Labour to debate restrictions on wind turbine development
The Labour parliamentary party will this week debate proposals to introduce new restrictions on the development of wind turbines close to people's homes.
TDs and senators are demanding changes in "set-back distances" and the introduction of a cap on the size of turbines.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly is understood to be considering plans to increase the distance required between homes and turbines from 500m to 700m.
The Labour deputy leader is expected to bring in changes to planning guidelines after serious concern was raised by a number of TDs and senators.
These include Labour chairman and Kildare TD Jack Wall, Longford-Westmeath TD Willie Penrose and party senators John Whelan and Denis Landy.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr Penrose said he intends to raise the issue at this week's party meeting.
"There is deep concern across the midlands about these turbines and the impact they could have. This is a matter that must be addressed urgently," Mr Penrose said.
"There needs to be a significant increase in the set-back distance for a start as the current 500m distance is not enough."
According to RTE's 'This Week' programme, Mr Kelly is also considering a 'height-to-distance matrix' clause whereby the higher the proposed turbine, the further back it must be from the residential property.