A controversial wind farm that will be seen from right across Lower Lough Erne could be even bigger than originally feared.
The Derrykillew and Corlea Wind Farm site is just two miles from the Commons in Belleek, but because it is on the Donegal side of the border residents in Fermanagh there was no consultation with local people during its planning stages.
Donegal County Council had initially denied permission for the wind turbines, however the southern planning authority, An Board Pleanala, overturned the Council’s decision. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council had also submitted an objection to the original plans.
Now the wind farm has been given the green light, the developers have applied for the five turbines to be increased in height, from 136m to 150m, and to have the location of some of the turbines changed.
Belleek Cllr John Coyle, who has been vocally against the development, said: “You will see it from vantage points all over Lough Erne. You can’t miss these windfarms.”
Cllr Coyle said that he did not understand An Bord Pleanala’s decision to give the wind farm permission in the first place.
“Yes, I understand we have to increase our use of renewable energy, and that’s fine, but this is a transboundary windfarm and there was no public consultation with residents in Northern Ireland.”
Cllr Coyle said the farm could impact tourism both in Donegal and in Fermanagh.
“The Wild Atlantic Way runs up into Ballyshannon and Donegal Town. It should be a protected route, because that is a tourism product we should be protecting,” he said, adding the Wild Atlantic Way should be extended into Belleek and even as far as Enniskillen.
“Our landscape is as beautiful as Donegal. Donegal is exceptional, when you go to Glencolmcille and other places like that it’s fantastic, but we have a beautiful landscape here with lakes and mountains, and we should be protecting it into the future,” said Cllr Coyle.
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