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31/03/2016

Ireland’s biggest wind farm blown away

Words: Roger Milne

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for what would have been Ireland’s biggest-ever wind farm – a proposal for up to 49 turbines in a prominent upland area of County Donegal near the border with Northern Ireland.

The proposal was for up to 49 turbines in a prominent upland area of County Donegal close to the border with Northern Ireland. The 105 megawatt project was proposed by Cork-based Planree Ltd, which had suggested that the scheme could be scaled back and involve 11 fewer turbines.

An Bord Pleanála said the development, when viewed in conjunction with existing and permitted turbines in the vicinity of the site, “would be visually dominant, obtrusive and incongruous in the landscape in near, mid and distant views and would be overbearing and seriously detract from the visual amenities of the wider area”.

The board agreed with the inspector who held the inquiry into the proposals that the scheme’s Environmental Impact Statement was deficient and did not adequately deal with the project’s impact on a number of protected areas that were safeguarded under EU legislation.

The wind farm plans had attracted significant local opposition on both sides of the border.

The inspector's report can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | iStock

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