Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if consideration will be given to placing a temporary moratorium on wind energy developments until such time as the review, by his Department, of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guide lines has been completed .
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the updating and reviewing of his Department’s 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines will be complete.
– Seán Kyne.
Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Ms. J. O’Sullivan)
I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 395 together.
The Wind Energy Development Guidelines (June 2006) provide advice to planning authorities on catering for wind energy through the development plan process. The guidelines are also intended to ensure a consistency of approach throughout the country in the identification of suitable locations for wind energy development and the treatment of planning applications for such developments.
In order to ensure that Ireland continues to meet its renewable energy targets and, at the same time, that wind energy does not have negative impacts on local communities my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and other stakeholders, is undertaking a targeted review of certain aspects of the Wind Energy Guidelines 2006.
This focused review will examine the manner in which the Guidelines address key issues of community concern such as noise, proximity and visual amenity and any other potential impacts, as considered appropriate, as well as ways of building community support for wind energy development.
All statutory planning guidelines issue first in draft form for a public consultation over a period of a couple of months. Once the consultation period is closed the submissions received on the draft guidelines are considered and taken into account in the final form of the guidelines. The draft guidelines will – like all other new or revised guidelines – go out for extensive public consultation for a period of 6 weeks to 2 months. The indicative timetable for the publication of the draft guidelines is Quarter 3 or Quarter 4 2013.
I do not think it either appropriate or necessary to impose a moratorium on planning applications for wind energy development at this time.