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Victory for local campaigners: Donegal Co. Development Plan will increase distances required between wind turbines and homes

Donegal Co. Council is reinstating a number of conditions that will apply to those planning to build wind farms in the county.

The minimum distance between properties and turbines will be ten times the wind turbine tip height.

Many of the new wind turbines proposed will have a tip height of over between 100 metres – 150 metres. This would mean that they would have to be between 1k – 1.5k away from “places of residence or congregation.”

The Council has also reinstated into its Co. Plan stipulations that effectively ban developments in six river sub-basins.

The news has been welcomed by the Glenties Windfarm Information Group.

In a statement, it said that the reinstatement of the wind farm related conditions is “an important day for Ireland” and comes after much legal wrangling.

The reinstatement of the variations in the Co. Development Plan was officially confirmed on Monday.

“This was the day that Donegal County Council triumphantly declared to the country ‘we value our democracy in Donegal,'” the statement said.

It continued: “In June 2014, after exhaustive research and intensive study of all available information on wind-farming, Donegal County Council democratically voted to include a Variation to their County Development Plan.

“The Variation provided for a ten times tip height separation from wind turbines to places of residence or congregation, and provided protection for six river sub basins as directed by EU Law.

“Two successive Ministers over-ruled this evidence-based democratic decision and, were it not for the tenacity and courage of Councillor John Campbell, would have flattened democracy in Donegal.

“Councillor Campbell twice fought these Ministers in the High Court and twice won the battle. Right minded defenders of democracy all over Ireland, but especially Donegal, welcome this day, salute John Campbell, and breathe a huge sigh of relief,” it concluded.

Pictured above are representatives from various windfarm information groups in the county, including representatives from Glenties, Inishowen, and Finn Valley. These representatives were in Lifford to witness, and celebrate, the reinstatement of Variation No.2 into Donegal’s County Development Plan.