Policy - Wind - Northern Ireland - By Council

Northern Ireland Local Council Development Policies

In Northern Ireland, Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) set out the policies of the Department of the Environment on particular aspects of land-use planning, which apply to the whole of the region. Their contents will be taken into account in preparing development plans, and will be referred to for individual planning applications and appeals. Planning Policy Statement 18 (PPS 18) ‘Renewable Energy’ sets out the Department’s planning policy for development that generates energy from renewable resources. PPS 18 outlines the general considerations that should be adhered to for proposed wind energy developments. Applications for wind energy development will be required to demonstrate all of the following:

(i) That the development will not have an unacceptable impact on visual amenity or landscape character through: the number, scale, size and siting of turbines;
(ii) That the development has taken into consideration the cumulative impact of existing wind turbines, those which have permissions and those that are currently the subject of valid but undetermined applications;
(iii) That the development will not create a significant risk of landslide or bog burst;
(iv) That no part of the development will give rise to unacceptable electromagnetic interference to communications installations; radar or air traffic control systems; emergency services communications; or other telecommunication systems;
(v) That no part of the development will have an unacceptable impact on roads, rail or aviation safety;
(vi) That the development will not cause significant harm to the safety or amenity of any sensitive receptors (including future occupants of committed developments) arising from noise; shadow flicker; ice throw; and reflected light; and
(vii) That above-ground redundant plant (including turbines), buildings and associated infrastructure shall be removed and the site restores to an agreed standard appropriate to its location.

Any development on active peatland will not be permitted unless there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest. For wind farm development a separation distance of 10 times rotor diameter to occupied property, with a minimum distance not less than 500m, will generally apply.

The supplementary planning guidance Wind Energy Development in Northern Ireland’s Landscapes, published by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, identifies landscape characteristics that may be sensitive to wind turbine development, and will also be taken into account in assessing all wind turbine proposals. It is recommended that you read both ‘Planning Policy Statement 18’ and the supplementary planning guidance ‘Wind Energy Development in Northern Ireland’s Landscapes’ before you proceed with your application.