The Suir Valley Environmental Group has welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission for wind turbines in the foothills of Sliabh na mBan on the Tipperary-Kilkenny border and close to the internationally renowned Neolithic passage tomb at Knockroe in Kilkenny close to The Slate Quarries.
The proposal by DunoAir for eight industrial wind turbines on Carrigadoon Hill and Curraghdobbin Hill was met by a vast number of objections from the communities of Faugheen, Ahenny, Ballyneale, Tullahought, Windgap and the surrounding areas.
‘This has been a huge community effort to safeguard the landscape, heritage, community and local environment,’ said Suir Valley Environmental Group Chairman, Milo Power. ‘We are thankful for everyone in our community coming together to fight this development, because in the end, community won out.’
An Bord Pleanála cited the nationally important landscape and heritage and road safety as reasons for the refusal combined with the designation of the area by Tipperary County Council as closed to wind energy development.
In their refusal the board stated that; ‘because of its location on a prominent ridge within a nationally important landscape framed by Slievenamon Mountain and within sight of a number of historic monuments…[the development] would have unacceptable visual and landscape impacts in such a sensitive area’.
The board also said that they; ‘considered that this local road access at Newtown NS would be unsuitable for a construction project of the nature and scale proposed. The proposed development would, therefore, endanger public safety by way of traffic hazard’.
‘We are delighted that An Bord Pleanála has upheld Tipperary County Council’s decision to refuse permission for these wind turbines in the foothills of Sliabh na mBan,’ Pete Smith, Suir Valley Environmental Group PRO from Piltown.
‘This is an iconic landscape full of nationally important historic sites with a vibrant community. This decision is testament to the strength of our community and the value we place on our landscape, heritage, local environment and safety,” he added.
In 2016 Tipperary County Council closed Carrigadoon and Curraghdobbin Hills to wind energy development, however the north side of the hills in the Ahenny area remains open.
‘This refusal underlines the significance and iconic status of our landscape and heritage, something which DunoAir failed to recognise,’ continued Pete Smith.
‘Any attempt by a wind energy company to gain permission in our area would be foolish for all the reasons stated by both Tipperary County Council and An Bord Pleanála. We believe that this refusal will protect the entire area from these industrial wind turbines for the foreseeable future,” he added.
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