A HOMEOWNER is calling on Donegal County Council to ensure that the ten times tip-height set back distance of turbines from nearby homes is incorporated in the new Draft County Development Plan.
Ms Carol Duddy lives only 500 metres from a wind turbine at the Corkermore site, half way between Ardara and Bruckless, where a rotor blade broke off four years ago.
“Had the ten times tip height been in place when planning was sought for this windfarm, my family may have been spared seven years of hell, a hell with no end in sight to the turmoil and suffering we are going through,” Ms Duddy said.
Ms Duddy said that her family continues to live in fear for the safety of their lives and home, especially during stormy weather, after the serious incident on December 5, 2013 when part of a turbine blade at the windfarm broke free and embedded itself in the nearby bog.
“We have deep concerns and anxiety over the safety and noise level of the Cokermore wind farm which is built in such close proximity to our homes,” Ms Duddy said.
New guidelines on set-back distances and other issues such as noise and light flicker are due to be incorporated into the County Donegal Draft County Development Plan 2018-2024.
In a submission to the wind energy section of the County Donegal Draft County Development Plan 2018-2024, a copy of which has been seen by the Donegal News, Ms Duddy “implored” the Council to retain the 10x tip-height set back distance of turbines from nearby homes.
“I would not wish to see any other families go through the hell and disruption that we have to live through in Corkermore.
“The wind turbines at Corkermore have been operating since the summer of 2010, a year after we had moved into our new home. Had I been told about the plans and effects of a windfarm being built in such proximity to my home, I would have had serious reservations about submitting my planning permission application,” Ms Duddy said.
“Over the last 18 months we have had to live with constant very loud ‘clunking noises’ both day and night and after numerous communications with Energia, HSA, Donegal County Council, and EPA, works to repair these turbines have just been completed. Whether this repair work will, or will not, make a difference remains to be seen.
“This loud clunking noise however, is in addition to the ongoing and constant humming noise that we experience at our home since these turbines were switched on.
“This noise is particularly amplified in our quiet rural setting at night and first thing in the morning. We also have to try and live with the ‘swoosh’ noise, the vibration and the shadow flicker. All of this has caused severe sleep disturbance and deprivation and serious stress and worry for all family members in my home,” she said.
Approval for the project, which had attracted strong local opposition, comes with conditions, including shadow flicker requirements.
"The Council is also urging people not to engage in activities that could contribute to the cause of wildfires."