Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD, announced on the 11th of December 2013, the commencement of a public consultation process on proposed revisions to the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines focusing on the issues of noise (including distance) and shadow flicker.
The revised noise and shadow flicker sections of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines being put out for public consultation proposes;
- The setting of a more stringent absolute noise limit (day and night) of 40 decibels (dB) for future wind energy developments. This limit is an outdoor limit, in general the reduction of noise levels between the outside of a dwelling and inside would be approximately 10 decibels.
- A mandatory setback of 500 metres between a wind turbine and the nearest dwelling for amenity considerations.
- A condition be attached to all future planning permissions for wind farms to ensure that there will be no shadow flicker at any dwelling within 10 rotor diameters of a wind turbine. If shadow flicker does occur, the wind energy developer or operator will be required to take necessary measures, such as turbine shut down for the period necessary, to eliminate the shadow flicker.
The proposed revisions to the guidelines and the Marshall Day Acoustics noise study are available online at www.environ.ie in addition to information on making written submissions during the public consultation period.
Submissions on the consultation are due in by the 21st of February 2014 and can be e-mailed to email@example.com.