Court hears landowners rights not taken into account in North-South connector decision
An Bord Pleanala failed to take into account the rights of affected landowners or the potential impact of Brexit in approving the development of the North-South electricity interconnector, the Commercial Court has been told.
Members of the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign Ltd, representing about 190 affected landowners, and Maura Sheehy, a farmer, of Teltown Road, Donaghpatrick, Co Meath, were in the packed court on Tuesday for the opening of their challenge to the Board's approval.
The case by the group and Ms Sheehy is against An Bord Pleanála; the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; and the State, with Eirgrid plc, the developer, as a notice party.
Conleth Bradley SC, for the applicants, said the grounds of challenge include failure by the Board to properly address the rights of the landowners, environmental issues or potential impact of Brexit.
The case is being heard by Mr Justice Max Barret who will also later hear two separate other challenges over the permission brought by David Malone, of Eurolaw Environmental Consultants, St Joseph's Terrace, Portarlington, Co Laois, and Val Martin, a farmer and environmental campaigner of Gortnakesh, Cavan.
All three cases concern the December 19, 2016, decision by the Board, following a 12 day oral hearing, to grant EirGrid permission, subject to various conditions, to construct almost 300 pylons in counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan.
The interconnector is planned to run from Batterstown in Co Meath to Turleenan in Co Tyrone. Eirgrid had said the overall cost of construction will be €286m - €180m for the proposed development in the Republic and €106m for the Northern Ireland element.
Outlining the landowners case, Mr Bradley said the dialogue concerning the interconnector was between the planning authority and the developer and the landowners were excluded.