Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Doherty calls for clarity on wind farm planning guidelines

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called on the Minister for the Environment to make a clear and unambiguous statement on the new wind guidelines that are going to cabinet shortly, and specifically how they will impact live active applications.

"We have been looking for clarity on this now for months and it is not forthcoming. While I appreciate that this is a highly complex issue and the Minister is currently awaiting clarity from the Attorney General, we have an oral hearing on the 16th June with regard to planning application PA0038 which proposes to develop a wind farm containing 46 wind turbines in Emlagh Windfarm in Co. Meath.

"We are now in legal limbo.

"Local community groups and private citizens in Co. Meath are putting up thousands of their own money, and money which they have worked hard to fundraise, into preparing for the oral hearing into a wind farm in North Co. Meath. It is simply not good enough that we find ourselves in the position of not knowing under which guidelines this, and other planning applications will be adjudicated under.

"Added to these complications, we have a legal challenge in the High Courts to the applications SID status which could also effect the outcome of the An Bord Pleanala hearings."

"It would be prudent for the Minister to make a clear statement now on his expectations in this regard, or pause all current applications until there is legal clarity. Without such clarity we are wasting the hard raised money of objectors in a process which is far from clear."

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