The decision to refuse the development of the Landbank in Kerry has sparked disappointment and anger among locals. The decision was made before the publication of the review of the energy supply of the State’s electricity and natural gas systems. Although the review is believed to be complete, it has not been published yet.
The decision by the state’s appeals board has left many questioning how such a consequential decision could have been made without a review that could have been published in a matter of weeks. Local residents, such as Noel Lynch of the Ballylongford Enterprise Company and John Fox of the Tarbert Development Association, expressed their disappointment and frustration with the decision.
The Landbank development was highly anticipated as it was expected to bring economic benefits to the region, which is one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in Kerry. Locals were confident that the development would be approved, as Shannon LNG had followed all the necessary planning processes. However, the project was refused based on the grounds that it goes against government policy to have an LNG facility until the review is released.
The refusal has caused anger among residents, especially as there are contradictions in the state’s current energy practices. For example, Minister Ryan signed a memorandum of understanding with his UK counterpart to protect Ireland’s gas security through Moffat, which would allow fracked gas to enter the state. This is one of the environmental concerns that was used to criticize the LNG project.
Locals are questioning why the decision couldn’t have been delayed to ensure all the necessary documents were available for consideration. They were informed that the review was complete when the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report was published in July. The refusal of the Landbank development has left many feeling frustrated and confused about the state’s energy policies.
Sources: The Kerryman