Laois opinions sought on new wind energy guidelines

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Wind farm at Mount Lucas Offaly

Wind farm at Mount Lucas Offaly

Laois County Council has invited the public to make submissions to Ireland’s Wind Energy Guidelines 2006 which are being updated.

Council CEO John Mulholland made the invite in his monthly management report to the January council meeting.

The review will address guidelines on sound, noise, visual amenity setback, shadow flicker, consultation obligations, community dividend and grid connections.

It is 2013 since a draft review of the 2006 guidelines was first promised by the Government. That year Laois politicians called in unison for a halt on wind turbine developments until the guidelines were updated, to no avail. 

It followed the launch of the Midlands Wind Project to harness wind energy for the UK, and predictions of 450 turbines in Laois of 185m in height built by companies including Bord na Mona and Element Power (now owned by Statkraft).

The then Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte told the Leinster Express in 2013 that progress would not be halted to wait for updated guidelines. 

“I don’t think it will take long to complete the process (of updating guidelines).” he said.

The public is invited to email submissions to WEDGReview: housing.gov.ie or write to WEDG Review Submissions, Planning Policy and Legislation Section, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1, DO1W6X0.

The consultation period closes at 5pm on February 19.