Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called for all Waterford councillors to work together and make a joint ‘all-of-Waterford’ submission regarding the review of the Government’s Wind Energy Development Guidelines that is currently underway.
The 2006 guidelines are almost a decade and a half out of date. There has been significant advances in technology and design since they were first published, and we have seen a proliferation of wind farm applications across the southern part of the country.
“There is an obligation on policy and decision makers to champion sustainable energy and to seek our solutions to our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation. I believe that this includes the use of wind to generate electricity, however we must be measured and disciplined in our development of wind energy, and avoid pitfalls and bad planning that we may live to regret.
“Placing colossal wind turbines in close proximity to homes is not sustainable and in many cases it is unsafe. Communities must be adequately consulted, and as public representatives councillors need to have a say in determining, on a strategic basis, what areas are open for development, and crucially, what areas are off limits.
“The unacceptable delays in formulating a new County Development Plan has tied the hands of planners and allowed developers to use old guidelines when planning new developments. I have requested a workshop to formulate a joint submission and I hope that my colleagues at Council take the opportunity to speak with one voice on this issue. On an issue of such long-term and strategic importance it is vital that all of us work together in the interests of the people we serve.”