ESB offers farmers €12,000 per pylon in 'uprating' works

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Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

Farmers who have ESB pylons on their land have been offered up to €12,000 per pylon by ESB Networks to carry out "uprating" works on their property.

The amount that's currently on the table is far in excess of the €250 initially offered in compensation after some farmers objected to them going onto their land.

It is understood about 40 landowners are affected in the north Kerry area, whose lands contain pylons that are being uprated as part of the Knockanure to Tarbert 220KV uprate project.

It is also understood that three landowners have refused to accept the offer and are still in negotiations with ESB Networks.

An independent agricultural adviser, who acted for three landowners, has questioned why ESB Networks discontinued negotiations with him that it had initiated.

Tralee-based Eddie McQuinn said: "The core of my argument is you can't have a flat rate for everybody because the circumstances are totally different on individual farms so it has to be on a case by case basis."

Mr McQuinn has also questioned who had given a mandate to ESB Networks on the amount to pay out and why had this increased significantly from an initial offer of €250.

He said "intense negotiations" had taken place between him and ESB Networks after an offer of €250 had been made but that ESB Networks then "pulled back completely" and broke off negotiations with him.

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Mr McQuinn further claims he was told by ESB Networks that it would only deal with landowners directly and not with an agent appointed on their behalf.

One landowner with three pylons located on his farm has insisted he will not accept the €36,000 he has been offered because of the way he claims he was treated.

ESB Networks declined to comment on the issues raised by either the landowners or Mr McQuinn.

A statement on its behalf said: "ESB Networks are in discussions with landowners regarding the completion of the Knockanure-Tarbert 220KV uprate project. These discussions are ongoing with a view to completion of the work.

"ESB Networks cannot discuss, with a third party, its dealings or arrangements with individual landowners."

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