Council plots to make planning more difficult for wind farms
WICKLOW County Council will prepare a number of options varying the County Development Plan which should make planning more difficult for wind farms.
However, the variations to the plan won't have any affect on a a planning application already lodged for a wind farm at Butter Mountain in Manor Kilbride.
Cllr. Pat Vance presented the variations after chairing a SPC meeting to discuss the options available to vary the CDP. Of the four options presented to the council, three were voted for favourably by the council and will go out for public consultation once documentation and maps are prepared.
The variations won't have any impact on the Butter Mountain application as planning for that development was sought before the variations to the CDP were voted for.
The second option places more emphasis on landscape vulnerability and in particular, all landscapes designated 'areas of outstanding beauty' and 'areas of special amenity' in the County Landscaped Classification that are not currently in the 'most favoured' category of the Wind Energy Strategy be re-designated 'not favoured/'less favoured'.
Option three focuses on varying the Wind Energy Strategy such that more emphasis is placed on 'views and prospects'. Wind farm development will not be considered in Red areas contained within the County Development Plan.
Wind farm development will not be considered in Orange areas, but the sensitivities revealed in these areas would render exploitation more problematic and therefore these areas are less favoured for wind development.
Wind farm development will be considered favourably in areas on the map designated green, subject to compliance with all necessary sitting and design standards. In particular, due regard shall be taken of listed views and prospects and any development that would contravene Objective VP1 of the Plan will not be considered favourably.
The variation option four aims to set a clear objective regarding the extent of assessment of impacts on human beings included in the plan.
All applications for wind turbines with a rotor development of 50m or less shall include a detailed assessment of noise and shadow flicker impacts on all residencies within 500m of any turbine.
Applications providing for a rotor diameter in excess of 50 m shall include a detailed assessment of noise and shadow flicker on all residencies within a minimum radius of 10 times the diameter of the rotor e.g. a wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 65m will be required to carry out an assessment of impacts on all residences within a minimum of 650 m radius of any turbine.