High Court refuses public Appeal of original decision on North-South Interconnector

January 14, 2018

Media Release from North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC)

The High Court on 11th January refused to grant NEPPC and Maura Sheehy leave to appeal the  Judgment on 22nd August 2017, which upheld the An Bord Pleanála approval of EirGrid’s planning application for the North South Interconnector. The High Court in its Judgment found no point of law of exceptional public importance nor any desirable public interest that an appeal should be allowed to the Court of Appeal.

NEPPC wishes to make the following statements regarding the Judgment:

  1.  The Court found that the benefits of the Interconnector outlined by EirGrid outweighed any possible element of public interest claimed by the applicants. This demotes real people to being of insignificant value. It also misses the point totally that an acceptable alternative technology exists, which EirGrid refuses to examine.
  2. The Court found some of the applicants submissions to be ‘factually unsound’. The Court states the example of ELF (Electromagnetic fields), whereby the Planning Inspector and An Bord Pleanála(ABP) found no claim to be substantiated. But this body has zero expertise in this area. At the outset of the oral hearing NEPPC asked ABP to bring in an expert in this area, but it refused to do so.
  3. The Court is very critical of the request for an Appeal, stating that it is consuming the time and resources of EirGrid and ABP etc and that this will have to be taken into account when orders for costs are being considered. NEPPC wishes to express its outright rejection of any suggestion that the public/NEPPC are wasting EirGrid’s time and resources. Is the Court not aware of the original planning application, the withdrawal after wasting 7 weeks of the public’s time and the company’s wanton waste of taxpayers’ monies?
  4. NEPPC notes that EirGrid has produced a press release welcoming the Court’s decision, stating how critical the project is and that they “ look forward to moving on to the next stage of the project, in particular engaging with landowners in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan who are directly affected by it.” These are the very same farmers whom EirGrid will chase for every cent of its’ legal costs. NEPPC will keep all farmers fully updated on EirGrid’s actions.
  5. NEPPC wishes to make it clear to all those potentially affected by the project that this result changes absolutely nothing. We have always approached the campaign from 3 angles – landowner/community solidarity, legal and political.
  6. NEPPC once again calls on the political establishment in power to wake up to the impending conflict that is approaching and find a political solution.  EirGrid needs to be made face reality and design an appropriate underground solution. Otherwise this project is doomed to failure.

 Ends –

Further information:

087 680 36 66;www.nepp.ie

Filed under: Press Releases 2018

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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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