Financial contribution promised by Roscrea solar farm

Thursday, 3 August 2017

IN A BID to ease tensions with the local community over plans to erect a controversial solar farm near Roscrea, the company behind the project has pledged to makiing a significant financial contribution to the local community.

British based Island Green Power and Roscrea Solar Farm Ltd, were recently granted planning permission to proceed with the construction of a gigantic 148-acre solar farm, 50 times the size of Croke Park, at Leonard's bog in Derrymore near Roscrea and Knock village.

An action group set up by local people to oppose the construction of the €30-million facility have announced they plan to appeal the decision to grant planning to An Bord Pleanála and mount a legal challenge to the decision.

Tipperary County Council attached 14 condition to the planning permission and the community believe several of the conditions cannot be legally enforced.

However, this week the company announced they plan to contribute €50,000 to the local community as a gesture of goodwill - a move which was welcomed as a positive step by local Councillor Michael Smith, who had previously expressed concerns about the project.

Cllr Smith said there was concerns among the community that some financial contribution was not stipulated in the planning stages and that the community were upset at the lack of consultation on the project.

"At least now we have a commitment from them in writing that a community forum will be set up and that those who are interested and primarily all community groups in Knock can directly benefit from the project," he said.

Many people in the small community of Knock feel they were already treated badly when the wind turbine farm was constructed in Monahincha and have strongly voiced their scepticism about the new solar development.

The area was also transected by the new M7 motorway, which saw great swathes of farming land held by local families for generations be carved up to allow the roadworks proceed - a cause of great upset among the local farming community at the time.

The proposed solar farm will consist of the installation of a 30 year operation and subsequent decommissioning of 119,000 ground mounted solar panels on steel supports standing three metres high.

The facility will also include a single storey ESB control room, access roads and other associated development works for the purpose of generating renewable energy.


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