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Alternative Energy Projects.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Questions (176, 177)

Willie Penrose

Question:

175 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding the erection of wind turbines, for commercial and industrial purposes; the restrictions and/or the prohibitions of such commercial turbines being erected in built-up or residential areas; if height restrictions apply to the erection of such industrial and commercial wind turbines; if restrictions apply to their proximity to dwelling houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12112/10]

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Willie Penrose

Question:

181 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the relevant regulations which pertain to applications for planning permission to erect commercial and industrial wind turbines with particular reference to the location and the proximity to areas of significant housing populations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12111/10]

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

I propose to take Questions Nos. 181 and 175 together.

I refer to the reply to Question No. 586 of 2 February, 2010. Planning applications, including applications for planning permission to erect wind turbines, must comply with the requirements of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008.

My Department's Wind Energy Development Guidelines, issued to planning authorities in June 2006, offers advice on determining applications for wind energy including various aspects of planning and site selection. One of the aims of these guidelines is to ensure consistency of approach throughout the country in the identification of suitable locations for wind energy developments, having regard to, inter alia, proximity to existing dwellings and settlements, noise and safety aspects, as well as impacts on the natural, built and geological heritage. The guidelines also clearly state that the relevant development plan policies should inform and be taken into account in assessing appropriate locations for wind energy developments.

Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2008 provide for certain exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission. Classes 2(b) and 56(c) of Part 1 and Class 18(b) of Part 2 of the Regulations provide for exemptions in relation to wind turbines, in homes and in the industrial, business and agricultural sectors, subject to conditions. A summary of the conditions relating to these exemptions is provided as follows.

Planning and Development Regulations 2007

Wind turbines within the curtilage of a domestic property

No exemption for building-mounted turbines

Max height up to 13m

Rotor diameter up to 6m

Ground clearance of at least 3m

Must be turbine height (including the blade of the turbine at the highest point of its arc) plus 1m from nearest party boundary

Consent of Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) required if within 5 km of an airfield, etc

Noise levels must be less than 43 db(A) during normal operation

Only 1 per site

No structure constructed, erected or placed forward of the front wall of a house

No logos and non-reflective finish

Planning and Development Regulations 2008

Wind turbines within the curtilage of a commercial, industrial or agricultural property

No exemption for building-mounted turbines

Max height up to 20m

Rotor diameter up to 8m

Ground clearance of at least 3m

Must be turbine height plus 5m from nearest party boundary and non-electrical overhead cables

Must be turbine height plus 20 m from 38 kV lines or own height plus 30 m from lines of 110 kV or more

Consent of IAA required if within 5 km of an airfield, etc

Noise levels must be less than 43 db(A) at site boundary

Only 1 per site, and not within an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA)

No logos and non-reflective finish

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