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Infrastructure Minister grants planning permission for Kells Solar Farm


Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd has today announced his decision to grant planning permission for the Kells Solar Farm.


The proposal is for the construction and operation of a solar farm and ancillary development in the locality of Whappstown Road, Kells, Ballymena.



The construction and operation of a solar farm development comprises photo-voltaic panels on mounting frames, one substation, 18 Inverter stations, 21 CCTV cameras (3m high poles), a 2.45m high perimeter fence, upgrading of two existing accesses onto Whappstown Road, internal service tracks, two temporary construction compounds, and additional landscaping to augment existing.


Minister O’Dowd said:


“I have made this decision to approve after having given careful consideration to the independent Planning Appeals Commission’s (PAC) report and the recommendation of my planning officials.



“While I am always conscious of the concerns of local residents, green infrastructure does represent a real opportunity for tackling the climate emergency, helping to boost our economy and creating a sustainable infrastructure for future generations.”

 


The decision follows the Minister’s "careful consideration" of the Planning Appeals Commission’s (PAC) report on the Hearing which was held in June and July 2021 and is in line with the Commission’s recommendation to approve the proposal.


The Department received 1152 letters of objection and one letter of support in relation to the application.