Local people opposed to a wind turbine proposed for the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park have welcomed planners’ refusal of the project, but said their job isn’t finished.
In an order dated January 12th, Donegal County Council refused planning permission for the proposed 123.5-metre-high wind turbine on the Gaeltacht business park.
Lir Energy Ltd, a company based in Letterfrack, Co. Galway, had applied to Donegal County Council to erect a single, 123.5-metre-high wind turbine at the Údarás na Gaeltachta-owned site in Gaoth Dobhair.
Local people said they opposed the project on the basis of its scale and size, among other issues. They said they did not oppose wind energy projects, but opposed the location of this proposed turbine because of its proximity to houses and businesses.
More than 120 objections to the project were brought to council offices in Dungloe last month by members of the local working group, Stad an Tuirbín Gaoithe, and other members of the public.
A member of Stad an Tuirbín Gaoithe said on Friday that the group welcomed the planners’ decision but said, “the job isn’t finished” because there is a window for the decision to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.
“Until that time is over, the job isn’t finished,” he said. “We need to keep an eye on it and we need to be very, very vigilant.”
The decision, published on the Donegal County Council website, noted the “substantial height” of the proposed structure and that the planned site was within 500 metres of a significant number of houses.
In considering the scale of the turbine relative to the houses, the decision said it “would result in a visually overscaled, unbalanced overdominant, confusing and incongruous development” within the area.
The decision also said the application had not demonstrated that the turbine would not result in noise levels or shadow flicker within levels in the county development plan. The decision also considered the turbine would impact negatively on the safety of operation at Donegal Airport at Carrickfinn and hinder the airport’s future expansion.
Because of these concerns, the decision determined that the turbine “would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.
Local councillors Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig and John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh, who stood with local people at a protest against the turbine held at Údarás offices in Derrybeg last month, also credited local people for their campaign.