An Taisce has appealed planning permission granted by Offaly planners last month for the continued use and operation of a co-fired power plant in Clonbullogue.
Edenderry Power Limited was given permission by Offaly County Council on June 21, leaving appeals to An Bord Pleanála an option for four weeks from that date.
On July 15 An Taisce lodged such an appeal and a decision from the authority on the project’s continued use is due not later than November 18 next.
The Clonbullogue power plant was given planning permission to operate as a peat plant initially in 1998, while permission to operate as a co-fired plant using both peat and biomass was secured in 2005.
Edenderry Power Limited applied for the continued use and operation of the already permitted peat and biomass plant in late April last.
That application attracted just one submission from the public. In late May Michael Hoey, with an address at Crann Nua in Portarlington, suggested that the application was invalid.
The Offaly planning process did include a submission from An Taisce, which was received by planners on May 31.
In that submission An Taisce pointed to Offaly’s County Development Plan 2009-2015, and specifically that it is council policy to support national and international initiatives for limiting greenhouse gases and to encourage the development of renewable energy sources.
It said the application’s environmental impact statement didn’t demonstrate that requirement of the Offaly plan. In its submission it said the continued operation of the site needed to be justified.
It added that the physical need for the plant wasn’t established, nor were less carbon emitting alternatives or investment into reducing energy demand considered.
An Taisce recommended that Offaly planners request detailed further information to address information deficiencies. Further information was not sought by the council however, and now An Taisce has taken it to the appeals body for further consideration.