Nimbyism ‘halting key infrastructure’

Irish people want renewable power but not nearby, Bord na Móna chief claims

Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke, Grant Thornton partner Brendan Foster and Bord na Mona chief executive Mike Quinn. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke, Grant Thornton partner Brendan Foster and Bord na Mona chief executive Mike Quinn. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

 

Single objections to planning permission are halting key infrastructure projects, the chief executive, of Bord na Móna, Mike Quinn, told a Dublin Chamber dinner on Thursday.

Mr Quinn, whose company invests in wind farms and power plants, told the lobby group that while Irish people wanted renewable power in their homes and businesses, they didn’t want anyone to build the infrastructure needed hear them.

“If this process is not fixed – and soon – any ambition we have as a country to transition to a carbon emissions-free economy will literally go up in smoke,” Mr Quinn warned the gathering at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge.

Incoming president, Brendan Foster of Grant Thornton, argued that national planning is seen as a competition between urban and rural Ireland.

“This is a deeply mistaken view,” he said. “Dublin is the heart of Ireland’s economy. The greater Dublin area is home to 40 per cent of our entire population and accounts for over half of Ireland’s gross domestic product.”