Plans for Kylemore Abbey to go green with the installation of hundreds of solar panels have been knocked back due to ecological concerns.
A planning application was made by Kylemore Abbey & Gardens LTD for the installation of 370 ground mounted solar panels within the overall grounds of Kylemore Abbey & Gardens.
The panels would have covered an area of 1,247m² in a gravel staff carpark area to the west of the monastery and castle.
A Proposed Solar PV Self-Consumption Analysis submitted with the planning application stated that the scale of the solar power project had been based on historical energy consumption.
The number of solar panels to be installed was meant to “cover as much of the electrical load as possible, with minimal overproduction” of electricity.
In the single reason for refusing planning permission, the County Council noted that the site is immediately next to, and “hydrologically connected” with the Twelve Bens/Garraun Special Area of Conservation.
The council said that there are concerns in relation to “surface water management and the proposed discharge to groundwater and flow direction” in the project.
An Appropriate Assessment Screening Report for the project had been prepared following a request for further information from the council.
The council’s decision said that based on the information received, “adverse effects on the integrity and conservation objectives” of the protected sites in the vicinity could not be ruled out.