Electricity infrastructure has been responsible for some of the most significant court decisions and changes in planning practice in recent years, as the full rigour of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) processes were applied to electricity infrastructure projects.
Large scale electricity transmission projects are notoriously contentious, but Ireland is not alone is seeing significant opposition to such infrastructure. Smaller-scale electricity infrastructure including electricity substations, battery storage projects and even underground cables, have also attracted much opposition in recent years as they are often seen as enabling infrastructure for other types of development.
Practitioners in the industry are now acutely aware of whether any electricity infrastructure could be deemed integral to a project requiring EIA or AA and the implications of that on the need for planning permission. Project applicants are also increasingly aware of the need for projects to satisfy the provisions of S.182A, and also the need for other consents, whether they be landowner-related or such as road opening licences for underground works along public roads.
MKO have devised the planning strategy for a wide range of large-scale electricity transmission projects, and with environmental impact assessment and ecology as complimentary core company competencies, are extremely well positioned to assist clients secure robust consents for their projects.