An Bord Pleanála has again granted permission for a massive €80 million x 22 turbine wind farm to be constructed in the wild scenic hills close to the Co Tipperary village of Upperchurch. Same has been granted, in spite of widespread local opposition and will be located 2km from Upperchurch village and 18km west of Thurles town.
The promoters of the venture, Ecopower Developments Ltd, claim the output from the 413ft wind farm will be sufficient to power 23,000 homes or the equivalent of the domestic electricity requirement of north Tipperary, while creating 277 temporary jobs during its construction phase.
The 413ft high wind farm project, latter 15ft taller than Dublin’s Spire (The Stiletto in the Ghetto), is expected to create just eight permanent jobs when fully operational.
The wind farm’s construction will lead to €20 million being spent on civil and electrical contracts in Ireland; substantial annual rent payments to some 37 landowners in the surrounding area while also contributing to an annual community benefit payment.
This An Bord Pleanála permission follows similar recent acquiescence for another large wind farm on the slopes of Keeper Hill in the Silvermines mountains in north Tipperary, where ESB Wind Development and Coillte secured further planning against the judgement of its own inspectorate just last month for a similar 475ft x 16 turbine wind farm.
This new proposed Upperchurch plan was opposed by the Upperchurch / Kilcommon Wind Awareness Group, An Taisce and a number of local residents who lodged in total twelve individual appeals against the proposed plan. The group argued that the proposed wind farm development represented gross over development in a populated scenic area of North Tipperary’s countryside, with one giant turbine proposed to be constructed just 463 metres from a dwelling house property boundary, thus exposing same to the devaluation of their home and their expected quiet enjoyment of their property.