DONEGAL PUBLIC URGED TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON WIND ENERGY POLICIES

first_imgThe Glenties Wind Farm Information Group has encouraged the Donegal public to have its say on the future of wind energy in the county.It comes following the launch of a public consultation process on the variation of the County Development Plan with regard to wind farming.The proposals include the removal from ‘open to consideration’ of six sub basin districts for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel in the County, and a recommendation that, in the interests of residential amenity, a separation distance of ten times the tip height of permitted wind turbines in the County be exercised between turbines and residential dwellings, schools and other places of public gathering. The group had advocated these proposals since the Straboy wind farm Oral Hearing found the Council in breach of the EU Habitats Directive 2009 with regard to the fresh water mussel and, significantly, pointed to the danger of peat slides on the site for many houses not afforded a reasonable set back distance.However, GWiG dissociates itself from a third proposal which was tagged onto the Variation following their representations to Council. It proposes to limit the Zone of Visual Influence of Glenveagh National Park to just the area of the Visitor Centre and the Castle grounds and primary visitor walks.The Group thanked the elected Councillors for their support in providing this opportunity for the public to have their say on these two important aspects of the County Development Plan and its provisions for the development of wind energy in the County.The group expressed special thanks to Councillor John Campbell who moved these motions in November last on behalf of the group by way of an emergency motion, and councillors Marie Therese Gallagher and Seamus O’Domhnaill who have doggedly pursued this matter on the Group’s behalf. “We feel it is important that recognition to the conservation values of these special areas of conservation for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, an internationally protected species is fully reflected in the County Development Plan,” said Mr. Ernan O’Donnell, Chairman of GWiG.“The image of the County has captured the imagination of visitors searching for the wild, remote, real, Ireland in an open unspoilt landscape that has given birth to, and sustained, our rich cultural heritage. The natural environment, and the quality of our waters that provide a suitable habitat for highly endangered species like the Freshwater Pearl mussel, are essential assets to the image of the County and must be conserved.”Mr O’Donnell said that finally a balance is being struck regarding where it is appropriate to place turbines, and added that it is a common misperception to suggest that this will lead to the demise of wind farming in the County.“We can look forward to a more controlled planning regime for turbines. Heretofore ecologically sensitive areas were being targeted and turbine distances from homes did not evolve with the massive increase in turbine size and megawatt output.“Renewable energy projects, like large scale wind farms, must recognise the traditional rights of rural dwellers, their entitlement to the amenity and enjoyment of their properties, and the importance of providing this setback of ten times the tip height of turbines to protect that amenity, thus minimizing the impacts from noise and visual intrusion. A landowner sees a working landscape, a tourist sees a rich and beautiful landscape, a family the backdrop to their daily lives. In Donegal landscapes have cultural, historical and literary values.” The consultation process opens today, April 9, and closes one month later.GWiG is actively encouraging everyone living in the County, or from the county, or visitor to the county, to avail of this opportunity to comment on these variations. Details will be available on the Donegal website and in local County offices.DONEGAL PUBLIC URGED TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON WIND ENERGY POLICIES was last modified: April 9th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GLENTIES WINDFARM INFORMATION GROUPwindfarmlast_img

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