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Proposed Variation to the

County Donegal Development Plan 2018-2024 (As Varied) in respect of a Wind Energy Policy Framework


 Background to the Proposed Variation

  • The Proposed Variation addresses a policy lacuna in the Donegal County Development Plan, 2018-2024 (As Varied) [‘the CDP’] in relation to wind energy.  This gap in the CDP’s policy framework was created following a High Court Order made on 5th November, 2018, that removed certain critical provisions of the CDP relating to Wind Energy from that adopted by a resolution of the Members in May, 2018.
  • The Proposed Variation has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (As Amended), and having regard to relevant national policy and Government planning guidelines including: the ‘Wind Energy Development Guidelines, (2006)’; ‘An Information Note: Review of the Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006 – Preferred Draft Approach’ (June, 2017)’; the ‘Interim Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Statutory Plans, Renewable Energy and Climate Change (July, 2017)’; and the ‘Draft Revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines (December, 2019)’.
  • The Proposed Variation provides the necessary spatial and policy planning framework to facilitate the sustainable development of the wind energy resource within the County.
  • The aim of this Variation is to:

-  provide a robust evidence based policy framework for the sustainable development of County Donegal’s wind energy resource, in accordance with national legislation and Government guidance.


What is in the Proposed Variation?

The variation specifically:

  1. Inserts a new Wind Energy Map 8.2.1 identifying areas designated as: (a) ‘Acceptable in Principle’; (b) ‘Open to Consideration’; and (c) ‘Not Normally Permissible’ for wind energy development. 
  2. Inserts a new policy framework aligned to the three designated areas in Map 8.2.1, and also stipulating setback distance requirements from residential properties.
  3. Inserts new background and contextual text updating the legislative framework and guidelines within which windfarm development must be considered.
  4. Deletes outdated policies, and background and contextual text.
  5. Deletes existing Section 28 statement in respect of Wind Energy Development Guidelines and inserts replacement text.


Proposed Variation

Wind Energy Map 8.2.1

Introduction to the Proposed Variation


Interactive Wind Energy Map 8.2.1

Reports Associated with the Proposed Variation.

The Council has also prepared the following associated reports:

  • An Environmental Report: Prepared in respect of Strategic Environmental Assessment, this Report identifies describes and evaluates the likely significant effects on the Environment of implementing the Proposed Variation. Environmental Report 
  • A Natura Impact Report: Prepared in respect of Appropriate Assessment this report identifies and classifies the implications of the Proposed Variation on designated European Sites (Natura 2000 Sites including Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas) Natura Impact Report 


How Can I Get Involved?

The Proposed Variation and the abovementioned documents may be inspected by clicking on the above links from Friday the 29th of April to Friday the 3rd June 2022 inclusive


As part of this consultation process, the council have arranged a series of drop-in public consultation events; the date, location, and times of which are set out below.


Schedule of Public Drop In Events





Tuesday 3rd May 3pm -8pm

County House, Lifford


Thursday 5th May 3pm-8pm

Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey


Monday 9th May 3pm-8pm

Milford Public Service Centre

Donegal Town

Wednesday 11th May 3pm-8pm

Donegal Town Public Service Centre


Thursday 12th May 3pm-8pm

Dungloe Public Service Centre

Gaoth Dobhair

Monday 16th May 3pm-8pm

An Chúirt Hotel, Gaoth Dobhair


Wednesday 18th May 3pm-8pm

Carndonagh Public Service Centre


Thursday 19th May 3pm-8pm

Bundoran Town Council Offices, Station Road.


Monday 23rd May 3pm-8pm

Inishowen Gateway, Buncrana


Tuesday 24th May 3pm-8pm

Highland Hotel, Glenties


Wednesday 25th May 3pm-8pm

Letterkenny Public Service Centre


Hard copies of the documents are also available for purchase from the Planning Department’s Central Planning Unit (please contact 074 9153900 or email [email protected]).


Written submissions or observations with respect to the Proposed Variation and abovementioned Reports may be made to the planning authority in the following ways:

  • By email to: [email protected] (please insert following in the ‘Subject Title’ bar: Wind Energy Variation
  • By post addressed to: Wind Energy CDP Variation, Central Planning Unit, Donegal County Council, County House, Lifford, Co. Donegal, F93 Y622.


The deadline for submissions is on or before 4.30pm on Friday the 3rd June 2022.


Written submissions/observations made to the Planning Authority within the above period will be taken into consideration before the making of the variation.


Please note that submissions (redacted for privacy purposes) will be published on the Council’s website in accordance with S.13(3A) of the above-noted Act. 


See written submissions or observations received during the public consultation process to date


What are the Next Steps?

  • After the Public Consultation finishes a Chief Executive’s report will be prepared that lists the persons/bodies that made submissions or observations, summarizes the submissions, and gives the recommendation of Chief Executive in relation to the submissions. This report will then be submitted to the Elected Members of the Council for consideration.
  • The Elected Members may decide to either, make the variation, modify the variation or refuse to make the variation.
  • If the Elected Members decide to make any modifications to the variation which are material alterations there will be an additional public consultation period, a further Chief Executive’s Report will be prepared and the Members will then decide whether to make the variation with or without the modification. 


An Indicative Timeline for the adoption of the Proposed Variation is shown below:

 Wind Energy Policy Framework - Indicative timeline


Liam Ward,

Director of Community, Enterprise and Planning Services,

County House,


County Donegal.




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