Green light for Solar Farm in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Project was appealed by the Dennymore Solar Farm Concern Group

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@tipperarystar.ie

Green light for Solar Farm in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Permission has been granted to develop a controversial 'Solar Farm' near Roscrea, following a ruling by An Bord Pleanála.

Applicant IGP Solar was granted planning permission to develop a 58.11 hectare Solar PV Farm in Leonard's Bog, The Sheehys, Derrymore, Roscrea, on July 17 last year, subject to 14 conditions.

The proposed solar farm would consist of the installation of a 30-year operation and subsequent decommissioning of a series of ground mounted solar photovoltaic PV panels, mounted on steel support structures 3m in height, together with one single-storey ESB control room, 25 electrical transformation enclosures, underground cabling, CCTV poles and cameras, deer type security fencing, wooden fence along part of the M7 Motorway, wooden fence placed along the western site boundary, site entrance and access roads, including landscaping along the western and south eastern site boundaries, and other associated development works, for the purpose of generating renewable energy electricity.

The proposed solar farm will have a capacity of 25MW.

The decision was appealed on August 18, 2017, by the Dennymore Solar Farm Concern Group, on the grounds that it “does not support community investment in local renewable energy (RE3) and that the proposed development does not satisfy the requirements of the solar energy strategy with regards to impacts on the environment, the landscape, and amenity.”

Furthermore, the action group maintained that “conditions relating to the timescale for the permission are ambiguous and contrary to the Development Management guidelines,” and “it is argued that the conditions relating to glint/glare surveys are unenforceable and contrary to the Development Management Guidelines.”

On April 24th, An Bord Pleanala upheld the Co. Council's decision to grant permission, but attached revised conditions.

Some of these include that “the development shall be carried out and completed in accordance with the plans and particulars lodged with the application as amended by the further plans and particulars submitted on the 25th day of May 2017.”

Furthermore, the Proposed Acoustic Barrier is to be installed as per drawings. The permission shall be for a period of 25 years from the date of the commissioning of the solar array. Additionally, “no artificial lighting shall be installed or operated on site unless authorised by a prior grant of planning permission. CCTV cameras shall be fixed and angled to face into the site and shall not be directed towards adjoining property or the road. Cables within the site shall be located underground. The inverter/transformer stations shall be dark green in colour.” Full decision at pleanala.ie