Roscommon council calls for stay on wind farms

Roscommon County Council has called for a stay on all windfarm planning decisions until new wind energy guidelines are published.

Following a motion from the county Mayor, Cllr Tom Crosby, at its monthly meeting this week, the local authority agreed to write to the Department of the Environment requesting a stay on all Bord Pleanala windfarm decisions until the new guidelines emerge.

They also requested that the new guidelines become retrospective in cases where wind farm developments have not yet commenced.

Cllr Crosby said he was informed that the guidelines would be published during the current year, and he believed Roscommon was 'out of kilt' in terms of distances and relative heights.

Cllr Tony Ward seconded the windfarm motion and said it came at an appropriate time.

“It’s a major issue, when you have wind turbines around one hundred and thirty metres in height,' he said, adding that it was 'totally inappropriate' to have wind turbines beside private houses.

Cllr Sean Beirne, who leads the Fine Gael side of Roscommon County Council supported the motion. He said he didn’t think Roscommon was suitable for wind turbines, and that there was major tourism potential at both ends of the county.

However Fianna Fail’s Cllr John Keogh said he couldn’t support the motion, though he accepted the Mayor had 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.