Wind farm debate brews up another storm in west Donegal: Community events next week for controversial Cloghercor Wind Farm
Credit: Connie Duffy | 05 Oct 2022 | donegallive.ie ~~
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A row over the development of a wind farm in rural West Donegal continues to blow its way to the centre of a community as opposing sides in the debate gear up for another confrontation next week.
The team behind the proposal for Cloghercor Wind Farm, located in Clogherachullion and Cloghercor is encouraging local people to attend upcoming community events in Leitirmacaward and Doochary to view the final design proposal.
But Coiste Timpeallacht Gaoth Beara (Gweebarra Conservation Group) say they can exhibit all they like but there is overwhelming opposition to another wind farm in this area.
Co-development partners, Ørsted and FuturEnergy Ireland are jointly developing the proposed Cloghercor Wind Farm project. Having introduced the proposed project to the community in 2021, they claim that ongoing site studies and community feedback have resulted in changes to the original scale of the proposed development, with the updated proposal on display at two upcoming exhibition events.
They are now asking the community to book an appointment to meet the project team and discuss the proposals at Halla Naomh Bride, Madavagh, Leitirmacaward this coming, Monday, October 10, between 2pm-8pm or at Teach Gleann Ceo, Main Street, Doochary on Wednesday, October 12, once again between 2pm and 8pm.
The companies say their exhibition will contain further information on the extensive studies that have been underway on the site, photomontages detailing how the proposed development will appear from numerous viewpoints, and information on proposed recreational amenities around the proposed wind farm site.
All the materials on display at the in-person exhibition will also be available in a virtual exhibition room on the project website after the exhibition events from Wednesday, October 12, which can be accessed at www.cloghercorwindfarm.com.
A spokesperson for Cloghercor Wind Farm said having been pleased to meet many local people at their last community exhibition event in June, they have been carefully considering all feedback from the community and the findings from the environmental studies that have been ongoing at the site.
“As a result, we have made further revisions to the proposal for Cloghercor Wind Farm and are pleased to share a final design proposal with the community.
“We encourage people to come along to these upcoming events to discuss the proposals for the wind farm and the associated recreational amenity. Taking on board community feedback is a key part of our approach to the project, and will be vital as we prepare the final planning application.”
Members of the public can book an appointment to attend the community events by emailing email@example.com or calling the project’s Community Liaison Officers at (021) 422 3677.
However, a spokesperson for the Gweebarra group has warned that they will fight the proposed development at every opportunity
“These companies can exhibit all they like but there is overwhelming opposition to another wind farm in this area. The pollution potential is too great to contemplate and there can be no digging or blowing up of peat bogs to fill the holes with concrete. It’s nonsense.”
The spokesperson added that in the past they saw a turbine fall on the peat bog at Maas outside Glenties and there was the still-unfolding disaster caused by a wind farm at Meenbog outside Ballybofey to take into consideration.
“The very idea of building a wind farm on a peat bog in an iconic rift valley beside Glenveagh National Park and alongside the Gweebarra River, one of the last salmon rivers in Ireland, is ridiculous.
“One wonders do these companies do any research at all? If they did they would know the opposition the local community put up ten years ago and the fact that An Bord Pleanála refused permission then.
“Nothing has changed in the intervening years except that industrial wind turbines have doubled in size. Let them put the turbines where the power is being used, not here in a small farming community.”
The spokesperson said their area is a top holiday destination on the Wild Atlantic Way but any development of the scale proposed would endanger this.
“Our area is host to many holiday homes and we are hearing rumours that these holiday home owners and local tourism businesses will jointly sue any company planning to diminish their property and business investments.
“Donegal has done its bit as far as wind energy goes and we cannot afford the environmental burden of having any more industrial wind turbines forced upon us.
“Ørsted and FuturEnergy Ireland should stop wasting money because their plans will never come to fruition here,” the spokesperson said.
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