asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the recent strong statement of the Electricity Supply Board concerning his refusal of permission for overhead transmission lines at Turlough Hill, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Turlough Hill Transmission Lines.
My attention was drawn to the statement made by the ESB in this case. In making my decision regarding the siting of the transmission lines in the vicinity of Turlough Hill following appeals to me under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963, I was restricted to considering the proper planning and development of the area including the preservation of the amenities thereof, and I took my decision accordingly. I had before me the case made by Bord Fáilte Éireann and residents of Valleymount and Hollywood against overhead lines, the case made by the ESB for them, the report of the planning authority and that of the Department's inspector. In view of the importance of the case, I felt it necessary to inspect the site myself. The order embodying my decision stated that the reason for it was that the erection of pylons and overhead transmission lines within the Wicklow Gap would seriously injure an area of outstanding natural beauty which is of major importance as a recreational and tourist amenity.
It is natural that a person or body affected by a decision may feel aggrieved by it if it goes against them. I doubt if it would serve any useful purpose if I were to make it a general practice to take up a statement issued by such an aggrieved person or body on issues already considered in relation to the appeal.