‘Successive Governments to blame for lack of proper safeguards against destructive wind farms’ – Cllr claims
Sinn Féin Councillor for the Stranorlar Electoral Area, Cllr Liam Doherty, has today (Monday) blamed the ‘short sightednesses of successive Governments for the current lack of adequate legislative safeguards in place to protect communities from the devastating impact of poorly planned and ill-advised wind farm developments.
Councillor Doherty made his comments following last week’s public meeting which was organised by locals opposed to a planned wind farm development for the area.
“Successive Governments have failed to afford local communities adequate protection against the imposition of destructive, poorly planned and unsightly wind farms such as that proposed for Carrickduff Hill and Lismullyduff here in the Finn Valley.”
“In 2006, under the previous Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government, the Strategic Infrastructure Bill was rushed through the Dáil and this effectively allowed for County Development Plans – which were originally designed to ensure proper planning and sustainable development in each County – to be over ruled at national level.”
“The passage of the Bill has allowed for decisions taken by democratically elected members of local authorities to be undermined, effectively removing all safeguards against unruly developments being imposed upon our local communities – this is yet another assault on rural areas.”
“However, the current Government is no different as it has yet to do anything to address or correct this situation and current legislation fails to properly protect homeowners from these developments.”
“Sinn Féin has been the only party to put forward a viable, coherent and practical policy with regards to the regulation of wind farms, that’s why the party tabled the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill last year, which would have introduced proper zoning regulation, established minimum setback distancing as well as making it mandatory for developers to engage in consultation with the local community.”
“Let’s be clear, nobody is opposed to renewable energy nor are they against sustainable development, what people are opposed to however is being forced to live with the consequences of bad planning decisions.”
“Should these plans be allowed to proceed in their present form, it will result in the industrialisation of the area; the people of the Finn Valley are understandably frightened by the prospect of huge turbines being built on their doorstep.”
“I understand that locals are set to lodge objections to planning authorities and to Minister Alan Kelly in the coming days; I am now calling on the Minister to give serious consideration to the various concerns of the local community here.”
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