A public meeting will be held in the Donegal village of Killygordon tonight (Monday) to discuss plans for a major €200 million wind farm development, where the maximum turbine blade tip height would be 156.5 metres – higher than Dublin’s iconic Spire.
There are fears that the local community in the area, close to the scenic Barnesmore Gap and Donegal/Tyrone border, will be split over the plans.
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 – estimated at around €8,000 per annum, according to sources – for every turbine on their land during the lifetime of the wind farm.
Concerns have been raised about the visual impact, the sizes of the turbines – described by one resident as “industrial monsters” – and issues like shadow flicker, and noise. Some people in the area are also concerned about possible health and safety implications.
If the project gets the green light from planners, it will have an installed generation capacity of 105 megawatts – enough to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, or approximately 80% of all Donegal households. Up to 49 turbines are proposed along a 15 km area of the Finn Valley.
Under the fast-tracking Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) process, the planning application for the Carrickaduff wind farm has by-passed Donegal Co. Council and has been lodged directly with An Bord Pleanala by Cork based company Planree Limited.
The promoters say it could be up and running by 2017.
Up to 150 people would be employed during the construction period.
The site of the proposed development has been designated as “Open to Consideration” for wind farm developments in the current Donegal Co. Development Plan.
Any objections or submissions must be lodged with An Bord Pleanala by March 27th.
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