Wind turbine setback distance up for review
Minister appoints independent inspector after court challenge
The ongoing dispute over setback distances for wind turbines from residential homes is to go to arbitration, it was confirmed this week.
Confusion has broken out over who has responsibility for setting the required setback distance for wind turbines following a High Court challenge.
However, an independent inspector will be appointed by Planning Minister Simon Coveney before the end of the month.
The inspector is to report back to Minister Coveney, who will then decide on the matter within a further six weeks.
The court challenge was taken by independent Donegal councillor John Campbell against attempts by the last government to standardise setback distances nationally.
Mr Campbell took the court action after the Environment Department overruled efforts by Donegal County Council to introduce guidelines under the county development plan, which stipulated wind turbines could not be erected within 1km of a residential home.
The setback distances allowed under the national guidelines are 500m and over.
The case was listed to be heard in the High Court on June 21, but was settled in advance of the hearing commencing, with both sides agreeing to wait on the findings of the independent inspector.