€3.5m claims from landowners against ESB
The ESB is facing compensation claims for some €3.5m from property owners whose land is needed to run power cables for the national infrastructure.
Some €1.9m has already been paid in up-front payments to landowners affected by the 24km Kinnegad to Mullingar line, it says.
One landowner along that line, who has already accepted a €66,000 payment for "flexibility of access" to his property has put in a claim for nearly 10 times that amount, the ESB says.
Now the ESB wants the Commercial Court to rule on whether the €66,000 payment can be taken into account by an arbitrator who has been appointed to decide Kenneth Payne's €640,500 claim for access to his land in Co Meath.
ESB landowner engagement manager, Colm Smyth, says in an affidavit, the cost of this compensation "directly impacts on the cost of electricity".
He says the ESB is experiencing "a substantial growth" in such claims and for requests that they be sent for arbitration. Some €3.5m in claims have already been received.
In the Payne case, the ESB asked arbitrator Desmond Boyle, who was appointed to deal with the claim, to state a case to the High Court on whether the €66,000 should be taken into account in assessing compensations.
Mr Boyle decided it was inappropriate for him to do so.