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Wind Farm Planning Guidelines

13 January 2014

A public consultation process on the proposed revisions was announced with public submissions to be made before 21 February 2014.

As part of the review on the Guidelines, Marshall Day Acoustics was commissioned by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to carry out a study on wind farm noise. The objective of the study was to obtain evidence upon which to evaluate the appropriateness of the existing Guidelines in relation to noise impacts.

A significant development is the introduction of the planning authority’s approval of any waivers in respect of noise or distance from the turbines.  It is likely that different approaches to the form of waiver will be taken by planning authorities and unless a form of acceptable waiver is issued developers would be advised to engage with the planning authorities prior to seeking waivers from relevant land owners.  In any event legal advice should be sought as to the form of waiver to ensure it is sufficiently robust and provides the developer with the required protection in addition to the planning requirements.

Briefly, the revised noise and shadow flicker sections of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines being put out for public consultation propose the following:

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