Senator John Whelan has slammed “the scandal” of the delay in wind turbine guidelines, claiming it is a tactic to ensure planning permissions are approved before the guidelines come into force.
“Only this week, An Bord Pleanála overturned the decision of Offaly County Council and Laois County Council to grant planning permission for gigantic and monstrous industrial wind farms in Rhode, County Offaly and Cullenagh Mountain in Ballyroan, County Laois,” he said.
“What is the point in a planning process when the decision of the inspector of An Bord Pleanála recommending refusal of permission can be overturned by the board of An Bord Pleanála?”
He went on to decry the “further fraud” being perpetrated on the Irish taxpayer in terms of the energy regulator moving to increase the subsidy to wind farm developers by 50%.
“This is not cheap or free energy; it is the most expensive energy.”
Speaking recently in the Seanad, Sen Whelan also accused Eirgrid of pulling off “a sly PR stunt”, by suggesting that it will place high-voltage power cables underground in Mayo.
“I spent six days at an An Bord Pleanála hearing in Portlaoise where 23 EirGrid executives refused to consider undergrounding 1.5km of power lines in the scenic area of Ratheniska,” he said.
Warning that the EirGrid expansion is being built for the benefit of big wind-farm developers who want to destroy the countryside, he called on the Minister to explain why the planning laws are different in two different parts of the country.