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Westmeath council set to challenge Coveney directive on wind turbines

‘Our democratic mandate has been usurped by your proposed action’

Westmeath councillors have called for a night noise limit of 30db for wind farms, going against the current 2006 guidelines which allow 43db

Westmeath county councillors are to reject a directive by the Minister for the Environment overturning their vote on cutting noise levels for wind turbines

Simon Coveney used powers of the Planning and Development Act to overturn a decision by the council on April 25th when councillors voted to adopt an amendment to a county development plan on wind farm guidelines. They called for a night noise limit of 30db for wind farms. This went against the current 2006 guidelines which allow 43db.

Mr Coveney issued a directive to the council last month that the variation be deleted. Last night Westmeath council cathaoirleach Frankie Keena said a draft response being prepared by councillors would tell Mr Coveney “the people of Westmeath have spoken and do not want large-scale industrial wind farms erected on the rolling countryside of this county”.

They will tell him how “frustrated, disappointed and angered” councillors were that their “democratic mandate has been usurped by your proposed action”.