INTERCONNECTOR HEARING GETS UNDERWAY AMIDST LEGAL CHALLENGE

13 March 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

A legal challenge next week by objectors to EirGrid’s plan for a North-South electricity interconnector could stall an oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála which got underway in Carrickmacross on Monday. Two senior planning inspectors from the Board opened the inquiry at the Nuremore Hotel and outlined a schedule for the sittings this month. Twelve weeks have been set aside for the hearing into what is said to be the largest infrastructure development in the state.

A representative for the County Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee Allen McAdam said the public consultation process had been selectively used by EirGrid to produce the desired outcome. He said the project would bring no economic benefit to Monaghan. However EirGrid said it had carried out consultation that had been meaningful and accountable in accordance with international principles. It also acknowledged that lessons had been learned from feedback received regarding the proposed development. All comments had been brought back and used by the project team.

A lawyer for the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign explained that the hearing was the subject of High Court proceedings being taken by the group the same day. NEPPC represents almost 200 landowners in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, and an affected resident in Meath. The legal action taken by the group in Dublin challenged the validity of the North-South 400kV interconnector application submitted by EirGrid in June 2015.

The group sought an injunction to restrain the holding of the oral hearing until the proceedings were resolved. Judge Humphreys did not grant an interim order to stop the Bord Pleanála hearing. But he agreed to a judicial review which will be held on Friday week, 18th March.

NEPPC later stated that on March 1st the Planning Appeals Commission in ….

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