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Call to alter Kerry wind turbine policy turned down

A call to alter Kerry County Council’s Development Plan on wind turbine policy has been turned down.

At the monthly meeting of the local authority, Fianna Fáil Cllr John Joe Culloty wanted a minimum set back distance of ten times the height of turbines from houses inserted into the county’s policy documents.

The Chief Executive, however, reiterated that councils have been ordered by central government not to alter policy as new national wind energy guidelines are being developed.

Cllr John Joe Culloty wants to see Kerry County Council’s policy on set back distances for wind turbines altered immediately.

Chief Executive Moira Murrell says if the council was to alter its County Development Plan now, it would be going against the direction from the Minister with responsibility for this area.

She also says any wind farm application refused because of such changes to council policy would be appealed to An Bord Pleanala, who would deem this policy to be in direct contravention of national wind energy guidelines.

Ms Murrell says a recent parliamentary response indicated the new national guidelines would be ready early in the New Year.

The Chief Executive also says it’s expected that a Landscape Character Assessment for Kerry will be brought before councillors at the December monthly meeting.

This document identifies, maps and describes the character of a landscape, and forms the basis for future decision making.

Ms Murrell hopes that by the time the Landscape Character Assessment comes before councillors, that there will be a public consultation on the new national wind energy guidelines.