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  • West Cork Powerline Granted Permission

    An application by EirGrid to construct a 40 kilometres power line (110 kilovolts) between Clashavoon and Dunmanway in West Cork has been approved by An Bord Pleanala despite significant local opposition and the advice of their own inspector to provide one third of the line underground.

    The powerline included 227 number structures, comprising 198 number double woodpole structures, nine number braced woodpole structures, and 20 number steel tower structures.

    An oral hearing into the application was held in November 2011 in the Macroom Castle Hotel.

    According to the An Board Pleanala Inspector the proposed power line runs across the rural landscape of west Cork “in a transitional area between the lush rolling pastures of central Cork and the more exposed uplands characterising the area west of Macroom”.

    The An Bord Pleanala Inspector agreed that the argument raised by some objectors in relation to excessive power provision relative to demand had substance.  However he considered that even one large industrial energy user would make a major difference to demand, and it would be of concern that the region would be disadvantaged if a potential major employer was lost because of under provision of power availability.

    However, the Inspector considered that there is a strong case that the combined landscape, ecological and heritage issues in the area around the Lee Valley would justify undergrounding between Clashavoon and Terelton area – i.e. approximately one third of the line.

    An Bord Pleanala did not agree with their Inspector in terms of the suggested undergrounding on part of the line.  They considered that that the degree of sensitivity of the landscape did not warrant this change, notwithstanding the cumulative and interactive impacts of the proposed line in relation to existing overhead lines.  Permission was granted subject to 7 conditions.

    An Bord Pleanala have required part undergrounding of powerlines in previous instances where strateic infrasture was being applied for.  However, these cases related to Special Protected Areas and the need to protect birds from collisions.

    Published on November 1, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Green Energy, Important An Bord Pleanala Decisions, Rural Planning; Tagged as: , , , ,
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