The Minister's Guidelines on Windfarms published today are a further attempt by the present Government to systematically undermine the little environmental protection there is in Ireland.
INFRINGES EU DIRECTIVES
While everyone welcomes alternative energy, it cannot be at the cost of obligations to protect habitats and species under European Directives. The Guidelines suggest that National Climate Change Strategy and compliance with the Kyoto protocol on climate change can override European designations of Special Areas of Protection for Birds and Special Areas of Conservation. But these designations cannot be undermined by national Guidelines no matter how worthy the intention. No matter how carefully designed, wind turbines are incompatible with environmental protection in many areas of Ireland. If these Guidelines are implemented as they stand, their failure to respect European conservation designations will inevitably lead to more legal infringement proceedings against Ireland.
FAILS TO ALLOW FULL ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTS
Further, the separation of the transmission infrastructure, which can be extensive and invasive - from the planning application for wind turbines has not been addressed. This leaves residents unable to properly assess the impact of the whole development on their property when considering a planning application.