Intel answers council’s questions on planning application for $4bn Leixlip plant

US company took just seven days to respond to queries from Kildare County Council

Consultants for Intel have told Kildare County Council that the firm has already invested $12.5 billion on its site at Leixlip and the firm is seeking a 10-year planning permission for its new application. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Consultants for Intel have told Kildare County Council that the firm has already invested $12.5 billion on its site at Leixlip and the firm is seeking a 10-year planning permission for its new application. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

The way is clear for Intel to get the go-ahead for its planned $4 billion (€3.5 billion) manufacturing fabrication (FAB) facility at its Leixlip plant from Kildare County Council.

This follows the company issuing replies to all queries the council had placed on Intel’s plan last month.

In a sign of the urgency that Intel is attaching to its planning application, the US company took just seven days to issue its response to the various queries.

However, even if the chip giant secures planning permission next month, the decision is open for third parties to appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Local farmer Thomas Reid has lodged an objection against the plan. Mr Reid has long been a thorn in the side of the multinational.

This is the seventh Intel Leixlip application the farmer has objected to since 2012, with six previous applications brought to An Bord Pleanála.

First phase

Peter Sweetman has also lodged a submission on the plan. Mr Sweetman has previously declared “I am a Nimby [not in my back yard] and Ireland is my back yard”.

In 2016, Intel secured planning permission for the first phase of its FAB facility valued at $4 billion and the new application, which is an extension of the original plan, represents an additional investment of $4 billion.

In total, the facility would employ 6,000 construction workers at peak and 1,600 full time jobs on completion. It would represent the largest single private investment in the history of the State if given the go-ahead.

New application

Consultants for Intel have told Kildare County Council that the firm has already invested $12.5 billion on its site at Leixlip and the firm is seeking a 10-year planning permission for its new application.

The primary aspect of the council’s further information request last month concerned an EirGrid connection to facilitate the new plant.

It asked Intel to set out the cumulative effects of the Intel plan and a new substation to provide the electricity for the proposal.

In its response, Intel stressed that a new substation was not required to be in place in order for the Fab plant to proceed.

Instead, Intel state that the new plant would be powered via existing Intel site grid infrastructure – transmission lines and infrastructure – until such time as the EirGrid project was implemented and connected to the entire Intel facility.

‘Legitimate concerns’

On the concerns expressed by Mr Reid of Hedsor House, Blakestown, Carton, Maynooth, and other third parties to the development, consultants for Intel state that the information it has provided in the application shows “that the legitimate concerns of agencies and of our neighbours have been anticipated and comprehensively addressed in the application”.

Mr Reid unsuccessfully opposed the $4 billion first phase of the Fab plan in 2017 when lodging an objection against the application and then appealing the council decision to An Bord Pleanála.