Michael Colreavy TD, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural resources has called for a vote taken by members of Westmeath County Council on wind turbines to be respected by the government.
Speaking during a debate on the issue today, Deputy Colreavy said:
“Following a vote by members of Westmeath County Council to restrict wind turbine developments to regulated areas and to impose a minimum setback distance, the council received a letter from the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan.
“The letter informed the council that the democratic decision they took was not in line with national policy, namely the Planning and Development Act.
“The wind turbine issue is currently a very controversial topic, not least in the Midlands area where it has been proposed that industrial wind turbines will generate large volumes of energy to be exported to Britain.
“The letter from the Minister is very worrying as it appears that they are attempting to steamroll through these developments without paying any heed to local democracy or to the concerns of local residents.
“When this government came to power it promised a democratic revolution, but what has been delivered is an all-out attack on local government and local democracy.
“I would call on the Minister to change her mind on her decision to block the democratic voice of Westmeath County Council and respect the wishes of the people of Westmeath, and indeed of the people of Ireland.
“Sinn Féin will soon launch a piece of legislation to include minimum set back distance for wind turbine developments.”