Minister for Disability and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has voiced her concerns over proposed developments at the Oldstreet Power Station in the Coolpowra area of Gortanumera, Portumna.

An initial application related to this site was lodged in July 2023 by Eirgrid, which related to demolition works, development of tall masts and associated works.

This was published in local media in July 2023 and Galway County Council granted planning permission in October 2023.

Now, a company called Coolpowra Flex Gen Ltd. have submitted three planning applications, with each covering different sections of the proposed project:

 

1.    the development of a grid substation, high voltage lines, electric plant and associated site works (Planning Reference: ABP-319385)

2.    the development of a reserve gas-fired power generator, electrical substation, energy storage system and associated site development works. (Planning Reference: ABP-319073)

3.    a battery energy storage and synchronous condenser (Galway CoCo File Number: 24/60730).

 

The first two planning applications above are known as ‘Strategic Infrastructure Developments’, meaning they have to be assessed by An Bord Pleanala (ABP), and they are both currently at the ‘Pre-Application Consultation’ stage.

The third application is currently being considered by Galway County Council.

Minister Rabbitte commented:

It was abundantly clear at a public meeting last Thursday (June 20th) that there is a high level of concern for what’s planned for the site, and, importantly, there is understandable opposition to the plans.

As the local TD and Minister, I will be doing all I can to support the community and ensure the voice of residents is clearly heard at all possible junctures.

and she continued:

Following the meeting on June 20th, a committee was formed, which among other purposes, will develop a submission for the planning authorities on behalf of the community.

In addition to this, I firmly believe each household needs to make a short submission raising any observations they may have regarding the proposed plans, which I outlined here.

 and she concluded:

While the three planning applications are in independent processes, people need to submit observations to both Galway County Council and ABP as soon as possible, so both are aware of the community’s positioning. I will also be doing the same.

It is worth noting that the planning application being considered by Galway CoCo will ultimately be sent to ABP – likely in late September – so we all need to make sure our voices are heard as the Council’s report will include all the views they’ve received from residents.

 

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