Donegal TD Pearse Doherty yesterday has challenged the Taoiseach to clarify when the government will publish the revised planning guidelines for wind farms.
Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Doherty raised the case of communities in the Finn Valley where residents campaigned successfully against proposals to build a large scale wind farm close to local homes and businesses, only to face proposals to construct a similar project just a few months later.
He said the programme for government talks about the government’s awareness of “the distress and the divisions” in communities where wind farms are being imposed on them against the will of the people.
“And you pledge, and as a matter of urgency in fact, you state in the programme for government to update the planning guidelines within 3 to 6 months. We’re now ten months in from its publication, and we still have communities where wind farms are being hoisted upon them, and where there are plans for major wind farms.
“There is more distress and more division in those communities than ever, and they are asking when will government ever get off their hands and publish the guidelines that it promised to publish ten months ago.
“In my own community in Donegal, in the Finn Valley they’ve already mobilised and defeated a wind farm application which would have imposed a major wind farm very close to residential premises.
“Now we’re seeing that there’s a second wave of applications coming in for the same type of proposal and they are looking for the government to protect them.
“Nobody is against renewable energy. Nobody is against development. And no one is against infrastructure, but what people are against is when these type of developments are imposed in communities against their will and in very close proximity to individuals where there are ample other opportunities for them to be sited.
“Taoiseach, can you give clarity to communities in the Finn Valley, and right across this state who are looking for the government to fulfill that commitment that it gave to communities in the programme for government ten months ago?”