Offaly Independent

Published: Wednesday, 11th December, 2013 4:08pm

Revised wind guidelines put out for public consultation

Profile by Laura Ryder

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A public consultation process on proposed revisions to the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines has today (Wednesday) been launched by Minister for Housing and Planning Jan O’Sullivan.

Revised sections being put out for public consultation today include proposals to set outdoor noise limits for future wind energy developments at 40 decibels regardless of time of day, a mandatory setback of 500m from dwellings, and a condition to be attached to all future planning permissions for wind farms to ensure no shadow flicker at any dwelling within ten rotor diameters of a turbine. If shadow flicker does occur, the draft guidelines propose that the wind energy develop or operator take necessary measures - such as shutting down the turbine for the necessary period - to eliminate the flicker.

The public consultation process comes on the back of a targeted review of existing guidelines focusing on noise, distance and shadow flicker.

Speaking today Minister O’Sullivan said it’s her intention that the final guidelines on wind energy development will have regard to the interests of communities, whilst at the same time recognising the importance of renewable, clean energy for the future of our environment and economy.

“I anticipate significant interest in the public consultation process and look forward to receiving and considering evidence-based submissions on these draft revisions,” she said.

The proposed revisions to the guidelines are available online at www.environ.ie.

Written submissions to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and via email to windsubmissions@environ.ie will be accepted until February 21 next.

It’s expected the guidelines will be finalised next year.

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