Article Republished By Javier Troconis
A Larry Goodman-owned organic meat producer, the Good Herdsmen has emerged as one of 26 parties to appeal against a grant of permission for a €30m solar farm in Co Tipperary.
Last month, Tipperary County Council granted planning permission to Renewable Energy Systems for the development of a solar farm at Rathduff, Thomastown Demesne South, Co Tipperary.
The Council gave the green light for the project after its case planner concluded that it would not have an adverse impact on the character of the area or adjoining properties in the vicinity of the site.
Over 70 objections were lodged against the scheme with 26 parties now appealing the council decision to An Bord Pleanála.
Founder and Managing Director of the Good Herdsmen, John Purcell has claimed in an objection that the planned solar farm “will have an adverse effect on my business”.
Mr Purcell operates his 350-acre organic farm adjacent to the proposed site of the solar farm. The proposed solar farm is located 3km from Bansha village and 7.5km east of Tipperary town.
He said that the proposed solar farm “destroys what we have tried to achieve over the last 22 years and kills a vision I have for my farm for my sons and future generations”.
Mr Purcell said the solar panels proposed “have the potential to cause a catastrophic visual impact and will ruin the image that nature and Good Herdsmen have established and worked hard to create”.
Mr Goodman’s ABP’s organic beef brand, Good Herdsmen operates a factory employing 20 in Cahir with a further six employed on the organic farm and its operations.
Mr Purcell has claimed that the promoters of the solar farm propose to convert 107 acres of Golden Vale land “into a sea of plastic and metal panels”.
A planning statement lodged with the application states that the solar farm will produce 25MW of renewable energy sufficient to power 6,406 homes per year.
The statement says the project will help Co Tipperary fulfil its aims of increased renewable energy production and assist in the national effort to achieve legally binding renewable energy targets.
It also states that the proposed development is deemed to have struck an acceptable balance between renewable energy production and all relevant planning and environmental considerations.
Others to appeal the Council decision include Margaret Kennedy, Caroline and John Bourke, Caitriona Bn Ui Annraghain, Denis Pollard Jnr, South Tipperary Solar Farm Concern Group, Maria Bailey, Michael & Mary Joyce, Chris Bailey, VESI Environmental Limited and Carol, Emma and Daisy Welsh.
A decision is due by the appeals at the end of August.