The public consultation period for the material amendments proposed for the draft County Development Plan for Westmeath has been launched, and runs until November 15.
Likely to attract the most submissions are the amendments relating to wind energy and to an objective aimed at allowing provision of a slaughterhouse at the Dunbia site at Kilbeggan.
During the last council debate on the wind energy issue, councillors voted by a majority of 16 to four to tighten up its policies on industrial windfarms in Westmeath.
The plan as it now stands says that the council will “strictly” direct industrial wind projects to cutaway or cutover bogs.
It also lays down a definition of what constitutes an “industrial” wind farm development – one containing turbines of over 100m to blade tip; one of five or more turbines; or one with an output of 5MW.
In addition, the plan states that a setback distance of 10 times height should apply to turbines of 100 metres in height.
Between now and November 15, a copy of the proposed material alterations is to be available for public inspection at the libraries in Mullingar, Kilbeggan and Castlepollard; and at the county buildings in Mullingar and at the Athlone Civic Centre.
They are also available on the council’s website.
Also going on display will be information on the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the proposed material alterations.
Submissions on the amendments, and on the environmental report, and the record of protected structures can be made until 5pm on November 15, either in writing or via email.
Following the public consultation period, the manager will prepare a further report on public submissions, which will be considered by councillors prior to adoption of the plan. The plan then comes into effect four weeks after adoption by councillors.
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