Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty has, today (Friday), said that there is a lot more than just the long awaited publication of new Wind Energy Guidelines to worry about.
Referring to the ongoing and growing concerns around when the new Wind Energy Guidelines will be published, Doherty said that “it is absolutely unacceptable that we do not know under which Guidelines the upcoming oral hearing, which is scheduled to take place on the 16th of June, will be adjudicated under. We are being lead through this whole process blind folded and in utter legal limbo.
“Not only this, but what has not been discussed in the media or by politicians who are beating the same drum is the issue of licencing.”
Doherty revealed that “the licence under which Element Power are making their application for planning permission, which could see the erection of 46 industrial wind turbines in Co. Meath, is in the name of a different company, Oriel Windfarm Limited. So, why apply to build a windfarm in Meath, without a valid licence to do so in Meath?
“I am at odds as to why Element Power hasn’t yet changed the name on this licence. Additionally, the licence is for the cultivation of offshore wind, which is obviously not binding for this development.
“I believe that Element Power not transferring the name on the licence for the purposes and intent of the development of Emlagh is nothing less than a manipulative move to keep their options open.”
The Meath East TD explained that “Should planning permission be granted for this intrusive development, Element Power will be well within their rights to sell, resulting in mammoth profit for those behind Element.
“Changes can only be once made to this licence; in other words, should the licence be updated to specify Element Power as its owner for the development of Emlagh Windfarm, they will not be able to sell at a future date. Moreover, should Element be refused planning on this occasion, Element Power and Oriel Windfarm Ltd will be left with a licence that cannot be exercised anywhere else”.
Doherty concluded by stating that “this is not about strategic industrial development for Ireland, rather it is about Element Power making profit, which in itself is not illegal.
“Well I don't believe they should be able to profit off the back of our community and Meath's natural landscape without our cooperation."