May 28, 2012

Group questions timing of wind energy meeting

By Cronan Scanlon, Donegal News, 24 May 2012

The Glenties Wind Farm Information Group has expressed ‘grave concern’ over reports that Councillors and Donegal County Council planning staff are to meet with the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

A spokesperson for the Glenties group, who were formed to oppose a large scale wind farm on the edge of the town, have questioned the timing and appropriateness of such meetings.

They state that the meeting coincides with the period where the elected representatives are considering the County Manager’s Report on the draft County Development Plan.

“Moreover, it comes hot on the heels of the rezoning issue and Donegal having finished bottom of the table in a recent An Taisce report which also highlighted the fact that Donegal planners abdicate many decisions to the whim of whomsoever is brave enough to challenge them at An Bord Pleanala,” the spokesperson said.

The group is concerned with ‘the ease’ to which a lobby group can access decision makers during the development plan process. Access, they claim, which is in stark contrast to the experience of local people who engaged in the consultation on the development plan.

The group said that many individuals have had their objections to the zoning of their townlands returned to them without being considered by the council.

“Legitimate concerns regarding the potential negative impacts on health, the environment and tourism, raised by individuals in their submissions on the draft plan have been brushed aside to suit big business and the vested interests in wind power generation.”

Read the full story in Friday’s edition of the Donegal News

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