The Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, has recommended the refusal of what would have been Ireland’s biggest windfarm development at Doraville near Greencastle.
It follows a Public Inquiry last year into the development which would have seen the erection of 33 wind turbines and associated infrastructure erected in a scenic area of the Sperrin Mountains.
But in a statement released earlier, the Minister stated that the report by the Planning Appeals Commission indicated that the scale of the proposal and the sheer magnitude of the associated change had the potential to detract from people’s sense of place and connection to the land.
“My aim is to improve people’s lives, not add to their burden so taking all of this into account, and in line with the PAC recommendation, I have decided to refuse this application.
“This refusal was a finely balanced decision where I had to weigh up the various benefits with the harm to the local area. I carefully considered both the findings of the independent Public Inquiry longside the recommendations of my planning officials.”
The Minister said that green infrastructure represented a real opportunity for tackling the climate emergency and helping boost the economy, but this should never be at the cost of the surrounding environment.
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