Widespread concern is being expressed by members of Longford County Council in the aftermath of legal advice on amending the county development plan.
Members had voted to amend the plan in June after Councillor Mark Casey put forward a motion which said the setback distance of any wind turbine should be ten times the tip height of the turbine.
The legal advice was sought by the council after a letter from Minister Eoghan Murphy in August which warned that if national guidelines on wind farms were disregarded he would consider using his powers to overrule them.
Members were told yesterday the legal advice was that amending the plan in such a way wasn’t a reserve function of councillors.
Several councillors expressed concern about the interpretation and while they said they appreciated the integrity of the advice, they still wanted a second option, preferably from a barrister specialising in planning.
It was also agreed that the councillors would put a motion forward to both the national public representative bodies to seek clarification on the matter.
Councillor Mark Casey told Shannonside News that every effort has to be made now to find out exactly what the members can or can’t do.