; E: pobrien@meathcoco.ie www.meath.ie

PLANNING DEPARTMENT, NAVAN, 046-9097521

TO:

MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL, PLANNING, PADRAIG MAGUIRE

FROM:

JILL CHADWICK, CONSERVATION OFFICER

SUBJECT:

CASTLETOWNMOOR WIND FARM

DATE:

5TH SEPT. 2016

_____________________________________________________________________
Applicant : Element Power
Development: Castletownmoor Wind Farm SID
Appendix L of the EIS - the Archaeology, Architectural and Cultural Heritage Field Assessment,
provides information on all sites within approximately 1km of the wind turbines.
The EIS states......

Potential impacts to the setting (i.e. the area around a site that contributes to its
significance) of sites and monuments and structures includes a moderate impact on
Mountainstown House and a moderate/slight impact on the Spire of Lloyd. The
remaining impacts are slight (twelve sites) and neutral/slight (five sites), this includes a
slight impact on Br na Binne, Cruicetown Church & Cross, Rath Dh & Teltown, Hill of
Ward, Trim Castle, Loughcrew and Headfort Demesne ACA. There is no impact on the
remaining sites.

My comments below are confined to those cultural heritage sites where I consider the negative
impact to be greater than that stated in the EIS, where these sites are of International or
National importance, are located close to a turbine, contain a large number of protected
structures, or whose character would be more sensitive to the impact of industrial structures
being located within their wider landscape setting.
While the proposed turbines would not physically impact any protected structure, there would
be a visual impact on the setting of a number of protected structures, on 2 ACAs - Kells and
Headfort Demesne, and other demesne landscapes. Given the height of the turbines, and their
spread across the countryside, there will be a visual impact on long range views from important
historic vantage points such as Loughcrew, Tara, and the tower of Lloyd.
VISUAL IMPACT ON PARTICULAR SITES:
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bru na Boinne:
While I agree that the change to the setting of Bru na Boinne may be negligible, with a slight
indirect impact, as stated, consideration must be given to the cumulative impacts of intrusive
elements on the landscape.
An important issue here, then, is this accretion of intrusive elements, and the point at which
the contemporary world is so much in evidence that the experience of viewing the landscape
from within the World Heritage Site, which is integral to the outstanding universal value of the

site, is compromised to the extent that it becomes less than outstanding. ( Heritage Impact
Assessment of the N2 Slane By-pass by Douglas Comer 2011 )
This statement would also be applicable to sites on the UNESCO list being considered for
nomination to World Heritage Status.
UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List:
The most recent tentative list for Ireland was submitted to UNESCO in 2010 and includes 2 sites
in Meath Tara, and Kells. These are part of serial nominations for the Royal Sites, and the
Monastic Sites of Ireland
Process for the Nomination of Sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List
Full details on http://whc.unesco.org/en/nominations/
Tentative Lists are a useful and important planning tool for States Parties, the World Heritage
Committee, the Secretariat, and the Advisory Bodies, as they provide an indication of future
nominations.
By preparing a Tentative List and selecting sites from it, a State Party can plan when to present a
nomination file. There is considerable work and time involved in the preparation of nomination
documentation and a management plan for a property including a public consultation process.
This stage of the process together with the public consultation will take at least two years.
Thereafter the inscription process takes about a year and a half from the submission of the
complete nomination document and management plan to consideration by the World Heritage
Committee.
Cultural heritage sites are independently evaluated for the World Heritage Committee by the
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to see if the nominated site meets the
requirements for inscription on the World Heritage List and make their report to the Committee.
Once a site has been nominated and evaluated, it is up to the intergovernmental World Heritage
Committee to make the final decision on its inscription.
To be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value, as well as satisfying at least one of the criteria
for inscription, a property must also meet the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity and
must have an adequate protection and management system to ensure its safeguarding.
Integrity is a measure of the wholeness and intactness of the natural and/or cultural heritage
and its attributes. Examining the conditions of integrity, therefore requires assessing the extent
to which the property:
a) includes all elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value;
b) is of adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the features and processes
which convey the propertys significance;
c) suffers from adverse effects of development and/or neglect.
The Department of Arts Heritage, Rural Regional and Gaeltacht affairs are progressing with the
background work required to support nominations to World Heritage Status. Some of this work

includes a draft Landscape Conservation Plan, and a draft Conservation and Management Plan
for the State owned lands at Tara. In the case of Kells, it has been proposed to prepare a
Conservation Plan for the National Monuments in the town.
Kells:
While the core area and buffer zones for Kells Monastic Site have not yet been defined, it is
thought that the scope of the conservation plan is likely to cover at least the medieval area of
the town. The 19th century town area will also be examined as this provides the context and
setting implied by potential world heritage status, as will views and prospects into and out of
the area.
I note from the route screening analysis that there are partial views of the turbines visible
adjacent to St Columbas Church of Ireland at the centre of the Monastic site. On Church Lane
on route to St Columbas House there are open views and partial views of the turbines.
It is my opinion that the visual intrusion of the turbines would detract from the experience and
sense of place of the historic town, and in particular, of the Monastic Site.
Tara:
It is my opinion that the expanse of the windfarm visible on the northern horizon from the Hill
of Tara would detract from the landscape setting of the site.
I recommend that an Bord Pleanala should consult an independent expert on World Heritage
Properties to give an opinion on the impact of this infrastructure on these sites and how such
infrastructural development might influence the decision of UNESCO whether or not to add
them to the World Heritage list.
National Monuments:
Loughcrew: It is my view the windfarm would be visually intrusive in this landscape. It is not
consistent with or of any comparable scale to the typical man made features of the agricultural
landscapes of Meath. This comment also applies to other hilltop views, however, on Loughcrew,
the sense of remoteness, and the meaning attributable to this ancient site emphasises the
incongruity.
The Hill of Lloyd, dating from 4000 B.C. is associated with the historic town of Kells. The wind
farm will be distinctly visible from this location. Although the visual relationship between the
Tower of Lloyd, the town of Kells and Headfort House is not disrupted, the photomontage from
the Hill of Lloyd demonstrates an adverse impact on the wider landscape setting of this site.
Cruicetown Church & Cross the EIS states : The wind farm will be present in views from the
church towards the southeast and this will change the character of this rural agricultural
landscape in a way that is discordant with the medieval date of the monuments at Cruicetown.
This will slightly diminish the experience of the church and its related monuments. However,
the attributes of interest in the church itself and the immediate setting of the national
monument and associated features will remain intact. Therefore, the change in more-distant
views to the southeast will only result in an impact of negligible magnitude on the value of the
monument; this is considered to be of slight significance.

I agree generally with this statement, but consider the negative impact to be greater than the
EIS assessment.
Emlagh Graveyard - ME011-039. The recent find of a fragment of a high cross, believed to c.
12th Century, in this graveyard, suggests that this site may be of more importance than hitherto
believed.
Architectural Conservation Areas:
Kells Historic Core
I refer to the comments above re potential world heritage status.
Headfort House and Demesne
Headfort House is of National importance for its interiors, containing the only example of
designs by Robert Adams in this country and since the redecoration of these interiors to revert
to the original design scheme, it has attracted increased numbers of visitors.
The images taken from the front driveway suggest that the visual impact is not excessive from
these particular vantage points, although this is due to the existing tree screening. The ACA
character assessment for Headfort Demesne describes the significant views and vistas within the
demense, and of particular relevance to this application are the views of parkland to the north.
The winter view from immediately in front of the house shows several turbines visible. If one is
to walk northwards across the lawn towards the internal sunken driveway, the view across the
parkland opens up, and additional turbines will be visible. It is evident from the historic mapping
that the line of the sunken driveway to the front of the house was not intended to be screen
planted so as to avail of the long distance views over the parkland which contained specimen
trees.
It should be also noted that while the legislation for the protection of the architectural heritage
does not distinguish between public and private buildings, Headfort is not a private residence,
but is occupied by a school. The school regularly hosts public functions and viewings of the
interiors, and views from the upper windows are publicly accessible.
The Following Protected Structures are located in the vicinity of at least one of the turbines, and
in my opinion, the windfarm will have an adverse visual impact on the setting of these
structures.
Rosmeen House, MH017-123 and associated farm buildings MH017-121. The turbines will
intrude on the landscape setting of the house.
Dowdstown House, MH11-124. The impact on the immediate setting of the house is somewhat
ameliorated by the topography, with a shelterbelt of trees immediately to the south, and tree
cover along the road, however, there will be a impact on the wider landscape setting of this
structure due to the proximity and number of turbines in this area.

Mountainstown House and demesne. MH012-100. The windfarm is proposed to the north,
west and south of this demesne which is located in an area of flat landscape, with some
woodland and bog. In spite of considerable tree cover to the west, there are areas of open views
where the turbines will be an incongruous and intrusive feature in the demesne landscape in
particular, the approach to the house along the entrance drive, from the front lawn, and
gardens, over the roofs of the yard buildings.
St Columcille's Church, Fletcherstown, MH018-101. The landscape at this junction is very open
and the wind farm will be visible, with a consequent negative impact on the rural landscape
context of the church.
Jill Chadwick
Conservation Architect Meath County Council

10

To:

Padraig Maguire, Senior Executive Planner, Planning

From: Caroline Corrigan, Senior Executive Engineer, Environment


Date:

31st August 2016

Re:

Castletownmoor Wind Farm

1.0 Introduction:
North Meath Windfarms Limited, which is owned by Element Power Ireland Limitied, submitted
an application to an Bord Pleanala on the 28th July 2016 for the proposed Castletownmoor Wind
Farm, located approximately 3km north east of Kells. The EIS for the project was prepared by
Fehily Timoney & Company. This report was prepared by Caroline Corrigan, Senior Executive
Engineer, on behalf of the Environment Section
The proposed development consists of 25 no. wind turbines in a number of townlands and
permission is sought for a 10 year permission period and a 30 year operational life. The turbines
will have a tip height of up to 169m. The proposed project will have a potential output of
85MW. The application also includes the following infrastructure and facilitating works:

construction of turbine foundations and hardstanding areas,

construction of approximately 18km of new site tracks and associated drainage,


upgrade of approximately 3.5km of existing tracks and associated drainage if required,

excavation of 2 borrow pits,

all associated drainage and sediment control

stream crossings

construction of a 110kV substation including


two control buildings containing welfare facilities
electrical infrastructure
parking
wastewater holding tank

installation of medium 33kV voltage underground cabling between the proposed


turbines and the proposed on-site substation

connection to the national grid from an onsite substation to the existing substation at
Gorman

Upgrade entrances and provision of new entrances

two number proposed temporary construction site compounds and associated parking

felling of coniferous trees


The applicant has previously applied for a larger scale development consisting of 46 turbines
which was refused by An Bord Pleanala in February 2016.

2.0 Policy and Legislation:


There are numerous policy documents in relation to wind energy, stemming from the Kyoto
Agreement to European and National Policies. Ireland is obligated to decrease its greenhouse
gas emissions and it is important to note this does not relate exclusively to the energy sector

11

but includes emissions from other sectors such as agriculture, industry and commercial,
transport, waste and residential.
Decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels and developing renewable energies is an essential
element in meeting our climate change strategy. Ireland has targets under EU Directives to
have a gross consumption for transport, electricity generation and thermal energy of 16% from
renewable sources by 2020. Regrettably it is unlikely the 2020 targets will be achieved, this will
result in significant financial penalties for Ireland. Further to the reduction of green house
gases a renewable energy source provides security of energy supply and increases
competitiveness.
The EIS identifies that the proposed project will have a net displacement of 115,000 tonnes of
per annum
CO2
3.0 Guidelines and Best Practice:
There are no codes of practices available in relation to planning, construction and operations of
wind turbine developments. There are 2 documents covering guidelines and best practices for
wind turbine development, namely Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 (WEDG)
issued by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DOECLG)
and Best Practice Guidelines for the Irish Wind Energy Industry issued in March 2012 by the
Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). While not a code of practice the Wind Energy
Development Guidelines 2006 were issued under a ministerial direction, Section 28 of the
Planning and Development Act 2000.
This requires both Local Authorities and An Bord Pleanala to give consideration to them in the
undertaking of their duties.
It should be noted that the DOECLG propose to issue updated guidelines to replace the 2006
guidelines however at the time of writing this report these new guidelines have not been
issued. However, salient changes proposed to the guidelines as per DOECLG publication
Proposed Revisions to Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 - Targeted Review in
relation to Noise, Proximity and Shadow Flicker December 11th 2013 (PRWEDG) have been
considered in the assessment of this application. The PRWEDG is accessible on the DOECLG
website. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment was contacted
regarding the publication of the revised guidelines and a representative confirmed it is
expected they will be available in November 2016 in line with the commitments made in the
Programme for Partnership Government.
Consideration has also been given to the EPA publication Guidance Note of Noise Assessment
of Wind Turbine Operations at EPA Licensed Sites (NG3) issued in June 2011 and the SEAI
commissioned Examination of the Significance of Noise in Relation to Onshore Wind Farms
prepared by Marshall Day Acoustics.
4.0 Potential Impacts:
The impacts of the proposed development can be divided into three distinct categories;
construction stage, operational and maintenance stage and decommissioning stage. Some
impacts will cross all three categories while others will affect either construction or operational
stage only. While most impacts are easily definable and measurable there are some such as
noise and shadow flicker that are subjective.

12

5.0 Air & Climate Change:


The turbines will not produce any air emissions during the operational stage so the following
relates to the construction stage only. The Applicant identifies dust and emissions from
construction vehicles and plant as the main concerns to air and climate change. The majority of
the construction activities have the potential to create dust e.g. excavations, traffic movements
through the site, road sawing, etc. the amount of dust produced is also dependent upon
climatic conditions.
The Applicant outlines in Section 5.4.1.2 of the EIS and section 4.3.1 of the CEMP a number of
measures to control dust at the various locations within the confines of the proposed
development.
Recommended Condition (a): Prior to commencement of construction activities the Applicant
shall agree, in writing, with the Local Authority a dust control plan for the duration of the
construction works. The plan shall include, but not be limited to, a dust monitoring regime for
the duration of the works, methodology for dust monitoring, locations of dust monitoring,
measures to be implemented to reduce dust emissions and actions to be taken in the event of
complaints.
Recommended Condition (b): Dust emissions shall not exceed 350mg/m2/day.
Recommended Condition (c): The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection by
the local authority a complaints record for dust complaints.
The Applicant has undertaken a DMRB screening model to assess predicted emissions from
construction vehicles and plant associated with the proposed works. The Applicant should be
conditioned to record actual vehicular emissions to air for the duration of the project.
Recommended Condition (d): The Applicant shall record and make available to members of the
public the actual construction vehicle and plant emissions to air.
Recommended Condition (e):The Applicant, contractor and sub-contractors shall endeavour to
utilise low energy and low emissions vehicles and plant where possible.
Section 5.4.2 examines the climate impacts of the project during construction and operational
phases and looks at the carbon losses and carbon savings. It is estimated that after 8 months of
operational the wind farm will have off-set the equivalent of amount of carbon released during
turbine manufacturing and construction activities (including tree felling).
6.0 Noise and Vibration:
Noise can generally be defined as unwanted sound and therefore is subjective. There are
potential noise impacts during both construction and operational stage.
6.1 Construction Noise:
Construction noise may come from a number of areas within the construction of the wind
turbines, for example, excavation of foundations, borrow pits, trenches, construction of hard
standing areas and access roads, erection of the turbines and noise caused by site traffic and
vehicles delivering construction materials and components. This type of noise will be limited to
the construction period of the project, estimated at 18 months.

13

While there are no published limits for construction noise in Ireland the IWEA documents
recommends utilising the BS 5228-1:2009 Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on
Construction and Open Sites and the NRA Guidelines for the treatment of Noise and Vibration
in National Roads Schemes.
It is anticipated that due to the large size of some of the components and size of foundation
pours these deliveries and activities may have to take place at outside normal working hours.
While the construction activities are remote to rural residential areas the delivery of large
turbine components will pass by residential properties and due to the health and safety factors
will likely have convoy and support vehicles with appropriate warning beacons. The Applicant
should be conditioned to inform residents along local and minor roads of the intended traffic
movement through publication on their website, local media and social media.
Recommended Condition (f): The Applicant when delivering large turbine components outside
normal construction working hours inform residents living along local or minor roads of the
anticipated time of delivery. This information shall be displayed on the Applicants website and
shall be publicised through a community liaison group, local media, social media or newsletters.
Recommended Condition (g): The construction works shall be carried out in accordance with the
noise guidance set out by BS 5228-1:2009 Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on
Construction and Open Sites and the NRA Guidelines for the treatment of Noise and Vibration in
National Roads Schemes and the Construction Environmental Management Plan. The Applicant
shall agree with the Planning Authority permitted working hours for the construction period.
6.2 Operational Noise:
In terms of operational noise there are 2 distinct sound types in relation to the turbines, the
first being aerodynamic noise caused by the blades passing through the air creating a swish
noise and the second is a mechanical noise caused by the mechanical elements in the nub and
nacelle which is generally tonal. The EIS identifies a cut in speed of 3m/s and a cut out speed of
approximately 25m/s. Amplitude Modulation and Infra-sound and Low Frequency Noise are
also discussed. Amplitude Modulation refers to the fluctuating noise levels in a cycle matching
the rotation of the blades. Reference is also made to Other Amplitude Modulation (OAM)
which is less common but can be experienced at significant distances. It is identified that there
is no agreed criteria to determine Amplitude Modulation but that research is ongoing to
determine solutions that can be applied in practice. Reference is made to infrasound, which
occurs at inaudible frequencies but if subjected to a very high amplitude has the potential to
cause significant annoyance, extracts from UK publications identify this should not be a
problem for wind farms.
The applicant has identified a noise study area of 1.31km around the wind turbines, this area is
identified as the area with a predicted noise level greater than 35dBLA90. The applicant lists
relevant noise and wind turbine documentation, both Irish and UK but does not reference the
PRWEDG document.
Baseline noise monitoring was undertaken in two phases in 2014 at locations in the vicinity of
the proposed turbines. The data analysis is presented in Table 6.3. Section 6.5.2 looks at the
potential impacts during operational stage and the predicted octave band noise level considers

14

source sound power level, directivity factor, geometrical divergence, atmospheric absorption,
ground effects, barrier attenuation and miscellaneous other effects.
The applicant has not specified the actual turbines to be installed as this will be undertaken
through a procurement process, the predicted noise levels have been determined by using a
turbine model GE 3.2-130 with a hub height of 94m, the blade length was not detailed. The
applicant states this turbine model has source noise levels that are higher than other models of
similar size. It is also stated that with this type of turbine it is possible to operate the turbines
in noise reduced modes of operation (NRO).
The noise prediction results which examine the potential impacts on 452 possible noise
receptors including existing domestic dwelling, agricultural sheds and outhouses, derelict
buildings, public buildings and planning applications. Examining the data presented there are
eight buildings that will exceed the predicted noise levels of 45dB LA90 however one of these is
non-residential. 34 properties with five of these being non-residential or derelict were
identified between 43dB LA90 and 45dB LA90. The highest predicted noise level is 45.8dB LA90
which is predicted at two locations.
The WEDG documents recommends a lower fixed limit of 45dB(A) or a maximum increase of
5dB(A) above background noise at nearby noise sensitive locations. In very quiet areas where
the background noise is less than 30dB(A) it is recommended that the daytime level of the L90,
10 mins of wind energy noise be limited to an absolute level in the range of 35-40dB(A). A fixed
limit of 43dB(A) should apply for night time.
The PRWEDG proposed an absolute noise limit of 40dB should apply to noise sensitive
properties. This limit is applicable for both day and night hours and applies to the combined
sound levels of all turbines in the area.
The Applicant states that with appropriate mitigation a limit of 43dB LA90 can be achieved at all
receptors and outlines the affected turbines for daytime and night time.The Applicant makes
reference to the review of the WEDG and states that any new noise limits that are proposed
could be complied with at the Casteltownmoor site by implementing further mitigation
Recommended Condition (h): Wind turbine noise emitting from the proposed development,
either singularly or in combination with other wind turbine developments shall comply with the
current government issued guidelines.
Recommended Condition (i): The Applicant, on completion of the procurement process to select
wind turbine type, shall re-run the noise prediction calculations using the selected turbine data.
Recommended Condition (j): The Applicant shall upon completion of the commissioning of the
wind turbines provide to the Planning Authority a report on noise levels.
Recommended Condition (k): The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection to
members of the public a complaints register in relation to complaints made about noise.
Recommended Condition (l): The Applicant shall prepare, prior to operation of the proposed
development, a detailed report on remediation measures to be taken in the event of noise limit
exceedance.
Recommended Condition (m): The Applicant shall provide to the Local Authority a yearly
compliance report on noise emissions from the development, this report shall include, but not
be limited to, noise surveys undertaken at noise receptors, methodology for noise monitoring,
list of complaints and remedial measures taken. The report shall be prepared by a suitably
qualified noise specialist.

15

6.3 Vibration:
In terms of vibration the turbines are a sufficient distance away from receptors for vibration,
during construction or operation stage, to be a concern, therefore there is no further
information required or items to be conditioned.
7.0 Shadow Flicker
Shadow flicker is the phenomenon caused by the projected shadow of the wind turbine and
the rotating blades which appear to cause a flickering effect in a dwelling. Shadow flicker will
only occur if the following conditions occur concurrently:
a) the sun is shining (without cloud cover) and at a low angle, and
b) the turbine is directly between the sun and affected property (no screening), and
c) the turbine blades are rotating
While there are no negative health impacts of shadow flicker it can be a nuisance, albeit for a
short duration, to the dweller of the affected property. Similar to noise the extent of the
nuisance factor is subjective. The WEDG recommend that shadow flicker at dwelling within
500m of the turbines should not exceed 30 hours per year or 30 minutes per day. At distances
greater than 10 rotor diameters the potential for shadow flicker is very low.
The PRWEDG document recommends that properties within 10 rotor diameter radius of the
turbine should be included in the shadow flicker study area. The proposed rotor diameter is
131m therefore 10 rotor diameters will equate to 1310m. The PRWEDG also recommends that
a condition be imposed that there should be no shadow flicker at any affected property within
10 rotor diameter of any wind turbine. A further condition should be included that if shadow
flicker does occur then the necessary measures, such as turbine shut down during the
associated time periods, will be taken by the developer/operator to eliminate shadow flicker. It
is proposed in the revised WEDG that this will replace the existing section 7.14 which
recommends non operation for properties within 500m of a turbine. The EIS makes reference
to the PRWEDG document and states that the turbine layout can comply with the proposed
draft guidelines with respect to proposed shadow flicker limits.
Section 11.2.4.2 of the EIS identifies Dublin Airport as the nearest meteorological station to the
site has an annual average of 32% sunshine. This and a wind directionality factor has also been
applied to the shadow flicker calculations and these are presented in Table 11.2. Four
properties highlight a figure of 30 hours per year or greater with a maximum figure of 33 hours
per year. The Applicant states that if shadow flicker becomes an annoyance to these properties
ameliorative measures will be implemented such as turbine shut down or screening at the
property.
Recommended Condition (n): Once the final turbine design is finalised the shadow flicker
assessment shall be revised using the 10 times rotor diameter buffer zone.
Recommended Condition (o): The Applicant shall ensure that either singularly or in combination
with other wind turbine developments shall comply with the current government issued
guidelines
Recommended Condition (p): The Applicant shall ensure that if shadow flicker does occur the
turbine(s) are immediately shut down for the duration of affected shadow flicker. Suitably
appropriate equipment and software shall be utilised to facilitate shutdown, details of same
shall be agreed, in writing, with the Local Authority prior to commencement.

16

Recommended Condition (q): The Applicant shall maintain and make available for inspection to
members of the public a complaints register in relation to shadow flicker complaints.
Recommended Condition (r): The Applicant shall, on an annual basis, submit a report, prepared
by a suitably qualified person detailing the number and frequency of shadow flicker incidents
and shut downs and detail compliance with the aforementioned conditions.

8. Soils, Geology and Hydrogeology:


The primary risk to soils, geology and hydrogeology will occur during the construction stage of
the project. The Applicant has outlined the various soils and rock strata at the proposed sites
and the characteristics of the development that could impact on soils, geology and
hydrogeology. In terms of the permanent works slope stability has the potential to cause
impacts as well as during the construction stage.
The Applicant has detailed the anticipated aggregate and excavation volumes for the entire
works including temporary works. Table 8.8 states 200, 889m3 of soil will be excavated with a
further 99,875m3 from the 2 proposed borrow pits, 141,126m3 of aggregate are required for
the works with 98,545m3 coming from the borrow pits and the remainder from local quarries.
It is anticipated that any excess material not used to backfill the borrow pits and foundations
and trench excavations will be used in the landscaping around the site.
Recommended Condition (s): the Applicant shall ensure that all excavated material and all
other waste material is undertaken in accordance with the Waste Management Act 1996, as
amended. The Applicant shall retain and make available for inspection all records relating to
the movement, recovery or disposal of waste from the development site.
The Applicant has addressed the potential for slope instability and deem the risk of landslide to
be very small with safety ratios well above the minimum factor of safety for both short and
long term stability. There is a potential for slope instability during construction stage also and
this should be assessed as necessary prior and during the construction stage.
Recommended Condition (t): During construction stage the Applicant shall employ a suitably
qualified and experienced geotechnical engineer to monitor the stability of all existing slopes
adjacent to the works and all temporary slopes created by the works.
Recommended Condition (u): Should any land slippage occur during the course of the works the
Applicant shall immediately inform Meath County Council and provide details on how further
slippage shall be prevented and necessary measures to remediate the site.
The Applicant has addressed many mitigation measures for various elements and areas of the
proposed development, the CEMP also addresses similar areas. The CEMP should be developed
fully prior to the construction and during the construction of the development, it should be
treated as a live document.
Recommended Condition(v):The Applicant shall, prior to construction stage, fully develop the
Construction and Environmental Management Plan as detailed in Appendix D and it shall
remain a live document for the duration of the project construction stage.
Recommended Condition (w): The Applicant shall agree, in writing, with the Local Authority a
protocol for reporting and managing accidental spillages during construction or operation
stage that may cause soil contamination.

17

10. Waste Management:


Waste management is included in the CEMP and details a number of waste streams. Waste
management will only be a factor for the construction stage.

10.1 Waste Management along Cabling Route - Coal Tar:


The Applicant has not addressed the management of excavated coal tar from road trench
excavations. Coal tar which is defined as a hazardous material in the European Waste
Catalogue was used extensively in road construction during the 1970s and can be found in
layers in the road make up. This waste must be removed to an appropriately authorised facility
for treatment. In order to identify the extent of the coal tar intrusive investigations will need to
be undertaken along the route of the proposed trenches and samples taken for testing
Recommended Condition (x): The Applicant shall prepare, for the Local Authorities approval, a
Coal Tar Waste Management Plan. This plan shall include but not be limited to locations of coal
tar (verified by intrusive works and laboratory results), extent of coal tar, methodology for
removal of coal tar and segregation from other bituminous materials, storage of coal tar, if
necessary, and details of compliance with legislation relating to same, details of end
destination of coal tar and any other items relevant to removal, temporary storage and
transportation of coal tar.
10.2 Waste Management along Cabling Route Bituminous Materials and Soil and Stone:
The Applicant proposes a number of km of cabling routes, it is acknowledged that not all of this
is along roads, there will be a proportion through greenfield areas. The Applicant has not
addressed how the excavated material (soil and stone and bituminous material excluding coal
tar) from the roadway will be managed. The Applicant shall comply with all current waste
management legislation.
Recommended Condition (y): the Applicant shall ensure that all excavated material and all
other waste material excavated as part of the cabling works is undertaken in accordance with
the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended. The Applicant shall retain and make available
for inspection all records relating to the movement, recovery or disposal of waste from the
development site.
10.3 Waste General:
Recommended Condition (z): The Applicant shall prepare prior to commencement of the works
and for the approval of the Local Authority a detailed Waste Management Plan for the
construction and commissioning stage of the proposed project.
Recommended Condition (aa): The Applicant shall manage all waste stream during the
construction and commissioning stage of the project in accordance with the DOECLG Best
Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and
Demolition Projects (2006)and shall take cognisance of the current Regional Waste
Management Plan in particular to the upper tiers of the Waste Hierarchy.
Recommended Condition (ab): The Applicant shall provide to the Local Authority, on completion
of the works, a comprehensive report detailing the management of the all waste streams

18

generated during the construction and commissioning stages of the project. This shall include
but not be limited to type of waste streams, amount of each waste stream generated,
destination of waste streams (including final destination if applicable), percentage of waste reused, recycled, recovered and disposed, and prevention and minimisation initiatives undertaken.

11. Conclusions:
In line with national and European policies relating to climate change the Environment Section
supports in principle any renewable energy sources which help achieve our emission targets. It
is equally important to achieve a balance between the impacts of the wind turbines on local
residents and the greater national benefits of energy creation through renewable resources.
While many of the impacts can be measured, predicted or are temporary (during construction
period) it is important to acknowledge that the biggest impacts from an environmental point of
view, noise and shadow, are subjective and the level of nuisance caused will vary from
individual to individual.
In striving to achieve the aforementioned balance it recommended that, should ABP grant
permission for the development, as well as those proposed conditions addressed previously
the following three overarching conditions be required of the Applicant.

If the revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines not be place at the time of decision,
the Applicant shall be conditioned to adhere to the recommendations as detailed in
Proposed Revisions to Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 - Targeted Review
in relation to Noise, Proximity and Shadow Flicker December 11th 2013.
The Applicant should be conditioned to maintain and make available for inspection a
complaints register for the construction, operational and decommissioning stages
detailing the nature of complaint, investigations and remediation undertaken.
The Applicant shall appoint a Community Liaison Officer for the all stages of the
development and shall be the first point of contact for residents seeking information,
making a complaint, etc. and shall be responsible for discharging information in relation
to the project to residents.

End of Report.

19

Meath County Council, Transportation Department.


29 September, 2016
Senior Executive Planner, Development Management.
RE. Planning Reference PL 17.PA0046
Strategic Infrastructure Development
Castletownmoor Wind Farm
This development consists of the construction of 25 wind turbines each being 169m tall with
120m blades. The development will also include 2 borrow pits, compounds and underground
cabling between the wind farm and the ESB sub station at Causestown. There are both new and
upgraded entrances to the public road proposed. The remaining accesses to the turbines will be
through fields off road.
The entrances are generally satisfactory and show sightlines of 160m in accordance with the
DMRB for an 80kph design speed. However in many cases this may be considered excessive as
the operational speed (50 60kph) of the minor county roads (through bog in particular) would
only warrant 70m to 90m sightlines. In any case sightlines must be in accordance with DMRB
standards TD 41-42/11 and TD 9.
This office has no objection to any of these entrances subject to the following conditions:
1. Where sightlines are interfered with by ditches, trees or hedges these must be removed
and set back behind the sightline rather than just being trimmed.
2. Applicant shall make provision for drainage of surface water from access roads and
prevent same from flowing onto the public road either by provision of cattle grid
drained to suitable outfall or other means to be agreed with MCC.
3. That all works to be carried out on the public road shall be subject to a road opening
licence from Meath Co. Council. This licence shall include for all insurances and bonds
and shall be agreed prior to commencement of any road works.
In general, the development has the potential to have a significant effect on both road users and
on the road network itself due to the extent of the associated underground cabling and the
delivery of materials to site, particularly the turbines. The proposal would result in a certain
amount of delay and disruption and have the potential to cause damage to the road pavements
and structures along the affected routes. There is also a potential increased safety risk due to
the works and the additional traffic that would be generated during the construction period.
However, the Transportation Department considers that the impacts of the proposed
development on the road network and its users can be accommodated with the appropriate
consultation, planning and management.

20

In pre-planning meetings, the applicant made a commitment to carry out temporary


realignment works to facilitate turbine deliveries and agree details of these with MCC. He has
also committed to carrying out all necessary reinstatement works to the roads to the
satisfaction of MCC.
A schedule of conditions has been drawn up by the Transportation Department of MCC and is
attached to this report. In the event that the project is approved and proceeds, these conditions
broadly seek to ensure that :

the proposed works meet the appropriate standards;

the works are planned, properly managed and carried out safely with the minimum
of disruption;

the long term condition and operation of the road network is not compromised as a
result of the development.

Should the Board see fit to grant permission for this development, this Department requests
that this schedule of conditions is included as a minimum, along with the 3 conditions listed
above.

21

Sincerely,
Jim Gibney
Senior Executive Engineer,
Transportation Department,

22

To:

Padraig Maguire, Senior Executive Planner

From:

Loreto Guinan, Heritage Officer

RE:

SID application Castletownmoor Windfarm

ABP File Ref:

17.PA.0046

Date:

22/09/2016

Applicant:

North Meath Wind Farm Ltd

Location:

In the townlands of: Balreask, Reask, Gravelstown, Emlagh,


Castletownmoor, St.Johns Rath, Drakerath, Clooney, Drakestown,
Dowdstown, Dowthstown, Fletcherstown, Glebe, Clongill, Oristown,
Rossmeen, Grange Glebe, Wilkenstown, Balsaw, Demailestown,
Scottstown, Mullagha, Corballis, Rathcoon, Dunderk, Carniaghanstown,
Stackallan, Causestown and MountainstownCastletownmoor, near Kells,
Co. Meath

Re:
Environmental Impact Statement - Chapter 7 Flora and Fauna and Natural Impact
Statement (Natural Heritage)

1.

Brief overview Meaths landscape and heritage assets

County Meath has an exceptionally rich heritage dating back thousands of years and the cultural
identity of its people and communities is intrinsically linked to its landscape. Internationally and
nationally significance heritage assets include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Br na Binne
which has the finest examples of passage tombs in the World older than the pyramids of Egypt
and deemed to be of outstanding universal value by the United Nations and the largest
concentration of megalithic art in Europe. Two sites on Irelands Tentative World Heritage List
Kells (as part of the Early Medieval Monastic Sites) and the ancient capital and seat of the High
Kings of Ireland at the Tara Complex (as part of the Royal Sites of Ireland), the complex of

23

monuments at Loughcrew, Tailteann, the Hill of Ward, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in
Ireland at Trim, some of the great country houses and demesne landscapes, a significant past
industrial heritage and the site of one of the most significant battles in Irish history (See Boyne
Valley Drive Map Appendix 1).

Meaths landscape and heritage makes it exceptional in Ireland and helps the Boyne Valley
compete as a world-class tourism destination 1, lauded by Lonely Planet 2, National Geographic 3
and the international media 45 as one of the top destinations in Europe to experience history and
culture. The Boyne Valley is at the heart of Filte Irelands umbrella destination Ireland Ancient
East (which is based on exploring 5,000 years of history). It is anticipated this initiative will bring
a large increase in visitors to the area. The Boyne Valley Tourism Strategy 2016-2020 recognises
that the area is home to the greatest concentration of heritage sites in Ireland of international
importance and reiterates these assets are key pillars for tourism development.

Heritage plays an essential role in maintaining a high quality of life for people who live, work,
invest in or visit our county. A key goal of Meath County Council as set out in the Meath County
Development Plan 2013-2019 is to ensure that the unique cultural heritage of Meath is
protected, conserved, enhanced and sensitively integrated into the sustainable development of
the county for the benefit of present and future generations. The plan sets out the following
core principle:

To support the sustainable heritage of the County by safeguarding the cultural, natural
and built heritage and natural resources, including biodiversity, of the County.

Chapter 9 of the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019 sets out a number of objectives
and policies to ensure that Meaths heritage is protected, conserved and sensitively integrated
into the sustainable development of the county for the benefit of present and future
generations.

www.boynevalleydrive.ie

BBC History Magazine in association with Lonely Plan (Feb 203) - Top 21 History Destinations in
the World

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/historic-sites-in-ireland-and-northern-ireland/

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/03/travel/national-geographic-kids-travel/

http://www.irishcentral.com/culture/travel/irishcentrals-top-10-sites-in-ireland-41098302-237788301.html

24

2.

Proposed development

North Meath Wind Farm Ltd. is proposing to construct a wind farm in north County Meath,
which will comprise up to 25 turbines and approximately 85MW of generating capacity. The
proposed development will consist of the following infrastructure:

Erection of up to 25 wind turbines with a tip height of up to 169m


Construction of turbine foundations and hardstanding areas
Construction of approximately 18km of new site tracks and associated drainage
Upgrading of approximately 3.5km of existing tracks and associated drainage where necessary
Two no. borrow pits and associated ancillary infrastructure
All associated drainage and sediment control
Stream crossings
Construction of 1 no. 110kV substation including:
- two control buildings containing welfare facilities
- electrical infrastructure
- parking
- waste water holding tank
- and all associated infrastructure, services and site works including landscaping
Installation of Medium Voltage (MV) 33kV underground cabling and associated
communications
cabling between the proposed turbines and the proposed on-site substation
Connection to the national electricity grid from the on-site substation to an existing substation
at Gorman (within the townlands of Causestown) consisting of the installation of approximately
16km of High Voltage (HV) 110kV underground cabling and associated communications cabling
Temporary development/works associated with the construction phase including two no.
proposed temporary construction site compounds and associated ancillary infrastructure
including parking
Upgrading of existing entrances and provision of new entrances onto the public road
Tree felling of coniferous trees
A 10 year permission and a 30 year operational life from the date of commissioning of the
entire wind farm.

25

The proposed turbines will be connected to the national grid at the existing Gorman substation
via an underground 110kV cable.

3.

Scope of report

My comments and observations relate principally to terrestrial ecology (flora and fauna) as set
out in Chapter 7 of the EIS and accompanying Natura Impact Statement. However, I have also
made some observations on the proposed development in the context of the World Heritage
Convention6, European Landscape Convention7 and the National Landscape Strategy 8 published
in May 2015.

4.

National planning and landscape policy context for onshore windfarm development

The Heritage Councils published report on the Onshore Windfarm Planning in Ireland, Planning
in Harmony with Heritage 9 states that the widespread generation of onshore wind in Ireland is a
very complex issue, bringing together many policy areas renewable energy, land-use spatial
planning, public participation in environmental decision making, landscape, impacts on heritage,
environmental assessment and protection. These are major, state-wide landscape-scale concerns
that need to be considered as Irelands public policy addresses its growing energy needs. By its
nature and complexity, it demands a landscape-scale policy response. Some of the key findings
of this report are that:

a national planning policy be drawn up to provide a robust context for onshore wind
energy development and that key guidance documents, the Section 28 Guidelines on
both wind energy and landscape character be updated as a matter of urgency
Key policy developments such as the European Landscape Convention, the Strategic
Environmental Assessment Directive, and the UNECE Aarhus Convention need to be
integrated as soon as possible into the framework for wind energy development e.g. the
Section 28 Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006
Irelands heritage, cultural and natural, needs to be accounted for. Decision making
needs to take account of the value of non-designated and previously unidentified sites.
Up-to date and improved Section 28 guidelines on landscape and landscape assessment,
backed up with training are vital.
Public involvement in environmental decision making is key

http://whc.unesco.org/archive/opguide13-en.pdf

http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/176.htm
http://www.ahg.gov.ie/en/Publications/HeritagePublications/ArchitecturalPolicyPublications/NLSJuly201
4v2.pdf
9
http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/Planning/2013/windfarm_Overview.pdf
8

26

The European Landscape Convention (2000) as ratified by Ireland came into effect in March
2004. The convention sets out a number of measures and actions for State Parties to promote
the protection, management and planning of the landscape.

The government published the National Strategy for Ireland 2015-2025 in May 2015 as
the means by which the State, working in co-operation with public authorities,
stakeholders, communities and individuals, will provide a framework for the protection of
the many cultural, social, economic and environmental values embedded in the
landscape. The objectives []..are to establish and implement through a series of
actions, policies aimed at understanding, managing, protecting and planning our
landscape. It sets out specific measures to integrate and embed landscape considerations
in all sectors which influence the landscape and improve and enhance the quality of
decision-making by those who have an impact on it (Page 9 National Landscape Strategy for
Ireland 2015-2025).

I would concur with the recommendations Heritage Councils Report and the objectives and
actions of the National Landscape Strategy for Ireland 2015-2025.

In my opinion the scale (height and number of turbines), extent and capacity (85MW and
contributing over 2% of the total wind generating capacity required to meet the 40% national
target) of the proposed development should be considered within a national planning policy
context and in particular within the development of a National Landscape Character Assessment
as set out in the National Landscape Strategy for Ireland 2015-2025 (Actions 2-4).

5.

UNESCO Br na Binne World Heritage Site, Tentative World Heritage Site(s)

The preamble of the World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) presupposes that parts of the cultural and natural
heritage are of outstanding interest and therefore need to be preserved as part of the
world heritage of mankind as a whole. The World Heritage Convention aims to promote
cooperation among nations to protect heritage around the world that is of such
outstanding universal value that its conservation is important for current and future
generations.
The Convention established the World Heritage List as a means of identifying that some
places, either natural or cultural, are of such significance as to be the responsibility of the
international community as a whole. The Convention is overseen by the World Heritage
Committee, which is composed of 21 countries elected by the States Parties. The
Committee is supported by UNESCOs World Heritage Centre in Paris , which advises
States Parties on the preparation of site nominations organises technical assistance on
request and coordinates reporting on the condition of sites. The Department of Arts,
27

Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (formally Department of Environment,


Heritage and Local Government) acts on behalf of Ireland as a State Party to the World
Heritage Convention. It is responsible for the submission of nomination documentation to
UNESCO for inclusion of properties on the World Heritage List and Tentative List and
for reporting to UNESCO on the state of conservation of our World Heritage properties.
For a site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List it must be deemed to have
Outstanding Universal Value which means cultural and/or natural significance which is
so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for
present and future generations of all humanity. The Convention aims at the
identification protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future
generations of cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value.

Br na Binne -Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne was inscribed by


UNESCO onto the World Heritage List in 1993. In 2008 and 2009 an Expert Advisory
Group reviewed Irelands Tentative List of properties for future nomination to the World
Heritage List. Following public consultation, assessment of proposals and consideration
of submissions the new Tentative List was approved by the Minister and submitted to
UNESCO in March 2010 for formal approval at the World Heritage Committee meeting
in July 2010.
Two sites in County Meath have been included in Irelands Tentative World Heritage List:

Kells (as part of the Early Medieval Monastic Sites) (in addition
Monasterboice located in County Louth is also part of the Early Medieval
Monastic Sites)
Tara Complex (as part of the Royal Sites of Ireland)
A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which a country intends to
consider for nomination to the World Heritage List and to be placed on the list a site
must be considered to have outstanding universal value to mankind
In addition the Meath County Development Plan 2013-2019 classifies the Loughcrew and Slieve
na Calliagh Hills as having exceptional value, of national/international importance with a
high sensitivity to change.

The location of these turbines must be considered within the context of the World
Heritage Convention. In my opinion the EIS does not adequately address the impact of
the proposed on the existing UNESCO World Heritage Site at Br na Binne and the
Kells (as part of the Early Medieval Monastic Sites) and Tara Complex (as part of the
Royal Sites of Ireland) on Irelands World Heritage Tentative List.
It is a policy and objective of the County Meath Development Plan 2013-2019:
28

CH POL 5

To recognise and respect potential World Heritage Sites in Meath on the


UNESCO Tentative List Ireland-2010 and support their nomination to World

LC POL 3

To protect the archaeological heritage, rural character, setting and amenity of


the Tara landscape and Loughcrew and Slieve na Calliagh Hills.

CH OBJ 8

To seek to protect importance archaeological landscapes from inappropriate


development

It is a policy of the Kells Development Plan 2013-2019:


HER POL 12:

To support, promote and encourage the nomination of the Columban


Monastic Site in Kells for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
status.

HER POL 13:

To protect the tentative World Heritage Site in Kells from


inappropriate development

The location of the Castletownmoor Wind Farm must be considered within the context of
the World Heritage Convention and its cumulative impact should be considered incombination with the Maighne Wind Farm (Element Power Ireland Ltd.) and NorthSouth 400Kv Interconnector (EIRGRID) currently under consideration by An Bord
Pleanla.
In my opinion the Board should seek the advice of an independent World Heritage Expert, with
specific expertise and experience in assessing World Heritage Site nominations on behalf of
UNESCO, to assess if this development could impact (either alone or in-combination with other
developments) on any future nomination by the State Party to UNESCO for World Heritage
Status using established international best practice guidance.

29

5.

Comments on natural heritage and biodiversity

County Meath (Local) Biodiversity Action Plan and Heritage Plan


Irelands first National Biodiversity Plan was published in 2002. The second National Biodiversity
PlanActions for Biodiversity 2011-2016, published in November 2011, was developed in line
with EU and International Biodiversity strategies and policies. It recognises that locally-led action
is crucial in protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services. The County Meath Heritage Forum
agreed its second 5 year County Heritage Plan and County Biodiversity Plan 2015 which were
subsequently adopted by the elected members of Meath County Council. The Heritage Plan
seeks to complement the Development Plan, and other statutory plans e.g. through the
collection of relevant data, and by undertaking projects/ initiatives to raise awareness and
understanding of heritage.

As part of the implementation of the first County Meath Heritage Plan 2007-2011 and the first
County Meath Biodiversity Plan 2008-2012, Meath County Council has undertaken several
studies (co-funded by the Heritage Council), to improve knowledge of heritage, biodiversity and
geo-diversity in the county.

Principal natural heritage surveys/studies include:

Natural Heritage County Datasets


Title

Completed by

Date

The Geological Heritage of County


Meath

Clarke, A., Parkes, M. and Gatley, S

Completed in 2007 and


revised in 2009

County Meath Wetlands and Coastal


Habitat Survey

Compass Informatics

2008

Meath Tree, Woodland and Hedgerow


Survey

Atkins Ltd

2011

Note:

(Geological Survey of Ireland)

The above datasets were made available to Fehily Timoney and Company

It is important to note that many of the wildlife/geology sites identified through these surveys
have no statutory nature conservation designation but nonetheless are of county importance
and provide a number of ecosystem services 10. Such sites can function as important stepping
stones and ecological corridors (Article 10 of the Habitats Directive) for improving the ecological
coherence of sites protected for nature conservation.
10

http://www.npws.ie/media/Biodiversity%20Plan%20text%20English.pdf

30

Site Designated for Nature Conservation:


The EIS report concludes that there are 24 designated areas of conservation value within the
15km of the site planning boundary (Volume 2a, Figure 7.1 and Table 7.8).

The EIS identifies that no development will take place within NATURA 2000 Sites designated
under the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive, National Heritage Areas (NHAs) designated
under the Irish Wildlife Act (2000) or proposed Natural Heritage Areas as outlined on Figure 7.1.
There are hydrological links between the proposed development site and three Natura 2000
sites within 15km (the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC, River Boyne and River Blackwater
SPA and Kilconny Bog cSAC) and an accompanying Natura Impact Statement (NIS) has been
prepared to addresses potential impacts (either alone or in-combination with other
plans/projects) on Natura 2000 sites resulting from the proposed development.

The Board should satisfy themselves that where mitigation measures are proposed, it should be
shown that these are fully integrated into the design and layout and/or landscaping of the
proposed development and impact of these mitigation measures should also be assessed.

It is noted that Greenland white-front geese were not recorded within the study area during the
winter survey period of 2012/13 and 2013/14 but two flocks were recorded on separate dates in
late March 2016 (EIS Vol 2 Chap. 7 Section 7.3.8.7). Whooper Swan and Greenland whitefronted goose are listed under Annex 1 of the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and protected under
Annex II of the Berne Convention on the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats. These
species are amber listed as the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland (Colhoun & Cummins
(2014) and the impacts of the proposed development on same must be considered both alone
and in combination with the potential cumulative impact arising from North-South 400Kv
Interconnector (EIRGRID) application currently before An Bord Pleanla for their consideration
as both developments intersect at key sensitive locations.

Terrestrial Habitats
Habitat types identified within the study area are illustrated in Vol. 2a Figure 7.18. The majority
of turbines are indicated to be to sited on habitat classified, in accordance with Fossitt (2000), as
improved agricultural grass (GA1) or arable crop (BC1) and evaluated as local importance (lower
ecological value) (Table 7.13).

Location of the Sub Station, T14 and T15

31

The habitat map (Figure 7.18.1) shows that the proposed location of the substation, T14 and T15
are located within conifer plantation. The County Meath Wetland Survey (2008) and aerial
photography identities this area as within a wider complex of wetland habitats.

A mosaic of wetland habitats namely; cutover bog (PB4), reed and large sedge swamps (FS1),
drainage ditches (FW4), scrub (WS1), scattered trees and parkland (WD5) and bog woodland
(WN7) (identified in EIS - Table 7.25 and Figure 7.18.1) were recorded in this area which adjoins
an area of high bog (identified in the EIS Appendix F5 Peatland Survey Report as Carlantown Bog)
that supports EU Annex I Habitat Degraded Raised Bog (7120). County Meath represents the
eastern range of raised bog distribution in Ireland and within the county raised bogs (both active
and degraded) and their associated habitats types are a rare occurrence. Therefore raised bog
(and associated habitats as outlined above), bog woodland and wet grassland habitats (at T7) in
the Meath context are of high conservation value irrespective of whether or not they have been
designated for nature conservation under national or European legislation.

In that context, it my opinion this is one of the most ecologically sensitive areas within the
proposed study site and in accordance with the hierarchy of mitigation all works within this area
should be avoided.

Section 7.5.3.2 of the EIS states that no works are proposed within the area of high bog and
therefore concludes that there will be no direct impact. Notwithstanding the literature quoted
in the EIS and the impact of peat extraction, afforestation and draining the peatland survey
appended to the EIS (Appendix F5) states that hydro-geological investigations may be required
to confirm that drainage associated with the proposed site layout will not impact on the
hydrology of the high bog.

The Board should satisfy itself that drainage associated with the proposed site layout will not
impact on the hydrology of the high bog.

Bats
Detailed bat surveys were undertaken and recorded that a diverse range of bat species use the
landscape in the study areas. The EIS noted that that key potential impacts on these animals
arise through potential roost loss, loss of feeding areas and disruption of commuting routes.
Each of the proposed locations of the 25 turbines and sub-station was surveyed and the bat
activity findings recorded along with recommended mitigation measures to prevent or reduce
the potential negative impacts in these areas.

32

A number of appropriate mitigation measures are outlined (Table 7.42) and it is noted that such
measures are in line with the NRA guidelines on provisions for the conservation of bats during
the planning and construction of roads (2006). Reference is made to the NRA Guidelines (Best
Practice Guidelines for the Conservation of Bats in the Planning of National Road Schemes and
the Guidelines for the Treatment of Bats during the Construction of National Road Schemes) and
that any works relating to bats may only be carried out under a licence issued by the NPWS.

Turbine 6, Turbine 11 and Turbine 12


The EIS notes that bat activity at T6, T11 and T12 is high and Table 7.42 states as follows:

Turbine Recommended mitigation measures and general comments


T6

Relocation of T6 is not possible therefore, during operation, this turbine should


be included in a corpse search/mortality study and further mitigation such as
curtailment, if deemed necessary based on study findings, should be
implemented.

T11

500m from roost at Dowdstown House Relocation of T11 is not possible


therefore, during operation, this turbine should be included in a corpse
search/mortality study and further mitigation such as curtailment, if deemed
necessary based on study findings, should be implemented.

T12

500m from roost at Dowdstown House Relocation of T12 is not possible


therefore, during operation, this turbine should be included in a corpse
search/mortality study and further mitigation such as curtailment, if deemed
necessary based on study findings, should be implemented.

In accordance with best practice and the mitigation hierarchy adverse impacts should be
avoided wherever possible, therefore in my opinion the above three turbines should be relocated.

Otters
Otters are listed on Annex II and Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive (1992) and Appendix II
of the Berne Convention (Council of Europe, 1979). It is Red-data book listed as Vulnerable
(Whilde, 1993) and fully protected in Ireland under the Wildlife Acts of 1976 and 2000.

The presence of Otter within subject site is noted and the EIS states that a potential Holt was
located amongst rocks beside a bridge on the Moynalty River where a link road is proposed to
cross the river between T2 and T3. It should be noted that otters are protected wherever they

33

occur and are a qualifying interested on the River Boyne and River Blackwater cSAC. Works
impacting on this species their breeding sites or resting places requires a derogation licence
under regulation 54 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations,
2011.

Mitigation measures/conditions
The EIS sets out detailed mitigation measures which have been incorporated into an Outline
Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) included in Appendix D of Volume 3.

All mitigation measures outlined in the EIS/NIS/CEMP should be fully implementation

The post-construction monitoring as detailed in EIS (Vol. 2 Chapter 7 p.123) should be in


place for a minimum of 7 years post construction.

Aviation lights on wind turbines should be flashing to reduce the likelihood of collisions
with bird species

An Ecological Clerk of Works should be appointed during the pre-construction,


construction stage and post construction phases to advise on, oversee and monitor
mitigation measures

Concluding comments

I recognise that as a country we need to develop renewable sources of energy but it is my


view that this must be achieved in a balanced and sustainable manner and not at the
expense of our non-renewable heritage assets. County Meath has an outstanding cultural
landscape and numerous heritage assets of international, national and regional
significance central to our identity and sense of place. These assets form the basis of the
tourism industry within the Boyne Valley and Irelands Ancient East.
In my opinion this proposed development of up to 25 large-scale industrial wind turbines
will have an unacceptable visual impact on the landscape, on the setting and
significance of a numerous heritage assets and on how the landscape character of Meath
is experienced for the people who live within it and for those who visit it.

34

35

Appendix 1

Boyne Valley Drive Route Map highlighting significant heritage assets

36

APPENDIX 3
ASSESSMENT OF LIKELY EFFECTS
ON

DESIGNATED VIEWS IN COUNTY MEATH


FOR THE

PROPOSED CASTLETOWNMOOR WINDFARM

for:

Meath County Council


County Hall,
Navan,
Co. Meath

by:

CAAS Ltd.
2nd Floor, The Courtyard,
25 Great Strand Street,
Dublin 1

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

SEPTEMBER 2016

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

ii

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Table of Contents

2.

1.1

Assessment of likely effects on sites on relevant Designated Views ................ 3

1.2

Layout of Report ....................................................................................................... 3

1.3

Methodology .............................................................................................................. 4

1.4

Views to be assessed ............................................................................................... 6

Assessment .................................................................................................................................... 9

2.1 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the


proposed development ....................................................................................................... 9
2.2 Summary of Assessments of the Effects on Designated Viewing Points in the
Meath CDP .......................................................................................................................... 17

3.

2.3

Assessment of the Significance of Effects........................................................... 18

2.4

Assessment of the Extent of the Effects ............................................................. 20

Conclusion.................................................................................................................................... 22

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

1.1

Assessment of likely effects on sites on relevant Designated


Views

Figure 1 Location of Views designated in the Meath County Development Plan

The following assessment investigates the likelihood of effects and their significance on
Designated Views from the County Development Plan (CDP) [See Figure 1]. The assessment
concentrates on views as identified by the applicant for the proposed development (See
Table 1.1).
Table 1.2 outlines the remaining County Development Plan Designated Views and confirms
that they are not likely to be affected by the proposed development.

1.2

Layout of Report

The report displays the assessment undertaken for each of the Designated Views in Table
1.1 that are included in the County Development Plan.
The report assesses the findings in the context of the overall landscape of the County and
presents summarised findings to assist in the determination of this application.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

1.3

Methodology

The assessment of the significance of the observed effect requires reference to a


standardised form of impact definition.
The following definitions are derived from the Environmental Assessment handbook
Guidance on the Environmental Impact Assessment Process - Appendix 1: Landscape and
Visual Impact Assessment Figure 2 as well as from the EPAs Draft Guidelines on
Information to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements
http://www.epa.ie/pubs/consultation/reviewofdrafteisguidelinesadvicenotes/Draft%20Guidelines
Significance of Effect
No effect
Low significance

None discernible
Virtually imperceptible changes or changes within the capacity of the landscape
to absorb
Few viewers affected, minor changes in view or parts of view

Moderate or localised changes


Many/some viewers affected, moderate change in view
Noticeable change in characteristics or features over an extensive area ranging
Moderate/High significance
to intensive change to more limited area.
Majority of viewers affected, major change of part of a protected view
Change in dominance and intensity of characteristics or features over an
extensive area ranging to intensive change to more limited area.
High/Very high significance
Majority of viewers affected, major change to the majority of a protected view
of considerable significance or sensitivity of all of a protected view
Establishment of a new dominant character over an extensive area of a
landscape designated as being significant or sensitive. Majority of viewers
Very high/Profound
affected.
significance
Establishment of a new appearance and character to all of a protected view
that has been designated as being of regional or national significance
Table 1 Criteria used to determine the significance of impacts
Moderate significance

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Significance of Effect Ratings (above) superimposed on an IEMA reference graph of


Effect/Receptor magnitudes. Source: IEMA (2011) Figure 6.3 [above] and on the EPAs
Draft Guidelines on Information to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements
[below]
The basic principle in both reference is that a high effect in an area/receptor of high
sensitivity/importance results in a classification of high impact; moderate effect in areas of
moderate significance results in classification of moderate impact; low effects in areas of low
significance results in classifications of low impacts.
Both extremes are skewed to ensure clarity thus a small effect in an extremely sensitive
area can result in a high impact; whereas a big effect in an area of very low sensitivity can
result in a low impact.

Very high/Profound significance

High/ Very high significance


Moderate/High significance

Moderate significance

Low significance

No Effect

Very High/Profound Significance

High/ Very High Significance


Moderate/High Significance
Moderate

Low Significance
No Effect

Figure 2 Significance of Effect Ratings (above) superimposed on an IEMA reference graph of Effect/Receptor magnitudes.
Source: IEMA (2011) Figure 6.3 [above] extract from EPAs Draft Guidelines on Information to be contained in Environmental
CAAS Statements
Ltd. for Meath
County Council
Impact
[below]

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

1.4

Views to be assessed

The applicant set out a summary of the designated Viewing Points to be assessed. Based on
experience of previous assessment for a large windfarm in this area it appears that these
are reasonable Designated Views to protect.
Out of an abundance of caution a table [1.2] has also been provided to confirm that no
effects will occur on other designated viewing points.

Table 2.2 Relevant Designated Views for County Meath

Designated
View No.
(from CDP)
6
13
14
15
16
19
24
25
26
30
33
35
36
38
44
47
52
66
69
81
85
87
88
59
92

Location
Slieve na Calliagh
Tower of Lloyd at Kells
R163 between Kells and Drumbaragh
County road between Carlanstown and Ardlonan
County road to north of Moydorragh
Car Park at Whitewood Lough
County road between Rathkenny and Parsonstown Demesne
County road between Rathkenny and Parsonstown Demesne
County road between Rathkenny and Dreminstown
Hill of Slane
At Proudstown Cross Roads on R162
County Road between Beaupark and Painestown
County road to north of Brownstown Cross Roads on R153
At Carn Hill on county road to north of Caseys Cross Roads on
R153
Hill of Tara
Skryne Church
Hill of Ward
County road between Duleek and Carnes East
County road at Bellewstown
Blackwater Valley from Maudlin Bridge
Headford Bridge
Newgrange Passage Tomb
Dowth Passage Tomb
Knowth Tumulus
Corballis

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Represented
in EIS by
VP9
VP8
VP23
VP6
VP3
VP2
VP20
VP19
VP20
VP18
VP55
VP17
VP12
VP11
VP15
VP14
VP24
VP16
VP13
VP21
VP22
VP26
VP27
VP28
VP25

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Table 2.3 CDP Views with little or no potential to be likely to be affected by the proposed
development

County road between Ross and Moneybeg

Assessment
of effect on
the
Designated
View
No effect

County road at Bellewstown

No effect

County road from R154 at Boolies

No effect

R154 between Patrickstown and Oldcastle

No effect

R154 between Patrickstown and Oldcastle II

No effect

County road between Rahaghy and Patrickstown

No effect

County road between Skerry Cross Roads and Ballinlough

No effect

County road between Crossakeel and Magees Cross Roads

No effect

10

County road between Crossakeel and Ardglassan

No effect

11

County road between Ardglassan and Rathniska


County road between Keerans Cross Roads and Commons of Lloyd
at Castlepole
County road between Mullagheven Cross Roads and Gorrys Cross
Roads

No effect

18

County road between Mullystaghan and Robertstown

No effect

20

County road between Cormeen and Breaky Bridge

No effect

21

County road between Miltown Cross Roads and Ervey Cross Roads

No effect

22

County road between Corratober Bridge and Rathlagan

No effect

23

County road between R165 and Mullaghmore


County road between Horistown and Creewood II
County road between Rathkenny Cross Roads and Sallygarden
Cross Roads

No effect

Designated
View No.
(from CDP)

12
17

27
28

Location

Negligible
No effect

No effect
No effect

29

Car Park at Hill of Slane

No effect

31

County road between Boyne Canal and Roughgrange

No effect

32

At cross off county road to north of N51

No effect

34

N2 between Slane and Balrath at McGrunders Cross Roads

No effect

37

County road to north of Brownstown Cross Roads on R153 II


At Johnstown on county road to south of Caseys Cross Roads on
R153

No effect

On road to south of Cannistown Church and M3


On county road between Dowdstown Bridge and Garlagh Cross
Roads

No effect

42

On county road between Bective and Ballinter cross roads

No effect

43

Hill of Tara Car Park

No effect

45

On county road between Kilmessan and Castleboy

No effect

46

On county road between Balpere Hill and Tara

No effect

48

On M3 at Baronstown

No effect

49

On county road between Collierstown and Trevet

No effect

50

On R154 between Trim and Scurlockstown

No effect

51

On R158 between Trim and Laracor

No effect

54

On R161 at Royal Canal

No effect

39
40
41

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

No effect

No effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Designated
View No.
(from CDP)
53
55

Location

On R161 at Inchatore Bridge to west of Donore


On Stonyford Bridge on county road between Blackshade and
Moyfin

Assessment
of effect on
the
Designated
View
No effect
No effect

56

Along Royal Canal at Boolykeagh

No effect

57

County road between Rathcore and Clonguiffin

No effect

58

No effect

60

County road between N51 and Knowth


Obelisk Bridge at Oldbridge

No effect

61

Hill at Graveyard at Sheephouse

No effect

62

County road between Duleek and Boyne Canal I

Negligible

63

County road between Donore and Redmountain

Negligible

64

County road between Duleek and Boyne Canal II

Negligible

65

Laytown Strand

No effect

67

County road between Carnes West and Carnes East

No effect

68

County road between Bellewstown and Carnes East

No effect

70

R108 between Naul and Mullaghteelin

No effect

71

County road off R108 at Snowtown


Boyne Estuary view from coast road between Mornington and
Drogheda
County road between Robinsons Cross Roads on R108 and
Windmill Hill

No effect

Boyne valley from Rosnaree House


Boyne Estuary view from coast road between Mornington and
Drogheda (past grammar School)

No effect

Rathkenny Hills View from Creeswood in south eastward direction


View of Kileen castle/Skane Valley from southeast direction of the
Warrenstown college

No effect

78

Boyne valley from Derrindaly Bridge

No effect

79

Boyne valley from Scarrif Bridge


Blackwater Valley Navan from R147 Kells Road in the vicinity of
Bloomsbury

No effect

82

Blackwater Valley from Mabes Bridge

No effect

83

Clonard Blackshade

No effect

84

Coole Hill

No effect

86

Bective Bridge

No effect

89a

Views towards Br na Binne from N51

No effect

89b

Views towards Br na Binne from N51

No effect

89c

Views towards Br na Binne from N51

No effect

West of crossroads at Monknewtown


Views from Boyne and Towpath

No effect
No effect

93a

Local Road L16002, 1.2km east of Fennor Cross Roads

No effect

93b

Local Road L16002, 0.7km west of Rossnaree

No effect

93c

Local road L16002, 1.65km east of Fennor Cross Roads

No effect

Moylagh Castle from local road to east of R195

No effect

72
73
74
75
76
77

80

90
91

94

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

No effect
No effect

No effect

No effect

No effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

2. Assessment
2.1

Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the


proposed development

This section provides descriptions of the Significance and Sensitivity assigned to each
designated View Point in the CDP. The likely effect of the proposed development on these
characteristics is then assessed by reference to material supplied in photomontages by the
applicant. The significance of the resultant effect is then determined having regard to an
assessment method set out in 1.3.
View No. 6 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

National
Extreme sensitivity to
developments that will
alter the inter-visibility
of these hills and
monuments.
High
sensitivity
to
developments
that
would reduce openness
or lack of enclosure for
visible distance, say
1km from ridgeline in
all directions

Significantly
affects
the
principle
sensitivity
views
across about 8 degrees of the
field of vision from the eastern
end of the complex.

The
proposed
development
occupies a significant portion of
a view that with a prior
designation as being of national
significance.
Impact is of high/very high
significance

View No. 13 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP

Likely Effect

Significance of effect

Significance
Sensitivity

Significantly
affects
the
principle
sensitivity
views
across 20 degrees of the field
of vision in one of the principle
directions identified.

The
proposed
development
occupies a significant portion of
a vie that with a prior
designation as being of national
significance.

National
Sensitive
to
any
structures that would
obstruct views towards
the
skyline.
Also
sensitive
to
tree
planting
at
south
eastern, eastern and
northern boundary.

Impact is of Profound/very
high significance

View No. 14 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Low - likely to be
obscured by roadside
planting within 5 years

The proposed development


will be visually conspicious
when viewed
along the
centreline of the road which
will not benefit from the
screening effect of future tree
growth.

The proximity and extent that


the proposed development will
occupy means that the proposed
development will significantly
alter the appearance and
character of the countryside as
viewed from both the N52 and R
163 in the vicinity
Impact is of a high local
significance

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 15 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Low

The extent of the angle of


view occupied by turbines
combined with their proximity
to the nearest visible turbine
of 2.6 km means that the
proposed development will be
visually dominate all other
features on account of their
contrasting scale, form and
movement.

The proposed development will


profoundly alter the appearance
and character of the landscape
and views as viewed from this
location which are designated as
being of Local significance.
Impact of Profound Local
Significance

View No. 16 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development (Note that neither photograph examines the designated view)
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Low

The extent of the angle of


view occupied by turbines
combined with their proximity
of about 4 km means that the
proposed development will be
visually dominant on account
of their contrasting scale, form
and movement.

The proposed development will


significantly
alter
the
appearance and character of the
landscape and views as viewed
from this location which are
designated as being of local
significance.
Impact of local Significance

View No. 19 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance

Sensitivity

Local

Low

Intervening topography and


vegetation will mean that the
development will not be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No Effect

View No. 24 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Regional
The extent of the angle of
Significance
view occupied by turbines The proposed development will
Robust
Sensitivity
combined with their proximity
oabout 4km means that the
proposed development will be
visually dominate all other
features on account of their
contrasting scale, form and
movement.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

profoundly alter the appearance


and character of the landscape
and views as viewed from this
location which are designated as
being of Regional significance.
Impact of High
Significance

Regional

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 25 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Robust

The extent of the angle of


view occupied by turbines
combined with their proximity
of less than 3 km means that
the proposed development will
be visually dominate all other
features on account of their
contrasting scale, form and
movement.

The proposed development will


profoundly alter the appearance
and character of the landscape
and views as viewed from this
location which are designated as
being of Regional significance.
Impact of High
Significance

Regional

View No. 26 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Sensitive to roadside
development.
Middle
distance is robust

The extent of the angle of


view occupied by turbines
combined with their proximity
of about 7 km means that the
proposed development will be
visually dominate all other
features on account of their
contrasting scale, form and
movement.

The proposed development will


profoundly alter the appearance
and character of the landscape
and views as viewed from this
location which are designated as
being of Regional significance.
Impact of High
Significance

Regional

View No. 30 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

National
Visually robust except
foreground

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Intervening
topography,
distance and vegetation will
mean that the only parts of
the upper portions of some of
the development will be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No significant effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 33 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Low

The proposed development


will be visible at a distance in
excess of over 8 km. The
proposed development will
ovccupy a significant portion
of the field of view and will be
noticible under many types of
lighting conditions though
intervening topography and
vegetation
mitigate
this
visibility.
The effects will be very
noticable to racegoers on
account of the orientation.

The proposed development will


significantly
alter
the
appearance of this view of a
countryside.
These factors will combine to
giver rise to a locally significant
effect on the appearance and
character of the landscape as
viewed from this location.
Locally Significant

View No. 35 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Foreground is open and
sensitive.
Middle
ground is robust.

Intervening
topography,
distance and vegetation will
mean that the only parts of
the upper portions of some of
the development will be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No significant effect

View No. 36 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Mid distance robust

The proposed development


will be discernable at a
distance in excess of almost
16km km.

No significant effect

View No. 38 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Low

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

The proposed development


will be discernable at a
distance in excess of 16 km.

No significant effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 44 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

National
View to the west:
Visually robust
View to the south:
Visually robust.
View to the east:
Centre of view open
and vulnerable. Edges north and south - are
robust on account of
substantial levels of
woodland.
View to the north:
Lowlands are visually
robust.

From one of the cardinal


viewing
directions
the
proposed development will be
visible at a distance in excess
of 20 km.
Notwithstanding this distance
the proposed development will
occupy a significant portion of
the field of view and will be
noticible under many types of
lighting conditions

The proposed development will


alter the appearance of all of
this designated view of the
countryside.
The view, though visually
robust,
has considerable
national cultural and historical
significance.
These factors will combine to
giver rise to a significant effect
on
the
appearance
and
character of the landscape as
viewed from this location.
Nationally Significant Effect

View No. 47 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

National
View to the west:
central part of view has
less trees and is the
most visually vulnerable
part. Areas north and
south are more robust.
View to north: is more
robust.
View to the north east:
not sensitive; robust
View to the south:
Visually robust.

The proposed development


will be visible at a distance in
excess
of
20
km.
Notwithstanding this distance
the proposed development will
occupy a significant portion of
the field of view and will be
noticible under many types of
lighting conditions

The proposed development will


alter the appearance of this view
of a countryside
The view, though visually
robust,
has national cultural
and historical significance.
These factors will combine to
giver rise to a significant effect
on
the
appearance
and
character of the landscape as
viewed from this location.
Nationally Significant Effect

View No. 52 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Sensitive
to
development including
forestry that would
obscure
views
to
distant horizons

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Significantly
affects
the
principle
sensitivity
views
across in excess of
30
degrees of the field of vision
from the site at a distance of
less than 14km

The
proposed
development
occupies a significant portion of
a view that with a prior
designation as being of regional
significance.
Impact is of high/very high
regional significance

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 59 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

International
Vulnerability
to
development
in
immediate foreground.
Main
threats
are
significant
and
contrasting intrusions
on
the
established
character
of
the
landscape particularly
those that intrude upon
intentional
visual/symbolic
axes
towards
distant
horizons or skylines.

Intervening topography and


vegetation and will mean that
the development will barely
discernable when viewed from
this location.

No significant Effect

View No. 66 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Low - view from south
west to west most
sensitive

The proposed development


will be visible at a distance in
excess of 26 km.

No significant effect

View No. 69 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Regional
Low - view from south
west to west most
sensitive.

The proposed development


will be visible at a distance of
almost 30 km.

No significant effect

View No. 81 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Moderate, main threats
are loss of established
rural character through
foreground
development.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Intervening topography and


vegetation will mean that the
development will not be visible
when viewed from this location

No Effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 85 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

Local
Moderate, main threats
are loss of established
rural character through
foreground
development.

Intervening topography and


vegetation will mean that the
development will not be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No Effect

View No. 87 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

International
High - Main threats are
significant
and
contrasting intrusions
on
the
established
character
of
the
landscape particularly
those that intrude upon
intentional
visual/symbolic
axes
towards
distant
horizons or skylines.

Intervening topography and


vegetation will mean that the
development will not be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No Effect

View No. 88 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance
Sensitivity

International
High - Main threats are
significant
and
contrasting intrusions
on
the
established
character
of
the
landscape particularly
those that intrude upon
intentional
visual/symbolic
axes
towards
distant
horizons or skylines

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Intervening topography and


vegetation will mean that the
development will not be visible
when
viewed
from
this
location.

No Effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

View No. 92 Assessment of likelihood and significance of effects arising from the
proposed development
View classification by CDP
Likely Effect
Significance of effect
Significance

Regional
Moderate - Threats are
roadside development
that would obscure
views
towards
monument that are
visible on the skyline or
developments
that
intrude
upon
the
skyline as visible from
this road.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Upper parts of some of the


development will be visible at
distances in excess of 20 km
over a small portion of the
field of view.

No Effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

2.2

Summary of Assessments of the Effects on Designated


Viewing Points in the Meath CDP

Based on the detailed assessments carried out in 2.1 above the following is a summary of the like
impacts based upon the methodology set out in 1.2 above
Designated
View No.
(from CDP)
6
13
14
15
16
19
24
25
26
30
33
35
36
38
44
47
52
66
69
81
85
87
88
59
92

Location

Represented
in EIS by

Slieve na Calliagh

VP9

Tower of Lloyd at Kells

VP8

R163 between Kells and Drumbaragh


County road between Carlanstown
and Ardlonan

VP23

County road to north of Moydorragh


Car Park at Whitewood Lough
County road between Rathkenny and
Parsonstown Demesne
County road between Rathkenny and
Parsonstown Demesne
County road between Rathkenny and
Dreminstown
Hill of Slane
At Proudstown Cross Roads on R162
County Road between Beaupark and
Painestown
County road to north of Brownstown
Cross Roads on R153
At Carn Hill on county road to north of
Caseys Cross Roads on R153

VP3
VP2

Hill of Tara

VP15

Skryne Church

VP14

Hill of Ward
County road between Duleek and
Carnes East
County road at Bellewstown
Blackwater Valley from Maudlin Bridge
Headford Bridge
Newgrange Passage Tomb
Dowth Passage Tomb
Knowth Tumulus
Corballis

VP24

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

VP6

VP20
VP19
VP20
VP18
VP55
VP17
VP12
VP11

VP16
VP13
VP21
VP22
VP26
VP27
VP28
VP25

Assessment
Impact is of high/very
high significance
Impact is of
Profound/very high
significance
Impact is of a high
local significance
Impact of Profound
Local Significance
Impact of local
Significance
No Effect
Impact of high
Regional Significance
Impact of high
Regional Significance
Impact of high
Regional Significance
No significant effect
Locally Significant
No significant effect
No significant effect
No significant effect
Nationally Significant
Effect
Nationally Significant
Effect
Impact is of high/very
high regional
significance
No significant effect
No significant effect
No Effect
No Effect
No Effect
No effect
No Effect
No Effect

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

2.3

Assessment of the Significance of Effects

There are no differences between the assessments in this report and those of the applicant
about sites where there will be no visibility or no effects.
However, there are significant divergences between the applicants assessment of the
significance of effects and those contained in this assessment.
This appears to be because this assessment uses the significance and sensitivity assigned to
the Viewing Point in the CDP to evaluate the significance of the effect. Thus a relatively
distant view may assume considerable significance if the viewing point is significant and
sensitive. See Examples in Figures 4 and 5 below.
Furthermore, if the effects completely dominate the local area, such as Figure 3 below, then
the impact of more than one view must be taken into account hence this impact is
classified as being a Profound Local Impact

Figure 3 In this assessment View VP6-1 Is classed as an impact of Profound Local Significance distance to nearest visible turbine is 2.6 km and an actual angle of view occupied by turbines of 42
degrees. Turbines are also visible to the same degree and distance when looking in the opposite
Direction [VP6.- 1]. Applicant describes this as a 'Moderate Effect'

Figure 4 In this assessment View VP25 [Hill of Ward] is classed as an impact of high/very high
regional significance. Applicant describes this as Slight effect.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Figure 5 in this assessment View VP8 [Tower of Llyod at Kells] is classed as an Impact of
Profound/very high significance Applicant describes this as a Moderate effect.

Figure 6 In this assessment View VP20 is classed as an Impact of high Regional Significance.
Applicant describes this as Slight effect.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

2.4

Assessment of the Extent of the Effects

Figure 7 The Route Screening Analysis [Figure 14.8] indicates the extent of the likely visibility as
seen from the road network within 5 km of the proposed development.

The information supplied by the applicant clearly demonstrates [Figure 7, 8] that the
development will be visible over a wide area. The visibility will often be intermittent on
account of roadside hedges and trees as well as intervening topography and structures.
Figure 7 demonstrates that the core of the area [about 25km2 in extent] will experience
almost continuous Open Views as indicated in green. Beyond that there is a roughly
triangular area from which the development will partially visible from almost all roads
bounding this area each section of which is about 15 20 km in length. This means that
at normal driving speeds a motorist on these boundary roads would be intermittently aware
of this development at distances of around 2km for 15 20 minutes at normal driving
speeds.
Figure 8 shows the Zone of Theoretical Visibility which extends over almost the entirety of
the north of County Meath.
Figure 9 shows that the extent of this visibility is not just theoretical at a number of critical
sites where Viewing Points are designated in the County Development Plan. It also shows
that, though distant, some of these important sites will be significantly affected.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

Figure 8 FINAL ZTV HUB Layout 230516 from EIS with red triangle superimposed to show location of core.
Blue dots indicate locations of Viewing Points used in EIS by Applicant. The blue line shows the 10km boundary
of distances from the Windfarm. The red colour indicates areas from where 20 25 turbines are theoretically
visible.

Figure 9 Summary Map showing the effects of the proposed development [red triangle] on the
Designated View Points in the Meath CDP. The red oval encompasses the area containing
significant visual effects.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council

Assessment of likely effects on designated views in Co. Meath for the Proposed Castletownmoor Wind Farm

3. Conclusion
The application has demonstrated that proposed development will be visible in whole or
part throughout the majority of the north and centre of County Meath.
The assessment shows that this will affect a number of the views that are designated in the
County Development Plan. Some of these affected views are amongst the most significant
and sensitive in Meath and some are also of national and regional significance.
The assessment carried out in this report demonstrates using the material supplied by the
applicant in conjunction with the material used to prepare the designation of CDP Viewing
Point that a number of these effects will be very significant.
The proposed development will significantly alter the established appearance and character
of a large part of the north and centre of County Meath. This alteration will significantly
impinge upon a number of protected views.

CAAS Ltd. for Meath County Council