- Miltown Malbay plans withdrawn
- Inland developments significant concern for local communities
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is calling for a re-examination of how inland windfarms in Ireland are developed.
It comes as plans for a development of eight 175m high turbines for Slieveacurry near Miltown Malbay have been withdrawn – the plans were subject to widespread objections from the locality.
“I think we need to reappraise how windfarms are developed on inland sites going forward,” said Deputy Crowe.
“We’ve seen the reaction in Clare to these recent plans, we saw last year the controversy around the landslide at a windfarm site in Donegal.
“Above all, inland windfarms are now believed to be only 40% efficient whereas 100% efficiency is achieved with offshore wind developments – so it makes sense to take stock of things.
“New national guidelines on wind energy are imminent and will be shortly circulated to all local authorities.
“In recent months, I have been engaging via Zoom with a number of resident groups around Clare who have shared with me their huge concerns in relation to an increase in applications made for new windfarms.
“I believe windfarm developers should cease applying for projects until these are in place.
“The new guidelines will continue to facilitate windfarms but only at a reasonable distance of 500m or more back from residential properties.
“Going forward, though, we need to see more windfarms being developed on offshore locations where they are far more eff and less obstructive visually on landscape and less likely to be met with objections.
“At the moment, the legislation governing offshore windfarms is hugely outdated and will be overhauled over next 12 months by Dáil Éireann.
“This new legislation along with the new guidelines should see an increased provision of windfarms but more so on an offshore basis and this is what the majority of people want to see.
“I look forward to seeing some positive change in this regard.”