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Investors Beware: Wind Farms Risk Being Sued By Rural Communities

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Wind Aware Ireland

Big investors in wind farms are risking their shirts by investing in wind farms in Ireland. In a recent High Court case, Enercon Wind Farm Services Ireland Ltd., admitted liability for nuisance to seven families who left their homes due to excessive noise from wind turbines. Damages and costs, expected to run into millions,will be decided in April. Many more cases are likely to follow.

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The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has known since 2015 that the minimum setback distance of a turbine from a house, required to protect human health from noise, is far greater than that currently recommended. This information, which emerged from an Access to Environmental Information enquiry, was kept under departmental wraps and publication of updated planning guidelines promised by Minister Naughten within 6 months of this government’s formation have been repeatedly postponed.
 
This information is now in the public domain. The State, by allowing continued development of wind farms, is risking costly legal actions against it. In addition, local councils and individual wind farm companies will face similar cases. Rural communities have had enough.
 
International financiers will attend the Global Sustainable Capital Forum in Dublin Castle tomorrow at Dublin Castle. Sustainable Nation Ireland will promote investment in projects including massive industrial wind farms firmly opposed by communities across Ireland.
 
Claiming to be guided by responsible and sustainable investment principles” these financiers will channel money into projects that are contravening European and Irish legal requirements for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and cost benefit analysis (CBA). More worryingly, they will support the roll out of industrial wind farms without updated planning regulation that are causing families to leave their homes in rural Ireland.

Wind Aware Ireland, 15 March 2017