Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 2 October 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Citizen and Community Measures: Discussion
Where communities may not have the wherewithal to participate in wind farms but levies are placed through the planning code on a wind farm, the Department does not seem to have fine-tuned the guidelines on the community benefit. There should be a category for individual gain for those located closest to a wind farm or some other renewable energy project, such as scholarships or free or subsidised electricity. There should be a recognition that while the community at large has accommodated it, there might be greater impact on the visual amenity for some people. This has arisen particularly on the wind farm at Oweninny near Bellacorick, where the community accepted this wind farm provided there would be community gain. I was present at the oral hearing. There are, however, people in the immediate vicinity of the farm who ask why somebody 15 km away should get the same benefit as they do, when they must look at it. I am aware that local authorities can do their own thing ad hocbut that is not robust enough.
If I missed something in the presentations it was because I was in the Seanad.