Minimum setback distance of 500m proposed for all windfarms

New energy guidelines for the development of wind farms will put a greater emphasis on reducing the noise produced and its potential effect on nearby homeowners.

Minister for Local Government Simon Coveney, and Minister Denis Naughten confirmed last evening that the new guidelines are aimed at developing Ireland’s potential for wind energy, while also addressing concerns of communities opposed to turbines.

A minimum setback distance of 500m from the nearest residential property is being proposed, while the guidelines also look to eliminate the issue of shadow flicker.

The setback distance will have to be at least four times the height of the tip of the turbine, while the noise limits will now have to be within World Health Organisation guidelines both day and night.

A more stringent noise limit is also being proposed, as well as what is described as a more ‘robust’ noise monitoring regime.

It’s hoped a review of the guidelines will be completed by later this year and will be ready for adoption by planning bodies early next year.