EirGrid has extended the deadline for public submissions on the controversial €500m Grid Link overhead powerline project until 5pm on Tuesday, January 7.
The announcement was made on Monday, the day before the original public submissions deadline, which was yesterday (Tuesday, November 26).
Thousands of public submissions from throughout South Tipperary were sent to Eirgrid in the past week highlighting the strength of public opposition to locating the power line carried by 46m high pylons along either of the the two 1km route corridor options passing through the county.
The so-called K2 and K9 route corridor options pass through some of the most scenic areas in the county and along its borders including the Knockmealdowns/Galtees valley, the valley of Slievenamon and Comeragh Mountains.
Grid Link Project Manager John Lowry said Eirgrid was extending the consultation period so that interested parties have plenty of time to have their say in relation to this vital project.
The extension has been welcomed by South Tipperary Independent TDs Mattie McGrath and Seamus Healy.
Deputy McGrath said it was a vistory for those who have been calling for more time for public sumissions for some time and the first step by Eirgrid in creating a more meaningful and effective engagement with the public.
“It is imperative the momentum is maintained and the expanded timeframe is used to maximum effect.
“One of the chief ways in which this can be achieved is for the high level of public participation at public meetings to continue,” he said.
Deputy Healy said he was seriously concerned Eirgrid was presenting overhead lines as a fait accompli in this consultation process , which facilitate efforts by government politicians to characterise objectors as being guilty of “nimbyism” (Not in my back yard)
“I urge all those making submissions to contest the fundamental principle of high voltage overhead lines and monstrous pylons and to unite together on this basis.”