Council rejects proposed 1km wind turbine exclusion

County councillors have rejected a proposal to introduce a 1km exclusion zone between dwellings and wind turbines.

County councillors have rejected a proposal to introduce a 1km exclusion zone between dwellings and wind turbines.

The proposal was decided after a vote late on Wednesday afternoon as councillors discussed the adoption of the new County Development Plan.

Councillors accepted a recommendation from the county manager to reject a proposed alteration to the plan that would have created a 1km distance between turbines and all dwellings and built-up areas.

The 1km exclusion zone was supported in a proposal from Cllr John Campbell while Cllr Rena Donaghey proposed rejecting the alteration. The council rejected the proposed exclusion zone by 13 votes to three in a show of hands with five abstentions.

The council also voted to accept an alteration to the current plan that would remove a 500 metre exclusion zone and replace it with national guideline which doesn’t contain a specific exclusion zone.

The alteration also removed a setback distance for wind turbines from rivers, lakes and streams; ancient and recorded monuments; and migratory bird paths. The exclusion zones were removed by a vote of nine to three.

The new plan will not allow wind turbines within the zone of visual influence of Gleanveagh National Park and the zone of influence and flight path of Donegal airport.

Dozens of submissions were received on the issue of wind energy which was the most controversial in the new plan which will be in effect from this year to 2012.