Gort Biogas Plant saga continues with new appeal

Galway Daily news Public meeting to discuss approval of Gort BioGas plant
Photo Credit: Vasyatka

The saga of the proposed Gort Biogas Plant is continuing before the planning authorities, despite multiple earlier decisions against it.

A High Court ruling against Galway County Council has given Sustainable Bio-Energy Limited a second chance to bring their case to the planning authorities.

Galway County Council initially refused planning for the biogas plant on the outskirts of Gort in January on the grounds that it would pose a traffic hazard due to increased HGV traffic on the Regional Road.

Concerns were also raised about the location of the proposed plant on the outskirts of Gort, with the council saying that it would be contrary to the sustainable development of the town.

Finally it was stated that their was not enough information in the Natura Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Assessment Report submitted to be sure that the plant would not give rise to potential risk to human health and environmental damage.

The proposed biogas plant in the townlands of Ballynamantan, Kinincha and Glenbrack would be used to treat farm waste in order to produce fertiliser and energy.

The 10ha development was heavily opposed in the local area, with over 300 submissions made to the county council objecting to the plans the first time around.

An appeal was lodged against the county council’s refusal, but An Bord Pleanála deemed it invalid as it had been submitted outside of the permitted timeframe.

In an order dated October 13 of 2020, the High Court quashed the county council’s original decision to refuse permission after a judicial review was granted questioning the appeal deadline date.

The fresh application was received by Galway County Council on November 21, and promptly rejected by the planning department once again on December 2 for the same reasons given in January.

The council’s decision has once again been appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which is due to rule on the appeal by April 30 of 2021.