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Opposition grows to EirGrid's 45m-high pylons

Opposition is growing to the controversial proposal to build a corridor of 45m-high pylons for electricity lines through some of Ireland's most scenic areas.

The €500m Grid Link Project will connect substations in Knockraha, Co Cork to Dunstown near Kilcullen, Co Kildare, via Great Island, Co Wexford.

There are eight possible options for the link between Knockraha and Great Island, and another six between Great Island and Dunstown.

Each route is a 1km-wide corridor and a planning application for the final route will be lodged in 2015. At a proposed height of 45m, the pylons would be 10 times the height of an average bungalow.

EirGrid said the new 400kV overhead power line linking Leinster and Munster would provide a platform for economic growth and job creation in the south and east.

However the crowds attending public meetings against the 4,000 proposed pylons are growing by the week, with 500 locals turning up in Piltown, Co Kilkenny and more expected at a meeting in Cahir, Co Tipperary tonight. A protest march is being organised at Mahon Falls in Co Waterford on Saturday, November 9 at 1pm.

One option being sought by opponents to the pylon plan is that the high-voltage electricity lines be buried rather than carried on overhead lines.

Eirgrid has not revealed the payment rates to landowners on whose land the proposed pylons would be built but it is understood to be in the region of €20,000. The IFA has advised farmers, landowners and the public to make their opinions on the project known to EirGrid before the consultation period ends on November 26.

Feedback from this consultation will be used to identify the 'least constrained' corridor which best avoids social, environmental, technical and other constraints.

Detailed information on the routes is available to download from /projects/gridlink and is on view at the Grid Link Project information centres in Carlow, Carrick-on-Suir, Kilcullen, Midleton and New Ross.

Irish Independent