Cllr. Orla Leyden said that she is dismayed at the Government’s decision not to increase the mandatory setback distance for high powered wind turbines from the current 500 metres from homes. While turbines will have to be built a distance of four times the height of the turbine from residences, she said that this simply does not go far enough.
Cllr. Leyden, who made a submission to the Department’s Wind Energy Guidelines, sought a minimum distance of ten times the height of the turbine from residences.
She said: “I’m really disappointed in Minister Naughten and Minister Coveney who had the opportunity to put safeguards in place to protect rural communities threatened with industrial wind farms and failed to do so. They have completely ignored the detrimental impact of shadow flicker on residents living beside wind turbines with those affected saying they can’t sit in their gardens or work or relax in their homes with the constant battering of the flicker in the afternoon and evening.”
She added that she was also concerned as to how the noise levels are to be monitored, how robust the system of monitoring is and ultimately who will be responsible for enforcement.
Cllr. Leyden said: “Many people in Sliabh Bán are negatively impacted by noise emission from the industrial wind farm on the mountain and their concerns have not been addressed to date. This is not acceptable.”
Cllr. Leyden has called on Minister Naughten to go back to government and increase the set back of wind turbines to residences to at least ten times the height of the turbine and to bring in legislation through his department to cease all subsidisation of onshore wind energy in Ireland.