Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has welcomed a submission from Wicklow County Council to Eirgrid as part of their public consultation on the Grid Link project. The submission was unanimously endorsed by all members of the council at the council meeting on Monday last.
Speaking after the meeting councillor Brady said "I welcome the fact that the submission opposing the Grid Link project received unanimous support. Eirgrid as part of the Grid Link project has identified two possible routes through Wicklow for a 400kv power line, over ground using huge pylons."
The Sinn Féin Councillor continued “There has been a huge level of objection to the over grounding of the cables and communities have mobilised and submitted thousands of objections. The consultation process was due to end on November 26th; however the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications had asked Eirgrid to extend this consultation to the 31st December. EirGrid has agreed and will continue the consultation period until the 7th January 2014 to cater for the Christmas period.”
"The submission to Eirgrid raises concerns around a number of different issues including archaeology, tourism, landscape and settlement and the proximity to designated Natura 2000 sites within the County.”
Brady continued ““The government and EirGrid must listen to the concerns of communities regarding this project and also listen to the very real and sustainable alternatives to overheard power lines. Underground cables, at installation, may cost more than overheard but the fact is that they are more economical in the longer-term. They are low maintenance, have lower transmission losses, have a longer lifespan, and have no environmental impact. This would suggest that the initial outlay will be off-set over time by the many advantages. An international expert commission, employed by the government, found that the undergrounding of cables is a “viable option”.
“I appeal to EirGrid to act responsibly and to respond to the all-elected view, and the opinion of the people of the affected areas, the affected counties and constituencies and to proceed by underground cabling.”