Niamh Kennedy’s decision to make wind farms a primary focus of her General Election campaign has been welcomed by a wind farm education group.
Glenties Wind Farm Information Group (GWiG) welcomed the recent statement by the Independent General Election candidate posted on her Facebook page entitled ‘Have we got enough turbines in this county yet?’
“The lack of informed understanding around the level and the range of impacts associated with unrestrained development of wind farms in the county is something that needs to be addressed urgently,” said a representative of GWiG.
“Community groups in Glenties, Ardara, Killygordon & the Finn Valley, Laghey, Inishowen and many other places are tired out fighting repeat applications.
“We are at one with Cllr Kennedy when she says ‘It’s time to say enough’ and goes on to ponder the impacts of wind turbines. Tellingly she also points to the huge number of wind farms in this County and muse “One can only ask why?'”
The concerns around zoning for wind farms in the county and how these were introduced is a question that needs answers, according to GWiG.
“The RTE investigates programme recently heightened these concerns. That a councillor in the county was offering to fix zoning to facilitate a wind farm company highlights how those with money and influence can arrange to have policy amended to suit their own selfish needs,” a representative said.
“Most particularly it is in direct contrast to how Councillors last year, after much debate, eventually voted to introduce modest changes to the County Development Plan with respect to wind turbines.
“It would have put turbines ten times their tip height away from homes and marked the six fresh water pearl mussel rivers in the County as unfavourable for wind farming.
“Lastly Cllrs rejected a motion brought forward by one of their members to allow turbines much closer to Glenveagh National Park. Subsequently Minister Alan Kelly’s overturned the decision of DCC but that will, on 22 January, be subjected to a High Court judicial review being taken by Cllr John Campbell,” GWiG said.
The group went to describe how many do not realise the impact of large scale industrial developments on communities until it is too late.
“The first time most people realise the significance of zoning and planning policy is when a wind farm application is made in their area. By then it is usually already too late, suddenly people realise that impacts of noise, shadow flicker and loss of amenities are not weighted in the criteria set out for assessment of such applications,” GWiG said.
“The most common refrain: people don’t matter – it looks like they do to Cllr Kennedy. In taking this courageous position, Ms. Kennedy has ensured that the blight of turbines will now feature in the general election campaign and we applaud her for doing so.”
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