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Interconnector planning application to be made public tomorrow

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A planning application for the southern section of the controversial cross-border interconnector is to go out to public consultation from tomorrow (Tuesday).

EirGrid, which is responsible for the southern span of the 85 mile interconnector, stretching from Moy in County Tyrone, across County Armagh and on to County Meath, has lodged a fresh application with An Bord Pleanála.

The precise details will not be known until it is formally advertised ahead of a 10-week period of public consultation.

The £250 million interconnector has been dogged with controversy and has been subject to public hearings.

An application by NIE is currently with the Planning Appeals Commission.

Pressure group SEAT (Safe Electricity for Armagh and Tyrone) has long campaigned for the 400,000 volt power lines to be placed underground, citing health and environmental concerns among the objections.

But the application to be advertised tomorrow in the Republic will be for “overhead” cables.

Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has asked the Environment Committee for an update on the proposed north-south interconnector project.

Mr Boylan, who sits on the Environment Committee, said there seemed to be movement on the issue in the south and he wanted to know had there been any new details on the northern side.

“This project has tremendous potential but people have very legitimate concerns about it that must be heeded,” he said.

“There has been talk of this project for years and I wanted to know if there had been any new developments on the northern side.

“It’s important that people are kept in the loop on this issue and whenever I find out any new details I’ll be reporting back to my constituents.”

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