Blow for Trump as energy firm appeals ban on Doonbeg wind-farm plan

US billionaire Donald Trump is still facing stiff opposition to his bid to stop construction of a giant wind-farm going ahead near his Doonbeg golf resort.

Clare Coastal Windpower Ltd, which is behind the wind-farm, have lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanála against Clare Co Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the €20m, nine-turbine plan.

If the wind-farm proceeds, 23 local landowners are set to enjoy a dividend, from lease payments from the energy firm.

However, the planned development — some 6m taller than Dublin’s Spire — is facing widespread opposition in the Doonbeg area, with Mr Trump’s golf resort leading the charge against the proposal.

The CEO of the Trump organisation, George Sorial, said the group’s “strategy has not deviated”. “We will continue to oppose this very unpopular scheme until its ultimate demise,” said Mr Sorial.

Speaking from New York City, Mr Sorial confirmed that the Trump organisation would be making a submission to An Bord Pleanála on the appeal.

Already, the firm has lost over €420,000 on its investment in the current project and a previous, but larger and unsuccessful 45-turbine wind-farm at the Doonbeg site.

The most recent accounts for Clare Coastal Wind Power Ltd show that it had accumulated losses of €426,071 to the end of December 2013.

To date, the firm has nothing to show for its investment, apart from two refusals at An Bord Pleanála and Clare Co Council levels, and will be seeking to persuade the appeals board to overturn the council’s decision.

The plan last month was refused on a number of grounds.

However, the energy firm point out that the nearest turbine to the golf resort is 4km away.

They also state that the wind-farm site is located in an area designated as “accepted in principle” for wind-farm development.

In its decision to refuse planning permission, the council stated that, having regard to the scale of the proposed wind-farm, in conjunction with existing and permitted turbines in the area, and its location relative to the Doonbeg golf resort, the local village and other tourist amenities, the proposed development would “seriously injure the amenities of the area and would seriously detract from the tourism resource of the area”.

A decision is due on the appeal next year.


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