Councillors on a new energy committee are to meet with council officials next week to draw up plans to amend the County Development Plan to deal with proposals for wind farm and pylon developments.
Planning permission for wind turbines and the new high voltage power line from Dunstown, Kilcullen to Cork, will not be lodged with Kildare County Council, as they are expected to be submitted to an Bord Pleanala given that they are large infrastructural projects traversing several counties.
However, councillors point out the bord must take account of the County Development Plan.
Motions on wind energy policy and transmission energy were unanimously passed at the council meeting on February 24.
The Renewable Energy Committee is made up of two representatives from each of the four political groups within the Council. The committee was formed to progress a dedicated wind energy policy for County Kildare following the tabling of a number of motions by Councillors on the issue.
“The committee are also progressing a variation of the County Development Plan on energy transmission policy (Pylons) and over the last number of weeks have had a number of meetings with officials of the local Authority on this part of the current County development plan,” explained Cllr. Mark Wall.
The committee also met with representatives of the Kildare Environmental Awareness group, an umbrella group of the community wind farm action groups from Kildare. It also met with the Gridlink action group, who represent those with concerns regarding the Gridlink project.
Officials of Kildare County Council confirmed that work had begun on mapping the topography of the county , to assist the development of a specific wind energy policy while also committing to assisting the committee on both motions. Further meetings are planned in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the Department of Environment is working on its own guidelines.