Offaly wind farm issue raised in the Dáil
Sinn Féin TD for Laois and candidate in for Laois-Offaly in the next election, Brian Stanley has raised the question of the lack of guidelines on wind farm construction in the Dáil.
"There are no specific planning regulations in place for the large scale wind turbine developments across the state," he argued. He said to the Minister, “in the Programme for Government there is a commitment to have guidelines in place within 3 - 6 months. That commitment was made over two years ago but we still have not seen the guidelines.”
Brian Stanley TD went on to say in the Dáil: “The previous Government also promised guidelines in this area. Four Ministers later, we still have not received them. We must have good planning and get communities on board."
"The problem is that huge wind farms are springing up in the meantime. The most recent one to be granted planning permission comprises of 12 giant turbines in Moanvane, Walsh Island on the far side of Portarlington, County Offaly. The turbines are well in excess of 500 m in height and within 700 m of some homes," Stanley explained.
“The Government has proposed draft guidelines but we have not yet seen proper guidelines to regulate these wind farms. It is an urgent issue which every recent Government has danced around. It is time for that dancing to stop. Communities in Laois and Offaly need protection.”
The Minister promised the guidelines will be updated and will soon be available.
Speaking afterwards, Brian Stanley said: “Sinn Féin put forward a bill last September, that would have provided a legal setback distance for wind turbines, as well as other protections but it was voted against by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil."
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