Plans approved for €1bn electricity cable between Ireland and France
Planning permission has been granted for the Celtic Interconnector, a joint project between Ireland and France to exchange electricity by using a subsea link. An Bord Pleanála approved plans today for the Celtic Interconnector Project, subject to a number of conditions.
In July 2021, Eirgrid submitted the planning application for the Irish on-shore element of the project which is made up of the landfall of the cable in Youghal, cable route, converter station and network connection and associated technologies. The subsea cable comes ashore at Claycastle Beach, in Youghal.
The Celtic Interconnector project is being partly funded by the EU under the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy Programme, which saw the project receive €530 million in funding.The interconnector has been designed to have capacity of 700 MW, equivalent to the power used by 450,000 homes. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.
Planning regulator calls for ban on new data centres by South Dublin County Council to be reversed
The Office of the Planning Regulator has criticised recent amendments approved by councillors to the council’s draft development plan that would introduce such a ban as being without any “strategic justification.” Amendments proposed by People Before Profit councillor, Madeline Johansson, which were passed by 18 votes to 14 in March resulted in data centres being changed from “open for consideration” on lands zoned for employment use to “not permitted.”
Although there are 1,352 hectares of lands zoned specifically for employment use in the county, approximately 624 hectares – 46% of the total area – remains undeveloped.
There are already several large data centres within the area governed by South Dublin County Council including sites in Grange Castle and Citywest where companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Google operate such facilities, while 90% of all data centres in Ireland are located in Dublin city and county.
South Dublin Chamber said it was alarmed at the proposed change and argued the issue of power and water supplies for data centres were “fundamentally national matters” which would be addressed by agencies like Eirgrid and Irish Water instead of leaving it to “a piecemeal approach based on each local self-interest.”
“No one would suggest a car could work without a battery and we do not see any way we can have a technology industry in Ireland without data centres,” said the chamber’s chief executive, Peter Byrne.
He pointed out that excess heat from a data centre was being used by the Tallaght District Heating System to heat civic offices. South Dublin County Council said councillors would consider a report by its chief executive on submissions made to the amendments before finalising the development plan in June.
Government ‘deluded’ about 80% renewable energy 2030
John Reilly, Bord na Mona’s head of power generation stated that “For whatever reason”, Ireland is “not able to deliver energy infrastructure”, and the country was ‘mad if we think we can achieve the 2030 targets from where we are today’.
The state’s 2030 targets for renewable energy are not realistic due to planning delays and the severe lack of investment in the power grid over the last decade, a senior executive at Bord na Mona has told the Business Post.
John Reilly continued “We’re not executing our renewables strategy well. We’ve too many bottlenecks in the system and we’re simply not able to deliver the infrastructure required. I have to say I think we’re mad if we think we can achieve the 2030 targets from where we are today. I think we’re deluding ourselves.”
Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer, has cast doubt on Eirgrid’s ability to meet its climate targets by 2030, claiming the semi-State grid operator is underinvesting in the grid and that its policy approach has “critical flaws”, according to the Sunday Times.
Open consultations on Statutory Plans
Draft Donegal County Development Plan 2024-2030
Donegal County Council have prepared a Pre-Draft Public Consultation Paper which sets out come key issues and questions in preparation for the Draft Donegal County Development Plan for the period 2024-2030. The Pre-Draft Issues and Options Paper can be viewed at https://donegaldevplan.ie/en/system/files/materials/24/Issues%20and%20Options%20Paper.pdf and will be open for public consultation from Friday 8th of April to Friday 3rd June 2022 (Inclusive).
Submissions or observations in relation to the Pre-Draft Public Consultation are welcome and can be made either online at https://donegaldevplan.ie/ , in writing to the CDP Review, Central Planning Unit, Donegal County Council, County House, Lifford, Co. Donegal, F93 Y622 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft Louth County Development Plan 2021-2027
Louth County Council have prepared a a variation of the Louth County Development Plan 2021-2027. The purpose of this variation is to update the County Development Plan to ensure that the housing provision in the Development Plan is consistent with national and regional policy, and to make sure the Plan is consistent with Part V of the Planning and Development Act as amended by the Affordable Housing Act 2021. The Proposed Variation can be viewed at https://www.louthcoco.ie/en/publications/development-plans/louth-county-development-plan-2021-2027/proposed-variation-no-1-of-lcdp-2021-2027-18-may-2022-.pdf . Submissions regarding the proposed Variation (and associated SEA and AA Screening documents) can be made between Wednesday 18th May, 2022 and 4pm on Friday 17th June, 2022.
Submissions or observations in relation to the proposed Variation are welcome and can be made via email email@example.com or in writing to Thomas McEvoy, A/Director of Services, Lough County Council, Town Hall, Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth A91 W20C
Draft Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028
Kerry County Council have released Material Alterations to the Draft Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028. Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed Alterations will be available for viewing at https://consult.kerrycoco.ie/ between Wednesday 18th May and 5pm on Thursday 16th June 2022 (Inclusive).
Submissions or observations in relation to the Material Alterations are welcome and can be made online at https://consult.kerrycoco.ie/ by using the ‘Make a Submission’ function or in writing to Damien Ginty, Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Kerry County Council, Rathass, Tralee, co. Kerry V92H7BT.