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Wind farm approval questioned

Local residents opposed to a planned wind farm outside of Glenties want to know why several objectors’ submissions were returned on a technicality weeks later.

“I think it would have to be looked into,” said Anne Marie O’Donnell, one of a group of people who have long opposed the plans. “They should have let us know before the closing date.”

Objectors learned on Friday that planning approval had been given for construction of 22 wind turbines at Straboy, about 1.5 kilometeres outside of Glenties. Campaigners said they will appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.

Anne Marie said her written objection was submitted to the council on Dec. 20th and she received an acknowledgement of it on Dec. 21st. She heard on Jan. 18th that her submission had been returned. The deadline for submissions was early January. Anne Marie said several groups, including the Golden Eagle Trust, Cumann Traenach an Gaeltacht Lair and anglers’ groups, also learned too late that their submissions had been rejected.

In a statement released yesterday, the council said that some submissions were not accompanied by the required paperwork or fee.

More than 60 people attended a meeting at the Highlands Hotel in Glenties Sunday night, to hear reports on the impact of the wind farm and its 326-foot-tall turbines on public health, protected species and local landscape and tourism.

County Cllrs. Seamus Ó Domhnaill, Terence Slowey and John Campbell attended the meeting and said they would bring the concerns to council. “The big, untapped resource Donegal has is not wind farms, it’s tourism,” Cllr. Ó Domhnaill said.