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Farmer who won appeal against IDA launches latest bid to stop Intel's €3.6bn plant

Kildare County Council gave the project the go-ahead in May but Thomas Reid is trying to stop the massive investment from proceeding.

File photo of Intel plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
File photo of Intel plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
Image: RollingNews.ie

INTEL IRELAND HAS requested An Bord Pleanála to use rarely used powers to dismiss what it claims is the “vexatious” appeal by farmer Thomas Reid against its planned $4 billion (€3.6 billion) investment in Co Kildare. 

The Irish arm of the chip giant has made the request as it has claimed that much of the appeal lodged by Reid against Intel’s new ‘fab’ (fabrication) plant in Leixlip “is vexatious”.

As a result, Intel Ireland has requested An Bord Pleanála to invoke Section 138 of the Planning and Development Act – where the appeals board can dismiss appeals if it finds that an appeal is vexatious, frivolous or without substance or foundation.

Intel Ireland has made the request in documentation lodged with the appeals board in response to the appeal made by Reid.

Kildare County Council gave the project the go-ahead in May but Reid is single-handedly trying to stop the massive investment from proceeding.

Reid of Hedsor House, Blakestown, Carton, Maynooth, has long been a thorn in the side of the US multinational in the planning arena and this is the seventh Intel application he has brought before An Bord Pleanála since 2012.

The planning permission comes three years after Intel secured planning permission for the first phase of the ‘fab’ facility valued at $4 billion – which was also opposed by Reid to An Bord Pleanála.

6,000 construction workers

In total, the two planning permissions represent a $8 billion (€7.15 billion) investment which will employ 6,000 construction workers at its peak and 1,600 full-time jobs upon completion.

The projects represent the largest single private investment in the history of the State on one project if given the go-ahead by Intel globally. Intel has already invested $12.5 billion  (€11.2 billion) in its site at Leixlip.

In Reid’s five page hand-written appeal, he claims the proposal is contrary to the proper planning and development of the area, and he has requested an oral hearing.

However, consultants for Intel Ireland, Jacobs Engineering, have told the appeals board: “As with previous objections and previous appeals made by Mr Reid, it is submitted that much of the appeal is vexatious.”

The consultants state that while the Reid appeal “cites many of the identified issues as comprising major impacts, it provides no substantiation, nor basis for such statements”.

Jacobs Engineering state that Reid has a number of concerns in his appeal “that we submit are unfounded”.

The consultants have asked the appeals board to undertake their consideration of the Reid appeal “in as short a timeframe as possible” as many of the issues identified in the appeal have been already assessed and addressed.

Last year, Reid was the subject of an award-winning documentary over his successful Supreme Court battle with the IDA concerning the use of compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers.

In 2015, Reid emerged victorious in his battle with the IDA where a unanimous Supreme Court found that the IDA making of a CPO for Reid’s 72-acre farm adjacent to the Intel campus had been in excess of the IDA’s powers.

A decision is due on the Intel case in October.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

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About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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