The Deputy President of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Denis Drennan, has expressed alarm over the government’s proposal to extend compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers to commercial entities. Drennan, who also chairs ICMSA’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, believes that this proposal is part of a worrying trend of eroding property rights by the government.
The proposal to expand CPO powers is part of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) consultation on Private Wires. As the demand for electricity infrastructure grows, the DECC recognizes the need to support it. Currently, the national electricity grid, owned by the ESB, provides electricity infrastructure and has the authority to lay cables across public and private land. Private Wires is considering granting this right to private entities to meet the increasing demand for electricity.
The consultation period, which will conclude on October 13, allows the public to share their views on the future role of Private Wires in the Irish electricity system. The public is encouraged to provide insights into the benefits and challenges that could arise from this proposal.
Drennan strongly opposes the idea that large commercial entities, many of which are not Irish-owned, would have CPO powers over private lands. He insists that negotiations should continue to be the method for commercial entities to utilize private lands, as it is currently practiced. Drennan emphasizes that ICMSA will vigorously resist any attempts to undermine constitutional property rights.
Deputy Carol Nolan of Laois-Offaly also opposes extending CPO powers, calling it a “retrograde step.” She believes that farmers should not be compelled to surrender their land for the government to take credit for renewable energy policies.
The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has expressed its satisfaction with the significant interest shown in responding to the ongoing consultation. It encourages all interested parties to submit their responses. After the consultation period, the department intends to publish the contents of all received responses on its website.
– Deputy president of ICMSA criticizes proposal to extend CPO powers: [source]
– DECC initiates consultation on Private Wires: [source]