Tenfold increase in contribution levies for wind-farms is to be introduced in Kerry

A tenfold increase in development contribution levies for wind-farms is to be introduced in Kerry.

Council members voted to adopt the measure as part of the amended Draft Development Contribution Scheme 2017 at Áras an Chontae today.

18 councillors voted to adopt the scheme which seeks to combine four development contribution schemes under one for the county, with 11 voting against.

Kerry County Council sought a tenfold increase for wind-farm developments in the county, with a levy proposed at €10,000 per megawatt.

This would equate to a levy of €20,000 per turbine – the current levy imposed per turbine is around €2,000 per turbine.

Director of Services Mike Scannell said the increase is being introduced in response to the impact of wind-farm developments on the county’s roads.

Among the councillors welcoming the proposed increase was Fianna Fáil’s Niall Kelleher who said “the havoc on our roads is plain for all to see”.

Independent Cllr Johnny Healy Race said additional monies raised through the levy should be spent in municipal districts affected however Council CEO Moira Murrell said funds, under EU directive section 48, could not be ring-fenced.

However Fine Gael Cllr Aoife Thornton said the proposed levy increase was “too late”.

Fianna Fáil Cllr John Culloty said ‘we’ve missed the boat’ in relation to the 411 windfarms built or proposed in terms of the levy increase.

The amended Draft Development Contributions Scheme 2017 was adopted by members 18 for, 11 against with four absent.