Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (27)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

22 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he is planning the introduction of restrictions or controls on the location of wind farms in view of the findings of the consultants report that found that the work on a wind farm in the Slieve Aughty mountains caused the major bogslide at Derrybrien in October 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5863/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

My Department is currently revising the guidelines for planning authorities on wind farm development, which were published in 1996. The draft guidelines will encourage planning authorities to indicate, through their development plans, the appropriate locations for wind farms having regard to such factors as visual impact, impact on the surrounding environment and on the landscape. The guidelines will offer guidance to planning authorities on the reports that should accompany a planning application for a wind energy development including, where necessary, an environmental impact study to address,inter alia, the geological impacts of the wind energy development. The revised guidelines will be published for public consultation in the coming weeks.