Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has today (Monday) said that he is pushing for publication of the updated planning guidelines for the development of wind farms before the Dail summer break.

“It is not correct that the publication of these guidelines has been parked as was reported last week.  I am still hopeful that they will be published before our summer recess in mid-July and there is common consensus that this should be a priority.  

 “I share the frustration of many local communities at the delays that have been encountered in the finalisation of the planning guidelines.  I have been in constant contact with relevant Ministers on this topic and highlighted my concerns with the Taoiseach at a recent parliamentary party meeting.

“There have been differences between the Department of the Environment and the Department of Energy in recent weeks on the final guidelines but I understand the Taoiseach recently intervened to try to move the process on and that this has now happened.

“Regarding the applicability of the new planning guidelines to current applications, I understand that they should apply to current planning files, although a short cooling off period may be required.