Changes to CPO legislation on the way after farmer prevents purchase of land for tech giant
Farmers say current legislation “among the most draconian pieces of legislation in the country"
Jobs agency IDA is to be handed newly-enhanced powers to compulsorily purchase land after its previous failure to acquire land for tech giant Intel in Kildare.
The new legislation - the first by any department in 2018 - has been introduced by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries.
It is aimed at fixing issues that landed the State agency in a legal quagmire over its attempted purchase of a 72-acre farm owned by Kildare farmer Thomas Reid.
The proposed Industrial Development (Amendment) Bill 2018 will ensure that the State agency has the legal basis to continue to acquire property in pursuit of its industrial development functions, according to an explanatory memorandum written by the Government department.
Intel has since lodged plans for a massive 90,000 square metre extension at the Leixlip plant that could create 850 full-time jobs and 3,000 construction jobs. That development was given the go-ahead in October by An Bord Pleanala.
There has been speculation in recent days that the huge project could soon get the green light but, although refurbishment work is planned for parts of the plant, an Intel spokesperson said the go-ahead for the extension was no closer.
"The planning permission from October 2017 forms part of our regular practice to ensure operational readiness and preparedness, and as such we continually take planning and preparatory steps to best position Ireland to respond to future demands of the corporation," he said.
Irish Farmers Association National Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has described the current CPO legislation as “among the most draconian and toughest pieces of legislation in the country.”