A decision by An Bord Pleanala to allow a wind turbine be built by a factory in Dungarvan may have implications for the proposed turbine at Procter and Gamble’s site in Nenagh.
The Gortlandroe-based pharmaceutical manufacturer had lodged a planning application in 2013 with the old North Tipperary County Council for a turbine that would be 131 metres in height.
However, the plan ran into opposition from residents in surrounding areas, including Coolaholloga, Richmond, Ardan Rua, Killnasalla, Wilton, Gortlandroe, Clonaslee, St Conlon’s Road, Drom na Coille and Dromin Road, who formed the Nenagh Wind Turbine Opposition Group.
The council subsequently refused planning permission, which was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
The board was due to make its decision by July 5, but that has now been postponed.
In a letter to the opposition group last week, which has been seen by the Tipperary Star, the board said that it regretted to inform the group that the board was not in a position to determine the appeal before the July 5 date.
“An inspector’s report has been received and the file is at board level. The continuing delay is due to the need for further consideration at board level,” the letter states.
The decision had previously been delayed because of what was described as the “complexity of the issue”.
The Tipperary Star understands that the opposition group is now concerned over the decision last month by An Bord Pleanala to uphold a decision by Waterford County Council to grant permission for a wind turbine at the GlaxoSmithKline plant in Dungarvan. That decision has since been welcomed by the company and will see a single wind turbine built at its site, subject to a number of conditions, similar to the one proposed by Procter and Game, though not as high.
Many of the arguments put forward by Glaxo for the turbine were similar to those of Procter, who listed its chances to compete at an energy-efficient level with other P+G plant’s worldwide for new business. P+G estimates that a turbine would cut its energy bill by up to $1m annually.
However, NWTOG had opposed the planning application on the basis that the turbine, which would be three times the height of Nenagh Castle, would be a blot on the landscape, that residents would suffer from noise and flicker and house prices would be diminished by having it close to residential areas. The proposed turbine would be 450 metres from the nearest house.
As well as building the turbine, Procter intends to cut costs by tapping into natural gas when it comes to Nenagh in 2015.