Tuesday 25 June 2019

Intel gets go-ahead from council for €3.5bn update to Leixlip plant

Campaigner: Peter Sweetman has told the council he would appeal
Campaigner: Peter Sweetman has told the council he would appeal

Gordon Deegan

Kildare County Council has given the green light to plans by Intel for its planned new $4bn (€3.53bn) manufacturing fabrication (fab) facility at its Leixlip plant.

The planning authority has given the chip giant the go-ahead in spite of a small number of objections against the proposal including one from long-time planning opponent of Intel at Leixlip, local farmer Thomas Reid.

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The 10-year permission to Intel will provide a windfall for Kildare County Council - if work on the project proceeds.

The follows the council, in response to the scale of the project, including in one of the 34 conditions attached to the permission a requirement that Intel Ireland Ltd pay the council €9.723m in development contributions.

The planning permission comes three years after Intel secured planning permission for the first phase of the 'fab' facility valued at $4bn.

In total, the two planning permissions represent an $8bn investment which will employ 6,000 construction workers at peak and 1,600 full-time jobs on completion.

The projects represent the largest single private investment in the history of the State on one project if given the go-ahead by Intel globally.

Consultants for Intel have told the council that the firm has already invested $12.5bn at its Leixlip site.

However, the council's grant of planning permission is almost certainly to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Well-known environmentalist Peter Sweetman wrote to the council last month to say that he would be appealing any decision to grant planning to the appeals board or to the High Court.

Mr Sweetman said that he would be appealing after claiming that the council excluded him from participating in the Environmental Impact and Habitats Assessment process.

Irish Independent

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