Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has confirmed that An Bord Pleanála is set to begin public hearing sessions for the North – South Interconnector planning process from next March.
Senator Byrne is strongly opposed to the project and says he will be making a submission to the hearing to outline the serious concerns that residents in Meath have regarding the proposals.
“I’ve long held the view that this project is unworkable. There needs to be community consensus for the project and a far greater emphasis needs to be placed on upgrading existing infrastructure alongside ensuring that the new transmission line is placed underground,” said Senator Byrne.
“People in Meath feel that their concerns have not been taken on board by those pushing this project. They are not being treated equally as the development of new transmission lines in other parts of the country are proceeding with the lines being placed underground. However Meath residents are being told that the North South Interconnector has to be developed over ground. It’s unacceptable.
“Meath residents now have their chance to make their voices heard in relation to these proposals. I’ve been informed by An Bord Pleanála that the public hearing for the project will begin in March. I’ll be making a strong submission outlining why I think the proposals have to be cast aside. I encourage others with similar concerns to make a submission during the public hearings.
“In Fianna Fáil’s energy policy launched this year, we outlined that grid development such as planned under the North South Interconnector should be subject to a full economic review in light of our reduced energy needs. Fianna Fáil maintains that undergrounding the North – South Connector is the most preferential route along with upgrading existing infrastructure and this will form a key part of my submission,” concluded Senator Byrne.