Independent MEP Marian Harkin has warmly welcomed the positive response from Minister Denis Naughten to her request for a meeting at which objectors to the granting of planning permission for an overhead powerline to Northern Ireland can make the case for undergrounding the cable. “I hope this meeting will be held in the second week of January” she said.
Supporting the undergrounding of the electricity interconnector, she said that unspoiled landscape, which enhanced the economic value of tourism to Ireland’s North-East, would be protected by undergrounding the cross border electricity connector. “The decision of An Bord Pleanala to approve the overhead cable is wrong economically and also disregards the important health issues involved”, she claimed.
She concluded:-“EirGrid, when challenged on its Grid Link project, found that it could be changed. Having regard to the serious community objections to a 135km overhead line and 299 pylons with associated health issues, property devaluation and landscape despoliation I believe that undergrounding would resolve the health issues, be correct for the communities involved and financially positive for the country in the long term”.