The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment, Brian Stanley TD, has criticised the proposed new guidelines on windfarms. He was responding to reports that the new regulations will only make minor changes to set back distances and other criteria for installing wind turbines.
Deputy Stanley said:
“While some aspects of the reported guidelines can be welcomed, in general they will come as a disappointment to communities with concerns over industrial scale wind farms as are proposed for the midlands.
“While I welcome the indication wind farms would have to be placed at least one kilometre from towns and villages, the proposed 600 metre setback distance from dwellings is not sufficient. Such a distance would be adequate for smaller turbines, but totally inadequate for the giant turbines that are being constructed in the midlands. Set back distance must be based pro rata on the height of turbines.
“Sinn Féin has published a comprehensive bill regarding wind farm regulations, which would require a set back distance of ten times the height of the turbines. That is important given that some of the current proposals are for turbines which are higher than the Dublin spire. We would also like to see locally elected councils having the final say on developments.
“The reported wrangling and differences in the Labour Party over this issue along with the 27 month long ‘consultation period’ shows that either the government is dysfunctional or are deliberately delaying a decision until after the election.”
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