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Tipperary – Bord Pleanála Overrules Own Inspectorate

windenergyAn Bord Pleanála has overruled their own planning inspector and given approval for plans to erect a substantial €80 million wind farm on Tipperary’s highest scenic mountain peak.  Objectors now claim that a proper environment impact assessment was not carried out by the planning authority, before this final consent was confirmed.

The Planning Appeals Board have granted permission to ESB Wind Development and Coillte for 16 wind turbine to be built on the slopes of Keeper Hill; latter situated in the Silvermines mountains south of the M7 motorway, joining Limerick to Dublin. These planned wind turbines will have a tip height of some 145m (475ft) – 25m (81ft) higher than Dublin’s 120m (394ft) O’Connell Street Spire.

The planning board’s own Inspector had recommended refusal of these plans; as the development would greatly interfere with the striking skylines and greatly detract from the attractive natural wild, rough countryside appearance, that is this Keeper Hill site. The Inspector had also recommended refusal fearing that this development would seriously result in the loss of a protected European-designated site and give rise to severe water pollution through the slippage of natural peat formation.

Last year, North Tipperary County Council had refused permission for this project and were supported in their refusal by the Department of Arts and Heritage, as the development could result in the significant loss of foraging habitat for an EU protected bird species, namely the Hen Harrier, latter residing within the Slievefelim and Silvermines environs; already an area granted special protection.

An Taisce,latter the charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland’s natural and built heritage, have also raised concerns over this planned proposal; claiming that 28 wind turbines had already been granted planning permission within this same specially protected area and that no further planning should be granted until a comprehensive assessment had been made of the ability of the Hen Harrier to forage within the vicinity of the wind-farm.

An Bord Pleanála, in granting this sought after 25 year planning permission period made by ESB Wind Development and Coillte, have in effect ruled that this new proposed wind farm will not seriously injure the amenities of the area or property within the vicinity and will not be injurious to the cultural heritage and tourism potential of this outstanding scenic area.

It would appear that those responsible for our National Planning have little interest in protecting Co Tipperary’s history and remaining naturally occurring scenery.

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3 comments to Tipperary – Bord Pleanála Overrules Own Inspectorate

  • Michael

    Anyone ” W I T H P O W E R ” is gone mad.

  • Proinsias

    This is a complex and difficult situation. On the one hand we have to try and free ourselves, as a nation, from foreign owned energy imports, because it will start to become more precarious and expensive and unsustainable.
    On the other hand, we have to measure what will be lost as opposed to what will be gained by these giant wind farms.

    Is it a lose lose scenario for the people of Tipperary? lose a special area of conservation in the installation process (access routes, noise, construction etc)and then lose an area of scenic social and tourism capital post construction.

    The Temple-Derry project seems to be working because it is a cooperative and many locals have a stake in the venture, selling electricity back into the grid, reducing their own energy costs. This proposed venture is more or less a privately run venture, subsidized with public money (similar to Irish Water)

    If we had taken Norwegian advice back in the 1970’s and set up a State-run Oil/Gas of our own similar to StatOil to manage our own natural deposits we would have some form of energy independence today. Alas our oil and gas fields were sold and privatised and we will never see any benefit from them.
    I don’t believe Tipperary people will benefit from this mega wind farm except a view of loads of massive turbines. Our carbon fuel reductions will only happen when communities are involved and stand to gain something as a community from invasive structural works such as these. There HAS to be something in it for the people…. simple as that.
    Instead we will see big hikes in our bills to pay for these projects, so our political reps can go to Brussels and say ‘here, see, we are doing our bit to reduce carbon heavy fuel reliance’

  • Katie.

    George. We watched a programme last week about Shell absolutely destroying the lives of the fishermen in Mayo. The sceneries in that village were fabulous and to think what this Shell company did to those people and there livelihood is beyond believe. The fishermen put up a great fight to stop Shell. Five of these fishermen were jailed for 3 months. But I believe it was all in vain. What shocked all of us was the brutality of the Gardaí. And as one of the fishermen said, most of the Gardaí were known to them. They went to school together. To see these Gardaí using there truncheons with such force like that. Especially on elderly people absolutely shocked us. And where did all the security men come from; I bet not Ireland? As one of the fishermen said; the EU is allowing these company’s into Ireland to do what ever they want and the Government does nothing about it. George what we would like to know. Where were the Councillors for that area and why was this type of brutality allowed? If that happened here those Gardaí would be dragged up in front of a judge for such out of control abuse. From what we were watching; there was absolutely no call for such abuse on these people. Shame on those Irish Gardaí. They not only let themselves down but Ireland as well.

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