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Nothing Green About Tipperary NR County Council.

solar-energyIt’s not easy to become green in North Tipperary. Residents of Ireland’s first eco-village in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary,  described by the once native poet and patriot Thomas McDonagh, as a place “in calm of middle country“, have been told by the Tipp NR council they must now pay €160,000 to meet social and affordable housing requirements.

Being a not-for-profit formed Co-Operative, the residents had expected to be exempt from a provision that required land developers to hand over 20% of new estates for affordable housing or make a hefty financial contribution instead.

Eco – villages are urban or rural communities of people who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low impact way of life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, and much more.

In this Cloughjordan planned “Eco Village”  ninety per cent of waste will be recycled and each house will be built fully from environmentally friendly materials. There will be an orchard, a wild life area, an organic farm, community buildings, a broadband communications network and 60% of heating will come from solar energy.

Becoming a member and buying a site in this development offers the purchaser an opportunity to build their home in a unique, sustainable community, which is committed to ecological and social quality of life.

North Tipperary Council have ruled, however, that Ireland’s first sustainable village falls within the remit of the planning and development act.

Miriam Kelly, a spokesperson for The Eco Village said:

“Our vision was to create a truly social and affordable community, so it’s disappointing that we’re being treated by the Council as speculative developers.”

Paddy Heffernan director of housing for the North Tipperary Co Council said:

“We welcome this scheme, but there is no exemption in the act for this kind of development. Our hands are tied.”

Can someone please untie North Tipperary Co.Council’s hands, thus allowing them to make logical decisions on behalf of those who elected them into office?

Since these representatives are unable to make decisions on behalf of their electorate why not cancel the June county and local elections?  We as a country can no longer afford public representatives manipulated by a puppeteer.

It is very appropriate then that a screening of the film The Age of Stupid, showing how we accelerate community responses to the economic downturn, resource depletion and climate change, can be viewed in Cloughjordan on Saturday 25th April next at 8.00pm. No doubt vote seeking public representatives will be in attendance with flowers in their hair, displaying their love of all things  environmental.

The Age of Stupid is the new movie from Director Franny Armstrong (McLibel) and producer John Battsek (One Day In September). Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? It was first released in UK cinemas on 20th March 2009 and should be made compulsory viewing for all.

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