Irish Georgian Society critices EirGrid plan
Impact of company’s proposal on national monuments emphasised
Irish Georgian Society: “Through this pastoral scene EirGrid intend to position the transmission lines and supporting 60 metre-high pylons, out of all proportion and scale to the structure and detail of the landscape.” Photograph: David Sleator
The Irish Georgian Society has expressed its opposition to EirGrid’s controversial plans for a line of high voltage cable on 60 metre pylons stretching from Cork to Waterford and from there north through a number of other counties.
In a submission to EirGrid’s consultation process, which the society circulated yesterday, it said the various routes suggested by the company were based on a “desk top” examination of landscape and buildings affected.
“The society is gravely concerned that the identification of these feasibility corridors has been based solely or primarily on the findings of desktop analysis of existing datasets in circumstances where EirGrid acknowledges that many of these datasets are incomplete,” read the submission, which was signed by the group’s executive director Donough Cahill.
No independent analysis
“EirGrid would appear to have effectively completed the consideration of alternative routes without carrying out any independent analysis or study of landscape considerations, including historic landscape characterisation
. . . sites, structures and landscapes of architectural, archaeological and cultural importance likely to be sensitive to the development of the Grid Link project must be considered,” argued the submission.
Heritage buildings built with a deliberate relationship to their surrounding landscape needed to be respected.
“Much of Ireland’s most distinguished architectural heritage is to be found in its landscapes, whether it be National Monuments or protected structures, ecclesiastical buildings and ruins or country houses, whether grand or modest in scale.
“What is distinctive for all of these structures is their siting and setting. Furthermore, their associated lands and/or demesnes had been designed, elaborated, planted and inhabited to enhance the setting. Rivers, loughs, hills, magnificent valleys and mountains are all engaged and embraced whether as framed views or as elements within the designs.
“Through this pastoral scene EirGrid intend to position the transmission lines and supporting 60 metre-high pylons, out of all proportion and scale to the structure and detail of the landscape.”
EirGrid has said it hopes to announce its preferred route in the €500 million Grid Link project in June, following which there will be further consultations before planning permission is sought.
The society says the final choice of route should “take account of the special contribution made by architectural heritage to the Irish economy and ensure the protection of that architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage into the future”.