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Two wind turbines for Nenagh  

Credit:  Tipperary Star, www.tipperarystar.ie 1 October 2009 ~~

Two wind turbines have been granted planning permission for locations near Nenagh, despite appeals against the development by a local opposition group.

The Residents Group of Boherlody, Lisgarriff West and Knockmeale, care of James Hillier of Lisgarriff, Dolla, Nenagh, appealed to the state planning agency after North Tipperary County Council granted planning permission in July 2007.

Pat O’Donoghue of Boherlody, Dolla, Nenagh was given the green light by An Bord Pleanala on September 16th last to build two wind turbines with increased hub height of up to 80 metres and blade length up to 45 metres, including a link road and associated substation.

The plans also include provision for the upgrading of an existing farm roadway as an access roadway/entrance and all associated site works at Boherlody, Lisgarriff West and Knockmeale, Dolla, Nenagh.

Those opposed to the development cited what they called the “visually intrusive” nature of the turbines as grounds for appeal, along with “shadow flicker” and potential impact on nearby houses. One local woman was concerned that her land, bordering the proposed wind farm, would become “unusable for birthing livestock.” The group also maintained that noise from the turbines would harm animals, and residents “with documented medical conditions including migraines, tinnitus, heart conditions and back problems.”

“The proposed turbines are not the required distance from the site boundaries which poses a serious hazard in the event of a turbine collapsing or a moving part becoming loose or dislodged,” reads the ground of appeal. The action group also cited concerns relating to the archaeology of the area, the impact on the local water aquifer, and the possible devaluation of property in the area.

A response to these concerns by the applicant states that the the proposed wind turbines has been sited with a larger hill as a backdrop to avoid the skyline. This serves to reduce the visual impact. An extensive noise survey was conducted for the original application which addresses background noise. The increased turbine size has been mitigated with aerodynamical improvements.

Also, “It is considered that the turbines will add to the overall eco-friendly image of the area and initiatives such as open days in local schools will bring in rather than turn away eco-tourism,” says the applicant. Additionally, all local residents were invited to purchase shares in the development and a large number of local individuals have done so with the largest shareholding being reserved for the broader community once the project becomes profitable.

An Bord Pleanala imposed 15 conditions with the decision to grant. Some of these include that the permission is for 20 years only, that the height of each turbine shall be a maximum of 65 metres with a blade diameter of a maximum of 71 metres. Transformers required in association with each individual turbine shallbe located within the turbine structure or underground.

Also, noise levels emanating from the proposed development when measured at the nearest inhabited house shall not exceed 43 decibels during the period of 8pm to 8am. An archaeologist is to monitor all site work investigations.

Source:  Tipperary Star, www.tipperarystar.ie 1 October 2009

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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