The Irish Wind Energy Association express concern at 1km separation distance

The Irish Wind Energy Association has expressed concern at a move by the Donegal County Council to include substantial changes to the draft County Donegal Development Plan.

The proposed amendment seeks to impose mandatory 1km separation distance between wind turbines and dwellings.

However, the IWEA says such a move is wholly unnecessary.

Expressing concern at the proposed 1 kilometre esxclusion zone, the IWEA says there are already numerous safeguards and guidelines in place.

The assdciation says the proposal is excessively restrictive and if adopted, would preclude the development of many windfarms for the life-time of the Development Plan. This, it claims, would impact significantly on the flow of investment into the local community in terms of land lease payments and local road upgrades and to the county council in terms of rates.

It would also limit the number of new jobs that could be created across a range of sectors, from construction and maintenance to legal and financial services.

2,000 people work in the sector nationwide at present, and the IWEA says it commissioned a report in 2009w hich said the country could support over 10,700 jobs by 2020, more than 500 of them in Donegal.