- Deadline for removal has passed
- Turbine still turning
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has warned that there will be an escalation by Clare County Council unless a controversial wind turbine erected in Parteen is removed as requested.
The developer was mandated by a planning enforcement order to remove the windmill on his property by Thursday, April 8th but this has yet to happen.
“As of now, the structure hasn’t been removed and still stands 100m tall over the surrounding village and homes,” said Deputy Crowe.
“Throughout the four-week period through which the developer was required to comply with this directive, the windmill rotated and operated on an almost continual basis which really frustrated residents.
“I have made the council aware of this and have asked them to expediently now move this dispute to its next phase, which may now involve a legal process up to and including a court case and possible a hefty fine.
“In the month since the enforcement order was issued by Clare County Council, we have seen a very positive announcement made by the ESB in terms of developing a colossal offshore windfarm along the Clare and Kerry coasts.
“I really see this as being the future of renewable energy both in Clare and the West of Ireland, with this development alone having the capacity to provide electricity to 85 percent of all Irish homes.
“We need quickly to move to an economy that’s more dependent on renewable energy but in the national rush to develop this infrastructure, we can’t install it at inappropriate locations on an ad hoc basis.
“I think that the siting of a windmill in a village centre is entirely inappropriate, owing to the scale of it and its dominance in the skyline.
“Many people in Clare struggle to obtain planning permission to build homes and often must lower the roof height in order to be granted permission – yet it’s wrong in an area that’s residential and largely made up of bungalows and dormers that a structure seven or eight times their height would be allowed to be built.
“The Parteen wind turbine is of similar height to Big Ben at Westminster in London – it’s far too large for its location.
“Going forward there’s an urgent need for the new wind energy guidelines which are at a very advanced stage and undergoing final scrutiny with the department to be formally issued to all local authorities.
“A very delicate balance has to be struck between achieving a low carbon emission economy and also not landing colossal and intrusive infrastructure on top of communities.
“The new draft guidelines crucially will include a stipulation that wind turbines should be set back at least 500m from nearby homes.
“I think that this stipulation will ensure that future wind turbines will only be developed in the most rural parts of out countryside and also increasingly on an offshore basis.
“The ticking clock has run out in Parteen and now it is imperative that Clare County Council quickly move to escalate matters so that the wind turbine there is dismantled and that the field in which it’s located is restored to its normal agricultural state in the quickest possible time.”