Over 100 people attended a meeting in Meenreagh last night (Thursday), to discuss a planned onshore wind farm in the county.
Cork based company Planree Ltd. is proposing to build a €200 million wind farm – with up to 49 giant turbines.
The proposed plan could result in Ireland’s biggest wind farm.
Residents at the meeting in Meenreagh voiced their opposition to the proposals.
Local councillor for the area Patrick McGowan told Donegal Now that a committee was formed to co-ordinate an approach to oppose the plans.
Cllr McGowan also said that the committee will be lobbying local politicians to block the proposals. He also explained that residents were seeking an extention to the planning process to allow time to oppose the plans.
Planning permission for the project was fast-tracked under the Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) process, which means that the planning application by-passes Donegal Co. Council and is lodged directly with An Bord Pleanala.
The outcome could be known by early summer.
The proposed wind farm is on a site that stretches for 17 kilometers east of the Barnesmore Gap, close to Lough Mourne and to the south of Trusk Lough. Much of the land is owned by Coillte which has consented to the plans.
Agreement has also been reached with around 15 landowners, who will be paid an annual sum for every turbine on their land during the lifetime of the wind farm.
Around 200 houses are within one kilometre of a turbine but no house is nearer than 700 metres – above the national guideline distance of 500 metres.
The company has also drawn up plans for a community fund with over €130,000 being set aside each year for local community development projects that would be overseen by a special committee with local representation.
The site of the proposed development has been designated as “Open to Consideration” for wind farm developments in the current Donegal Co. Development Plan.
Details of the proposals were put on display at a public information display in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey in December.
The development, if it gets the go-ahead would be one of the biggest construction projects ever in the county.
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