Local residents are angry that the developer of a wind farm near Kinnagoe Bay has applied to increase the height of the turbines to become one of the highest wind turbines in the whole of Ireland.
In a statement issued yesterday they dispute the developer’s claim that this is only ‘a slight’ increase.
A spokesperson for the Inishowen Wind Energy Awareness Group, David Simpson, said: ““In his application he says it is a ‘slight’ increase. We don’t call increasing the height of the hub from 69 metres to 85 metres ‘slight’. That is an increase of almost a quarter of the permitted height. It will be the height of a five story building. It takes the full turbine height to 132 metres. The highest turbine is in Greystones in Wicklow at 139 metres. The developer is proposing to increase the height by 16 metres making them nearly forty metres higher than any building in Ireland. The highest building is St John’s Cathedral in Limerick at 93.8 metres.
“It would make the turbines almost twice the height of St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny”
The spokesperson added that after the first application for the two turbine wind farm was turned down by Donegal County Council Planning Authority the developer appealed to An Bord Pleanala, supporting his appeal by getting a petition up from some local residents promising jobs and cheaper electricity, something they dispute.
In the appeal process, Donegal Council was asked by An Bord Pleanala to comment on the appeal and again DCC turned it down on the same grounds: wrong place for a wind farm.
Mr Simponson said: “An Bord Pleanala’s inspector visited the site on Crockbrack Hill and also decided it was the wrong place for a wind farm
Mr. Simposton suggestxit was necessary for developments like this to achieve a balance between the protection of residential amenity of neighbouring communities, and facilitating the meeting of national renewable energy targets.
“The balance in this case was against a wind farm on top of Crockbrack Hill. But the board of An Bord Pleanala met in an office in Dublin. For them Crockbrack Hill was just a name, they did not visit the site. They did not see that it has a megalithic tomb on it and a unique intact existing example of the Rundale system of fields and farming and that it is also a small hill in the middle of our community.
He concluded: “The turbines are already 22 metres taller than any building in Ireland.How can the developer apply to increase the height?