An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for a giant, €80m windfarm near the north Tipperary village of Upperchurch in spite of widespread local opposition.
The promoters, Ecopower Developments Ltd, claim the output from the 413-ft high windfarm – taller than Dublin’s Spire – will be sufficient to power 23,000 homes, which is equivalent to the domestic electricity requirements of north Tipperary.
The scheme – to be located 2km from Upperchurch and 18km to the west of Thurles – will also create 277 temporary jobs in civil and electrical construction firms and other companies during the construction phase and eight permanent jobs when operational.
The windfarm will also lead to €20m being spent on civil and electrical contracts and annual rent payments to 37 landowners, and an annual community benefit payment.
The permission follows the appeals board granting planning permission to another large windfarm in north Tipperary, where ESB Wind Development and Coillte secured planning for a 475ft-high, 16-turbine wind farm on the slopes of Keeper Hill in the Silvermines Mountains in July.
However, this plan was opposed by the Upperchurch Kilcommon Wind Awareness Group (UKWAG), An Taisce, and a number of local residents.
UKWAG said the proposal would result in a proliferation of windfarms in the north Tipperary area and “the ability of the landscape to absorb such developments will be exceeded”.
However, the board stated that the proposed wind- farm, either individually or in combination with other plans, would not adversely affect the integrity of any European-designated site.
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