Oriel Summer Update

Following the completion of the latest phase of our public consultation, the Oriel Wind Farm project continues to make significant progress and we would like to share some of the latest project developments.

Draft legislation for controlling and assessing planning permission applications offshore was published by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the 1st of July. The “Marine Area Planning Bill” will see all elements of an offshore renewable energy project, both the offshore project and onshore grid connection, considered under one holistic planning application. It also guarantees a greater level of consultation in the planning process for local stakeholders than was previously the case.

The Bill will now go forward to the houses of the Oireachtas for debate during the Autumn. We had intended making a planning application in late 2021, however the progress of the Bill through the legislative process now means that our planning application will most likely be submitted in the first half of 2022. This will be preceded by another round of public engagement, currently planned for November, where we will offer another opportunity for individuals to take an active role in the planning process.

In order to carry out additional offshore surveys in 2022, Oriel will also apply for a Foreshore Licence to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, during the Autumn. A Foreshore Licence only allows us to undertake offshore survey works, it is not a planning consent and is not permission to construct the project. These survey works are required to inform the detailed design of the project if planning permission is granted. We will advertise the Foreshore Licence application in local and national media and provide information on how observations can be made.

Finally, we continue to be available to meet with groups or individuals who are interested in finding out more about the project. Given the ongoing Covid-19 situation our preference remains to meet virtually using Teams or Zoom. However, our public information office in Dundalk Institute of Technology is available where we can arrange meetings by appointment and in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

We look forward to hearing from you.