‘Compulsory Purchase Orders: EirGrid is on shaky ground’ – NEPP response

September 14, 2009

NEPP welcomes the admission by EirGrid that the company is on shaky ground in trying to rely on Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO).

The North East Pylon Pressure campaign (NEPP) welcomes the admission by EirGrid that the company is on shaky ground in trying to rely on Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) as their only means of implementing their proposals to string giant pylons and ultra high power overhead lines across the North East.

EirGrid’s Project Manager, Mr Tomás Mahony, admitted this in an interview on Northern Sound FM this week. The EirGrid spokesman told the radio station: ‘The term CPO has certain connotations which don’t actually apply to this project’. He went on to say: ‘It’s not about trying to buy land or move people or whatever. It’s just about getting permission to get to the land where the towers would need to be built and to string the lines’.

At a meeting of Monaghan County Council on Monday another EirGrid official, Mr Bernard O’Reilly, had claimed they had a right to use Compulsory Purchase Orders against landowners and that they had done so in the past.

A spokesperson for NEPP said: ‘EirGrid’s admission has been a long time in coming but it has been worth waiting for. Concerns over compulsory acquisition of land have been a major worry for more than four hundred farm families along the proposed route who would be affected. Mr O’Reilly’s comments to the councillors were misleading and mischievous. They were intended to frighten landowners. However, they will not be frightened in this way but will stand together, united, to defeat EirGrid’s proposals’.

In the same radio interview, Mr Tomás Mahony, EirGrid’s Project Manager, agreed that ‘people have to be respected and their views taken into account’. The NEPP spokesperson explained that unless farmers agree to allow EirGrid on to their land they cannot be forced to do so. Back in 1985, the ESB recognised the weakness of their legal position by negotiating a Code of Practice with the Irish Farmers’ Association. The NEPP spokesperson said: ‘EirGrid have no such Code of Practice in place, nor will they ever have. The IFA have already written to EirGrid stating that they will not negotiate with them, unless it was in full co-operation with NEPP – and we will never agree to pylons.’

Filed under: News & Events,Press Releases 2007-2009

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