Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (72)

Brian O'Shea


51 Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the details of new planning guidelines aimed at creating a five-fold increase in the State’s output of wind energy in relation to the announcement in August 2004; if these new guidelines are in place; if he plans to proceed with the construction of wind farms in areas designated as areas for natural heritage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27333/04]

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

Draft guidelines for planning authorities on wind energy development were published for public consultation on 4 August 2004. A total of 65 submissions were received by the closing date for the receipt of submissions on 30 September 2004. They are now under consideration by my Department. It is intended to publish the finalised guidelines in early 2005. Planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála will be required to have regard to them thereafter.

Regarding areas designated for natural heritage protection, the draft guidelines state that the designation of a site for conservation of natural or geological does not preclude the development of wind energy. The draft guidelines advise that "the best results in relation to incorporation of heritage considerations into development proposals in designated sites are achieved where prospective applicants and planning authorities work together to identify whether the development may impinge upon particular aspects of heritage, with a view to agreeing on any measures that may be needed to avoid or minimise any potential adverse impacts on heritage."

Question No. 52 answered with QuestionNo. 20.
Question No. 53 answered with QuestionNo. 50.
Question No. 54 answered with QuestionNo. 9.