Members of Kerry County Council have put forward a joint motion calling on Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy to put a halt on all future planning applications in relation to renewable energy projects such as wind turbines and battery stations until new guidelines are published.
The motion was made at the first meeting of the new Castleisland-Chorca Dhuibne Muncipal District, according to recently elected councillor Jackie Healy-Rae.
According to the independent councillor, the current guidelines which date back to 2006 for wind turbines are no longer fit for purpose – but local authorities are being asked to continue considering planning applications under guidelines of which could be obsolete in a number of months.
“New guidelines have been long coming with no end in sight and I believe it is only right and fair that, while these guidelines are still awaiting publication, any future planning application be either not accepted or put on hold to be consider in line with the new set of guidelines.”
Continuing, councillor Healy-Rae added: “This came on foot of my motion in relation to the lack of health and safety planning around battery stations, this is new emerging technology of which there are no guidelines.
“There are no battery stations in Ireland, but there are many applications in with local authorities – many of which have been granted.
“But yet, when it comes to proper planning and best practice, no answers can be given as there is no national guidelines being given nationally.
“At a time when Government is pushing new climate strategy and trying to be green, it is yet again putting the cart before the horse.
“It is grossly irresponsible and neglectful to be considering planning applications on guidelines that are 13 years old.
“Communities have been torn apart and destroyed by some of these applications and it is extremely unfair to allow this continue,” the Kerry councillor concluded.
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