Pylon fight will continue pledges Bannigan

13 November 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Following a meeting between EirGrid and members of Monaghan Co. Council this week, Colr Owen Bannigan stated that the opposition to the proposed 400 kV overhead powerline would continue.

Colr Bannigan has called for an independent inquiry into the submission by EirGrid of a flawed planning application in relation to their project, which led to the recent oral hearing on the development conducted by An Bord Pleanala collapsing.

The Mid-Monaghan public representative expressed his disappointment with the attitude of the EirGrid representatives at the meeting with the county authority, which took place in Carrickmacross.

“It is clear to me that EirGrid have learned nothing from their past mistakes,” the Mid-Monaghan public representative told The Northern Standard in a statement.

“They continue to ignore the very real concerns of landowners and residents along the proposed routes.

“It is EirGrid’s intention to reapply for planning permission for this controversial project again without addressing the concerns of local communities. The issues of Health, Property Devaluation, Agriculture, Visual Impact and Environment remain as very real concerns to the people of Co Monaghan. None of these concerns have been addressed.

“EirGrid submitted a flawed planning application last year and when these errors where exposed at the Oral Hearing, they withdrew the application, leaving taxpayers exposed to a bill in the region of 7 million euro and local communities in Co Monaghan with costs exceeding £500,000.

“An internal EirGrid report into why the errors occurred raises more questions than answers. A full independent inquiry must be carried out into the conduct of EirGrid and their consultants. Somebody must be held accountable for the willful waste of taxpayers’ money.

“EirGrid now tell us that they have retained the same consultants to prepare a new planning application, while at the same time, nobody has been held accountable for the waste of millions of euros. The Government and Minister Ryan must now intervene and ensure that those who are responsible for previous mistakes are held to account. We must have no more cover ups.”

Colr Bannigan added that EirGrid made it quite clear at the meeting that all routes are back on the agenda, and that the route in the new planning application may well change from the original “red” route.

“Consequently, my advice to local communities in Co Monaghan would be to remain on red alert.”

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