Kerry County Council says €4.1 million paid by Shannon LNG has nothing to do with controversial gas terminal plan

Kerry County Council has said €4.1 million in payments it received from Shannon LNG are unrelated to the company’s proposal to build a gas terminal.

t states payments were made to fund road works as part of the conditions of building permits granted to the company in 2008 for an LNG plant and in 2013 for an associated combined heat and power plant.

However, these developments, supported by the Council and approved by An Bord Pleanála, did not go ahead and the 2008 approval expired.

The 2013 permit has not yet expired, but development would be dependent on the construction of the LNG plant.

Shannon LNG has now received a new planning application for an LNG terminal and associated power plant with On Board Pleanála for the same site between Tarbert and Ballylongford.

A statement from the council said: “The work carried out by Kerry County Council as roads authority in this case is not linked to and independent of the outcome of any planning application which is currently pending with An Bord Pleanala in relation to the proposed development at Tarbert-Ballylongford Landbank.”

Campaigners opposed to the project, however, want to know why the community took €1.65 million in two separate payments from Shannon LNG in 2009 when development approved the previous year failed to progress.

Safety Before LNG also wants to know why an additional €2.4 million was received from Shannon LNG in five separate payments in 2020 and 2021 while the company prepared its current planning application.

The group has written to Planning Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, asking him to investigate the payments.

“We request that this money be earmarked, surrendered or confiscated immediately,” they wrote.

They said they had serious concerns about the transparency of the planning process.

They are particularly concerned that two payments totaling €625,000 were made on the day Shannon LNG met with Kerry County Council officials last year to discuss council support for the new planning application.

Kerry County Council has not addressed questions about the timing of these payments.

The Housing Department said Mr O’Brien could not comment on a live planning case.

Kerry County Council is not the decision-making authority on the Shannon LNG planning application as it is a strategic infrastructure that is going directly to An Bord Pleanála for decision.

However, the opinion of the Council, which fully supports the project, will be taken into account. The inclusion of the project in a local development plan also speaks in favor of this.

Doubts have been cast over its chances of approval after an energy security review published by the government this week concluded that a permanently privately owned LNG plant would not provide energy security and would go against coalition climate and environmental policies.

The council’s statement said there was no question that the payments would have to be refunded if the development didn’t get approval.

“All monies received from Kerry County Council relate to the road improvement work on the L1010 referenced in the 2008 and 2013 planning conditions are non-refundable and have been fully spent on the project,” it said.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/kerry-county-council-says-41m-paid-by-shannon-lng-not-related-to-controversial-gas-terminal-plan-42007655.html Kerry County Council says €4.1 million paid by Shannon LNG has nothing to do with controversial gas terminal plan

Fry Electronics Team

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