Question No. 531

 To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the review of the 2006 wind energy development guidelines in relation to noise, setbacks and shadow flicker will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th July, 2014.

Ref No: 29509/14


I commenced a public consultation in December of last year on proposed “draft” revisions to the existing 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines focussing specifically on the issues of noise, setbacks and shadow flicker. These draft revisions propose;


– The setting of a more stringent day and night noise limit of 40 decibels for future wind energy developments,

– A mandatory minimum setback of 500 metres between a wind turbine and the nearest dwelling for amenity considerations, and

– The complete elimination of shadow flicker between wind turbines and neighbouring dwellings


My Department received submissions from 7,500 organisations and members of the public during the public consultation period and the submissions – which are currently being considered – will be an important input into the final version of the guidelines, which will be issued to planning authorities. Further work is advancing to develop technical appendices to assist planning authorities with the practical application of the noise measurement aspects of the Wind Guidelines.

The proposed draft revisions to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006, when finalised, will be issued by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Planning authorities, and, where applicable, An Bord Pleanála must have regard to guidelines issued under Section 28 in the performance of their functions under the Planning Acts. It is intended that the revisions to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines will be finalised later in the year.