11.6.10 Development Management Guidance

Dúnta22 Nol, 2020, 9:00am - 12 Már, 2021, 5:00pm
​​​​​​11.6.10 Development Management Guidance:

Sites for commercial scale generation of bioenergy combined heat and power plants (CHP) should be located in brownfield sites within or adjacent to existing or future industrial areas or co-located with other wood processing industries. Plants should be close to the point of demand and public roads should have adequate capacity to absorb any traffic generated by the plant.

Accordingly, the Council will facilitate the development of Organic Waste to Energy/Combined Heat and Power schemes, subject to the criteria for location of waste management facilities and compliance with normal planning and environmental criteria and the development management requirements. Kilkenny County Council will also support the sustainable production of bioenergy where such production is based on Sustainable Forestry Management and best practices in growing of energy crops.

Bioenergy CHP plants shall not be located where such plants have the potential to impact residential or other amenities or environmental quality by virtue of:

  • emissions to air, ground, water,
  • visual impact,
  • noise or light pollution

BioMethane (Compressed natural Gas) should be located in rural agriculture setting as a diversification option for beef sector.

The Planning Authority will consider the following when considering applications for planning consent for Bioenergy plants.

Table 11.4: Summary of potential impacts from anaerobic digestors/CHP plants


Potential impact


Scale of the proposed development

Visual impact of the digester, plant building(s) and chimney stack/flue on landscape, including protected views


Potential for pollution from operational procedures, e.g. spillages and from digestate and potential for contaminants to enter soil, groundwater and streams


During construction and during operation from plant operation and deliveries

Air quality

Odour from storage of wastes and feedstock, digestion process, transport, and disposal of digestate, dust and emissions may impact on proximate residential amenity. May require an assessment of their impacts and a model of emissions dispersion. 

Light pollution

If operation is proposed on 24/7 basis

Traffic and transport

Increase in vehicle movements to and from the property; use of rail freight or shipping could be considered.

Architectural heritage

Impact on character of setting of protected building


In order to address these potential impacts, each application is to be assessed having due regard to the likelihood of any of these impacts and to any proposals for mitigation of same. The site and the size of proposed plants and the process proposed are the main indicators of potential impacts, and hence site size, plant size and nature and current proximate land uses are major considerations. Impacts of potential emissions on the natural environment, including humans, fauna and flora and in particular Natura 2000 sites should be carefully appraised. The origin of the biomass is also a consideration and whether same is to be obtained from sustainably managed resources where best practice in energy crops is applied.

The availability of a grid connection and proximity to same is also of importance, as is the need for transmission infrastructure that may have a visual impact. Details of the proposed transmission infrastructure, including any transformers and transmission lines, whether over ground or underground, should therefore be included in the application. Proximity to the point of demand is an important factor in particularly larger plants and due regard should be given to vehicular access and vehicular movements, including proximity to a transport network with adequate capacity.

Applications should provide detail on site management measures during both the construction and operational phases.

It is advised that community consultation take place in advance of the submission of any application that is likely to give rise to public concerns on siting/design or amenity impacts. 

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