Safe­guards against wind farms to be in­tro­duced

Bray People - - COUNCIL REPORT -

CHANGES HAVE been made to Wick­low’s County De­vel­op­ment plan to safe­guard against wind farms in cer­tain ar­eas.

At Mon­day’s meet­ing Di­rec­tor of Plan­ning Des O’Brien out­lined the changes which would see more em­pha­sis placed on the land­scape par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty and ar­eas of spe­cial amenity.

The im­pact of shadow flicker from wind tur­bine ro­tors will also be looked at care­fully un­der the changes.

Cllr. Vin­cent Blake said wind farms were a prob­lem for nearby res­i­dents and wel­comed the changes while Cllr. Tommy Cullen dis­missed the changes say­ing it would leave 50 per of Wick­low open to the erec­tion of wind farms. This, he said, ‘will open the door for py­lons’.

He sug­gested in­clud­ing more ar­eas of West and South Wick­low in the changes and mak­ing them ‘not favoured’ for wind farms.

Cllr. Tom For­tune said his con­cern with wind farms was the ef­fect on tourism not­ing ‘ the re­al­ity is that we could have full em­ploy­ment in the county with tourism and agri­cul­ture’.

He said there was no ref­er­ence in the plan to tourism at all.

Cllr. Jim Rut­tle said that not agree­ing the vari­a­tions left the county more ex­posed to wind farms be­cause it would leave the older guide­lines in place.

Cllr. Cullen said he didn’t want to see Wick­low ‘ be­com­ing a dump­ing ground for all the wind farms in Bri­tain’. He again sug­gested tighter re­stric­tions which would see the plan be­ing put back on pub­lic dis­play and de­cided by the new coun­cil.

Cllr. Chris Fox said the vari­a­tions were ‘in­terim mea­sures be­cause of what hap­pened in Manor Kil­bride. There’s no doubt a na­tional plan needs to be agreed but it can’t be done here to­day.’

He noted that Wick­low’s County De­vel­op­ment Plan will be re­viewed shortly and these were in­terim mea­sures ‘ to make it stricter than it was’.

He told Cllr. Cullen ‘ there’s merit in what you say but it’s a fight for an­other day’. Cllr. Pat Vance said that re­ject­ing the vari­a­tions meant that the cam­paign­ing from the people of Manor Kil­bride ‘will be null and void. This is a ma­jor im­prove­ment on what ex­isted.’

In the end the ma­jor­ity of the coun­cil­lors voted in favour of the new changes.

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