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New interconnector bid lodged across Counties Tyrone and Armagh

A total of 102 towers carrying 400,000kV cables – that’s what the north-south interconnector will consist of if it goes ahead.

After a long period in limbo and dogged with controversy, the Department of Environment today (Tuesday) published its official plans.

And, despite protests from pressure groups amid health and environmental concerns, the application which has been lodged is for overhead cables.

They will stretch from Trewmount in Moy, across Benburb, Killylea, Armagh, Keady and beyond to the border.

And there a separate application has been submitted by EirGrid which will carry the £250 million inter-connector on to Cavan.

The official planning application is for: “Lands between the proposed new NIE substation at the rear of 152 Trewmount Road, Moy, Co Tyrone, in the townland of Turleenan, to the townlands of Doohat or Crossreagh and Crossbane, Co Armagh, on the border with the Republic Of Ireland.”

The Department will show the application in a range of public places to allow for as much consultation as possible.

It says it is accompanied by environmental statements, with further environmental research having been received.

The original application had been submitted by Northern Ireland Electricty and led to a planning appeal which was later parked.

From April 30 last year, responsibility for the north-south interconnector bid here fell to System Operator Northern Ireland (SONI Ltd).

It intends a single circuit 400kV overhead line, comprising 102 towers, over 34.1kms, from Trewmount Road, Moy, to te border.

Works would include site levelling, site preparation works, amending existing access points, construction of new access points, construction of new access lanes, construction of working areas, stringing areas, guarding, site boundary fencing and related mitigation works.

Associated works will be required to amend the existing 275kV line, removing one existing 275kV tower and the erection of two new 275kV towers.

Given the scale of the proposals, and the level of public interest, the decision on whether or not to proceed will rest with the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

The single overhead line will stretch from Trewmount Road in Moy, and constructed along the following route: Derrygalley Way; Major’s Lane; Moy Road; Culkeeran Road; Rhone Road; Gorestown Road; Culrevog Road; Benburb Road; Drumlee Road; Clonfeacle Road; Tullydowey Road; Artasooly Road; Tullysaran Road; Tullyneagh Road; Battleford Road,; Bracknagh Road; Lisdown Road; Navan Fort Road; Killylea Road; Ballyhoy Road; Tullycallidy Road; Cormeen Road; Brootally Road; Dernalea Road; Monaghan Road; Maddan Road; Hanslough Road; Cavanagarvan Road; Sheetrim Road; Drumhillery Road; Tivnacree Road; Rawes Road; Glassdrummond Road; Fergort Road; Listrakelt Road; Derrynoose Road; Doohat Road; and Crossbane Road.

It will impact in the vicinity of residents, living within the following postal code areas: BT60 3DJ; BT60 3DN; BT60 3DP; BT60 3DT; BT60 3DW; BT60 3EB; BT60 3ED, BT60 3EE, BT60 3EZ; BT60 3HB; BT60 3HD; BT60 3HE; BT60 3HF; BT60 3LJ; BT60 3LL; BT60 3LN; BT60 3PZ; BT60 3QD; BT60 3QE; BT60 3QF; BT60 4DU; BT60 4DX; BT60 4DY; BT60 4DZ; BT60 4EA; BT60 4EB; BT60 4EE; BT60 4EF; BT60 4EZ; BT60 4HG; BT60 4HQ, BT60 4HR; BT60 4LH; BT60 4LJ; BT60 4LL; BT60 4LQ; BT60 4NE; BT60 4NF; BT60 4PU; BT60 4PX; BT60 4PY; BT60 4QA; BT61 8BN; BT61 8BP; BT61 8BR; BT61 8BS; BT61 8BT; BT61 8HE; BT61 8HF; BT71 6LY; BT71 7DX; BT71 7DY; BT71 7DZ; BT71 7EB; BT71 7ED; BT71 7EG; BT71 7EQ; BT71 7EU; BT71 7EW; BT71 7EX; BT71 7FG; BT71 7HS; BT71 7JT; BT71 7LN; BT71 7LP; BT71 7LX; BT71 7PY; BT71 7PZ; BT71 7QA; BT71 7QB; BT71 7QD; BT71 7QE; and , BT71 7SQ.

In support of the application, the DoE says further environmental information relating to the Consolidated Environmental Statement (2013) has been submitted, containing updates surrounding the project, a joint SONI/EirGrid environmental report, an update on need, an overview of planning and policy issues, a cumulative impact assessment, a haulage route assessment, updated ecological assessment, an air quality and climate assessment, an assessment of technology alternatives and a noise assessment.

And because of the vast amout of additional information, the Department says it has not been possible to notify again all those neighbours and individuals who had submitted letters of objection.

The new information may be examined at the Strategic Planning Division, Level 5, Causeway Exchange, 1-7 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EG (Tel: 0300 200 7830). It can also be viewed at the Planning NI Web Portal via Public Access www.planningni.gov.uk.

Copies are also on public show at Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council offices at the Palace Demesne, Armagh, and at the Mid Ulster District Council offices on Dungannon’s Circular Road.

In addition, of the branch libraries in Armagh, Dungannon and Portadown will have the material on public display.

Written representations can be forwarded to DOE Strategic Planning Division, Level 5, Causeway Exchange, 1-7 Bedford Street, Town Parks, Belfast, BT2 7EG.

Responded can be lodged for the next four weeks, quoting the reference: 0/2013/0214/F.

The DoE says that all previous representations remain valid and will be taken into consideration before a decision is made.

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