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Councillors concerned about impact of proposed Dublin Bay wind turbines

The councillors want to meet the Minister for the Environment to speak to him about their concerns around the proposed turbines.

Updated 30 May

LABOUR COUNCILLORS HAVE written to the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, over their concern about proposed wind turbines for Dublin Bay.

Following a meeting between Dublin and Wicklow Labour Councillors and Coastal Concern Alliance, they have written to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government seeking a meeting to discuss the proposal to locate 145 wind turbines 10 kilometres off the Dublin and Wicklow Coasts.

Public consultation

The company behind the application, Dublin Array, has produced an Environmental Impact Statement to accompany their foreshore application.

It states that the development would comprise up to 145 wind turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 160m above sea level. It would be located in around 54 square kilometres of water.

There would also be two meteorological masts of up to 100m in height and an offshore substation. If given the go-ahead, the turbines will be installed over a two to three year period and there is the potential for the energy to be exported.

Councillor Dermot Lacey told TheJournal.ie that though the documents have been made available for public consultation from 9 April, and can be viewed until 1 June 2013, he was concerned that people might not be aware of their existence .

A further concern is that under the current foreshore legislation, there is no statutory involvement for the Dublin and Wicklow local authorities in the process “and hence no real opportunity for elected representatives and the public to have their voice heard”, he said.

He also raised concerns about the awareness of other councils of the plan. Lacey said that the councillors believe that a decision on this foreshore licence application would be premature pending the adoption of legislation governing Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management, which is currently being proposed by the EU Commission.

The councillors are calling on the Minister to formally re-establish the Dublin Bay Task Force.

We would also suggest that there should be a stay on the decision of this application until after new foreshore licence legislation, currently being reviewed, is introduced.

Cllr Lacey said that the application “raises concerns regarding the visual impact this development will have on the Dublin and Wicklow coastlines due to the close proximity and scale of the proposed development”, and also said issues of concern could include noise pollution, interference with nature and interference with shipping.

The councillors have requested an immediate meeting with Minister Hogan who is responsible for making a decision on this foreshore licence to further outline their concerns.

At its meeting on 28 May, Greystones Town Council objected to this development on the Kish and Bray banks.

Cllr Derek Mitchell said it “will be very visually intrusive because it is so close to the shore and is very long”.

We did not object to the one on the Codling Bank, granted a foreshore licence in 2005, as this was to be further out, more concentrated and thus less intrusive. Also the Codling one was going to provide jobs in Wicklow but the present application provides no jobs in Wicklow. The scheme with the least impact, the Codling one, should be developed and the intrusive Bray/Kish Bank one rejected.

Greystones has recently opened a new harbour and Mitchell said the councillors are concerned that the turbines could impact navigation.

Read: Ireland to export wind energy to Britain>

Read: IWEA claims 30,000 jobs could be created in wind energy sector by 2020>

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