Following a motion from the Roscommon Mayor at the March meeting, the county council called on the Dept. of Environment to put a stay on all Bord Pleanala Wind Farm decisions, until new Wind Energy guidelines are published. They also requested that the new guidelines be made retrospective where wind farm developments have not yet commenced.
Mayor Tom Crosby said he was informed that the guidelines would be published during the current year, and he believed Co. Roscommon was out of “kilt” with distances and relative heights.
Cllr. Tony Ward (Ind) from Curraghboy seconded the windfarm motion and said it is coming at an appropriate time.
“It’s a major issue when you have wind turbines around one hundred and thirty metres height, and it is totally inappropriate to have wind turbines within dwelling houses,” he said. “I would hope that the new guidelines come out soon.”
Tulsk based Cllr. Sean Beirne, who leads the Fine Gael side of Roscommon County Council supported the motion, and said he didn’t think Co. Roscommon was suitable for wind turbines, and that there is major tourism potential at both ends of the county.
However Fianna Fail’s Cllr. John Keogh from Monksland said he couldn’t support the motion, while he accepted the Mayor put it forward with the best of intentions. He was supported by his party colleague, Cllr. Eugene Murphy.
“I don’t see how it would be possible, because An Bord Pleanala is an independent body,” said Cllr. Keogh.
“The final word is left with the Minister,” said Mayor Crosby.
Meanwhile during the meeting, Fine Gael’s Cllr. John Naughten, welcomed the new draft revised policy document for the taking in charge of housing developments.
“As a member of the planning Strategic Policy Committee, I welcome this policy document, because the council is now formally in a position to address issues such as pumping stations not working, and lighting issues,” said the Drum based councillor.