Debate on wind turbine planning

A county councillor and campaigners against a proposed wind farm outside of Glenties have criticised Irish Wind Energy Association comments on wind farm provisions in the draft Donegal County Development Plan.

A county councillor and campaigners against a proposed wind farm outside of Glenties have criticised Irish Wind Energy Association comments on wind farm provisions in the draft Donegal County Development Plan.

“Donegal has done more than its fair share and erected more than its fair share of wind turbines,” Fianna Fáil Cllr. Seamus Ó Domhnaill said. The councillor said a designation map of Ireland shows the east is as good a location for wind farms as the north and west.

“If we are going to be fair and just about the whole thing, why don’t we look at every county and put a burden on every county?” he told Highland Radio.

The Glenties Windfarm Information Group criticised the IWEA submission to the draft plan. The setback between turbines and homes is now 500 metres; a proposed amendment would raise that to 1,000 metres.

“While this is an obvious improvement on the 500-metre setback currently employed by the council, it does not meet the minimum of 2km recognised internationally as the required distance between turbines and people’s homes,” the group said.

But the IWEA called the proposal “excessively restrictive”, saying it would preclude development of many windfarms for the plan’s six-year term.

The information group said the 500-metre setback “does not adequately protect the local populations” near turbines, citing a British Medical Journal article that reported a large body of evidence suggests “turbines disturb sleep and impair health”.