NEPPC challenge An Bord Pleanála decision on North-South Interconnector

July 30, 2017

Judicial review lasting 6 days hears of major issues relating to the EirGrid planning application.

Word Doc; NEPPC Challenge ABP decision in High Court 18 July – 27 July 2017

The North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC), representing over 300 affected landowners and residents, and Maura Sheehy, a resident from Donaghpatrick, Co Meath, took a High Court challenge to the An Bord Pleanála decision to approve the construction of c. 300 pylons carrying 400,000 volts across Meath, Cavan and Monaghan. The hearing commenced on 18 July and lasted 6 days. The challenge involved not only An Bord Pleanála but also EirGrid, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action & the Environment, the State and the Attorney General.

Counsel for NEPPC and Maura Sheehy challenged the An Bord Pleanála decision on a number of critical issues including the following:

  • That the core decision itself to grant approval is unlawful on a range of grounds
  • That the designation of An Bord Pleanála as Competent Authority under the relevant EU regulations is unlawful
  • That the dual role of An Bord Pleanála gives rise to objective bias in its decision making on the North-South interconnector application.
  • That the failure by Eirgrid to obtain landowner consent for the development raises issues related to common law and issues related to constitutional rights or rights protected under the European Convention of Human Rights.
  • That the manner in which the planning application was made and the actual details of the planning permission raise numerous legal issues.
  • That there has been a failure to properly examine the alternative options such as undergrounding from an environmental perspective

One area that was covered in great detail is the fact that EirGrid did not apply for approval of access routes onto the property of affected landowners where pylons are planned to be constructed. The conditions of the An Bord Pleanála decision would lead to a situation where such access routes and access operations would be discussed between EirGrid and the local authority, but that landowners would remain excluded from such decisions related to their own lands.

The case closed on Thursday 27th July, with the Judge indicating a decision in the September/October timeframe.

NEPPC wishes to thank all of the large number of concerned landowners and residents and elected representatives and councillors who attended the packed hearing on a daily basis.

Ends –

Further information:

087 680 36 66;

Filed under: News & Events,Press Releases 2017

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NEPP is the overall representative group for the people of Ireland's North East who advocate that high power electric cables should go underground.

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