Kerry General Election candidate John Brassil has said he is extremely concerned about the lack of priority being given to the development of the Tarbert / Ballylongford landbank.
Councillor Brassil has said the project is currently listed as the 227th action point in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs for the South West and the plan says delivery of the development is the responsibility of Kerry County Council – despite the fact that the council don’t own the landbank and currently have no ability to drive the project forward.
Councillor Brassil said: “Tarbert has been long flagged for enterprise development and the Tarbert / Ballylongford landbank is of huge strategic importance for the region. Shannon LNG has planning permission to develop a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the Shannon estuary, in north Kerry. The plan for the terminal will see it receive LNG from ocean-going tankers, re-gasify it and deliver natural gas into the national transmission network. This project will increase our energy supply security.
“It is really important that this project is moved forward and the Tarbert / Ballylongford landbank is fully development to maximise its employment potential for the region. I’m concerned that this project is not getting the focus it should from the government. It’s currently listed at the 227th action item in the South West Region Action Plan for Jobs and the Government has named Kerry County Council as the responsible authority. The problem is Kerry County Council doesn’t own the landbank. This development is listed in the Action Plan for Jobs to be delivered in the 3rd quarter of next year but the landbank is currently owned by Shannon NewCo, the company formed with Shannon Airport through the dissolution of Shannon Development.
“The Government needs to immediately clarify where this project stands. Is the Government suggesting that Kerry County Council will be taking over the landbank from Shannon NewCo?
“Minister Jan O’Sullivan launched the Strategic Plan for Shannon Estuary almost two years ago on November 22nd 2013. At the time she described it as “ground breaking” and said it will “be of immense benefit to all who have a stakeholder interest in the Shannon Estuary.” I agree with those sentiments but that was two years ago – where is the Government now? The reality is this project is not getting the kind of attention it should for the scale of its importance. The Government is shortly to present a White Paper on Energy. The development at Tarbert and the addition of LNG alongside a combined heat and power (CHP) plant would help transform out energy agenda in Ireland. It deserves much more priority.”