New Development Plan must not force wind turbines on rural communities

Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that the new Development Plan for Waterford must not facilitate the imposition of colossal wind turbine structures on rural communities. 

McGuinness said:

“I have made a submission on wind energy development in Waterford as part of the public consultation for the new Development Plan. I have been very clear in my conviction that the well-being and sustainability of rural communities in Co. Waterford cannot be scarified to make way for colossal wind turbines that will supply only intermittent power. 

“We need to move away from fossil fuels and begin developing more renewable energy sources, however we must be strategic and measured in how we do this. We need to see increased investment in micro-generation, where homes, businesses, farms and public buildings are equipped to generate electricity and send unused power to the grid. This is the norm across much of Europe but we are over a decade behind in Ireland. 

“We need a strong, future-proofed plan that doesn’t allow developers ride roughshod over rural communities. I have called for meaningful community consultation to be written into the guidelines, and for increased set back distances from existing buildings. My submission calls for ecologically sensitive parts of Waterford to be designated as No Go areas for wind energy development, including the entire coastline. Areas where the siting of turbines would negatively impact on agriculture, fisheries, public amenity, rural development, tourism, or biodiversity must also be ruled out for wind turbines. 

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in this matter to make their views know. This current round of public consultation ends on 14th of September.”

Read the submission here

You can make a submission of your own on the Council’s consultation website by clicking here.

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