Following a two-stage public inquiry before the Planning Appeals Commission in June 2016 and February 2017, the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure today issued its decision granting System Operator Northern Ireland (‘SONI’), a subsidiary of EirGrid, planning permission for the Northern Ireland element of the North-South Ireland Interconnector, a 400kv strategic link between the electricity grids of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Permission for the Republic of Ireland element of the Interconnector was granted by the An Bord Pleanala in December 2016. The Interconnector will involve 85 miles of overhead lines and pylons and is the largest proposed infrastructure project in Northern Ireland in recent years. It is regarded as of profound importance to the security of Northern Ireland’s electricity supply and the success of the all-Ireland Single Electricity Market.
Scott Lyness appeared at the inquiry for SONI (with William Orbinson QC), instructed by Carson McDowell LLP.
John Litton QC and Charles Banner appeared at the inquiry for the Department for Infrastructure and subsequently advised the Department on its decision.
The case illustrates Landmark’s capability in seeing the highest level infrastructure projects through the planning process.