Wind farms planning applications must be assessed despite no policy being in place

Kerry County Council must continue to assess wind farm planning applications despite there being no policy in place.

Calls for the local authority to develop its own policy on wind farms, or to defer decisions on plans until national policy is developed, have been turned down by the council.
At the monthly meeting of Kerry County Council, Fianna Fáil Cllr John Joe Culloty asked the council to immediately start developing the new Wind Farm Policy in the Kerry County Development Plan.

The council says the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 are currently subject to review by central government; following their publication, Kerry County Council will review its policy.

Kerry Independent Alliance Cllr Michael Gleeson asked the council to defer all planning applications for wind farms until policy is in place.

Director of Services Michael Scannell said that’s not possible, as the council is legally obliged to deal with all applications as submitted.

He accepted there’s an undue delay in delivering the policy nationally, adding it’s not only a concern to councillors but also to management; he asked councillors to be patient ahead of the publication.

Councillors are to meet on May 29th for a briefing on developing policy.