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The Environment Minister says he wouldn’t want to live beside a wind turbine

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has admitted that he would not want to live beside a wind turbine.

The Labour Party’s deputy leader questioned who would want a wind turbine beside their house as he answered questions about the government’s renewable energy policy on local radio this morning.

Several wind farm projects across the country have faced opposition in recent months with local action groups opposed to wind farms and electricity pylons in their area aiming to change the government’s energy policy.

Kelly recently told councillors in Donegal to drop changes to the county plan which had been aimed at increasing the minimum distance between pylons and homes.

Speaking on WLR FM this morning, Kelly was asked specifically about plans for 12 wind turbines to be constructed in Dungarvan and was then asked if he would have a turbine near his house. He responded:

“Personally, you wouldn’t want a turbine beside your house, of course not. Who would say that they would?,” he told the station.

He said that the government has laid down renewable energy targets and that it is his job to ensure the planning process for any turbine construction is “fair and balanced”.

He said that the Department of Environment will be releasing guidelines in relation to how and where turbines should be placed in the coming months which he claimed would “bring some clarity” to the matter.

Kelly also insisted that the planning process needs to be independent of the minister and that the rules around planning permission need to be clear, adding: ”That clarity will be brought into place in the very near future.”