Planning board rejects Ballintra wind farm

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An Bord Pleanala has backed Donegal County Council’s decision to refuse planning for seven wind turbines near Ballintra.

ESB International had applied for permission to build the 135 metre high turbines in the townlands of Ballymagroarty, Barr of Ballynacarrick, Derries and Trievebrack, and to maintain the wind farm for ten years.

Each turbine would have had three 50 metre long blades attached.

Donegal County Council’s refusal cited visual impact, environmental concerns and risk of landslides due to instability of peatlands. The local authority concluded that the proposed development would contravene relevant sections of the County Development Plan.

A number of objections were lodged and An Bord Pleanala also invited submissions from a number of organisations including Inland Fisheries Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, The Heritage Council, the Commission for Energy Regulation, the Department of the Environment and Birdwatch Ireland.

ABP’s inspector agreed with Donegal County Council that the wind farm would contravene sections of the County Development Plan and recommended refusal.

The inspector said the size and scale of the development would “be excessive”, “unduly dominant” and “intrusive” and would “seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity”.

The inspector also cited risk of landslide as being a further cause for concern and said ESB International had not satisfactorily shown how they proposed to minimise such risk.




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