Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy said that the provision of a single wind turbine to the local community in the Sliabh Bán area of Strokestown could provide free electricity for residents.
Eugene Murphy said that he raised this issue with Coillte officials this week as he urged the consideration of a single wind turbine under community ownership which would provide free electricity in a five or ten mile radius of the development.
Deputy Murphy was speaking this week following a number of complaints from residents over noise pollution from the wind farm development in Sliabh Bán.
“I accept that noise pollution is a major issue for some families in the area at the moment, however there is legislation to deal with noise pollution issues and I have spoken to Coillte officials this week who informed me that the turbines are not fully commissioned yet and the noise levels will be adjusted. I have received complaints from four different families about noise issues- some people are affected by the noise while others are not but it is important that those who are affected have their views represented,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD said that he urged Coillte to look at the possibility of transferring a single wind turbine to local community ownership which could provide free electricity for residents in a five or ten mile radius. He said that as a Cabinet Minister Denis Naughten is ideally placed to help provide a positive outcome for the local community.
Deputy Murphy said that he was also pursing more tourism options in relation to Sliabh Bán with Coillte and he noted that a number of the recreational facilities would open in May/June and he was hopeful that the planned walkways could prove a major visitor attraction as similar projects in Scotland had been very successful.
The Fianna Fáil TD acknowledged that there were shortcomings in relation to wind farms but he pointed out that Ireland needed to explore other forms of renewal energy as the country would be facing massive fines if we failed to meet EU requirements.
Deputy Murphy stressed however that legislation and regulation of planning surrounding wind farms needs to be updated as a matter of urgency and the setback area should be set at least 1000m to 1500m from any residence.
“The guidelines surrounding the wind farm developments are outdated and ill informed. The County Development plan 2014/2020 allows for wind farm development in County Roscommon however we need to acknowledge that this type of development is not suitable for every area under the current guidelines and this is an issue currently in the Castlecoote area,” said Deputy Murphy.