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Councillors vote to restrict wind farm development

Donegal’s county councillors have defied recommendations from the county chief executive, the Department of the Environment and the Border Regional Authority, and set new restrictions on wind farm development in the county.

After a marathon day of debate in Lifford on Tuesday, they approved the first two out of three Variations to the County Development Plan.

The three proposed variations were:

1) to increase protection to the fresh water pearl mussel by designating the Clady, Eske, Glaskeelin, Leannan, Owencarrow and Owenea Sub-Basin catchment areas as “not favoured” zones for wind farms;

2) to specify that any wind turbines must be set back from residential properties and other centres of human habitation by at least ten times the tip height of the proposed turbines; and

3) to restrict the Zone of Visual Influence of turbines to specific areas of Glenveagh National Park rather than the entire park as is currently the case.

Over 3,300 submissions were made during the public consultation, the vast majority of which supported the first two measures and opposed the third.

Around a dozen members of Glenties Wind farm Information Group were in the council chamber to witness the vote. Some broke into applause as the first result was announced, while there were tears of joy in the eyes of others.

Read the full report in Thursday’s Donegal Democrat.