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					                                           Meath-Tyrone
                                           400kV Interconnection
                                                    Development




Environmental Impact Statement
Woodland-Moyhill 400kV Transmission Line
Main EIS Text




  Vol2A
  Vol2A
                                           www.eirgridnortheastprojects.com
                                                           www.eirgrid.com



          Volume                                  Project Co-financed by the European Union
                                                  From the Trans-European Network for Energy
Environmental Impact Statement


Meath-Tyrone
400kV Interconnection Development



 Volume 1
 Meath-Tyrone 400kV Interconnection Development
 Common Chapters



 Volume 2 Part A                                    Volume 2 Part B
 Woodland-Moyhill 400kV                             Moyhill-Border (Lemgare) 400kV
 Transmission Line                                  Transmission Line
 Main EIS Text                                      Main EIS Text


 Volume 3 Part A                                    Volume 3 Part B
 Woodland-Moyhill 400kV                             Moyhill-Border (Lemgare) 400kV
 Transmission Line                                  Transmission Line
 Figures                                            Figures


 Volume 4 Part A                                    Volume 4 Part B
 Woodland-Moyhill 400kV                             Moyhill-Border (Lemgare) 400kV
 Transmission Line                                  Transmission Line
 Appendices                                         Appendices


 Volume 5 Part A                                    Volume 5 Part B
 Woodland-Moyhill 400kV                             Moyhill-Border (Lemgare) 400kV
 Transmission Line                                  Transmission Line
 Non Technical Summary                              Non Technical Summary



 Volume 6
 Meath-Tyrone 400kV Interconnection Development
 Non Technical Summary




       Project Co-financed by the European Union
       From the Trans-European Network for Energy


                                                                                     1
    Contents


    1	       INTRODUCTION	                                                       16
    1.1	     PROJECT	OUTLINE	                                                    16
    1.2	     STRUCTURE	OF	THE	EIS	                                               16
    1.3	     APPLICABLE	LEGISLATION	                                             17
    1.4	     FORMAT	OF	VOLUME	2	PART	A	MAIN	EIS	TEXT	                            18
    1.5	     TECHNICAL	DIFFICULTIES	AND	AVAILABILITY	OF	DATA	                    19
    1.5.1	   Restricted	Access	to	Sites	                                         19
    1.5.2	 Housing	in	the	Countryside	                                           19
    1.6	     VERIFICATION	OF	DATA	                                               19
    1.7	     STUDY	TEAM	AND	CONTRIBUTORS	TO	THE	EIA	                             19

    2	       CONSULTATION	AND	SCOPING	                                           23
    2.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                                       24
    2.2	     PUBLIC	CONSULTATION	                                                24
    2.3	     CONSULTATION	WITH	STATUTORY	AGENCIES	AND	OTHER	INTERESTED	BODIES	   24
    2.3.1	 Consultation	Methodology	                                             24
    2.4	     PRE	PLANNING	CONSULTATIONS	WITH	AN	BORD	PLEANÁLA	                   30
    2.5	     LANDOWNER	CONSULTATION	                                             30
    2.5.1	 Purpose	                                                              30
    2.5.2	 Outcome	                                                              30
    2.6	     RESULTS	OF	SCOPING	PROCESS	                                         30
    2.6.1	 Human	Beings	                                                         30
    2.6.2	 Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	                                         30
    2.6.3	 Telecommunications	                                                   31
    2.6.4	 Flora	and	Fauna	                                                      31
    2.6.5	 Soils	and	Geology	                                                    31
    2.6.6	 Water	                                                                31
    2.6.7	 Climate	and	Air	                                                      31
    2.6.8	 Noise	&	Vibration	                                                    31
    2.6.9	 Landscape	                                                            31
    2.6.10	 Traffic	                                                             31
    2.6.11	 Cultural	Heritage	                                                   31
    2.6.12	 Interrelationships	between	Environmental	Factors	                    31
    2.7	     CONCLUSION	                                                         31




2
3	       ALTERNATIVES	CONSIDERED	                            33
3.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                       34
3.2	     IDENTIFICATION	OF	1KM	ROUTE	CORRIDOR	OPTIONS	       34
3.3	     PREFERRED	1KM	ROUTE	CORRIDOR	OPTION	                36
3.4	     DETERMINATION	OF	FINAL	LINE	ROUTE	                  36
3.5	     SUBSTATION	ALTERNATIVES	                            36
3.6	     CONCLUSION	                                         36

4	       PROJECT	DESCRIPTION	AND	CONSTRUCTION	METHODOLOGY	   39
4.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                       40
4.2	     PROJECT	DESCRIPTION	                                40
4.2.1	 Constituent	Elements	                                 40
4.2.2	 Scope	of	Development	                                 40
4.3	     DESCRIPTION	OF	LINE	ROUTE	                          40
4.4	     CONSTRUCTION	METHODOLOGY	                           41
4.4.1	 Introduction	                                         41
4.4.2	 Outline	of	400kV	Line	Route	                          42
4.4.3	 Elements	of	Overhead	Line	Design	                     42
4.4.4	 Reduction	of	Visual	Impact	on	400kV	Line	             43
4.4.5	 Proposed	Tower	Designs	                               43
4.5	     ROUTE	DESIGN	CONSIDERATIONS	                        44
4.6	     MICROSITING	                                        45
4.6.1	 Why	is	there	a	requirement	for	Micrositing?	          46
4.6.2	 Criteria	for	Micrositing	                             46
4.6.3		 Conclusion	                                          48
4.7	     OVERHEAD	TRANSMISSION	LINE	CONSTRUCTION	            49
4.7.1	   Material	Delivery	and	Storage	                      49
4.7.2	 Traffic	Study	                                        49
4.7.3	 Survey	                                               49
4.7.4	 Access	to	Tower	Sites	                                50
4.8	     CONSTRUCTION	TECHNIQUES	                            50
4.8.1	 Site	Preparation	                                     51
4.8.2	 Foundation	Installation	                              51
4.8.3	 Vegetation	Management	                                54
4.9	     EXTENSION	TO	WOODLAND	SUBSTATION	                   54
4.9.1	 Substation	Development	Design	and	Scale	              54
4.10	    OPERATIONAL	ACTIVITIES	                             55
4.10.1	 Overhead	Lines	                                      55
4.10.2	 Woodland	400kV	Substation	                           55
4.11	    MITIGATION	MEASURES	DURING	CONSTRUCTION	            55
4.12	    ANTICIPATED	GROWTH,	DECOMMISSIONING	OR	CHANGE	      55




                                                                  3
    Contents



    5	       HUMAN	BEINGS	                                              57
    5.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                              58
    5.1.1	   General	Methodology	                                       58
    5.1.2	 Tourism	Impact	Assessment	Methodology	                       58
    5.2	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                                      58
    5.2.1	 Population	                                                  58
    5.2.2	 Settlement	                                                  60
    5.2.3	 Landuse	                                                     61
    5.2.4	 Employment	and	Economic	Activity	                            62
    5.2.5	 Tourism	&	Amenities	                                         63
    5.2.6	 Activities	                                                  66
    5.2.7	 Gaeltacht	Area	                                              66
    5.2.8	 Community	Facilities	                                        67
    5.3	     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                         67
    5.3.1	   Population	                                                67
    5.3.2	 Landuse	                                                     67
    5.3.3	 Employment	and	Economic	Activity	                            67
    5.3.4	 Tourism	&	Amenities	                                         68
    5.3.5	 Activities	                                                  69
    5.3.6	 Gaeltacht	Area	                                              68
    5.3.7	 Community	Facilities	                                        68
    5.4	     MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                       69
    5.5	     RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                          69
    5.6	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	          69	

    6	       ELECTRIC	AND	MAGNETIC	FIELDS	                              71
    6.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                              72
    6.1.1	   Overview	                                                  73
    6.2	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                                      73
    6.2.1	 Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	in	our	Everyday	Environments	   73
    6.2.2	 Electromagnetic	Spectrum	                                    74
    6.2.3	 Exposure	Guidelines	from	International	Organisations	        75
    6.3	     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                         76
    6.3.1	 EMF	Associated	with	the	Development	                         76
    6.3.2	 EMF	and	Health	Studies	                                      80
    6.3.3	 Brief	Summary	of	Findings	                                   80
    6.3.4	 Conclusions	of	International	Review	Bodies	                  81
    6.3.5	 Conclusions	of	Governmental	Bodies	                          81
    6.3.6	 Precautionary	Recommendations	                               82




4
6.4	     MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                83
6.4.1	 EirGrids	EMF	Policy	                                  83
6.4.2	 Overall	Conclusions	of	Mitigation	Measures	           83
6.5	     RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   84
6.6	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   84


7	       FLORA	AND	FAUNA	                                    87
7.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                       88
7.1.1	   Background	                                         88
7.1.2	   Scope	Of	The	Assessment	                            88
7.2	     METHODOLOGY	                                         91
7.2.1	   Consultation	                                        91
7.2.2	 Desk	Study	                                            91
7.2.3	 Habitat	Description	                                  92
7.2.4	 Mammals	                                              92
7.2.5	 Birds	                                                93
7.2.6	 Other	Species	                                        94
7.2.7	 Evaluation	Of	Ecological	Significance	                94
7.3	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               94
7.3.1	   General	Study	Area	Description	                     94
7.3.2	 Legislative	Context	                                  95
7.3.3	 Rare	And	Restricted	Distribution	Species	             95
7.3.4	 Designated	Conservation	Areas	                        97
7.3.5	 Habitats	And	Flora	                                   98
7.3.6	 Fauna	                                                106
7.3.7	 Evaluation	Of	Ecological	Significance	                110
7.4	     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  112
7.4.1	   Impact	Evaluation	And	Terminology	                  112
7.4.2	 Construction	(Temporary)	Phase	Impacts	               112
7.4.3	 Operational/	Maintenance	Phase	Impacts	               118
7.5	     MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                119
7.5.1	   Mitigation	By	Avoidance	                            120
7.5.2	 Mitigation	By	Reduction	                              121
7.6	     PREDICTED	IMPACTS	FOLLOWING	MITIGATION	             123
7.6.1	   Designated	Conservation	Areas	                      123
7.6.2	 Habitats	High	And	Moderate	Local	Importance	          124
7.6.3	 Sites	Of	Low	-	Moderate	Local	Importance	             126
7.6.4	 Mammals	                                              126
7.6.5	 Birds	                                                126
7.6.6	 Fisheries	                                            126
7.7	     MONITORING	                                         127




                                                                   5
    Contents


    7.8	     RESIDUAL	AND	CUMULATIVE	IMPACTS	                    127
    7.8.1	 Residual	Impacts	                                     127
    7.8.2	 Cumulative	Impacts	                                   127
    7.9	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   128

    8	       SOILS	AND	GEOLOGY	                                  131
    8.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                       132
    8.1.1	   Methodology	                                        132
    8.2	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               133
    8.2.1	 Topography	and	Geomorphology	                         133
    8.2.2	 Soils	                                                133
    8.2.3	 Quaternary	Geology	                                   134
    8.2.4	 Bedrock	Geology	                                      135
    8.2.5	 Areas	of	Geological	Heritage	Importance	              136
    8.2.6	 Current	and	Historical	Mining	Sites	                  137
    8.2.7	 Geotechnical	and	Slope	Stability	                     137
    8.3	     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  138
    8.3.1	 Construction	Phase	                                   138
    8.3.2	 Operational	Phase	                                    139
    8.4	     MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                139
    8.4.1	 Construction	Phase	                                   139
    8.4.2	 Operational	Phase	                                    140
    8.5	     RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   140
    8.6	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   140

    9	       WATER	                                              143
    9.1	     INTRODUCTION	                                       144
    9.1.1	   Methodology	                                        144
    9.2	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               144
    9.2.1	 Hydrology	                                            145
    9.2.2	 Hydrogeology	                                         148
    9.3	     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  150
    9.3.1	 Construction	Phase	                                   151
    9.3.2	 Operational	Phase	                                    152
    9.4	     MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                152
    9.4.1	 Construction	Phase	                                   152
    9.4.2	 Operational	Phase	                                    153
    9.4.3	 Summary	of	Operational	and	Construction	Phase	        153
    9.5	     RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   154
    9.6	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   155




6
10	     CLIMATE	AND	AIR	                                    157
10.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                       158
10.1.1	 LEGISLATIVE	CONTEXT	                                158
10.1.2	 Global	Warming	                                     158
10.1.3	 Air	Quality	Standards	and	Guidelines	               158
10.1.4	 Dust	Deposition	Standards	and	Guidelines	           159
10.2	   EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               159
10.2.1	 Greenhouse	Gas	Emissions	                           159
10.2.2	 Ambient	Air	Quality	                                160
10.2.3	 Dust	Deposition	                                    160
10.3	   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  160
10.3.1	 Climatic	Impacts	                                   160
10.3.2	 Transmission	Energy	Efficiency	                     160
10.3.3	 Dust	and	Particulate	Matter	                        161
10.3.4	 Emissions	from	Construction	Traffic	                161
10.3.5	 Sulphur	Hexafluoride	(SF6)	                         161
10.4	   MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                161
10.5	   RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   162
10.6	   INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   163


11	     NOISE	AND	VIBRATION	                                165
11.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                       166
11.2	   EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               166
11.2.1	 Baseline	Noise	Assessment	                          166
11.2.2	 Noise	Survey	Results	                               167
11.3	   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  171
11.3.1	 Construction	Impacts	Overhead	Lines	                171
11.3.2	 Construction	Phase	Traffic	Noise	Impact	            173
11.3.3	 Construction	Phase	Vibration	Impact	                173
11.3.4	 Operational	Phase	Noise	Impacts	                    174
11.4	   MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                177
11.4.1	 Construction	Phase	Noise	Mitigation	                177
11.4.2	 Construction	Phase	Vibration	Mitigation	            177
11.4.3	 Operational	Phase	NoiseMitigation	                  177
11.5	   RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   178
11.6	   INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   178




                                                                  7
    Contents


    12	     LANDSCAPE	                                                                                     181
    12.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                                                                  182
    12.1.1	 Methodology	                                                                                   182
    12.1.2	 Constraints	Reports	Summary	                                                                   188
    12.1.3	 Assessment	Corridor	For	The	EIS	                                                               188
    12.2	   EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                                                                          189
    12.2.1	 Policies	And	Designations	Within	The	Relevant	County	Development	Plans	And	Meath		
    	       Landscape	Character	Assessment	                                                                189
    12.2.2	 Landscape	Character	Areas	                                                                     190
    12.2.3	 Designations	From	Meath	County	Development	Plan	And	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	      192
    12.2.4	 Policies	And	Designations	From	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	                        195
    12.2.5	 General	Description	Of	The	Nature	Of	The	Designations	                                         197
    12.2.6	 Description	Of	Baseline	Conditions/Receiving	Environment	For	Line	Route	                       197
    12.2.7	 General	Sensitivity	Of	The	Proposed	Development	                                               207
    12.2.8	 General	Landscape	Capacity	Of	The	Proposed	Development	For	Absorbing	Proposals	                207
    12.2.9	 Description	Of	Line	Route	Alignment	                                                           208
    12.3	   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                                                             208
    12.3.1	 General	Landscape	And	Visual	Impacts	                                                          209
    12.3.2	 Landscape	Impacts	On	Landmarks	(Meath),	High	Landscape	Areas	(Cavan)	
    	       And	Landscapes	Of	Special	Interest	(Cavan)	                                                    219
    12.3.3	 Cumulative	Landscape	Effects	                                                                  221
    12.3.4	 Visual	Impacts	On	Tourist	Routes	And	Places	As	Identified	In	County	Development	Plans	         222
    12.3.5	 Visual	Impacts	On	Existing	And	Proposed	Way	Marked	Paths	And	Cycle	Routes	                     224
    12.3.6	 Visual	Impacts	On	Settlements	                                                                 226
    12.3.7	 Visual	Impacts	On	Public	Sites	Within	1km	Either	Side	Of	The	Alignment	                        228
    12.3.8	 Visual	Impacts	On	Key	Viewpoints,	Scenic	Viewpoints	And	Views	To/From	Landmarks	               229
    12.3.9	 Visual	And	Landscape	Impacts	On	Key	Viewpoints,	Scenic	Viewpoints,	Landmarks	And	High	
    	       Landscape	Areas	on	or	above	the	100m	Contour,	Which	Are	Outside	The	5km	Assessment	Corridor	
    	       But	Within	10km	of	the	Alignment	                                                              232
    12.3.10	Construction	Impacts	                                                                          233
    12.4	   MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                                                           234
    12.4.1	 General	Mitigation	Measures	                                                                   234
    12.4.2	 Choice	of	Line	Route	                                                                          235
    12.4.3	 Tower	Location	and	Removal	Of	Vegetation	                                                      235
    12.4.4	 Tower	Design	and	Colour	                                                                       235
    12.4.5	 Associated	Structures	                                                                         235
    12.4.6	 Access,	Working	Area	and	Temporary	Tracks	                                                     235
    12.4.7	 Off	Site	Planting	                                                                             236
    12.5	   RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                                                              237
    12.6	   SUMMARY	                                                                                       237
    12.7	   INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	                                              237




8
13	     TRAFFIC	                                            239
13.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                       240
13.1.1	 Methodology	                                        240
13.2	   EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               240
13.2.1	 Existing	Road	Infrastructure	                       240
13.2.2	 Proposed	Networks	Infrastructure	                   243
13.2.3	 Haul	Routes	                                        243
13.3	   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  244
13.3.1	 Modes	of	Transport	                                 244
13.3.2	 Traffic	Flows	                                      244
13.3.3	 Construction	Traffic	Generation		                   244
13.3.4	 Impact	on	Road	Network	                             245
13.3.5	 Operational	Traffic	                                246
13.4	   MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                247
13.5	   RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   247
13.6	   INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   247

14	     CULTURAL	HERITAGE	                                  249
14.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                       250
14.1.1	 Scope	of	the	Assessment	                            251
14.1.2	 Legal	Background	                                   251
14.2	   METHODOLOGY	                                        253
14.2.1	 Desk	Based	Study	                                   253
14.2.2	 Field	Inspection	                                   255
14.2.3	 Consultation	                                       255
14.3	   EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT	                               256
14.3.1	 Geology	&	Soils	                                    256
14.3.2	 Landscape	Character	Assessment	                     256
14.3.3	 Historical	Background	                              259
14.3.4	 Desktop	Study	                                      263
14.3.5	 Route	Line	Assesment/Field	Inspection	              269
14.4	   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                  275
14.4.1	 Assessment	of	Impacts	                              276
14.4.2	 Direct	Impacts	                                     277
14.4.3	 Indirect/Visual	Impacts	                            281
14.5	   MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                284
14.5.1	 Direct	Impacts	                                     284
14.5.2	 Indirect	Effects	                                   288
14.6	   RESIDUAL	IMPACTS	                                   288
14.7	   INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	   288




                                                                  9
     Contents


     15	     INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	                                        291
     15.1	   INTRODUCTION	                                                                           292
     15.2	   HUMAN	BEINGS	                                                                           292
     15.3	   ELECTRIC	AND	MAGNETIC	FIELDS	[EMF]	                                                     292
     15.4	   FLORA	AND	FAUNA	                                                                        293
     15.5	   SOILS	AND	GEOLOGY	                                                                      293
     15.6	   WATER	                                                                                  293
     15.7	   CLIMATE	AND	AIR	                                                                        293
     15.8	   NOISE	&	VIBRATION	                                                                      293
     15.9	   LANDSCAPE	                                                                              293
     15.10	 TRAFFIC	                                                                                 293
     15.11	 CULTURAL	HERITAGE	                                                                       293
     15.12	 CONCLUSION	                                                                              293


     EXPLANATION	OF	TECHNICAL	TERMS	                                                                 294

     LIST	OF	ABBREVIATIONS	                                                                          295
     	
     LIST	OF	TABLES
     Table	1.1	        EIS	Structure	                                                                 18
     Table	1.2	        Personnel	Involved	in	Preparing	Part	A	of	the	EIS	                            20
     Table	2.1	        Summary	of	Responses	Received	                                                25
     Table	4.1	        EirGrid	Clearance	Table	                                                      45
     Table	4.2	        Foundation	Sizes	for	Various	Towers	                                          52
     Table	5.1	        Population	Change	2002-2006	                                                  59
     Table	5.2	        Population	Change	by	DED	                                                     59
     Table	5.3	        Quarterly	National	Household	Survey	(Q2	2009)	                                62
     Table	5.4	        Live	Register	2008-2009	                                                      62
     Table	5.5	        Occupational	Groups	                                                          63
     Table	5.6	        Overseas	Tourism	to	Meath	and	Cavan,	2007	                                    63
     Table	6.1	        Parameters	for	400kV	EMF	Calculations	                                        76
     Table	6.2	        ICNIRP	50-Hz	EMF	Exposure	Guidelines	(1998)	                                  79
     Table	6.3	        Predicted	EMF	Values	for	Proposed	Overhead	Lines	                             79
     Table	7.1	        Rare	and	protected	species	previously	recorded	in	the	vicinity	of	the	site	   96
     Table	7.2	        Designated	Sites	Within	10km	of	the	alignment	                                98
     Table	7.3	        Larger	Rivers	in	which	the	Proposed	alignment	will	cross	                     101
     Table	7.4	        Ecological	Value	of	Habitats	                                                 103
     Table	7.5	        Specific	Sites	of	High	Local	Ecological	Value	along	the	alignment.	           105
     Table	7.6	        	Site	Evaluation	Scheme	                                                      111
     Table	7.7	        Terminology	used	to	describe	Potential	Impacts	on	Ecological	Systems	         113
     Table	7.8	        Impact	Significance	                                                          124




10
Table	7.9	     Sites	of	International/	national	and	moderate-	high	local	ecological	value		
	              along	the	line	route	and	impact	significance	                                         125
Table	8.1	     Subsoil	Classifications	at	Towers	Locations	                                          134
Table	8.2	     Soil/Bedrock	Profile	at	SWEX	B	                                                       137
Table	9.1	     Surface	Water	Features	and	Hydrometric	Areas	along	the	alignment	                     145
Table	9.2	     Selection	of	WFD	classifications	for	the	Major	Rivers	along	the	alignment	            146
Table	9.3	     Relationship	between	Biotic	Indices	and	Water	Quality	Classes	                        147
Table	9.4	     Selection	of	Biotic	Indices	(1997-2009)	for	the	Major	Rivers	along	the	alignment	     149
Table	9.5	     Aquifer	Definitions	                                                                  150
Table	9.6	     Groundwater	Vulnerability	Categories	                                                 150
Table	9.7	     Groundwater	Vulnerability	%	along	line	route	                                         150
Table	9.8	     Surface	Water	Buffer	Zones	                                                           152
Table	9.9	     Groundwater	Quality	Risk	and	Mitigation	Summary	                                      154
Table	9.10	    Surface	Water	Runoff	Risks	and	Mitigation	Summary	                                    154
Table	10.1	    Relevant	Air	Quality	Standards	and	Guidelines	                                        159
Table	10.2	    EPA	Air	Quality	Monitoring	                                                           160
Table	11.1	    Guidance	Note	for	Noise	in	relation	to	Scheduled	activities,	2nd	Edition,	EPA	2006	   166
Table	11.2	    Baseline	Noise	Levels	Daytime	                                                        168
Table	11.3	    Baseline	Noise	Levels	Night	Time	                                                     168
Table	11.4	    Woodland	Substation	Baseline	Noise	Results	                                           170
Table	11.5	    Construction	Noise	Level	Predictions	                                                 172
Table	11.6	    Typical	Maximum	Permissible	Noise	Levels	at	the	Façade	of	Dwellings		
	              During	Construction	Activities	                                                       173
Table	11.7	    Allowable	Vibration	During	Road	Construction	in	Order	to	Minimise		
	              the	Risk	of	Building	Damage	                                                          174
Table	11.8	    Summary	of	Noise	Values	                                                              176
Table	12.1	    Relationship	between	Text,	Figures,	Photosheets	and	Photomontages	                    184
Table	12.2	    Criteria	for	the	Assessment	of	Significance/Value	of	a	Landscape	                     185
Table	12.3	    Criteria	for	the	Assessment	of	Landscape	Sensitivity	                                 186
Table	12.4	    Definition	of	Landscape	Capacity	(as	defined	in	the	MLCA)	                            186
Table	12.5	    Criteria	for	the	Assessment	of	Magnitude	of	Effects	on	Landscape	Character	           187
Table	12.6	    Definition	of	Magnitude/Degrees	of	Visual	Effects	Resulting	from	the	Proposal	        187
Table	12.7	    MLCA	Landscape	Character	Areas	and	Recommendations	                                   191
Table	12.8	    Ecological	Designations	County	Meath	                                                 192
Table	12.9	    Scenic	Viewpoints	Within	the	Study	Area	                                              194
Table	12.10	   Ecological	Designations	County	Cavan	                                                 196
Table	12.11	   Section	A	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      197
Table	12.12	   Section	B	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      199
Table	12.13	   Section	C	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      200
Table	12.14	   Section	D	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      201
Table	12.15	   Section	E	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      202
Table	12.16	   Section	F	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      203
Table	12.17	   Section	G	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      204



                                                                                                           11
     Contents


     Table	12.18	         Section	H	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      205
     Table	12.19	         Section	I	–	Baseline	Assessment	                                                      206
     Table	13.1	          Road	Crossings	                                                                       241
     Table	13.2	          Estimated	Traffic	Generation	Per	Tower	                                               245
     Table	13.3	          Estimated	Traffic	Flows	                                                              246
     Table	14.1	          Landscape	Character	Summary	Matrix	from	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	            257
     Table	14.2	          Graveyards	which	are	owner	by	Meath	County	Council	or	their	ownership	is	not	known	   264
     Table	14.3	          Potential	Direct	Impacts	Upon	Cultural	Heritage	Sites	                                278
     Table	14.4	          Potential	Visual	Impacts	upon	Cultural	Heritage	Sites	                                282
     Table	14.5	          Mitigation	Measures	                                                                  285
     Table	15.1	          Matrix	of	the	Main	Potential	Interactions	                                            292
     	
     LIST	OF	ILLUSTRATIONS
     Illustration	3	1		   Potential	Route	Corridor	Options	Woodland	-	Moyhill	                                   35
     Illustration	4	1		   400kV	Intermediate	Tower	                                                              42
     Illustration	4	2		   Diagrams	of	400kV	Intermediate	and	Angle	Tower	                                        43
     Illustration	4	3	    400kV	Double	Circuit	Tower	                                                            44
     Illustration	4	4	    Typical	Overhead	Line	Storage	Yard	                                                    49
     Illustration	4	5		   Temporary	Stone	and	Aluminium	Panel	Track	                                             50
     Illustration	4	6		   Pad	and	Chimney	foundation	                                                            51
     Illustration	4	7	    Standard	Foundation	Installation	-	First	pour	                                         52
     Illustration	4	8	    Standard	Foundation	Installation	-Setting	Template	in	Use	                             53
     Illustration	4	9	    Cross	Section	of	Piled	Foundation	                                                     53
     Illustration	4	10	   Pile	Caps	&	Beams	Under	Construction	                                                  54
     Illustration	6	1	    Typical	EMF	values	                                                                    74
     Illustration	6	2		   Electromagnetic	Spectrum	                                                              75
     Illustration	6	3	    Electric	field	strength	underneath	the	proposed	400kV	single	circuit		
     	                    line	at	different	line	loads	                                                          77
     Illustration	6	4	    Magnetic	field	strength	underneath	the	proposed	400kV	single	line		
     	                    for	different	line	loads	                                                              77
     Illustration	6	5	    Electric	field	strength	underneath	the	proposed	400kV	double	circuit	line		
     	                    at	different	line	loads	                                                               78
     Illustration	6	6	    Magnetic	field	strength	underneath	the	proposed	400kV	double	circuit	line		
     	                    for	different	line	loads	                                                              78
     Illustration	11	1	   Octave	Band	Analysis	Woodland	Substation	                                             170
     Illustration	11	2	   Audible	Noise	from	Double	Circuit	400kV	Towers	                                       175
     Illustration	11	3	   Audible	Noise	from	Single	Circuit	400	kV	                                             176
     	




12
xLIST	OF	APPENDICES	(Volume	4	Part	A)
Appendix	No.	     Content	
Appendix	2.1	     Summary	of	Consultation	Responses	
Appendix	5.1	     Meath	County	Council	Tourist	Attraction	Map
Appendix	7.1	     Flora	&	Fauna	References
Appendix	7.2	     Flora	&	Fauna	Plates	of	Survey	Area
Appendix	7.3	     Appropriate	Assessment	of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC
Appendix	7.4	     Whooper	Swan	Study	Report
Appendix	7.5	     Site	Synopsis	for	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC
Appendix	7.6	     Summary	Findings	of	Breeding	Bird	Survey
Appendix	8.1	     Soils	&	Geology	References
Appendix	8.2	     GSI	Well	Card	Data
Appendix	9.1	     Water	References
Appendix	9.2	     EPA	Water	Quality	Data	2003
Appendix	14.1	    Cultural	Heritage	References
Appendix	14.2	    Cultural	Heritage	Sites
Appendix	14.3	    Previous	Archaeological	Fieldwork
Appendix	14.4	    Topographical	Files
Appendix	14.5	    Toponym	Analysis
Appendix	14.6	    National	Inventory	of	Architectural	Heritage	–	Historic	Gardens
Appendix	14.7	    Policies	Pertaining	to	Cultural	Heritage	in	the	County	Development	Plans
Appendix	14.8	    Teltown	Impact	Assessment
	
	
	




	




                                                                                             13
14
        Chapter 1


  Introduction
                              1

        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              15
     1 Introduction


     1.1	                                                                  It	should	be	noted	that	the	overhead	line	infrastructure	
                                                                           is	proposed	to	be	sited	within	an	80m	wide	corridor,	to	
     PROJECT	OUTLINE                                                       allow	for	minor	movements	of	towers,	where	necessary	
                                                                           during	construction.	This	is	known	as	‘micrositing’	and	is	
     TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers	has	been	commissioned	                     addressed	in	more	detail	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4,	
     by	EirGrid	to	jointly	prepare	an	Environmental	Impact	                section	4.6	of	the	EIS.
     Statement	(EIS)	with	ESBI	for	an	element	of	the	proposed	
     140	kilometre	(km)	long	400kV	overhead	electricity	
     transmission	line	between	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	                 1.2	
     Turleenan,	County	Tyrone.	The	project	is	referred	to	as	the	          STRUCTURE	OF	THE	EIS
     Meath	–	Tyrone	400kV	Interconnection	Development.		
                                                                           The	EIS	covering	the	elements	of	the	project	in	the	
     The	EIS	commissioned	by	EirGrid	considers	the	elements	               Republic	of	Ireland	(ROI)	has	been	prepared	in	two	parts	
     of	the	projects	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland.	Consideration	of	         by	EirGrid,	whilst	the	Environmental	Statement	(ES)	in	
     aspects	of	the	overall	development	is	contained	in	Volume	            Northern	Ireland	(NI)	has	been	prepared	as	a	separate	ES	
     1.                                                                    by	NIE.

     This	electricity	transmission	infrastructure	development	             As	the	EIS,	covering	the	elements	in	the	ROI,	has	been	
     primarily	consists	of	two	interrelated	and	inter-dependent	           prepared	in	this	manner,	it	has	been	structured	so	that	
     elements	as	follows:                                                  an	overall	document	dealing	with	common	aspects	of	
                                                                           the	project	is	provided	as	a	separate	Volume	(Volume	1),	
         •	 A	400kV	single/double	circuit	overhead	line	(OHL)	             therefore	allowing	the	separate	parts	of	Volume	2	(Part	
            and	associated	infrastructure,	linking	from	the	               A	&	Part	B)	of	the	EIS	to	remain	focussed	on	significant	
            existing	transmission	network	in	Northern	Ireland	             environmental	issues	relevant	to	the	geographical	area	
            (via	a	proposed	new	substation	at	Turleenan,	                  covered	by	the	EIS.
            County	Tyrone),	across	the	border	to	the	existing	
            transmission	network	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland	               Volume	1	of	the	EIS1		is	a	unifying	document	which	deals	
            (via	a	proposed	new	substation	at	Moyhill,	                    with	issues	which	are	common	to	the	project	including:
            County	Meath).	This	cross	border	project	is	a	joint	
            development	between	EirGrid	and	Northern	Ireland	                 Chapter	1		     Introduction
            Electricity	(NIE).
                                                                              Chapter	2	      The	Strategic	Need	for	the	Project
         •	 A	400kV	single/double	circuit	overhead	line	
            (OHL)	and	associated	infrastructure,	within	the	                  Chapter	3	      Public	Consultation	
            Republic	of	Ireland,	extending	southwards	from	the	
            proposed	new	substation	at	Moyhill,	to	the	existing	              Chapter	4	      Transmission	and	Technology		
            Woodland	400kV	substation,	near	Batterstown,	                        	 	          Alternatives	
            County	Meath.	As	this	part	(Woodland	to	Moyhill)	
            of	the	400kV	interconnection	development	is	                      Chapter	5	      Route	and	Substation	Alternatives
            entirely	within	the	Republic	of	Ireland	it	is	being	
            proposed	by	EirGrid.	                                             Chapter	6	      Overview	of	Environmental	Impacts

     This	Volume	(Volume	2,	Part	A)	of	the	EIS	covers	the	                 Part	A	of	the	EIS,	prepared	by	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers	
     element	of	the	project	between	the	existing	substation	               covers	the	Woodland	–	Moyhill	400kV	Transmission	Line	
     at	Woodland,	near	Batterstown,	County	Meath	to	the	                   element	of	the	project.	Part	A	provides	an	assessment	of	
     proposed	substation	at	Moyhill	(on	the	Meath/Cavan	                   the	proposed	alignment	between	the	existing	Woodland	
     border),	a	distance	of	approximately	57km.                            400kV	Substation	and	the	proposed	new	400/220kV	
                                                                           substation	at	Moyhill,	over	a	distance	of	approximately	57	
     Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	4.1.1	-	4.1.4	“Line	                km.
     Route	Map”,	which	shows	the	location	of	the	proposed	
     development.                                                          Part	B	of	the	EIS,	prepared	by	ESBI	and	AOS	Planning	
                                                                           Limited	covers	the	Moyhill	to	Border	(Lemgare)	400kV	
     For	the	avoidance	of	doubt,	unless	otherwise	specified,	              Transmission	Line	element	of	the	project.	Part	B	provides	
     for	the	purpose	of	the	EIS,	the	‘proposed	development’	               an	assessment	of	the	proposed	alignment	and	the	
     comprises	the	electricity	transmission	line	in	an	80m	                400/220kV	substation,	between	the	proposed	substation	
     wide	corridor	and	associated	infrastructure	i.e.	substation	          location	at	Moyhill,	on	the	Meath/Cavan	border	and	the	
     works.                                                                point	at	which	the	line	terminates	into	Northern	Ireland	in	




     1		 Refer	to	Contents	Page	which	details	the	structure	of	this	EIS.
16
the	townland	of	Lemgare,	north-east	of	Clontibret,	County	     Section	182A	of	the	2000	Act	provides	for	an	application	
Monaghan.	The	distance	covered	by	this	section	of	the	         for	approval	of	development	“comprising	or	for	the	
transmission	line	is	approximately	48	km.                      purposes	of	electricity	transmission”	to	be	made	directly	
                                                               to	An	Bord	Pleanála.	For	this	purpose,	“transmission”	
Each	part	of	the	EIS	is	presented	in	the	following	separate	   is	to	be	construed	in	accordance	with	section	2(1)	of	the	
volumes:                                                       Electricity	Regulation	Act	1999,	and	also	as	meaning	the	
                                                               transport	of	electricity	by	means	of	(a)	a	high	voltage	line	
 •	 Volume	2	of	the	EIS	contains	the	Main	EIS	Text.            where	the	voltage	would	be	110	kilovolts	or	more,	or	(b)	an	
                                                               interconnector,	whether	owned	by	the	developer	or	not.	
 •	 Volume	3	of	the	EIS	contains	the	Figures	associated	
    with	Volume	2.                                             As	far	as	environmental	assessment	is	concerned,	
                                                               subsection	182A(2)	provides	that,	in	the	case	of	any	
 •	 Volume	4	of	the	EIS	contains	the	Appendices	               development	comprising	or	for	the	purposes	of	electricity	
    associated	with	Volume	2.                                  transmission	which	belongs	to	a	class	of	development	
                                                               indentified	for	the	purposes	of	section	176,	the	developer	
 •	 Volume	5	of	the	EIS	contains	the	Non	Technical	            must	prepare	an	EIS.	
    Summary	associated	with	Volume	2.
                                                               The	Environmental	Impact	Assessment	(EIA)	to	be	carried	
Volume	6	of	the	EIS	contains	a	Non	Technical	Summary           out	by	An	Bord	Pleanála	is	that	required	by	provisions	of	
of		Volume	1	and	Volume	2	Part	A	and	B	inclusive.              Directive	85/337/EEC	(as	amended).	These	obligations	
                                                               have	been	implemented	in	this	jurisdiction	(for	the	
The	EIS	for	the	project	has	been	prepared	following	           purposes	of	this	application)	by	the	provisions	of	Part	X	
extensive	studies	and	public	consultation	on	various	          of	the	Planning	and	Development	Act	2000	and	Part	10	
options	to	meet	the	requirements	of	the	project,	which	        of	the	Planning	and	Development	Regulations	2001.	The	
includes	“Route	Constraints	Reports”	which	were	issued	        assessment	required	is	that	prescribed	under	Article	3	of	
in	July	and	September	2007	respectively	and	published	         the	EIA	Directive.
by	EirGrid	in	May	2008.	The	proposed	development	which	
is	being	submitted	for	Planning	is	considered	the	best	        The	environmental	impact	assessment	shall	identify,	
balance	between	the	competing	priorities	of	community	         describe	and	assess	in	an	appropriate	manner,	in	the	light	
concerns,	environmental	issues	and	the	technical	aspects	      of	each	individual	case	and	in	accordance	with	Articles	4	
of	the	project.                                                and	11,	the	direct	and	indirect	effects	of	a	project	on	the	
                                                               following	factors:
An	ES	which	covers	the	final	element	of	the	development,	
the	35	km	section	of	transmission	line	in	Northern	Ireland,	      (i)	 human	beings,	fauna	and	flora,
runs	from	where	the	EirGrid	line	terminates	at	the	Border	        (ii)	 soil,	water,	air,	climate	and	the	landscape,
(at	Lemgare	townland)	to	the	electricity	substation	at	           (iii)	material	assets	and	the	cultural	heritage,
Turleenan,	County	Tyrone,	has	been	prepared	by	NIE.               (iv)	the	interaction	between	the	factors	mentioned		
                                                                        at	(i),	(ii)	and	(iii).
In	addition	to	all	of	the	EIS	documents	(Volumes	1	to	6)	
and	reports	there	are	various	planning	documents	which	        The	EIS	has	also	been	undertaken	having	regard	to	the	
support	the	planning	application.	The	EIS	should	be	           Environmental	Protection	Agency’s	“Guidelines on the
read	in	conjunction	with	all	environmental	and	planning	       Information to be Contained in Environmental Impact
documents	associated	with	the	development,	for	a	full	         Statements” (EPA 2002) and “Advice Notes on Current
understanding	of	the	entire	project.	                          Practice	in	the	Preparation	of	Environmental	Impact	
                                                               Statements”	(EPA	2003).	The	EIS	has	also	been	carried	
                                                               out	in	line	with	the	European	Commission	document	
1.3	                                                           “Guidance	on	EIA,	EIS	Review”,	published	in	June,	2001.
APPLICABLE	LEGISLATION	
Council	Directive	85/337/EEC,	as	amended	by	Directives	
97/11/EC	and	2003/35/EC,	now	requires	an	environmental	
impact	assessment	for	electrical	power	lines	with	a	
voltage	of	220	kilovolts	or	more	and	a	length	of	more	
than	15	kilometres	in	length.	This	requirement	is	mirrored	
in	Irish	law	pursuant	to	Section	176	of	the	Planning	and	
Development	Act	2000	and	Article	93	of,	and	Schedule	5,	
of	the	Planning	and	Development	Regulations	2001.




                                                                                                                               17
     1 Introduction


     1.4	                                                           This	Volume	addresses	each	of	the	topics	specified	by	
                                                                    the	Planning	and	Development	Regulations	2001	(as	
     FORMAT	OF	VOLUME	2	PART	A		                                    amended)	and	the	provisions	of	Directive	85/337/EEC	(as	
     MAIN	EIS	TEXT                                                  amended)	as	outlined	in	Table	1.1.

                                                                    In	addition	to	the	chapters	identified	in	Table	1.1	of	
     As	the	structure	of	the	overall	EIS	has	been	set	out	
                                                                    this	part	of	Volume	2	Part	A	of	the	EIS	examing	the	
     previously	in	section	1.2,	this	section	focuses	on	
                                                                    environmental	topics,	the	following	chapters	contain	
     discussing	the	format	of	how	Volume	2	Part	A,	of	the	EIS	is	
                                                                    other	information	to	satisfy	the	requirements	of	European	
     presented.		The	format	of	Volume	2	Part	A	has	had	regard	
                                                                    and	Irish	National	Law:
     to	the	guidance	notes	in	relation	to	the	format	of	EIS’s	as	
     set	out	in	the	EPA	Guidelines.
                                                                       •	 Chapter	1		 Introduction
     Volume	2	Part	A	follows	a	Grouped	Format	Structure	as	
                                                                       •	 Chapter	2	 Consultation	and	Scoping	
     defined	in	the	EPA	Guidelines.	Using	this	format	this	
     Volume	is	prepared	in	a	manner	which	examines	each	
                                                                       •	 Chapter	3	 Alternatives	Considered
     environmental	topic	as	a	separate	section	within	the	EIS.	
     Each	of	these	sections	considers:
                                                                       •	 Chapter	4	 Project	Description	and	Construction		 	
                                                                          	 	        Methodology
        •	 Introduction;	
                                                                    As	indicated	previously,	Volume	1,	containing	the	EIS	
        •	 The	Existing	Environment;
                                                                    Overview	is	a	unifying	document	which	deals	with	issues	
                                                                    which	are	common	to	all	elements	of	the	project.	Relevant	
        •	 Impacts	from	proposed	development	on	the	
                                                                    aspects	of	these	issues	are	summarised	in	Volume	2	Part	
           existing	environment;
                                                                    A,	Chapters	2,	3,	and	4.	Volume	1	of	the	EIS	should	be	read	
                                                                    for	a	more	comprehensive	understanding	of	such	issues.
        •	 Mitigation	measures	required	to	mitigate	
           significant	adverse	environmental	impacts;

        •	 Residual	impacts;	and

        •	 Interrelationships	between	environmental	factors.



      ENVIRONMENTAL	TOPICS	SPECIFIED	IN		DIRECTIVE/
                                                                    WHERE	ENVIRONMENTAL	TOPICS	ARE	FOUND	IN	THIS	EIS
      REGULATIONS

                                                                    Human	Beings	(Chapter	5)
      Human	Beings
                                                                    Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	(Chapter	6)	

      Flora	and	Fauna                                               Flora	and	Fauna	(Chapter	7)

      Soil                                                          Soils	and	Geology	(Chapter	8)

      Water                                                         Water	(Chapter	9)

                                                                    Climate	and	Air	(Chapter	10)
      Climatic	Factors
                                                                    Noise	and	Vibration	(Chapter	11)

      Landscape                                                     Landscape	(Chapter	12)

      Material	Assets	(including		architectural	and	archaeo-        Traffic	(Chapter	13)	
      logical	heritage	and	cultural	heritage)                       Cultural	Heritage	(Chapter	14)

                                                                    Interrelationships	Between	Environmental	Factors	
      Interrelationship	between	the	above	factors
                                                                    (Chapter	15)

     Table 1.1: EIS Structure




18
1.5	                                                              1.5.2	
TECHNICAL	DIFFICULTIES	AND	                                       Housing	in	the	Countryside
AVAILABILITY	OF	DATA                                              The	ongoing	demand	for	housing	in	the	countryside	
                                                                  was	a	constantly	changing	constraint	during	the	design	
The	EIA	Directive	and	Irish	National	Regulations	also	
                                                                  process.	Planning	applications	within	the	local	vicinity,	
require	that	difficulties	such	as	technical	deficiencies,	lack	
                                                                  were	therefore	monitored	to	maximise	distances	between	
of	information	or	knowledge	encountered	in	compiling	any	
                                                                  the	proposed	transmission	line	and	any	permitted,	but	
specified	information	for	the	EIS	be	described.	During	the	
                                                                  as	yet	unbuilt	dwellings.	Such	monitoring	of	residential	
preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	number	of	constraints	
                                                                  planning	applications	required	ongoing	revisions	to	the	
and	technical	difficulties,	as	detailed	herein.
                                                                  project	design.	The	difficulty	was	addressed	via	design	
                                                                  changes.	There	are	not	deemed	to	be	any	implications	to	
1.5.1	                                                            the	conclusions	of	the	EIS	other	than	the	potential	need	
                                                                  to	further	review	planning	applications	at	the	conclusion	
Restricted	Access	to	Sites                                        of	the	planning	process	to	ensure	all	proposed	but	as	yet	
                                                                  unbuilt	dwellings	have	been	considered.	
In	many	cases	site	access	was	denied	by	landowners	
to	personnel	working	on	the	project.	This	resulted	in	
environmental	assessments	being	made	without	the	                 1.6	
entire	line	route	being	walked	or	visited	by	environmental	
consultants.	The	relevant	chapters	of	the	EIS	details	
                                                                  VERIFICATION	OF	DATA		
the	methodology	used	for	undertaking	the	assessment,	
                                                                  LIDAR	(Light	Detection	and	Ranging)	data	was	used	to	
including	how	restricted	site	access	was	accounted	for	in	
                                                                  assess	inaccessible	sites	along	the	line	route.	For	the	
the	assessment.
                                                                  proposed	development	LIDAR	data	was	captured	for	
                                                                  a	100m	corridor	in	August	2009.		For	the	avoidance	of	
Notwithstanding	the	limited	site	access,	it	was	possible	
                                                                  doubt,	this	100m	wide	corridor	includes	the	80m	wide	
to	carry	out	an	assessment	of	the	likely	significant	
                                                                  corridor.	This	enabled	areas	that	were	inaccessible	to	be	
environmental	impacts	having	regard	to	the	length	of	
                                                                  assessed	with	greater	accuracy.	
time	over	which	the	studies	took	place,	the	extent	and	
coverage	of	these	studies,	comprising	a	significantly	
                                                                  The	main	purpose	of	purchasing	LIDAR	data	was	to	
greater	area	than	that	of	the	proposed	line	route	and	
                                                                  ensure	the	most	optimised	design.	LIDAR	identified	
wider	80m	corridor,	the	quality	of	aerial	photography,	
                                                                  existing	infrastructure	such	as	buildings,	roads,	
the	results	of	consultation	and	the	available	limited	field	
                                                                  powerlines,	vegetation,	towers,	and	ground	points	along	
access.	In	terms	of	accounting	for	the	technical	difficulties	
                                                                  the	alignment.	LIDAR	points	are	obtained	with	greater	
and	constraints,	appropriate	mitigation	measures	are	
                                                                  accuracy	than	aerial	photography.	LIDAR’s	ability	to	
being	proposed.	
                                                                  measure	first	and	last	pulse	returns	allowed	the	Project	
                                                                  Team	to	identify	vegetation	and	ground	heights	to	
However	in	accordance	with	established	good	practice,	
                                                                  maintain	electrical	clearance.
site	specific	pre-construction	monitoring/investigations,	
will	be	carried	out	by	the	appropriate	qualified	
                                                                  The	high	resolution	orthophotography	enabled	the	Project	
consultants,	prior	to	actual	construction	works	being	
                                                                  Team	to	cross	reference	ecological	and	archaeological	
carried	out,	in	order	to	refine	tower	locations,	verify	the	
                                                                  features	collected	by	both	aerial	photography	and	LIDAR.
evaluation	presented	in	this	assessment	and	prepare	
detailed	method	statements	to	ensure	the	quality	of	the	
environment	is	maintained.	                                       1.7	
                                                                  STUDY	TEAM	AND		
                                                                  CONTRIBUTORS	TO	THE	EIA
                                                                  Table	1.2	details	the	list	of	consultants	who	contributed	to	
                                                                  the	preparation	of	this	part	of	the	EIS.

                                                                  In	addition	to	these	environmental	topics,	Volume	2	Part	
                                                                  A,	Chapters	1	to	4	was	prepared	by	the	Project	Team	
                                                                  including	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers,	AOS	Planning	Ltd,	
                                                                  ESBI,	EirGrid	and	RPS.




                                                                                                                                  19
     1 Introduction


       Role                                                         Company

       EIS	Manager                                                  TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Project	Designer                                             Socoin

       Specialist	Environmental	Topics

       Human	Beings                                                 TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields                                 Exponent	International	Limited
                                                                    Compliance	Engineering	Ireland	(CEI)

       Flora	and	Fauna                                              TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Soils	and	Geology                                            TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Water                                                        TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Climate	and	Air                                              TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Noise	and	Vibration                                          TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Landscape                                                    Scott	Wilson

       Photomontages                                                Scott	Wilson

       Traffic                                                      TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

       Cultural	Heritage                                            Moore	Group

       Interrelationships	between	Environmental	Factors             TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers

     Table 1.2: Personnel involved in Preparing Part A of the EIS




20
21
22
        Chapter 2


  Consultation
                              2
    & Scoping




        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              23
     2 Consultation & Scoping


     2.1	                                                           2.3	
     INTRODUCTION                                                   CONSULTATION	WITH	STATUTORY	
     In	order	to	ensure	the	EIA	addresses	the	issues	that	are	
                                                                    AGENCIES	AND	OTHER	INTERESTED	
     likely	to	be	of	significance,	an	extensive	consultation	and	   BODIES
     scoping	exercise	was	carried	out	over	a	number	of	years.	
     Consultation	consisted	of	public	(including	landowners),	      Formal	consultation	with	statutory	agencies	and	other	
     interested	parties	and	statutory	agency	consultation	as	       interested	parties	was	carried	out	in	a	number	of	stages	
     well	as	pre-planning	consultations	with	An	Bord	Pleanála.	     during	the	project	to	ensure	that	the	views	of	such	parties	
                                                                    would	be	considered	by	the	Project	Team,	as	the	project	
     Volume	1	of	the	EIS	provides	a	comprehensive	report	on	        design	progressed.	In	addition	to	formal	consultation,	
     consultation	undertaken	for	the	project.	This	Volume	of	       the	EIS	coordinator	and	the	individual	consultants	who	
     the	EIS	(Volume	2	Part	A)	provides	a	summary	of	public	        prepared	each	chapter	of	the	EIS	consulted	informally	
     consultation,	consultation	with	statutory	agencies,	other	     with	a	variety	of	consultees	during	the	preparation	of	the	
     interested	parties,	and	consultations	with	landowners	         EIS.		
     which	was	undertaken.	
                                                                    2.3.1	
     2.2	
                                                                    Consultation	Methodology
     PUBLIC	CONSULTATION
                                                                    Formal	consultation	was	done	by	way	of	a	letter	and	
     Volume	1,	Chapter	3	of	the	EIS	describes	the	public	           supporting	material	and	then	followed	up	with	meetings,	
     consultation	carried	out	in	relation	to	the	proposed	          where	necessary.	
     development.	It	also	outlines	the	key	issues	raised	
     by	statutory	and	non	statutory	stakeholders	during	            An	initial	correspondence	was	issued	on	the	16th	of	
     identification	of	the	preferred	route	alignment	for	the	       August	2007.	It	was	accompanied	by	a	map	showing	the	
     proposed	Interconnection	Development.		                        four	1km	route	corridor	options,	within	a	large	study	area	
                                                                    which	were	under	consideration	by	the	Project	Team.	The	
     Volume	1,	Chapter	3	also	sets	out	in	detail	the	non	           letter	invited	comments	on	the	route	corridors	options	(1,	
     statutory	consultation	that	has	taken	place	by,	or	on	         2,	3A	&	3B)	which	were	under	consideration.	
     behalf	of,	EirGrid	between	September	2007	and	October	
     2009	in	respect	of	this	development.	Consultation	on	          A	further	correspondence	was	issued	on	the	6th	July	
     this	development	will	continue	until	the	line	has	been	        2009.	This	was	accompanied	by	a	Community	Brochure	
     constructed.	                                                  which	contained	a	map	showing	the	Emerging	Preferred	
                                                                    Line	Route	3B,	which	is	the	subject	of	Part	A	of	the	EIS.	It	
     Such	non	statutory	consultation	specifically	sought	to	        invited	comments	in	relation	to	the	Emerging	Preferred	
     inform/elicit	opinion	from	the	public	and	other	interested	    Line	Route	3B.	The	Community	Brochure	detailed	a	line	
     parties	on	all	matters	relating	to	the	overall	project	        route	within	a	corridor	for	the	Meath	–	Cavan	line,	the	
     development.		It	sets	out	the	comprehensive	on	going	          Cavan	to	Tyrone	line	and	the	Northern	Ireland	portion	of	
     consultation	strategy	adopted	and	the	means	by	which	          the	line.		This	brochure	assisted	parties	to	understand	the	
     this	was	and	continues	to	be	implemented.	                     full	extent	of	the	development.	

                                                                    A	summary	of	the	responses	received	in	relation	to	the	
                                                                    letters	issued	is	detailed	in	Table	2.1.




24
  	Letters	issued	to	
  Statutory	Consultees		    Response	Received
  &	Interested	Parties

                            No	response	to	any	letter.
  An	Taisce
                            Meeting	was	held	on	the	26.08.09	with	Eileen	Muldowney	(Energy	Transport	Officer)	&	Anja	
                            Murray’s	(Natural	Environmental	Officer).

                            Response	to	first	letter	dated	24.09.07	suggests	carrying	out	survey	work	to	establish	inter-
                            actions	and	likely	impacts	of	the	project	and	provide	details	of	usage	of	fields	and	wetlands	
                            in	the	study	area.	

                            In	addition	Birdwatch	Ireland	responded	on	the	04.10.07	to	a	request	by	the	Project	Ecolo-
                            gist	to	say	that	it	does	not	hold	any	further	detailed	information	on	sites	used	by	wintering	
                            waterbirds	than	that	presented	in	the	wetlands	book.

                            Response	letter	dated	23.01.08	recommends	to	fully	consider	adverse	impacts	on:
  Birdwatch	Ireland
                            •					Species	listed	on	Annex	1	of	the	EU	Birds	Directive	and	migratory	wetland	bird	species	
                                  which	are	afforded	particular	protection	in	the	wider	countryside	as	well	as	areas	iden-
                                  tified	as	Special	Protection	Areas.
                            •					Red-listed	and	amber-listed	bird	species	as	identified	in	“Birds	of	Conservation	Con-
                                  cern”.
                            •					Priority	habitats	for	wild	birds	including	habitats,	wetlands,	hedgerows,	machair,	
                                  coastal	habitats,	semi	natural	woodlands,	and	riparian	habitats	in	addition	to	those	
                                  habitats	specified	under	Annex	1	of	the	EU	Habitats	Directive.

                            No	response	to	second	letter.

  Bord	Gáis	Headquar-
                            No	response	to	any	letter.
  ters

  Border	Regional	Au-
                            No	response	to	any	letter.
  thority

                            Meeting	held	with	the	Planning	Section	of	Cavan	County	Council	in	February	2007.
  Cavan	County	Council
                            No	response	to	any	letter.

                            Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	first	letter	on	04.09.07.
  The	Cavan	County	
  Enterprise	Board	Ltd.     Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	on	09.07.09	and	states	that	it	will	revert	to	us	if	
                            it	should	have	any	further	comments.

                            Requested	detailed	mapping	of	certain	areas	on	29.08.07,	this	was	issued	to	Coillte.

  Coillte,	The	Irish	For-   Second	response	dated	13.09.07	states	three	areas	where	the	route	may	affect	Coillte	
  estry	Board               property.

                            No	response	to	second	letter.

Table 2.1: Summary of Responses Received




                                                                                                                             25
     2 The Strategic Need for the Project


       Commission	for	Com-
       munications	Regula-       No	response	to	any	letter.
       tion

       Department	of	Agricul-
                                 No	response	to	any	letter.
       ture	and	Food

       Department	of	Com-
       munity,	Rural	and	        No	response	to	any	letter.
       Gaeltacht	Affairs

                                 First	Response	letter	dated	25.01.08	recommends	that	the	design	of	the	line	on	crossing	
                                 points	of	Special	Areas	of	Conservation	should	be	such	to	prevent	any	damage	to	the	Euro-
                                 pean	designated	site.	In	relation	to	Whopper	Swan	Cygnus	cygnus,	Annex	1	species	of	the	
                                 Bird	Directive	(European	Union	Directive	79/409/EEC)	the	Department	recommended	carry-
       Department	of	Envi-       ing	out	a	winter	survey	and	to	implement	mitigation	measures	along	sensitive	locations	to	
       ronment,	Heritage	and	    prevent	bird	collisions	with	power	lines.
       Local	Government	-	Na-
       tional	Parks	&	Wildlife   Second	response	letter	dated	30.01.09	amends	nature	conservation	recommendations	
                                 outlined	in	the	response	letter	dated	25.01.08.

                                 In	addition,	a	series	of	separate	meetings	involving	the	Project	Ecologists	was	held	with	
                                 local	staff	of	the	NPWS	throughout	the	project.

                                 Letter	dated	06.03.08	in	response	to	the	Draft	Archaeological	Constraints	Report	submitted	
                                 to	the	Department,	recommended	to	identify	and	to	define	zones	of	visual	amenity	for	Na-
                                 tional	Monuments.	In	addition,	areas	of	high	archaeological	potential	including	subsurface	
                                 archaeological	structures	should	be	identified	and	any	potential	impacts	on	archaeological	
                                 heritage	should	be	subject	to	full	archaeological	assessment.
       Department	of	Envi-
       ronment,	Heritage	and	
                                 Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	06.08.09	stated	that	the	project	would	
       Local	Government	–	
                                 require	a	full	archaeological	impact	assessment	to	be	carried	out.	It	stated	that	we	should	
       Development	Applica-
                                 adhere	to	the	Code	of	Practices	between	the	Department	and	EirGrid	&	ESB.	It	states	that	
       tion	Unit	
                                 Architectural	Heritage	should	also	be	taken	into	account.	In	addition	it	states	that	consulta-
                                 tions	with	County	Conservation	Officer	or	planning	official	might	be	useful.

                                 In	addition,	a	series	of	separate	meetings	was	held	with	Development	Application	Unit		
                                 throughout	the	project.

                                 No	response	to	first	letter.

                                 Second	response	letter	dated	16.07.09	states	no	objection	to	the	chosen	preferred	route	
       The	Eastern	Regional	
                                 corridor	once	sufficient	mitigation	measures	are	described	and	employed	adequately.	It	
       Fisheries	Board
                                 would	be	in	a	better	position	to	make	useful	comments	regarding	protection	of	specific	
                                 fisheries	habitat	at	detailed	design	stage	when	specific	method	statements	have	been	
                                 developed.	It	addition	is	wants	to	be	kept	informed	of	progress	with	the	project.



     Table 2.1: Summary of Responses Received




26
                             Response	to	first	letter	dated	20.02.08	requested	a	visual	impact	study	on	the	proposed	
                             route	corridors	on	views	from	Loughcrew	passage	tomb	complex.

                             Letter	received	from	Fáilte	Ireland	on	the	16.12.2008,	stating	that	having	received	a	re-
  Fáilte	Ireland	            sponse	to	their	(first)	letter	of	February	2008,	they	are	satisfied	that	their	concerns	have	
                             been	addressed	and	none	of	the	route	corridor	options	will	have	an	impact	on	the	Lough-
                             crew	site.

                             No	response	to	second	letter.

  Environmental	Protec-
                             No	response	to	any	letter
  tion	Agency

                             Acknowledgement	on	the	21.08.07	of	the	first	consultation	letter	

                             Response	letter	dated	19.09.07	states	sites	of	geological	interested	proposed	for	NHA	and	
                             CGS	status	along	the	route	options.
  Geological	Survey	of	
  Ireland
                             Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	consultation	letter	dated	09.07.09

                             Response	to	letter	dated	29.07.09,	enclosed	previous	correspondence	linked	to	the	letter	
                             dated	16.08.07	in	which	geological	heritage	sites	were	listed.	

                             No	response	to	first	letter.
  Health	Service	Execu-
  tive
                             Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	22.07.09.

  IBEC	Head	Office           No	response	to	any	letter.

  North	Eastern	Region	
                             No	response	to	any	letter.
  IDA	Office

  Eastern	Region	IDA	
                             No	response	to	any	letter.
  Office

                             First	response	letter	dated	22.08.07	advises	that	there	are	two	aerodromes	in	the	vicinity	
                             of	the	proposed	route	options	and	recommends	to	contact	the	licensees	if	the	line	passes	
                             close	to	these	aerodromes.

                             Second	response	letter	dated	17.07.09	states	that	the	preferred	route	is	close	to	the	aero-
                             drome	at	Trim,	County	Meath.	The	Authority	and	the	licensee	will	need	to	be	appraised	of	
  Irish	Aviation	Authority
                             the	details	of	the	design	for	this	area,	in	particular	the	actual	location	of	any	pylons	and	the	
                             height	of	the	overhead	lines.

                             A	meeting	took	place	with	the	IAA,	EirGird	and	TOBIN	on	the	11.01.08,	the	IAA	confirmed	
                             that	the	route	corridors	would	not	impact	any	aerodrome,	specific	reference	was	made	to	
                             Trim	Airfield.

Table 2.1: Summary of Responses Received




                                                                                                                                 27
     2 The Strategic Need for the Project


                                Response	to	first	letter	dated	05.09.07	highlights	ecological	importance	of	several	peatland	
     Irish	Peatland	Conser-     NHA	sites	that	lie	within	or	surrounding	the	Constraints	Study	Area.
     vation	Council
                                No	response	to	second	letter.

                                No	response	to	first	letter.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	21.07.09	and	stated	that	they	would	like	
                                to	facilitate	a	meeting.
     Meath	County	Council
                                Meetings	held	with	Meath	County	Council	on	27.01.09	and	the	13.08.09.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	letter	dated	13.08.09.	

     The	Meath	County	
                                No	response	to	any	letter.
     Enterprise	Board	Ltd.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	first	letter	dated	27.08.07.
     Minister	for	Arts,	
     Sports	and	Tourism
                                No	response	to	second	letter.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	first	letter	dated	21.08.07	and	states	that	contents	where	
                                brought	to	the	Minister’s	attention.

     Minister	for	Commu-        Second	response	to	first	letter	dated	the	25.09.07	states	that	there	is	unlikely	to	be	any	sig-
     nications,	Energy	and	     nificant	impact	to	fisheries	interests,	assuming	best	practice	is	employed	in	siting	of	poles	
     Natural	Resources          in	close	proximity	to	waterways.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	08.07.09	and	states	that	the	letter	is	cur-
                                rently	receiving	attention	and	the	Department	would	revert.

                                No	response	to	first	letter.
     National	Museum	of	
                                Second	response	letter	dated	11th	of	August,	states	that	an	archaeological	landscape	com-
     Ireland
                                ponent	should	be	completed.	It	also	stated	that	route	3B	runs	through	a	very	rich	landscape	
                                in	the	vicinity	of	important	sites	such	as	Bective	Abbey,	Teltown	and	Donaghpatrick.

                                First	response	letter	dated	20.09.07	states	that	route	option	3A	&	3B	will	cross	the	M3	
                                Scheme,	it	stated	that	the	toll	plaza	needs	to	be	taken	into	consideration.

                                Second	response	letter	dated	10.10.07	states	that,	impact	of	any	proposed	overhead	lines	
     National	Roads	Au-
                                on	any	existing	National	Roads	will	have	to	be	fully	addressed.
     thority
                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	27.07.09	and	states	that	the	EIS	should	
                                consider	impact	and	relationship	of	the	proposed	development	with	the	existing	and	pro-
                                posed	national	road	network.	NRA	neither	supports	nor	objects	to	the	planning	application.

                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	first	letter	dated	21.08.07.	The	letter	stated	that	RPII	has	cur-
                                rently	no	remit	in	the	area	of	non-ionising	radiation.	It	stated	that	the	DoEHLG	determines	
     Radiological	Protection	   mandate	for	the	RPII.
     Institute	of	Ireland
                                Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	24.07.09	and	states	that	it	has	no	obser-
                                vations	to	make	on	the	proposed	development.




28
                             Response	to	first	letter	on	26.09.07	identifies	nearest	site	in	relation	to	the	proposed	devel-
                             opment	and	draws	attention	to	interference	to	television/	AM	radio	reception.

  RTE                        Called	to	request	grid	reference	for	pylons	in	the	area	north	of	Baileborough	on	04.08.09.

                             Email	received	on	12.08.09	states	that	is	has	no	issues	with	the	preferred	route	as	far	as	
                             Moyhill.

                             No	response	to	first	letter.
  Sustainable	Energy	
  Ireland-Head	Office        Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	24.07.09	and	states	they	will	review	the	
                             Constraints	report	and	submit	comments,	if	any.	

                             No	response	to	first	letter.
  Teagasc
                             Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	21.07.09	and	asks	to	send	another	copy	to	
                             Eddie	O’Riordan	in	Teagasc,	no	response	was	received.

                             Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	first	letter	dated	07.09.07	and	states	that	the	Commission	
                             does	not	have	any	comments	to	make.
  The	Commission	for	
  Energy	Regulation
                             Acknowledged	receipt	of	the	second	letter	dated	08.07.09	and	states	that	it	will	forward	
                             correspondence	to	the	relevant	person.																																													

  The	Health	&	Safety	
                             No	response	to	any	letter.
  Authority

  The	Heritage	Council       No	response	to	any	letter.

  The	Irish	Wildlife	Trust   No	response	to	any	letter.

                             Response	to	first	letter	dated	29.08.07	states	that	as	long	as	this	project	agrees	with	the	
                             development	programme	of	Údarás	na	Gaeltachta,	it	is	in	support	of	this	infrastructure	as	it	
  Udaras	na	Gaeltachta       is	of	critical	importance	to	induce	and	generate	investment	in	the	Gaeltacht	area.

                             No	response	to	the	second	letter.

  Kells	and	District	
                             No	response	to	any	letter.
  Chamber

  Mountaineering	Coun-
                             No	response	to	any	letter.
  cil	of	Ireland

  Navan	Chamber              No	response	to	any	letter.

Table 2.1: Summary of Responses Received




                                                                                                                               29
     2 The Strategic Need for the Project


     Copies	of	the	Response	received	from	Parties	referred	
     to	herein,	are	set	out	in	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	2.1	
                                                                    2.5.2	
     “Summary	of	Consultation	Responses”.                           Outcome
     In	addition	to	the	consultation	letters,	meetings	(both	       In	general	the	consultation	with	landowners	did	achieve	
     formal	and	informal),	were	and	continue	to	be	held,	with	      the	aim	of	verifying	the	landholding	or	names	and	
     many	parties	including	with	the	relevant	Local	Authorities.    addresses	of	landowners.	However	the	landowners	
                                                                    did	not	in	most	instances,	provide	any	input	as	to	their	
                                                                    concerns	about	the	placement	of	towers	on	their	lands.	
     2.4	                                                           The	consultation	became	centred	primarily	on	the	issues	
     PRE	PLANNING	CONSULTATIONS	                                    raised	by	landowners	such	as	health,	devaluation,	
                                                                    alternative	technologies,	underground	cable	and	visual	
     WITH	AN	BORD	PLEANÁLA                                          impact.	

     A	number	of	pre-planning	consultation	meetings	were	           In	total	approximately	191	landowners	are	located	along	
     held	with	An	Bord	Pleanála.	Whilst	a	variety	of	issues	were	   the	line.	The	majority	of	landowners	have	now	been	
     discussed,	the	key	issues	arising	from	these	meetings,		       contacted.	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers	is	still	in	the	
     relevant	to	the	EIS	include	consideration	of	transboundary	    process	of	meeting	with	individual	landowners	who	
     environmental	effects,	EIS	content,	alternatives	              have	made	contact	through	the	Project	Team.	TOBIN	was	
     considered	and	route	selection.                                unable	to	make	contact	with	certain	landowners	due	
                                                                    to	inability	to	locate	them	(i.e.	not	living	in	the	general	
     2.5	                                                           locality)	or	due	to	their	unwillingness	to	engage	with	the	
                                                                    consultation	process.	
     LANDOWNER	CONSULTATION
     This	section	relates	only	to	the	consultation	that	was	        2.6	
     carried	out	with	individual	landowners	along	the	line	         RESULTS	OF	SCOPING	PROCESS
     route.	Consultation	with	landowners	was	carried	out	for	
     Part	A,	by	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers.                         The	purpose	of	the	EIS	is	to	supply	information	to	the	
                                                                    Board,	relevant	to	the	application	for	approval	and	to	
     2.5.1	                                                         the	specific	characteristics	of	this	project	and	of	the	
                                                                    environmental	features	likely	to	be	affected.	Accordingly,	
     Purpose		                                                      the	EIS	assists	the	relevant	parties	to	the	process,	the	
                                                                    public	and	ultimately,	the	Board	in	its	assessment.
     The	purpose	of	landowner	consultation	was	to	make	
     contact	with	landowners	along	the	line.	The	task	involved	     The	scoping	process	assisted	in	all	relevant	environmental	
     making	contact	with	landowners	over	whose	land	the	            issues	being	addressed	in	detail	in	the	EIS,	these	are	
     line	crosses.	The	purpose	of	the	consultation	was	to	          discussed	herein.	
     impart	information	to	the	landowners	about	the	need	for	
     the	project,	and	to	identify	and	verify	information	about	
     individual	land	registry	searches,	which	were	conducted	       2.6.1	
     by	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers,	prior	to	meeting	with	          Human	Beings
     landowners	and	so	that	their	views	could	be	considered	
     during	the	design	process.                                     Potential	impacts	on	human	beings	arising	from	a	variety	
                                                                    of	environmental	factors	have	been	considered	in	detail	
     Before	making	individual	contact	with	these	landowners,	       throughout	the	EIS.	The	chapter	on	Human	Beings	
     an	A3	map	was	produced	for	each	landowner,	delineating	        considers	potential	impacts	on	population,	landuse,	
     an	orthophoto	(aerial)	map,	with	the	proposed	line	with	       economic	activity	and	tourism.	
     tower	locations	and	a	blue	line	showing	the	land	registry	
     holding.	Unique	landowner	identification	numbers	were	
     assigned	to	each	landowner	along	the	line	(i.e.	LMC	001).	     2.6.2	
     These	maps,	were	posted	to	each	landowner,	based	
     on	a	land	registry	search.	The	ultimate	aim	of	the	task	
                                                                    Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	(EMF)
     was	to	collate	the	best	available	information	from	land	       EMF	was	raised	as	an	issue	of	significance,	accordingly,	it	
     registry	coupled	with	on	site	contact	with	landowners	to	      is	examined	in	detail	in	the	EIS.
     identify	insofar	as	possible	the	names	and	addresses	of	
     all	landowners,	together	with	the	size	of	their	individual	
     landholdings.		




30
2.6.3	                                                         2.6.9	
Telecommunications                                             Landscape
Telecommunications	were	not	considered	by	the	Project	         As	the	project	consists	of	overhead	lines	supported	on	
Team	to	be	a	significant	issue	and	it	was	not	raised	during	   steel	lattice	towers	it	will	be	visible	from	many	locations	
public	consultations	as	being	of	significance.	Therefore	      along	its	length.	Accordingly,	this	environmental	topic	
this	issue	was	scoped	out	of	the	EIS.	                         considers	in	detail	the	visual	impacts	arising	from	the	
                                                               proposed	development.	This	chapter	is	supported	by	
                                                               a	number	of	photomontages	which	give	an	indication	
2.6.4	                                                         of	what	the	development	will	look	like	from	various	
Flora	and	Fauna                                                locations.

The	main	issues	of	concern	raised	during	consultations,	
which	were	largely	addressed	at	Phase	1,	include	
                                                               2.6.10	
consideration	of	alternatives,	nature	conservation	            Traffic
designated	sites	(cSACs,	SPAs	and	NHAs),	species	of	
conservation	status,	including	Whooper	Swans	-	listed	         Once	the	project	is	operational	there	will	be	no	significant	
under	Annex	1	of	the	EU	Birds	Directive	(EU	79/409/EEC),	      volumes	of	traffic	associated	with	the	project	as	only	
fisheries	and	habitats	of	high	local	value.                    routine	maintenance	of	the	overhead	lines	and	substation	
                                                               will	be	required.	There	will	be	vehicle	movements	during	
                                                               the	construction	phase.	This	will	not	be	significant	in	the	
2.6.5	                                                         longer	term.
Soils	and	Geology
The	main	issues	raised	under	this	environmental	topic	
                                                               2.6.11	
which	merited	detailed	examination	included	areas	of	          Cultural	Heritage
sensitivity	such	as	County	Geological	Site	(CGS),	outcrops	
of	bedrock,	areas	of	karst	or	other	types	of	highly	           The	main	issues	in	the	chapter	include	potential	impacts	
permeable	geology	and	ground	potentially	contaminated	         on	archaeological,	architectural	and	other	features	of	
(physically	or	chemically)	by	historical	or	current	           cultural	heritage	importance,	arising	from	the	proposed	
activities.                                                    development.	The	impacts	on	the	Gaeltacht	area,	through	
                                                               which	the	line	passes,	have	also	been	addressed.	
2.6.6	
Water                                                          2.6.12	
                                                               Interrelationships	between	
The	main	issues	raised	under	this	topic	relate	to	
the	potential	for	water	pollution	(both	surface	and	
                                                               Environmental	Factors
groundwater)	particularly	during	the	construction	stage.
                                                               This	chapter	details	the	main	interrelationships	between	
                                                               the	environmental	factors	which	are	considered.	While	
2.6.7	                                                         almost	all	environmental	aspects	are	interrelated	to	some	
                                                               degree,	only	significant	interactions	have	been	considered	
Climate	and	Air                                                in	this	assessment.	
No	significant	emissions	to	air	or	climatic	factors	are	
anticipated	to	arise	when	the	project	is	operational.	         2.7	
Positive	impacts	arising	from	the	project	are	also	
addressed	in	this	chapter.
                                                               CONCLUSION
                                                               Having	established	the	environmental	topics	which	are	
2.6.8	                                                         of	most	significance,	the	EIS	was	prepared	in	accordance	
                                                               with	the	relevant	legislation	and	having	regard	to	the	
Noise	and	Vibration                                            Environmental	Protection	Agency’s	“Guidelines	on	the	
                                                               information	to	be	contained	in	Environmental	Impact	
Noise	will	arise	during	the	construction	phase.		This	will	
                                                               Statements”	(EPA	2002)	and	“Advice	Notes	on	Current	
not	be	significant	in	the	longer	term.	No	significant	noise	
                                                               Practice	in	the	preparation	of	Environmental	Impact	
emissions	are	anticipated	to	arise	when	the	project	is	
                                                               Statements”	(EPA	2003).	The	EIS	has	also	been	carried	
operational.
                                                               out	in	line	with	the	European	Commission	document	
                                                               “Guidance	on	EIA,	EIS	Review”,	published	in	June,	2001.	


                                                                                                                               31
32
        Chapter 3


   Alternatives
                              3
    Considered




        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              33
     3 Alternatives Considered


     3.1	                                                                                           The	subsequent	“Route	Constraints	Addendum	Report”	
                                                                                                    published	in	November	2008,	publicly	available	at	www.
     INTRODUCTION                                                                                   eirgrid.com,	updates	the	original	Constraints	Report.	This	
                                                                                                    is	primarily	based	on	additional	studies	completed	since	
     The	EIA	Directive	and	Irish	planning	regulations	require	an	                                   the	publication	of	the	original	Constraints	Report	in	July	
     Environmental	Impact	Assessment	to	set	out	“an outline                                         2007.	
     of the main alternatives studied by the developer and an
     indication of the main reasons for his or her choice, taking                                   The	Constraints	Reports	were	prepared	to	identify	key	
     into account the effects on the environment”.                                                  environmental	issues	within	the	study	area,	in	which	any	
                                                                                                    potential	route	corridor	options	may	have	an	impact.	The	
     The	main	alternatives	with	respect	to	the	Meath	-	Tyrone	                                      reports	were	based	upon	initial	detailed	surveys	and	
     400kV	Interconnection	Development	are	set	out	in	                                              analysis,	as	well	as	consultation	with	interested	parties	
     Volume	1,	Chapters	4	“Transmission	and	Technology	                                             and	other	stakeholders.	The	key	parameters	which	were	
     Alternative”	and	Volume	1,	Chapter	5	“Route	and	                                               considered	as	having	a	consequence	for	the	level	of	
     Substation	Alternatives”	of	the	EIS.		These	chapters,	                                         significance	of	environmental	impact	included:
     where	appropriate,	refer	to	studies	and	reports	which	
     have	informed	EirGrid	in	their	consideration	of	various	                                          •	 Distance	to	populated	places;
     alternatives.	
     	                                                                                                 •	 Good	access;
     Volume	1,	Chapter	4	details	the	transmission	and	
     technology	alternatives	(including	options	such	as	                                               •	 Environmental	Impact;
     overhead,	underground,	undersea,	tower	design	etc…)	
     and	route	alternatives.	Volume	1,	Chapter	5	details	                                              •	 Visual	Impact;
     alternative	study	areas	that	were	assessed	for	a	variety	
     of	transmission	line	options	(including	M3,	East	of	Navan	                                        •	 Geology	and	Soils;
     Route	Option	etc…).	Volume	1,	Chapter	5	also	details	the	
     multi-criteria	comparative	1km	wide	corridor	evaluation	                                          •	 Crossings	with	other	existing	infrastructure;
     process	(“Corridor Evaluation Document”,	March	2009)	
     which	confirmed	the	emerging	preferred	route	corridor,	                                           •	 Topography;
     3B	on	the	Woodland	to	Moyhill	400kV	transmission	line	
     project		and	corridor	A	on	the	Moyhill	to	Border	(Lemgare)	                                       •	 Protected	or	restricted	ecological	areas;
     400kV	transmission	line	project.
                                                                                                       •	 Landuse;
     	3.2	
                                                                                                       •	 Technical;	and
     IDENTIFICATION	OF	1KM	ROUTE	
                                                                                                       •	 Cultural	Heritage.	
     CORRIDOR	OPTIONS
                                                                                                    The	four	route	corridor	options	(including	sub	option)	are	
     EirGrid	appointed	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers	with	Socoin	                                      shown	in	Illustration	3.1.
     to	identify	and	evaluate	options	for	construction	of	that	
     portion	of	the	planned	OHL	(Overhead	Line)	transmission	                                          •	 Route	Option	1	(Blue)	runs	within	the	western	part	
     infrastructure	within	the	identified	Western	Route	                                                  of	the	study	area,	west	of	Trim,	Athboy	and	Kells;
     Options2		area	between	Woodland	400kV	substation	
     in	County	Meath	and	a	proposed	new	substation	in	                                                 •	 Route	Option	2		(Red)	runs	within	the	central	and	
     the	townland	of	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	The	scope	and	                                                western	part	of	the	study	area,	east	of	Trim	and	
     methodology	of	this	work,	as	well	as	the	identified	route	                                           Athboy	but	west	of	Kells;	and
     corridor	options,	are	detailed	in	the	“Route	Constraints	
     Report”,	July	2007,	which	is	publicly	available	at	www.                                           •	 Route	Option	3	(Green)	follows	Route	Option	2	
     eirgrid.com.	The	Constraints	Report	was	based	around	                                                before	running	west	of	Navan	and	east	of	Trim.	
     four	potentially	feasible	1km	route	corridor	options	(1,	                                            There	is	a	sub-option	(3A	and	3B)	within	this	
     2,	3A	&	3B).	The	route	corridor	options	are	designed	to	                                             option.
     ensure	that	a	potentially	feasible	option	exists	within	the	
     study	area.	




     2		 Refer	to	Volume	1,	Chapter	5	which	details	the	various	eastern	and	western	route	options
34
Illustration 3.1   Potential Route Corridor Options Woodland - Moyhill




                                                                         35
     3 Alternatives Considered


     3.3	                                                            3.5	
     PREFERRED	1km	ROUTE	                                            SUBSTATION	ALTERNATIVES
     CORRIDOR	OPTION                                                 Refer	to	Volume	1,	Chapter	5	which	details	why	Woodland	
                                                                     Substation	was	the	optimal	location	for	the	starting	point	
     Arising	from	the	Constraints	Studies,	the	Project	Team	
                                                                     of	the	400kV	Transmission	Line	development.
     identified	an	Emerging	Preferred	Route	Corridor,	referred	
     to	as	Option	3B.		
                                                                     3.6	
     3.4	                                                            CONCLUSION
     DETERMINATION	OF	FINAL	                                         The	Alternatives	considered	in	Volume	1,	Chapters	4	and	
     LINE	ROUTE                                                      5	of	the	EIS,	discuss	in	detail	the	strategic	alternatives	
                                                                     which	were	considered	when	designing	and	routing	this	
     Following	from	the	identification	of	the	Emerging	              400kV	transmission	line.	The	final	location	of	towers	and	
     Preferred	Route	Corridor	Option,	3B,	the	locations	of	          substation	represents	the	optimal	layout	having	regard	to	
     towers	within	the	corridor	were	determined.	                    all	criteria	and	limitations	as	outlined.

     The	positioning	of	the	towers	was	then	further	refined	
     having	regard	to	technical	criteria	governing	the	design	
     of	400kV	lines,	consultation	with	landowners,	further	
     environmental	/	technical	studies	and	a	review	of	LIDAR	
     data.	As	part	of	the	design,	EirGrid	guided	its	consultants,	
     to	seek,	if	possible,	to	achieve	a	minimum	separation	of	
     50	metres	distance	from	occupied	dwellings.	

     This	resulted	in	the	final	design	of	the	line	within	an	80m	
     wide	corridor,	which	is	the	subject	of	the	EIS.




36
37
38
        Chapter 4


       Project
                              4
Description &
 Construction
 Methodology




        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              39
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     4.1	                                                             •	 The	diversion	of	the	existing	Flagford	Louth	220kV	
                                                                         overhead	line	into	the	planned	Moyhill	Substation;
     INTRODUCTION	
                                                                      •	 A	400kV	single/	double	circuit	overhead	line	
     This	chapter	provides	a	description	of	the	project	                 extending	from	the	proposed	substation	at	Moyhill	
     comprising	information	on	the	site,	design	and	size	of	the	         to	the	existing	400kV	substation	at	Woodland,	
     development	together	with	details	of	the	construction	              County	Meath;	and
     methodology.	This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	
     with	Volume	1,	Chapter	2	which	comprehensively	                  •	 The	works	required	in	Woodland	Substation	to	
     describes	the	project	including	the	reasons	for	                    accommodate	the	proposed	Moyhill	400kV	circuit.
     undertaking	the	project	and	details	why	it	is	required.	
                                                                   The	overhead	line	infrastructure	is	proposed	to	be	
                                                                   sited	within	an	80m	wide	corridor,	to	allow	for	minor	
     4.2	                                                          movements	of	towers,	where	necessary	during	
     PROJECT	DESCRIPTION                                           construction.	This	is	known	as	‘micrositing’	and	is	
                                                                   addressed	in	more	detail	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4,	
                                                                   section	4.6	of	the	EIS.
     4.2.1	
     Constituent	Elements                                          The	scope	of	development	being	proposed	by	NIE	
                                                                   comprises	that	portion	of	the	planned	Interconnection	
     The	overall	proposed	Meath	–	Tyrone	Interconnection	          Development,	occurring	within	Northern	Ireland.	This	
     Development	consists	of	the	electricity	transmission	         consists	of:
     infrastructure	development,	extending	between	the	
     existing	substation	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	           •	 A	400kV	substation	at	Turleenan,	County	Tyrone;
     proposed	substation	at	Turleenan,	County	Tyrone.
                                                                      •	 The	diversion	of	the	existing	Magherafelt-
     Its	constituent	elements	are:                                       Tandragee	275kV	double	circuit	overhead	line	into	
                                                                         the	new	Turleenan	Substation;	and
        •	 The	Cross-Border	Study	Area:	The	portion	of	
           the	overall	development	extending	between	the	             •	 A	400kV	single	circuit	overhead	line	extending	
           proposed	substation	at	Turleenan,	County	Tyrone	              from	the	proposed	substation	at	Turleenan,	to	the	
           and	the	proposed	Moyhill	Substation,	County	                  border	crossing	point,	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland	in	
           Meath,	located	approximately	6km	south-west	of	               the	townland	of	Lemgare,	County	Monaghan	and	
           Kingscourt;	and                                               in	Northern	Ireland	in	the	townland	of	Mullyard,	
                                                                         County	Armagh.	
        •	 The	North-East	Study	Area:	The	portion	of	the	
           overall	development	extending	from	the	proposed	
           substation	at	Moyhill,	County	Meath,	to	the	
                                                                   4.3	
           existing	substation	at	Woodland,	County	Meath.          DESCRIPTION	OF	THE	LINE	ROUTE	
                                                                   This	section	describes	the	line	route	using	local	
     4.2.2	                                                        townlands	and	tower	numbers	as	a	guideline.	The	line	
     Scope	of	Development	                                         route	description	details	both	the	existing	line	route	
                                                                   and	the	proposed	line	route	in	increments	of	25	towers.	
     The	scope	of	development	being	proposed	by	EirGrid	           A	section	of	the	400kV	line	route	described	herein	
     comprises	that	portion	of	the	proposed	Interconnection	       begins	at	Woodland	Substation,	County	Meath	and	ends	
     Development,	occurring	within	the	Republic	of	Ireland.	       approximately	1km	from	the	proposed	Moyhill	Substation,	
     This	consists	of:                                             County	Meath.

        •	 A	400kV	substation	at	Moyhill,	County	Meath;            Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	4.1.1	-	4.1.4	“Line	
                                                                   Route	Map”,	which	shows	the	location	of	the	proposed	
        •	 The	continuation	of	the	400kV	single/double	circuit	    development.	
           overhead	line	from	the	border	crossing	point	in	
           the	townland	of	Lemgare,	County	Monaghan	to	the	        As	stated	above,	it	is	proposed	that	the	line	will	be	located	
           proposed	substation	at	Moyhill;                         within	an	80m	wide	corridor,	to	provide	the	necessary	
                                                                   flexibility	for	construction	of	the	line.




40
Woodland	to	Bogganstown:	Existing	Line	Route	to	Tower	1        crossing	three	minor	roads,	a	dismantled	railway	line	
                                                               and	the	proposed	M3	to	the	west	of	Navan.	South	of	the	
From	the	existing	Woodland	Substation	in	the	townland	         N3	the	line	route	turns	in	a	north	northeast	direction	and	
of	Woodland	the	existing	line	goes	in	a	westerly	direction,	   crosses	a	bend	on	the	River	Blackwater	passing	Teltown	
passing	two	minor	roads	to	meet	with	the	proposed	line	        and	two	minor	roads	to	the	east	of	Kells.	At	tower	93	the	
route	3B,	at	tower	1	near	the	townland	boundaries	of	          line	route	deviates	due	north	through	the	townlands	of	
Bogganstown	and	Curraghtown.	                                  Gibstown	Demesne	and	Oristown	crossing	R163.

Bogganstown	to	Boycetown:	Tower	No.	1	to	25                    Oristown	to	Rahood:	Tower	No.		100	to	125

Tower	1	is	situated	near	the	townland	boundaries	of	           From	tower	100	at	the	townland	boundary	of	Clongill	
Bogganstown	and	Curraghtown.	The	line	route	proceeds	          and	Oristown	the	line	turns	in	north	northwest	direction	
from	this	naturally	high	point	(elevation	approx	138m)	        crossing	a	minor	road.	At	tower	105	the	line	route	turns	
towards	the	northwest,	crossing	the	R125.	At	tower	11	         again	in	north	northeast	direction	passing	two	minor	
the	line	route	deviates	in	a	west	northwesterly	direction	     roads	before	heading	in	northerly	direction	through	the	
towards	the	townland	boundary	of	Martinstown	and	              townlands	of	Mountainstown,	Drakerath,	Clooney,	Raffin	
Boycetown,	crossing	over	the	Derrypatrick	River	and	a	         into	the	townland	of	Rahood	passing	the	N52.
third	class	road.	From	tower	23	to	25	the	line	route	turns	
to	the	north	northwest.                                        Rahood	to	Aghamore:	Tower	No.		125	to	150

Boycetown	to	Balbrigh:	Tower	No.	25	to	50                      Between	tower	125	and	138	the	line	angles	in	north	
                                                               westerly	direction	crossing	a	track	into	Brittas	House	and	
Towers	25	to	28	pass	north	northwest	through	a	mix	of	         also	a	minor	road	crossing.	Avoiding	Whitewood	Lough	
pasture	and	arable	land	and	crosses	the	Boycetown	River.	      the	line	route	continues	in	a	northwesterly	direction	
From	tower	28	to	30	in	the	townland	of	Branganstown	the	       passing	three	minor	roads.	It	then	turns	in	a	northerly	
line	route	deviates	north-northeast	traversing	the	R154	       direction	at	tower	148,	south	of	Kilmainham	River.	The	
Trim	to	Batterstown.	Between	towers	30	and	41	the	line	        line	route	passes	two	minor	roads	in	the	townland	of	
route	turns	three	times	in	the	townlands	of	Ardbrackan,	       Aghamore.
Wrightown	and	Creroge	avoiding	houses,	passing	three	
minor	roads,	maintaining	a	sufficient	distance	from	the	       Aghamore	to	Moyhill:	Towers	No.		150	to	164
Hill	of	Tara	to	the	east	and	the	town	of	Trim	to	the	west.	
At	tower	41	in	the	townland	of	Knockstown	the	line	route	      The	line	route	continues	north	before	turning	in	a	westerly	
turns	north	northwest	towards	the	townland	of	Balbrigh	        direction	at	tower	155	in	the	townland	of	Lislea.	The	line	
crossing	over	one	minor	road,	the	R161	Trim/Navan	and	         route	passes	the	R164	and	two	minor	roads	and	connects	
the	River	Boyne.	North	of	the	R161	at	tower	49	in	the	         in	the	townland	of	Clonturkan,	County	Cavan	with	the	
townland	of	Balbrigh	the	line	route	turns	to	the	northwest.    proposed	Moyhill	-	Border	(Lemgare)	400kV	transmission	
                                                               line.
Balbrigh	to	Durhamstown:	Tower	No.		50	to	75                   	
                                                               Individual	chapters	within	Volume	2	Part	A	of	the	Main	
From	tower	50	to	59	the	line	route	traverses	good	arable	      EIS	provide	comprehensive	descriptions	of	the	existing	
land	along	the	eastern	bank	of	the	Clady	River	and	South	      environment	and	consider	the	relevant	aspects	of	the	
of	Robinstown	towards	Philpotstown	passing	a	minor	            proposed	development	when	making	an	environmental	
road.	At	tower	59	the	line	route	angles	to	the	north	and	      assessment.	
continues	through	Churchtown,	Halltown,	Irishtown,	            	
Ongenstown	and	Betaghstown	crossing	two	minor	roads	
and	the	N51	Athboy/Navan	road	to	avoid	houses.	At	this	
                                                               4.4	
point	the	line	route	is	located	approximately	3km	from	        CONSTRUCTION	METHODOLOGY
the	town	of	Navan.	From	tower	70	the	line	route	turns	in	
a	north	northwesterly	direction	crossing	two	minor	roads	
before	turning	north	at	tower	location	73	in	the	townland	     4.4.1	
of	Neilstown.	Tower	75	is	located	at	a	townland	boundary	      Introduction
of	Neilstown	and	Durhamstown.
                                                               The	purpose	of	this	section	is	to	describe	the	technical	
Durhamstown	to	Oristown:	Tower	No.		75	to	100                  and	design	aspects	of	the	Woodland	to	Moyhill	400kV	
                                                               transmission	line	development.	In	addition	this	section	
Between	tower	location	75	and	88	the	line	angles	six	          will	detail	the	construction	methods	that	have	been	
times	in	north	northwest	direction	through	the	townlands	      assumed	for	the	EIA	for	both	the	line	and	the	extension	to	
of	Durhamstown,	Grange,	Tankardstown	and	Castlemartin	         Woodland	Substation.	Any	contractors	employed	during	




                                                                                                                              41
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     the	construction	phase	of	the	project	will	be	obliged	to	
     deliver	all	the	commitments	set	out	in	this	EIS,	in	addition	
     to	any	conditions	of	planning	which	may	be	handed	down	
     from	An	Bord	Pleanála.


     4.4.2	
     Outline	of	400kV	Line	Route
     This	section	describes	briefly	the	design	of	the	proposed	
     overhead	line	and	provides	information	on	the	structural	
     components	to	be	used	on	the	line.	It	also	outlines	the	
     construction	and	maintenance	activities	involved	in	400kV	
     transmission	lines.		

     This	portion	of	the	project	consists	largely	of	single	
     circuit,	400kV	overhead	electricity	transmission	line	from	
     an	existing	substation	in	Woodland,	County	Meath	to	a	
     new	400kV	substation	in	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	

     The	first	2.7km	(eight	towers)	from	Woodland	Substation	
     are	existing	double	circuit	towers,	which	will	be	strung	
     using	the	currently	unused	side	of	the	400kV	double	
     circuit	towers.	The	other	side	of	these	double	circuit	
     towers	are	currently	in	use	and	forms	part	of	the	Oldstreet	
     -	Woodland	400kV	Transmission	Line.	The	proposed	line	
     covers	a	distance	of	approximately	57km,	which	includes	
     the	existing	eight	towers	near	Woodland	Substation.
                                                                      Illustration 4.1: 400kV Intermediate Tower

     4.4.3	                                                              2.	 Insulators:	Insulators	must	meet	the	requirements	
                                                                             specified	for	electrical	and	mechanical	performance	
     Elements	of	Overhead	Line	Design                                        even	under	arduous	environmental	conditions.	
                                                                             Composite	resin	bonded	fibre	insulators	give	
     This	section	describes	briefly	the	design	process	used	                 high	performance	and	have	the	added	advantage	
     to	produce	the	preliminary	design	of	the	proposed	lines	                of	lightweight,	low	visual	impact	and	aiding	
     and	provides	information	on	the	structural	components	                  the	compactness	of	the	design.		Insulators	are	
     to	be	used	on	the	line.		At	the	outset	of	the	project	EirGrid	          purchased	from	a	list	of	approved	and	reputable	
     agreed	the	high	level	design	criteria	which	would	be	used	              suppliers.
     in	the	design	and	construction	of	the	new	400kV	line.		
                                                                         3.	 Conductors:	type	and	construction,	current	rating,	
     This	section	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	the	“Tower	             ultimate	tensile	strength,	sags	and	tensions	
     Outline	Evaluation	and	Selection”	Report	(October	2009),	               under	external	loading	conditions.	Conductors	are	
     publicly	available	on	www.eirgrid.com.                                  purchased	from	a	list	of	approved	and	reputable	
                                                                             suppliers.
     Illustration	4.1	illustrates	the	arrangement	of	the	different	
     elements	of	a	400kV	single	circuit	transmission	line.               4.	 Towers:	Towers	are	constructed	using	lattice	steel	
                                                                             which	is	galvanised	to	protect	against	corrosion.		
     These	elements	are	assessed	as	follows	in	the	design	                   The	towers	are	designed	to	withstand	a	variety	of	
     process:                                                                possible	loading	situations.	

        1.	 OPGW	–	Optical	Fibre	Groundwire	(Shieldwire):	                5.	 Foundations:	a	range	of	foundation	designs	are	
            type	and	construction,	short	circuit	rating,	ultimate	            provided	to	cater	for	a	variety	of	soil	conditions	and	
            tensile	strength,	sags	and	tensions	under	external	               types.	Close	quality	control	is	maintained	during	
            loading	conditions	and	optic	fibre	requirements.	                 installation.		More	information	on	foundation	
            OPGW	is	purchased	from	a	list	of	approved	and	                    design	and	installation	is	given	in	section	4.8.2	of	
            reputable	suppliers.                                              this	chapter.
                                                                      All	of	the	overhead	line	components	have	full	type	tests	




42
carried	out	on	them.	All	materials	supplied	comply	with	
ESB	specifications	which	stipulate	strict	type	and	sample	
                                                                 4.4.5	
testing.		During	construction,	inspections	will	be	carried	      Proposed	Tower	Designs
out	at	a	number	of	stages	to	confirm	that	the	line	is	built	
to	design	and	completed	as	a	secure	and	reliable	addition	       The	tower	that	will	be	used	for	the	400kV	transmission	
to	the	regional	electrical	network.                              line	development	is	the	“IVI	hot	rolled”	design	for	the	
                                                                 new	400kV	single	circuit	line.	The	IVI	design	maintains	
                                                                 the	insulator	configuration	of	the	old	ESB	400kV	design,	
4.4.4	                                                           however,	it	raises	the	centre	phase	to	increase	the	
Reduction	of	Visual	Impact	of	400kV                              apparent	height	while	reducing	the	width	of	the	tower.	
                                                                 The	tower’s	overall	shape	comprises	a	diamond	located	
	                                                                at	the	top	of	a	relatively	narrow	body.	Located	on	either	
EirGrid	is	conscious	of	the	desirability	to	minimise	the	        side	of	the	diamond	shape,	are	two	cross	arms	supporting	
visual	impact	of	overhead	line	structures	and	components.	   	   the	two	outer	phasing	arrangements.	In	both	front	and	
To	this	end	technological	developments	and	progress	             side	elevation	the	tower	forms	a	symmetrical	structure	
in	design	features	which	lead	to	the	reduction	of	visual	        comprised	of	a	typical	steel	lattice	framework	composed	
impacts	of	overhead	lines	have	been	closely	followed	and	        of	a	large	number	of	smaller	members.	
monitored.	
	                                                                The	single	circuit	400kV	towers	as	shown	in	Illustration	
One	of	the	main	effects	of	an	overhead	transmission	line	        4.2,	support	six	(2	per	phase)	aluminium	core	steel	
is	the	visual	impact	on	people	who	live,	work,	recreate	         reinforced	(ACSR)	conductors	suspended.	The	conductors	
and	visit	in	an	area.	The	visual	effects	of	a	transmission	      have	a	nominal	cross	sectional	area	of	600mm2	and	
line	relate	to	the	visibility	of	the	towers,	insulators	and	     a	diameter	of	31.68mm.	The	towers	will	also	support	
conductors.	There	are	no	means	of	technically	reducing	          shieldwires	(or	Optic	Fibre	Groundwire).	The	shieldwires	
this	other	than	choice	of	support	structure	and	careful	         are	provided	to	protect	the	conductors	from	lightning.	
route	selection.	The	choice	of	tower	type	is	therefore	          They	will	be	composed	of	aluminium	and	steel	strands	
important	if	the	visual	impact	of	the	transmission	line	is	
                                                                 with	nominal	cross	sectional	area	of	226mm2	and	a	
to	be	minimised.		In	order	to	minimise	the	visual	impact	
                                                                 diameter	of	19.53mm.	OPGW	contains	an	inner	tube	which	
of	the	towers,	EirGrid	commissioned	a	detailed	review	
                                                                 contains	a	number	of	optical	fibres	which	are	used	for	
of	400kV	tower	design.	Refer	to	Volume	1,	Chapter	4,	for	
                                                                 control	and	communications	purposes.
details	on	Alternative	Tower	Type	Selection	&	Design.
                                                                 Illustration	4.2	details	an	angle	tower	which	is	used	to	
                                                                 facilitate	a	change	in	direction	along	the	line.	The	choice	




Illustration 4.2: Diagrams of 400kV Intermediate and Angle Tower




                                                                                                                                43
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     of	angle	structure	will	depend	on	the	acuteness	of	the	
     angle.	Three	different	angle	towers,	0-30°,	30-60°	and	
     60-90°,	will	be	used	in	this	project.	The	angle	tower	
     is	typically	lower	and	of	heavier	construction	than	the	
     intermediate	tower	since	it	bears	the	lateral	strain	of	the	
     conductors	on	two	straights.	Full	drawings	of	tower	types	
     can	be	found	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	4.2.1	-	4.2.6	
     “Tower	Outline	Drawings”.

     The	400kV	double	circuit	sections	will	use	existing	tower	
     designs.		A	double	circuit	tower	carries	two	circuits	in	
     vertical	formation	and	has	a	single	shieldwire	on	the	peak	
     of	the	tower.		The	400kV	double	circuit	designs	have	been	
     in	use	on	the	ESB	transmission	system	for	many	years	and	
     are	design	in	full	accordance	with	EN	50341-1	&	EN	50341-
     3-11	(National	Normative	Aspects	(NNA)	for	Ireland.	

     The	double	circuit	400kV	towers,	as	shown	in	Illustration	
     4.3,	support	twelve	(2	per	phase)	aluminium	core	
     steel	reinforced	(ACSR)	conductors	suspended.	The	
     conductors	have	a	nominal	cross	sectional	area	of	
     600mm2	and	a	diameter	of	31.68mm.	The	towers	will	also	
     support	a	single	shieldwire	(or	Optic	Fibre	Groundwire).	
     The	shieldwire	is	provided	to	protect	the	conductors	
     from	lightning.	It	will	be	composed	of	aluminium	and	
     steel	strands	with	a	nominal	cross	sectional	area	of	
     approximately	400mm2	and	a	diameter	of	25.97mm.		
     OPGW	contains	an	inner	tube	which	contains	a	
     number	of	optical	fibres	which	are	used	for	control	and	
     communications	purposes.

     Illustration	4.3	shows	a	400kV	double	circuit	intermediate	
     tower	on	the	existing	ESB	transmission	system.		Please	
     note	that	only	one	circuit	of	the	400kV	tower	is	strung	
     while	the	other	side	is	currently	unused,	(similar	to	the	
     existing	towers	near	Woodland	Substation).                     Illustration 4.3: 400kV Double Circuit Tower

                                                                       •	 Landowner	requests,	following	the	consultation	
     4.5	                                                              	 process;
     ROUTE	DESIGN	CONSIDERATIONS
                                                                       •	 ESB/IFA	“Code	of	Practice	for	Survey,	Construction	
     The	allocation	of	structure	positions	and	heights	for	any	           and	Maintenance	of	Overhead	Lines	in	Relation	to	
     transmission	line	depends	on	the	terrain	along	the	route	            the	Rights	of	Landowners”,	October	2005.
     of	the	line,	the	design	constraints	of	the	structures	and	
     location	constraints	stipulated.	                                 •	 Access	for	Construction;	and

     These	may	be	summarised	generally	as:                             •	 Foundation	Conditions.

        •	 Landscape	recommendations;                               A	number	of	conductor	clearance	conditions	must	be	
                                                                    satisfied	such	as:
        •	 Cultural	Heritage	recommendations;
                                                                       •	 Ground;	
        •	 Flora	and	Fauna	recommendations;
                                                                       •	 Rivers	and	Canals;
        •	 Distance	from	Dwellings;
                                                                       •	 Roads	and	Railways;	and
        •	 Planning	Requirements;
                                                                       •	 Other	Overhead	Lines.




44
  Clearance	Condition                                          400kV	Lines       Design	Condition

                                                                  9.0m           80˚C	Design	Temp

  Ground	Clearance	Over	Roads,	Railways                          10.0m           80˚C	Design	Temp

                                                                  4.5m           0˚C	4cm	Ice	Condition

                                                                 2.25m           0˚C	2.5cm	Ice	Condition
  Over	lower	voltage	10kV	and	38kV	Lines
                                                                 0.75m           0˚C	4cm	Ice	Condition

                                                                  2.5m           0˚C	2.5	Ice	Condition
  Over	110kV	Lines
                                                                  1.0m           0˚C	4cm	Ice	Condition

                                                                  3.0m           0˚C	2.5cm	Ice	Condition
  Over	220kV	Lines
                                                                 1.25m           0˚C	4cm	Ice	Condition

Table 4.1: EirGrid Clearance Table

Details	of	these	clearances	are	given	in	Table	4.1.		Where	        •	 Currently	unknown	archaeological	sites	which	
the	line	route	crosses	over	a	telephone	line,	the	telephone	          maybe	unearthed	during	the	pre	construction	and	
line	will	be	routed	underground	in	the	vicinity	of	the	               construction	phase;	and
crossing	point.
                                                                   •	 The	location	of	badger	setts,	otter	holts,	bat	roosts	
The	terrain	profiles	of	the	transmission	lines	for	the	               etc…since	the	time	of	the	completion	of	the	original	
project	were	determined	by	aerial	survey.	This	allowed	a	             surveys.	
full	preliminary	design	to	be	performed	on	the	line,	with	
all	structure	heights	and	locations	determined.	However	        It	also	allows	for	further	consideration	of	proposed	but	as	
with	the	limitations	of	aerial	survey	and	photogrammetric	      yet	unbuilt	dwellings.
techniques	the	final	tower	heights	at	each	location	as	
determined	by	site	survey	may	vary	from	the	preliminary	        Micrositing	always	has	regard	to	known	environmental	
design.	                                                        constraints	particularly	in	relation	to	residential	amenity,	
                                                                ecological	sensitive	areas	and	direct	and	indirect	impacts	
                                                                on	archaeological	sites	and	landscape/visual	impacts.		As	
4.6	                                                            such	the	micrositing	of	a	line	never	results	in	some	greater	
MICROSITING                                                     environmental	impact	than	is	identified	for	a	permitted	or	
                                                                intended	line	alignment.
During	the	construction	period	there	may	be	some	
requirement	for	minor	movement	of	towers	within	the	80m	        Furthermore,	Class	28	of	the	Planning	and	Development	
wide	corridor,	having	regard	to	post	planning	verification	     Regulations	(2001,	as	amended)	relating	to	exempted	
surveys	/	monitoring	and	to	accommodate	land	owner	             development	for	electricity	line	infrastructure	includes	
requirements.                                                   a	flexibility	for	micrositing	of	up	to	40	metres	on	either	
                                                                side	of	an	identified	line.	While	a	Class	28	exemption	
Movement	of	towers	is	typically	referred	to	as	                 does	not	apply	in	this	instance,	it	does	not	undermine	the	
“Micrositing”,	a	long	established	practice	in	the	              established	requirements	and	practice	for	micrositing	of	
construction	of	electricity	line	infrastructure	which	          electricity	line	infrastructure.	
allows	for	fine	tuning	of	tower	locations.		Micrositing	
is	undertaken	to	further	mitigate	potential	impacts	for	
example	on:




                                                                                                                                45
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     The	options	for	movement	of	towers	include:	                                 the	Planning	and	Development	Regulations	
                                                                                  (2001,	as	amended)	and	the	flexibility	of	it	
        (a)	 Longitudinal	movement	of	intermediate	towers	                        therein;	is	that	the	nature,	scope	and	extent	
             along	a	line	route;	                                                 of	this	proposed	line	sets	it	within	a	threshold	
                                                                                  requiring	statutory	approval	and	environmental	
        (b)	 Lateral	movement	of	angle	towers,	which	could	in	                    impact	assessment.
             turn	result	in	movement	of	intermediate	towers	on	
             both	sides	of	the	angle	tower;	or
                                                                       4.6.2	
        c)	 Combination	of	the	above.                                  Criteria	for	Micrositing	
                                                                       All	general	mitigation	measures	outlined	in	Volume	2	
     4.6.1	                                                            Part	A	will	be	adhered	to.	The	various	EIS	chapters	set	
     Why	is	there	a	Requirement	for	                                   out	mitigation	measures	relevant	to	the	construction	
                                                                       methodology.	These	are	applicable	irrespective	of	the	
     Micrositing?                                                      location	of	towers	within	the	corridor.
     Micrositing	is	required	for	the	following	main	reasons:
                                                                       In	relation	to	Air	&	Climate	and	Traffic,	there	are	no	
                                                                       limiting	criteria	which	will	impact	on	the	micrositing	of	
        •	 Impacts	arising	from	post	planning	verification	
                                                                       towers,	as	long	as	all	mitigation	measures	set	out	in	the	
           surveys	/	monitoring.	This	is	only	ever	undertaken	
                                                                       relevant	chapters	are	complied	with.	
           at	the	outset	of	construction	of	a	line	for:
                                                                       When	micrositing,	the	main	areas	where	potential	impacts	
            -	   Ecological	Reasons	i.e.	location	of	otter	holts,	
                                                                       and	mitigation	measures	need	to	be	considered	in	more	
                 badger	setts	etc…;
                                                                       detail	is	in	relation	to	the	following	environmental	topics;	
                                                                       EMF,	flora	&	fauna,	soils	&	geology,	water,	landscape	and	
            -	   Technical	Reasons	arising	from	site	
                                                                       cultural	heritage.
                 investigations;	and
            	
                                                                       In	addition	to	the	mitigation	measures	outlined	in	the	
            -	   Archaeological	Reasons	arising	from	post	
                                                                       relevant	chapters	of	the	EIS,	the	following	criteria	will	
                 planning	monitoring/testing	for	sub	surface	
                                                                       be	applied,	when	movements	of	any	towers	are	being	
                 archaeology.
                                                                       considered.	The	purpose	of	the	criteria	is	to	ensure	that	
                                                                       no	further	adverse	impacts	arise	as	a	result	of	movement	
        •	 Landowners	requests	–	for	example	to	facilitate	as	
                                                                       of	towers	above	that	which	is	predicted	to	occur	in	respect	
           far	as	possible,	minimal	interruption	to	established	
                                                                       of	the	line,	as	proposed	in	this	application.	
           and	ongoing	agricultural	activities	in	rural	areas,	or	
           the	development	potential	of	lands.
                                                                       4.6.2.1	
            -	   The	design	of	electricity	lines	is	such	that	the	
                 location	of	towers	on	land	can	tolerate	minor	
                                                                       Human	Beings
                 alterations	to	minimise	impacts	on	agricultural	
                                                                       Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	
                 practice
                                                                       A,	Chapter	5,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	
                                                                       compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	
     The	rationale	for	Micrositing	on	this	project	include	the	
     following:
                                                                       For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	
                                                                       criteria	will	be	complied	with:
            -	   The	proposed	construction	of	the	Meath-Tyrone	
                 400kV	Interconnection	Development		will	be	
                                                                          •	 EirGrid	has	guided	its	consultants,	to	seek,	
                 no	different	to	established	practice	for	the	
                                                                             if	possible,	to	achieve	a	minimum	separation	
                 construction	of	electricity	line	infrastructure;
                                                                             distance	of	50	metres	from	occupied	dwellings;	this	
                                                                             criterion	will	be	upheld,	and	will	only	be	reduced	
            -	   Therefore	the	same	flexibility	is	required,	as	the	
                                                                             where	no	feasible	alternative	occurs.		However,	
                 same	ecological,	archaeological	and	landowner	
                                                                             it	is	anticipated	that	this	criterion	constraint	can	
                 issues	can	be	expected	to	arise	during	the	
                                                                             be	achieved	along	the	length	of	the	proposed	line	
                 construction	of	this	project;	and
                                                                             route.
            -	   The	only	difference	between	this	project	
                 and	development	covered	under	Class	28	of	




46
4.6.2.2	                                                             Similarly	post	planning	surveys	will	also	be	
                                                                     completed	for	Bats	and	Otters	to	establish	the	
EMF                                                                  precise	locations	of	these	species.

Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	            Wintering	Birds	/	Whooper	Swans:	
A,	Chapter	6,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	
compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	                      •	 It	is	not	anticipated	that	micrositing	will	create	
                                                                    any	additional	impacts	to	those	already	set	out	in	
For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	         Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	7,	on	Whooper	Swans	/	
criteria	will	be	complied	with:                                     Wintering	Birds	as	these	movements	are	slight.		
                                                                    However	the	following	criteria	will	be	adhered	to.
   •	 Electric	and	magnetic	fields	expected	to	occur	
      during	the	operation	of	the	400kV	transmission	                -	   The	line	route	will	maintain	a	minimum	
      line	will	comply	with	the	International	Commission	                 distance	of	400m	from	any	lake	or	foraging	area	
      on	Non-Ionizing	Radiation	Protection	(ICNIRP)	and	                  utilised	by	nationally	significant	numbers	of	
      EU	guidelines	on	exposure	of	the	general	public	to	                 Whooper	Swan	specifically	in	the	Clooney	and	
      Extremely	Low	Frequency	-	EMF.                                      Whitewood	Lough	areas.	

                                                                     -	   Further	monitoring	studies	will	be	completed,	
4.6.2.3	                                                                  as	recommended	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	7,	
Flora	and	Fauna                                                           to	determine	the	level	of	impacts	at	individual	
                                                                          sites	where	the	proposed	line	route	would	
Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	                        cross	identified	flightlines	or	feeding	sites.	
A,	Chapter	7,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	                      These	studies	are	ongoing	and	will	continue	
compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	                               during	pre-construction,	construction	and	post	
                                                                          construction.	
For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	
criteria	will	be	complied	with:                                      -	   Based	on	this	monitoring	work	further	areas	
                                                                          may	be	recommended	for	line	marking	or	
Volume	3	Part	A,	contains	Habitat	Mapping	which	details	                  alternative	markers	may	be	recommended.	In	
all	habitat	types	mapped	within	a	corridor	of	100m.                       addition	further	ongoing	studies	will	provide	a	
                                                                          more	detailed	study	of	Whooper	Swan	feeding,	
   •	 Bog	and	wetland	habitats	will	continue	to	be	                       roosting	and	flight	patterns	in	the	study	area.
      avoided,	where	possible.		
                                                                 •	 Towers	will	only	be	moved	following	completion	
   •	 Towers	(works	area)	will	not	be	located	within	               of	the	above	mentioned	surveys	and	subject	to	
      any	designated	area	(NHA,	SPA	cSAC)	i.e.	towers	              agreement	with	the	NPWS.	
      will	not	be	located	within	the	cSAC	Boyne	and	
      Blackwater	River	boundaries	or	at	a	minimum	
      distance	of	100m	from	the	cSAC	boundary	of	these	
                                                              4.6.2.4	
      designated	areas.                                       Soils	and	Geology
   •	 At	all	river	and	stream	crossings	a	minimum	buffer	     Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	
      zone	of	20m	is	recommended,	where	possible,	at	         A,	Chapter	8,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	
      all	transmission	line	crossings	to	avoid	disturbance	   compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	
      to	riparian	vegetation	and	banks	potentially	used	
      by	kingfisher.		Vehicle	access	and	heavy	machinery	     For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	
      will	avoid	both	the	river	area	and	buffer	zone.         criteria	will	be	complied	with:

   •	 As	detailed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	7,	post	           •	 No	movement	of	towers	closer	to	Altmush	County	
      planning	verification	surveys	including	pre-site	             Geological	Site	(CGS)	or	the	Boyne	National	
      clearance	surveys	will	be	completed	to	assess	if	             Heritage	Area	Geological	Site	(pNHA).
      there	is	a	requirement	for	local	tower	movement	
      for	ecological	reasons.	Reasons	for	such	movement	         •	 Towers	will	not	be	located	on	karstified	areas.
      would	include	for	example	badger	setts	which	may	
      have	been	established	at	a	particular	hedgerow	
      habitat	since	the	original	surveys	were	completed	
      for	the	environmental	impact	assessment	(EIA).	




                                                                                                                             47
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     4.6.2.5                                                          •	 Avoid	movement	of	towers	which	would	increase	
                                                                         the	impact	on	national	monuments,	scenic	
     Water                                                               viewpoints,	landmarks	etc…	compared	to	the	
                                                                         current	proposed	location.	
     Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	
     A,	Chapter	9,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	             •	 Towers	in	the	vicinity	of	Bective	Abbey	(located	
     compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	                         approximately	1km	away)	will	not	be	moved	
                                                                         without	prior	consultation	with	the	Development	
     For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	         Application	Unit	in	the	DoEHLG,	due	to	the	
     criteria	will	be	complied	with:                                     potential	for	increased	visual	impact	on	this	
                                                                         National	Monument.	
        •	 Limit	the	movement	of	towers	such	that	no	tower	
           base	will	be	constructed	within	major	water	bodies.
                                                                   4.6.2.8	
        •	 No	movement	of	towers	closer	to	Altmush	Stream	         Cultural	Heritage
           (CGS).
                                                                   Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	
        •	 Maintain	an	adequate	buffer	zone	near	                  A,	Chapter	14,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	
           watercourses.	Refer	to	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	9	      compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	
           Table	9.8,	which	details	the	surface	water	buffer	
           zones.	                                                 For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	
                                                                   criteria	will	be	complied	with:
     4.6.2.6	                                                         •	 As	a	Project	Archaeologist	will	be	appointed	to	
     Noise	and	Vibration                                                 oversee	the	project,	any	proposed	movement	of	
                                                                         towers	will	be	carried	out	under	the	direction	of	the	
     Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	                  Project	Archaeologist	and	the	DoEHLG.	
     A,	Chapter	11,	and	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	
     compliance	with	these	mitigation	measures.	                      •	 This	will	ensure	movements	of	towers	will	continue	
                                                                         to	avoid	direct	impacts	on	known	and	unknown	
     For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	         cultural	heritage	features	and	it	will	also	ensure	
     criteria	will	be	complied	with:                                     indirect	visual	impacts	are	not	increased	beyond	a	
                                                                         limit	considered	acceptable	to	the	DoEHLG,	having	
        •	 Operational	noise	will	not	exceed	the	52dBA	                  regard	to	the	impact	significance	set	out	in	Volume	
           guideline	at	50m	from	the	centre	line	in	rainy	               2	Part	A,	Chapter	14.	
           conditions,	at	the	nearest	sensitive	receptor.
                                                                      •	 Towers	within	the	Teltown	Zone	of	Archaeological	
        •	 Construction	noise	will	not	exceed	maximum	                   Amenity	(TAA)	and	in	the	vicinity	of	Bective	Abbey	
           permissible	noise	levels	as	set	out	in	Volume	2	Part	         (located	approximately	1km	away),	will	only	be	
           A,	Chapter	11,	Table	11.6.                                    moved	following	agreement	with	the	DoEHLG.	This	
                                                                         will	ensure	that	the	levels	of	indirect	visual	impacts	
                                                                         are	not	increased	beyond	a	limit	considered	
     4.6.2.7	                                                            acceptable	to	the	DoEHLG.
     Landscape
     Mitigation	Measures	are	outlined	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	
                                                                   4.6.3	
     Chapter	12,	any	movement	of	towers	will	be	in	compliance	     Conclusions
     with	these	mitigation	measures.	
                                                                   In	Conclusion:
     For	specific	issues	relating	to	micrositing,	the	following	
     criteria	will	be	complied	with:                                  •	 It	is	a	long	established	practice	to	facilitate	
                                                                         micrositing	in	the	construction	of	electricity	lines;	
        •	 Avoid	placing	towers	on	rising	ground	where	they	
           might	possibly	break	the	skyline,	more	than	is	the	        •	 Notwithstanding	that	this	is	a	Strategic	
           case	already.                                                 Infrastructure	development,		the	key	principles	for	
                                                                         construction	remain	the	same;




48
   •	 Adherence	to	the	criteria	(as	set	out	above)	
      will	ensure	appropriate	flexibility	to	facilitate	
      construction	while	also	ensuring	no	greater	
      environmental	impact	than	that	identified	within	
      this	EIS	for	the	proposed	line	route;	and

   •	 The	route	of	the	final	line	to	be	constructed	post	
      approval	and	detailed	survey,	will	be	submitted	to,	
      and	agreed	with	the	relevant	planning	authorities	
      prior	to	construction	of	the	line.	

If	the	above	criteria	are	implemented	and	agreed,	as	
necessary,	with	the	relevant	statutory	authorities	(i.e.	
NPWS	and	DoEHLG),	the	movement	of	towers	within	the	
corridor	will	not	have	additional	impacts	above	those	
already	assessed	and	described	in	the	EIS.
                                                                Illustration 4.4: Typical Overhead Line Storage Yard

4.7	                                                            yard	close	to	Kingscourt,	County	Cavan	would	be	an	ideal	
                                                                location	for	the	construction	of	the	400kV	development.		
OVERHEAD	TRANSMISSION	LINE	                                     Any	requirements	for	planning	permission	for	such	a	
CONSTRUCTION	                                                   material	storage	yard	would	be	subject	of	a	separate	
                                                                application	through	the	local	authority.		Illustration	4.4	
Overhead	transmission	line	construction	is	undertaken	          illustrates	a	typical	overhead	line	storage	yard.
effectively	on	a	long	linear	site	with	isolated	areas	of	
activity	which	are	limited	in	size.	While	a	400kV	overhead	     4.7.2	
line	is	a	major	infrastructural	project,	the	machinery	and	
equipment	required	to	construct	such	a	line,	is	relatively	     Traffic	study
modest.		
                                                                The	traffic	impacts	associated	with	the	proposed	project	
The	construction	of	the	400kV	overhead	lines	will	be	           are	dealt	with	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	13	of	the	Main	
undertaken	by	ESB	Networks.		ESB	Networks	use	external	         EIS.
contractors	to	carry	out	transmission	line	work	on	its	
behalf	and	generally	speaking	multiple	contractors	are	
involved.		The	overhead	line	construction	will	be	split	into	
                                                                4.7.3	
two	distinct	contracts,	namely	foundation	installation	         Survey
and	tower	erection/stringing.		During	the	construction	
phase	of	the	project	EirGrid	retains	responsibility	for	        Subject	to	the	approval	of	the	Strategic	Infrastructure	
the	Wayleave	aspects	of	the	project	which	refer	to	the	         Application	a	ground	verification	survey	maybe	carried	
gaining	of	access	into	private	land	for	the	purposes	of	        out.		
construction.		
                                                                When	this	line	survey	and	final	design	is	completed,	
                                                                Wayleave	Notices	and	schedules,	as	well	as	maps	showing	
4.7.1	                                                          the	position	of	towers,	are	served	on	all	landowners.		ESB	
Material	Delivery	and	Storage                                   representatives	will	call	and	point	out	the	position	of	the	
                                                                towers	on	the	ground	and	deal	with	any	other	queries	
The	normal	ESB	Networks	practice	is	to	source	a	                the	landowner	may	have	following	the	serving	of	the	
temporary	materials	yard	for	storage	of	construction	           Wayleave	Notice.	Construction	may	commence	at	this	
material	and	equipment	during	the	lifetime	of	the	              stage.
project.		In	choosing	the	location	of	the	material	yard,	
ESB	Networks	gives	due	consideration	to	the	proximity	
of	the	yard	to	the	works	site	and	the	location	of	suitable	
roads	for	material	to	be	transported	by	articulated	
truck.		The	location	of	the	yard	will	be	chosen	prior	to	the	
commencement	of	construction	and	is	typically	situated	
close	to	an	urban	centre	approximately	midway	along	the	
proposed	line	route.		In	this	instance	it	is	expected	that	a	




                                                                                                                               49
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


     4.7.4	                                                          panels	can	be	used.	Stone	road	construction	involves	the	
                                                                     excavation	of	the	topsoil	and	storage	of	this	to	one	side	
     Access	to	Tower	Sites                                           of	the	track.	A	geotextile	reinforcement	would	be	placed	
                                                                     on	the	subsoil	surface	and	approximately	200mm	of	stone	
     A	dedicated	Wayleave	Manager	will	be	present	on	site	for	       placed	on	top	and	compacted	to	form	the	track.	Refer	to	
     the	duration	of	construction	to	liase	with	and	negotiate	all	   Illustrations	4.5	for	Temporary	Stone	and	Aluminium	Panel	
     access	details	with	affected	landowners.		The	Wayleave	         Tracks.
     Manager	will	meet	with	each	landowner	to	agree	access	
     entry	routes	for	construction,	well	in	advance	of	the	          All	temporary	access	tracks	will	be	removed	at	the	end	of	
     commencement	of	construction.                                   the	construction	phase	and	the	land	will	be	restored	to	its	
                                                                     original	condition.
     In	selecting	access	routes	maximum	use	will	be	made	of	
     existing	tracks/roads.		Access	to	structure	locations	will	
     be	carefully	selected	to	avoid	impacts	on	the	surrounding	      4.8	 	
     area.	In	particular,	means	of	access	and	access	routes	         CONSTRUCTION	TECHNIQUES
     to	towers	within	the	sensitive	areas	(cSAC/pNHA/NHA/
     SPAs)	will	be	selected	to	avoid	adversely	impacting	on	the	     The	construction	drawings	are	illustrated	in	Volume	3	
     site.		In	addition	access	routes	can	be	further	fine	tuned	     Part	A,	Figures	4.3.1	-	4.3.3	“Construction	Drawings”.	
     at	construction	stage	on	the	basis	of	discussions	with	the	     The	construction	to	be	carried	out	by	ESB	Networks’	
     affected	landowner	such	that	impacts	on	farming	activities	     contractors	will	be	in	line	with	international	best	
     are	minimised.                                                  practice	and	fully	comply	with	all	Irish	health	and	safety	
                                                                     requirements.	The	principal	overhead	line	construction	
     4.7.4.1	                                                        techniques	are	outlined	in	this	section	and	are	based	
                                                                     on	ESB	Networks’,	long	and	successful	overhead	
     Temporary	Track	Construction                                    construction	experience.		Clearly	the	ground	conditions	
                                                                     encountered	vary	along	the	400kV	line	routes	and	hence	
     In	general	it	is	not	envisaged	that	extensive	temporary	        the	construction	techniques	and	machinery/equipment	
     tracks	will	be	required	for	the	construction	of	the	line.	      required	will	vary	slightly	to	accommodate	this.	This	is	
     Generally	speaking	temporary	tracks	are	only	built	where	       also	the	key	rationale	for	the	proposal	to	site	the	line	
     poor	ground	conditions	necessitate	the	installation	of	         within	an	80	metre	wide	corridor.	In	general	the	phase	of	
     a	piled	foundation	and	consequently	the	equipment	              construction	can	be	broken	down	into	the	following	parts:
     required	for	this	is	large	and	requires	a	high	quality	
     working	platform.	Over	good	quality	land	the	use	of	               •	 Landowner	liaison	to	agree	access	dates	and	times	
     tracked	machinery	usually	means	that	access	to	tower	                 as	well	as	finalisation	of	route	through	land	to	
     sites	can	be	achieved	with	relative	ease.                             tower	site;

     Where	the	construction	of	temporary	roads	or	tracks	is	            •	 Setting	out	of	tower	foundations;
     required,	there	are	several	types	of	tracks	which	could	
     be	used	to	facilitate	access	for	construction	equipment.		         •	 Site	preparation	works	including	minor	civil	
     Generally	temporary	roads	are	constructed	using	stone,	               works	such	as	removal	of	fences	and	erection	of	
     however	in	certain	sensitive	situations	aluminium	road	               temporary	fencing;




     Illustration 4.5: Temporary Stone and Aluminium Panel Track



50
   •	 Installation	of	tower	foundations;                      4.8.2	
   •	 Erection	of	tower;	and                                  Foundation	Installation
   •	 Stringing	of	conductors.                                The	foundation	of	the	tower	is	the	means	by	which	
                                                              the	loads	are	transmitted	from	the	structure	into	the	
                                                              surrounding	soil.	The	foundation	is	designed	to	withstand	
4.8.1	                                                        the	maximum	Uplift,	Compression,	Transverse	Shear	and	
Site	Preparation                                              Longitudinal	Shear	loads	imposed	by	the	tower	as	derived	
                                                              from	the	tower	design.	The	foundation	should	be	stable	
This	first	stage	of	construction	is	site	preparation.	This	   enough	to	prevent	any	movement	of	the	tower	under	the	
activity	would	involve	the	following	type	of	work:            maximum	load	conditions.	

   •	 Installation	of	temporary	tracks	as	described	above	
      where	ground	conditions	are	poor;
                                                              4.8.2.1	
                                                              Design	Approach
   •	 Clearing	and	levelling	of	the	site	to	a	reasonable	
      gradient.	The	towers	are	designed	such	that	            Due	to	programme	considerations	it	is	not	normal	for	
      a	2	metre	difference	in	ground	level	can	be	            ESB	Networks	to	carry	out	geotechnical	investigations	in	
      accommodated	from	one	side	of	the	tower	to	             advance	of	the	foundation	construction	contractor.	Hence	
      the	other,	hence	minimising	the	quantity	of	            a	standard	suite	of	foundation	designs	are	developed	for	
      local	disturbance.	Where	towers	are	located	on	         each	tower	type	to	cater	for	a	variety	of	soil	conditions	
      boundary’s	which	contain	hedgerows,	a	portion	of	       which	may	be	encountered	along	the	line	route.	When	
      this	hedgerow	would	have	to	be	removed	to	allow	        ground	conditions	are	encountered	which	fall	outside	
      foundation	installation.		The	length	of	hedgerow	       the	criteria	in	the	standard	suite,	a	full	geotechnical	
      to	be	removed	varies,	however	it	would	typically	       investigation	is	commissioned	following	which	a	site	
      involve	20m,	but	could	be	as	much	as	30m	on	            specific	design	is	installed.	This	site	specific	design	may	
      larger	angle	towers;	and                                vary	from	a	slight	modification	of	one	of	the	standard	
                                                              designs	to	a	piled	foundation.	
   •	 The	working	area	would	be	fenced	off	to	ensure	
      farm	stock	could	not	access	the	site.




Illustration 4.6: Pad and Chimney foundation




                                                                                                                             51
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


                                                                                                 Approx.	volume	of	Concrete	
       Dimension	(m)                             A            B           C            D
                                                                                                        per	leg	(m3)

       400kV	SC	Intermediate	tower              2.5          1.2         2.2          0.6                     6.5

       400kV	SC	30˚Angle	tower                  3.5          2.2         3.8          1.0                     33

       400kV	SC	60˚Angle	tower                  3.5          2.5         4.9          1.2                     61

       400kV	SC	90˚Angle	tower                  3.5          2.5          5.1         1.2                     66

       400kV	DC	Intermediate	tower              2.8          1.1         2.7          1.2                     10

       400kV	DC	Angle	tower                     3.5          2.5         4.65         1.2                     55

     Table 4.2: Foundation Sizes for Various Towers

     Preliminary	foundation	design	calculations	indicate	that	
     the	foundation	sizes	for	each	of	the	tower	types	in	normal	
                                                                     4.8.2.3	
     ground	are	detailed	in	Table	4.2.                               Piled	Foundations
                                                                     Pile	foundations	can	either	comprise	a	single	pile	or	a	
     4.8.2.2	                                                        group	of	piles	connected	at	or	just	below	ground	level	by	
     Standard	Installation                                           a	reinforced	concrete	cap,	i.e.	a	piled	foundation.		Piles	
                                                                     may	be	classified	as	‘driven’	(displacement)	where	the	soil	
     The	foundations	will	be	excavated	using	a	rubber	tyre	or	       is	moved	radially	as	the	pile	enters	the	ground,	or	‘bored’	
     tracked	excavator.	Depending	on	the	location	a	wheeled	         (non-displacement)	when	little	disturbance	is	caused	to	
     or	tracked	dumper	may	deliver	the	readymix	concrete	to	         the	soil	as	the	pile	is	installed.	Driven	displacement	piles	
     the	excavation.	The	tower	stubs	(lower	part	of	tower	leg)	      may	comprise	a	totally	preformed	section	from	steel,	pre-
     will	be	concreted	into	the	ground.	Each	of	the	four	corners	    cast	concrete	or	timber.	Alternatively,	where	hollow	steel	
     of	the	tower	will	be	separately	anchored	below	ground	in	       or	precast	concrete	sections	are	used	these	are	normally	
     a	block	of	concrete.		The	standard	ESB/EirGrid	founda-          subsequently	filled	with	concrete,	or	for	steel	H-sections	
     tion	practice	is	to	use	a	concrete	pipe	as	an	integral	part	    post	grouted.	Non	displacement	piles	are	cast	in	situ	us-
     of	the	foundation.	Refer	to	Illustration	4.7	which	shows	a	     ing	either	concrete	or	grout;	the	pile	section	is	formed	by	
     completed	first	pour.                                           boring	or	drilling	(Cigré_B2-07	2006).	

     This	practice	has	two	principle	advantages	firstly	it	allows	
     two	stage	construction	and	secondly	it	assists	the	crew	in	
     their	compliance	with	Irish	health	and	safety	legislation	
     with	regard	to	depth	of	excavation.	Illustration	4.7	shows	
     the	completion	of	the	first	pour	where	concrete	is	placed	
     between	the	bank	of	the	excavation	and	the	outside	of	the	
     concrete	pipe.	The	second	stage	of	the	foundation	instal-
     lation	is	the	concreting	of	the	tower	leg	into	the	pipe.	The	
     tower	legs	are	concreted	into	place	using	either	a	setting	
     template,	or	the	tower	base	(lower	section	of	tower	up	to	
     base	horizontal).		Illustration	4.8	shows	a	setting	template	
     in	use.




                                                                     Illustration 4.7: Standard Foundation Installation -
                                                                      First pour




52
                                                                4.8.2.5	
                                                                Conductor	Stringing
                                                                Stringing	of	overhead	lines	refers	to	the	installation	
                                                                of	phase	conductors	and	shieldwires/OPGW	on	the	
                                                                transmission	supporting	structures	or	towers.	The	entire	
                                                                operation	is	usually	referred	to	as	“Stringing	Operations”	
                                                                and	includes	all	guarding	of	lower	voltage,	road	and	
                                                                rail	crossings.	The	line	will	be	strung	using	full	tension	
                                                                stringing,	which	ensures	that	the	conductor	is	sufficiently	
                                                                tensioned	during	installation	such	that	ESB/EirGrid	
                                                                lines	are	strung	in	accordance	with	IEEE	Std	524-1992	
                                                                “Guide	to	the	Installation	of	Overhead	Transmission	Line	
                                                                Conductors”.
Illustration 4.8: Standard Foundation Installation -Set-
ting Template in Use                                            As	its	name	suggests	tension	stringing	refers	to	the	
                                                                installation	of	conductors	under	tension.	The	conductor	is	
                                                                kept	clear	of	all	obstacles	along	the	straight	by	applying	
4.8.2.4	                                                        sufficient	tension.	This	method	requires	the	pulling	of	
Tower	Erection                                                  a	light	pilot	line	(Nylon	rope)	into	the	stringing	wheels,	
                                                                which	in	turn	is	used	to	pull	a	heavier	pilot	line	(Steel	
The	steel	for	the	remainder	of	the	tower	is	delivered	to	the	   rope).	This	heavy	pilot	line	is	then	used	to	pull	in	the	
site	by	lorry	and	various	sections	of	the	tower,	depending	     conductors	from	the	drum	stands	using	specifically	
on	weight	and	method	of	construction	of	the	tower,	are	         designed	‘puller	tensioner’	machines.	The	main	
pre	assembled	on	the	ground	beside	the	tower.	The	tower	        advantages	with	this	method	are	(a)	the	conductor	is	
can	be	built	using	a	derrick	/	gin	pole	and	tractor	winch	or	   protected	from	surface	damage	and	(b)	major	obstacles	
using	a	suitable	crane.	The	method	chosen	may	depend	           such	as	road	and	rail	crossings	can	be	completed	without	
on	site	conditions	and	accessibility.		It	is	anticipated	       the	need	for	major	disruption.		
that	the	vast	majority	of	the	line	will	be	constructed	
using	the	Derrick	pole.		All	tower	erection	will	be	carried	    Once	the	conductor	has	been	pulled	into	position,	one	end	
out	in	accordance	with	IEEE	Std	951-1996	“Guide	to	             of	the	straight	is	terminated	on	the	appropriate	tension	
the	Assembly	and	Erection	of	Metal	Transmission	                fittings	and	insulator	assemblies.		The	free	end	of	the	
Structures”.	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	4.3.1	-	4.3.3	   straight	is	then	placed	in	temporary	clamps	called	‘come-
“Construction	Drawings”	which	illustrates	the	process	of	       alongs’	which	take	the	conductor	tension.		The	conductor	
tower	erection	using	either	a	derrick/gin	pole	or	a	crane.      is	then	cut	from	the	puller-tensioner	and	the	conductor	is	
                                                                sagged	using	a	chain	hoist.	As	mentioned	previously,	it	is	
                                                                ESB’s	practice	to	overtension	new	conductors	by	10%	for	
                                                                a	minimum	of	1	hour.	Once	this	has	been	completed	the	
                                                                conductor	is	dropped	back	to	sag	tension	and	terminated.	




Illustration 4.9: Cross Section of Piled Foundation




                                                                                                                               53
     4 Project Description & Construction Methodology


                                                                      •	 Installation	of	approximately	250m	of	400kV	
                                                                         underground	cable	within	the	substation	
                                                                         compound	to	connect	the	line	to	an	existing	and	
                                                                         already	equipped	400kV	line	bay	(E3);	and

                                                                      •	 Extension	of	the	substation	fence	to	accommodate	
                                                                         the	new	gantry	structure,	surge	arresters	and	cable	
                                                                         sealing	ends.


                                                                   4.9.1	
                                                                   Substation	Development	
                                                                   Design	and	Scale
                                                                   The	existing	Woodland	Substation	has	a	total	size	of	
     Illustration 4.10: Pile Caps & Beams Under Construction
                                                                   approximately	7	hectares,	located	within	a	landownership	
                                                                   boundary	of	approximately	34	hectares.	The	proposed	
     4.8.3	                                                        extension	to	the	substation	will	take	place	entirely	within	
                                                                   the	existing	property	boundary	and	will	involve	a	7,000	
     Vegetation	Management                                         square	metres	(0.7	hectares)	extension	of	the	inner	
                                                                   compound.
     It	is	the	responsibility	of	the	ESB	Networks	to	keep	trees	
     and	high	hedges	cut,	to	ensure	the	prescribed	degree	         The	design	of	the	substation	connection	takes	into	
     of	safety	to	the	line	and	more	particularly	to	avoid	any	     account	the	following	site	related	factors:
     possible	danger	to	people.	The	amount	of	cutting	will	
     normally	cater	for	a	few	years	growth,	however	care	             •	 Use	of	existing	equipment;
     is	taken	to	minimise	impacts	and	potential	damage	to	
     shelter	belts.                                                   •	 Minimum	changes	in	the	environs;

     4.9	                                                             •	 Minimum	extension	to	the	substation	compound	 	
                                                                         fence;
     EXTENSION	TO	WOODLAND	
     SUBSTATION                                                       •	 Direction	and	termination	of	the	overhead	line;	and

                                                                      •	 Visual	and	Environmental	Impact.
     The	Woodland	to	Moyhill	line	route	will	begin	at	the	
     existing	substation	at	Woodland,	near	Batterstown,	
                                                                   The	basic	principal	in	the	design	of	a	substation	is	that	
     County	Meath.	An	adequate	vehicular	access	exists	to	
                                                                   the	layout	of	equipment	should	be	simple,	easy	to	follow	
     Woodland	Substation	for	constructional,	operational	and	
                                                                   and	should	generally	be	consistent	with	ESB	standards.	
     maintenance	requirements.	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	
                                                                   Complicated	or	non	standard	designs	may	lead	to	a	mal-
     Figure	4.4	for	“Woodland	Substation	Site	Layout	Plan”.
                                                                   operation	with	subsequent	danger	to	operators	or	loss	of	
     The	extension	of	the	existing	substation	to	allow	the	
                                                                   supply.
     connection	to	the	new	400kV	transmission	line	will	
     include	the	following	main	activities:
                                                                   Every	effort	has	been	made	to	minimise	the	substation	
                                                                   extension	area	and	the	height	of	steelwork	within	the	
        •	 Erection	of	a	gantry	structure	to	allow	the	overhead	
                                                                   site,	to	make	it	less	visually	intrusive	and	hence	more	
           line	entry;	
                                                                   acceptable	from	an	environmental	viewpoint.
        •	 Installation	of	the	three	surge	arresters	under	
                                                                   However	it	is	essential	that	the	layout	adopted	complies	
           this	gantry	structure	and	three	cable	sealing	ends	
                                                                   fully	with	electrical	clearance,	mechanical	withstand	and	
           beside	them;	
                                                                   operational	requirements	as	required	by	National	and	
                                                                   International	Specifications	and	Codes	of	Practice.
        •	 Installation	of	the	three	surge	arresters	and	three	
                                                                   The	use	of	some	heavy	vehicles	will	be	required	during	
           cable	sealing	ends	in	the	existing	E3	line	bay;
                                                                   the	construction	period,	however	every	effort	will	be	made	
                                                                   to	minimise	the	impact	on	local	traffic	in	the	area.	The	
                                                                   traffic	impacts	associated	with	the	proposed	project	are	
                                                                   dealt	with	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	13.




54
4.10	                                                                                     4.11
OPERATIONAL	ACTIVITIES                                                                    MITIGATION	MEASURES	
                                                                                          DURING	CONSTRUCTION
4.10.1	
                                                                                          While	the	400kV	project	represents	a	major	piece	of	
Overhead	Lines                                                                            national	infrastructure,	the	machinery	used	to	construct	
                                                                                          the	overhead	line	is	relatively	small	scale	and	akin	
Following	construction	the	transmission	line	will	be	
                                                                                          to	normal	farm	machinery.	For	this	reason	it	is	not	
subject	to	an	annual	survey	(helicopter	patrol)	and	a	
                                                                                          anticipated	that	the	construction	will	cause	any	adverse	
planned	maintenance	survey	(climbing	patrol)	every	
                                                                                          impacts.
six	years	or	so.	Emergency	maintenance	patrols	may	
                                                                                          		
also	be	required	following	severe	storms.		As	a	result	of	
                                                                                          It	is	intended	to	minimise	the	disruption	caused	to	the	
these	patrols,	certain	remedial	work	may	be	required	on	
                                                                                          landowner	and	to	avoid	damage	to	land.	ESB	will	reinstate	
the	line.		This	may	include	the	replacement	of	worn	or	
                                                                                          any	land	that	is	damaged	at	its	own	expense.	It	is	the	
damaged	hardware,	damaged	insulators	or	conductors.		
                                                                                          policy	of	ESB	to	compensate	landowners	promptly	and	in	
Access	to	the	landowners	property	will	be	required	on	
                                                                                          a	fair	and	reasonable	manner	for	any	loss	or	damage	to	
these	occasions	and	shall	be	carried	out	in	accordance	
                                                                                          their	property	arising	from	the	construction	of	the	line.
with	the	ESB/IFA		“Code	of	Practice”3.		
                                                                                          ESB	are	responsible	for	ensuring	that	there	is	no	injury	
4.10.2	                                                                                   to	farm	animals	caused	by	the	development.	It	is	normal	
                                                                                          practice	for	ESB	personnel	to	discuss	safety	of	animals	
Woodland	400kV	Substation                                                                 with	the	landowner	before	bringing	machinery	on	site.	
                                                                                          Arrangements	are	made	to	move	animals	out	of	any	field	
The	operation	of	the	Woodland	Substation	will	be	similar	                                 where	construction	is	taking	place,	if	this	is	convenient	
to	the	current	position.	Woodland	Substation	is	currently	                                to	the	landowner.	Temporary	fencing	off,	of	areas	is	
normally	unmanned	and	the	equipment	will	be	operated	                                     performed	by	ESB	personnel	to	further	ensure	safety	of	
by	remote	control.	Visits	to	site	by	operational	staff	will	                              animals.	In	the	event	of	injury	or	loss	of	any	such	animals,	
generally	be	confined	to	weekly	visits	for	routine	plant	                                 compensation	is	paid	to	the	landowner	according	to	the	
inspection.	Access	for	maintenance,	which	may	require	                                    “Code	of	Practice”.
the	use	of	a	truck,	will	normally	be	limited	to	once	per	
annum.                                                                                    In	addition,	the	‘micrositing’	of	the	proposed	line	within	
                                                                                          an	80m	wide	corridor	is	in	itself	a	mitigation	measure	
                                                                                          which	minimises	potential	environmental	and	landowner	
                                                                                          impact	by	means	of	facilitating	the	minor	movements	of	
                                                                                          towers,	in	response	to	the	identification	of	local	issues.


                                                                                          4.12
                                                                                          ANTICIPATED	GROWTH,	
                                                                                          DECOMMISSIONING	OR	CHANGE
                                                                                          The	proposed	development	is	regarded	as	a	long	term	
                                                                                          measure	in	the	upgrade	and	reinforcement	of	the	
                                                                                          electrical	infrastructure	of	the	Country.	The	estimated	
                                                                                          physical	life	of	the	line	development	is	eighty	years.		
                                                                                          In	the	event	of	decommissioning	all	materials	will	be	
                                                                                          removed	from	site	and	recycled.




3	 The	ESB/IFA	“Code of Practice for Survey, Construction and Maintenance of Overhead Lines in Relation to the Rights of Landowners”,	October	1985.
                                                                                                                                                          55
56
        Chapter 5


Human Beings
                              5

        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              57
     5 Human Beings


     5.1	                                                                           •	 Fáilte	Ireland	Information	in	relation	to	tourism	
                                                                                       amenity	in	conjunction	with	websites	of	relevant	
     INTRODUCTION	                                                                     tourism	sites	and	amenities	for	the	area;	and

     This	chapter	assesses	the	impacts	on	human	beings,	                            •	 Consultations	with	interested	parties	including	
     arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	                            Fáilte	Ireland	and	Údarás	na	Gaeltachta.	
     line	and	associated	development	(including	the	extension	
     of	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	
     site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	for	                 5.1.2	
     a	new	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	                               Tourism	Impact	Assessment	
     This	chapter	describes	the	existing	socio	economic	                         Methodology
     issues	with	regard	to	the	proposed	development.	The	
     socio	economic	impacts	of	the	proposed	development	                         Fáilte	Ireland	has	developed	a	systematic	method	for	
     are	dealt	with	at	national,	regional	and	local	level	and	                   assessing	the	tourism	impact	of	development	proposals	
     include	impacts	on	population	and	settlement,	landuse,	                     and	this	is	known	as	a	Tourism	Impact	Assessment	
     employment	and	economic	activity	and	tourism.	                              (TIA).	Step	one	of	this	assessment	involves	identifying	
                                                                                 the	nature	and	value	of	the	tourism	resource.	Step	two	
     The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	area	                 assesses	the	likely	impact	of	the	proposed	development	
     than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	towns,	villages,	                  on	the	amenity	value	of	the	tourism	resource	while	step	
     and	other	settlement,	tourist	attractions	and	activities	                   three	recommends	mitigation	measures	that	can	be	taken	
     within	at	least	5	kilometres	of	the	alignment4.                             to	avoid	or	reduce	the	severity	of	the	predicted	impact.	
                                                                                 This	TIA	methodology	was	used	in	assessing	tourism	
     Other	environmental	topics	which	relate	to	Human	Beings	                    impacts	with	regard	to	the	proposed	development.	
     include	EMF	(Chapter	6),	Noise	(Chapter	11),	Landscape	
     (Chapter	12),	Traffic	(Chapter	13)	and	Cultural	Heritage	                   5.2	
     (Chapter	14)	are	dealt	with	in	these	relevant	chapters	of	
     Volume	2	Part	A	of	the	EIS.		                                               EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
                                                                                 This	section	examines	the	existing	environment	and	
     5.1.1	                                                                      socio	economic	impacts	in	relation	to	the	proposed	
     General	Methodology                                                         development.	The	majority	of	this	project	(Part	A)	is	
                                                                                 located	within	County	Meath	with	only	approximately	1km	
     A	desktop	study	and	site	visits	were	carried	out	in	                        located	within	County	Cavan.	
     order	to	examine	relevant	information	pertaining	to	
     socio-economic	activity	in	the	study	area.	The	following	                   5.2.1	
     information	sources	and	references	were	used	to	compile	
     this	chapter:                                                               Population
          •	 EPA	Guidelines	–	‘Information	to	be	contained	in	                   This	section	assesses	the	population	change	over	the	
             Environmental	Impact	Statements’	2002;                              period	2002-2006	in	this	region.	Population	trends	give	us	
                                                                                 an	indication	of	the	demographic	trends	in	the	study	area.	
          •	 Site	visits	in	May	and	June	2009;                                   This	information	is	based	on	data	that	has	been	sourced	
                                                                                 from	the	CSO.	Table	5.1	illustrates	the	population	change	
          •	 OSI	Mapping	and	Aerial	Photography	to	identify	                     between	2002-2006,	in	the	State,	Leinster,	Ulster	(part-
             landuse	and	possible	amenity	sites;                                 of ),	County	Meath	and	County	Cavan.	District	Electoral	
                                                                                 Divisions	(DED’s)	population	figures	are	provided	in	Table	
          •	 County	Development	Plans	for	Meath	(2007-2013)	                     5.2.
             and	Cavan	(2008-2014);
                                                                                 The	figures	in	Table	5.1	demonstrates	that	population	
          •	 Local	Area	Plans	for	County	Meath	and	County	                       has	increased	in	both	Counties	Meath	and	Cavan.	The	
             Cavan;                                                              population	increase	in	Meath	(21.5%)	and	Cavan	(13.2%)	
                                                                                 are	significantly	higher	than	the	national	average	(8.2%).	
          •	 Central	Statistics	Office	(CSO)	information;	                       While	54%	of	the	national	population	live	in	Leinster	and	
                                                                                 6%	live	in	Ulster	(part-of ),	7%	of	Leinster’s	population	live	
                                                                                 in	Meath	and	24%	of	Ulster’s	(part-of )	population	live	in	
                                                                                 County	Cavan.




     4		The	‘alignment’	relates	to	the	line	route	within	an	80m	wide	corridor.
58
                                              2002                      2006                        %	Change

 State                                     3,917,203                  4,239,848                       8.2%

 Leinster                                  2,105,579                  2,295,123                       9.0%

 Ulster	(part-of )                          246,714                    267,264                        8.3%

 Meath                                      134,005                    162,831                        21.5%

 Cavan                                      56,546                     64,003                         13.2%

Table 5.1: Population Change 2002-2006    Source: CSO, 2006


The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013	states	           County	Development	Plan	states	that	‘we	have	provided	
that	the	County	has	had	unprecedented	growth	within	          homes	for	the	people	of	the	county,	and	for	many	who	
the	residential	sector,	unparalleled	by	any	other	County,	    have	migrated	here,	but	have	been	unable	to	match	this	
even	those	within	the	Greater	Dublin	Area	or	Mid-East	        with	a	corresponding	level	of	jobs,	amenities,	services	
Region.	There	has	been	significant	growth	in	the	Counties	    and	physical	infrastructure	necessary	to	sustain	such	a	
population,	however	growth	in	the	employment	sector	          population’.	
and	economic	development	generally	has	remained	low,	
unable	to	keep	pace	with	the	increases	in	residential	        The	Meath	County	Councils	Budget	Report	for	2009	states	
population.	The	County	Managers	Foreword	in	the	Meath	        that	during	the	current	difficult	economic	climate	it	is	


 DED                                          2002                      2006                        %	Change

 Culmullin                                   1,049                      1,035                         -1.3%

 Galtrim                                       616                       616                            -

 Kilmessan                                    1,081                     1,162                         7.5%

 Kilcooly                                      277                       311                          12.3%

 Bective                                      866                       1,031                         19.1%

 Clonmacduff                                  439                        433                          -1.4%

 Ardbraccan                                  1,823                      1,909                         4.7%

 Martry                                       652                        642                          1.5%

 Donaghpatrick	                               1,481                     1,640                         10.7%

 Teltown                                      929                        938                          1.0%

 Castletown                                   902                       1,007                         11.6%

 Staholmog                                    394                        396                          0.5%

 Cruicetown                                    312                       362                          16.0%

 Kilmainham                                   676                        741                          9.6%

 Moybolgue                                     199                       213                          7.0%

 Trohanny                                      367                       360                          -1.9%

 Enniskeen	(Cavan)                             372                       391                          5.1%


Table 5.2: Population Change by DED   Source: CSO, 2006




                                                                                                                          59
     5 Human Beings


     even	more	of	a	priority	to	‘promote	and	grow	investment	         Kingscourt	(located	3.9km	from	the	line	route)
     in	Meath’s	economy	so	as	to	ensure	a	strong	platform	for	
     future	positivity	and	growth’.                                   Kingscourt	has	been	identified	as	a	scheduled	town	
                                                                      in	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014.	
     With	regards	to	settlement	the	Cavan	County	Development	         Kingscourt	is	located	in	the	east	of	County	Cavan	on	the	
     Plan	2008-2014	states	that	Cavan	is	a	gateway	to	and	            border	with	County	Meath.	The	town	has	developed	as	
     from	Northern	Ireland.	The	south	east	of	the	county	is	          one	of	the	major	towns	of	the	County	and	has	a	strong	
     part	of	the	Greater	Dublin	commuter	belt	and	as	a	result	        industrial	base,	retailing	and	service	sector.	The	town	has	
     has	experienced	a	significant	amount	of	development.	            experienced	a	significant	growth	of	population	with	an	
     However,	the	county	remains	a	predominately	rural	               increase	of	33.7%	experienced	in	the	period	from	2002-
     county.	Since	the	previous	development	plan	2003	–	2009,	        2006.	One	of	the	main	aims	of	the	Local	Area	Plan	is	to	
     County	Cavan	has	experienced	significant	changes,	with	          consolidate	and	strengthen	Kingscourt’s	Town	Core,	to	
     major	increases	in	the	amount	of	residential	and	other	          facilitate	its	continued	growth	and	support	its	position	as	
     types	of	developments	and	considerable	increases	in	             one	of	Cavan’s	main	urban	centres	(Kingscourt	Local	Area	
     population.	Certain	towns,	such	as	Ballyjamesduff	and	           Plan	2008).	
     Mullagh,	have	experienced	unprecedented	levels	of	
     growth.                                                          Dunshaughlin	(located	3.6km	from	the	line	route)

     Population	levels	were	examined	for	the	DED’s	through	           Dunshaughlin	has	been	identified	as	a	moderate	growth	
     which	the	proposed	development	passes	and	these	are	             town	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013.	
     illustrated	in	Table	5.2.	It	illustrates	that	the	majority	of	   Dunshaughlin	is	located	on	the	N3	National	Primary	
     these	DEDs	have	experienced	population	growth	during	            Route	approximately	12km	from	Dunboyne	to	the	south	
     the	2002-2006	period.	                                           and	approximately	20km	from	Navan	to	the	north.	The	
                                                                      population	of	Dunshaughlin	Town	was	recorded	at	3,384	
                                                                      in	2006,	an	increase	of	10.5%	on	the	2002	figure	of	3,063	
     5.2.2	                                                           (Dunshaughlin	Local	Area	Plan	2009-2015).
     Settlements
                                                                      Trim	(located	5.4km	from	the	line	route)
     The	main	settlements	that	lie	within	5km	of	the	proposed	
     development	are	profiled	below.	The	distances	to	each	           Trim	has	been	identified	as	a	moderate	growth	town	in	
     are	taken	from	the	centre	of	the	settlement	and	are	             the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013.	Trim	
     approximate	only.	Population	figures	and	descriptions	are	       town	is	located	14.5km	south	west	of	Navan.	It	is	one	of	
     taken	directly	from	the	relevant	development	plans	and	          the	largest	urban	centres	serving	the	south	west	of	the	
     local	area	plans.	                                               county.	Trim	is	a	main	service	centre,	providing	for	the	
                                                                      town‘s	population	and	a	large	hinterland.	Trim	maintained	
     Navan	(located	4.8km	from	the	line	route)	                       steady	growth	at	each	census	from	1961	to	2006.	During	
                                                                      this	period	there	was	an	increase	in	the	town‘s	population	
     Navan	has	been	identified	as	a	large	growth	town	in	             of	over	296%	from	1,734	to	6,870	persons.	According	to	
     the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013.	It	is	              the	2006	Census	the	population	of	Trim	and	immediate	
     the	largest	urban	centre	in	County	Meath	and	is	a	main	          environs	was	6,870	persons	(Trim	Development	Plan	
     service	centre,	providing	for	the	town‘s	population	and	         2008-2014).	
     a	large	hinterland.	Navan	maintained	steady	growth	at	
     each	census	from	1961	to	1996	with	a	particular	spurt	of	        Nobber	(located	1.7km	from	the	line	route)
     population	growth	evident	in	the	1970‘s.	However	it	was	
     the	period	from	1996	to	2006	that	saw	unprecedented	             The	Meath	County	Development	Plan,	2007-2013	
     growth	which	was	amongst	the	highest	experienced	by	             identified	Nobber	as	a	key	village.	Nobber	is	located	
     any	urban	centre	in	the	country.	The	population	of	the	          along	the	R162	Regional	Route,	from	Navan	to	Kingscourt	
     Navan	Environs	increased	by	more	than	125%	from	9,363	           in	County	Cavan.	According	to	the	2006	Census	of	
     persons	in	1996	to	21,141	persons	by	2006.	Overall	the	          Population,	the	population	of	the	Nobber	Electoral	
     Navan	Town	and	Environs	population	increased	by	a	               Division	was	652	persons.	This	was	an	increase	of	
     phenomenal	94%	between	1996	and	2006	(Draft	Navan	               some	33	persons	(5.33%)	over	the	Electoral	District’s	
     Development	Plan	2009-2015).	                                    recorded	population	in	both	the	1996	and	2002	Census	
                                                                      of	Populations,	when	a	population	of	619	persons	was	
                                                                      recorded	for	both	years	(Nobber	Local	Area	Plan	2009-
                                                                      2015).	




60
Summerhill	(located	4.6km	from	the	line	route)                Population	increases	have	been	experienced	at	a	national	
                                                              and	local	level	and	in	the	towns	and	villages	listed	
The	Meath	County	Development	Plan,	2007-2013	                 herein.	The	predominance	of	one	off	housing	and	ribbon	
identified	Summerhill	as	a	key	village.	Summerhill	is	        development	in	the	region	affected	the	positioning	of	the	
situated	in	the	south	western	part	of	County	Meath,	          line.	
approximately	40Km	from	Dublin,	11km	from	Trim	
and	29km	from	Navan.	The	population	of	Summerhill	
increased	from	502	in	1996	to	799	in	the	2006	Census,	an	
                                                              5.2.3	
increase	of	59.2%	in	the	10	year	period	(Summerhill	Local	    Landuse	
Area	Plan	2009).	
                                                              In	Meath	‘agriculture,	particularly	pasture,	is	the	
Kilmainhamwood	(located	1km	from	the	line	route)              predominant	landuse	spread	evenly	throughout	lowland	
                                                              areas	of	the	central	Meath.	A	mixture	of	large	scale	
The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013	identified	       commercial	farms	and	stud	farms	adjacent	or	linked	to	
Kilmainhamwood	as	a	village.	Kilmainhamwood	is	               historic	demesne	landscapes	are	particularly	evident	
located	in	the	northern	part	of	County	Meath,	16km	           in	the	south	and	east	of	Meath,	with	smaller	scale,	
from	Kells,	7km	from	Kingscourt	and	6km	from	Nobber.	         mixed	use	farmland	in	upland	areas	and	the	rolling	
The	population	of	Kilmainhamwood	and	its	hinterland	          drumlin	landscape	of	the	north	and	west’	(Meath	County	
increased	from	676	in	the	2002	census	to	738	in	the	2006	     Development	Plan	2007-2013).	
census	an	increase	of	9.2%	(Kilmainhamwood	Local	Area	
Plan	2009-2015).	                                             County	Cavan	is	a	largely	rural	county,	with	agriculture	
                                                              being	the	primary	landuse.	The	county	is	‘characterised	
Kilmessan	(located	4.5km	from	the	line	route)                 by	a	range	of	field	sizes	bordered	by	low	hedgerows	
                                                              with	dairy	and	beef	farming	being	the	dominant	forms	
The	Meath	County	Development	Plan,	2007-2013	                 of	agriculture	practiced.	There	is	a	dispersed	rural	
identified	Kilmessan	as	a	village.	Kilmessan	is	located	      population	and	a	number	of	towns	and	villages	with	
13km	from	Navan	and	10km	from	Trim	and	Dunshaughlin.	         relatively	low	population,	though	a	strong	economic	
The	population	of	Kilmessan	increased	by	48%	between	         climate	has	given	rise	to	development	pressures	on	both	
1996	and	2002,	from	230	to	292	persons.	The	rate	of	          urban	and	rural	areas	throughout	the	county’	(Cavan	
increase	between	2002	and	2006	fell	to	16.7%	(Kilmessan	      County	Development	Plan	2008-2014).	
Local	Area	Plan	2009).
                                                              According	to	the	Agricultural	Census	data	in	2000,	71%	of	
Gibbstown	(located	1.9km	from	the	line	route)                 the	landuse	in	Cavan	is	devoted	to	farming	while	in	Meath	
                                                              agricultural	landuse	is	77%.	There	are	a	total	of	5,485	
The	Meath	County	Development	Plan,	2007-2013	                 farms	in	Cavan	and	4,463	in	Meath.	The	sizes	of	farms	in	
identified	Gibbstown	(Baile	Ghib)	as	a	village.	Gibbstown	    Cavan	are	predominately	less	than	50	ha.	This	is	similar	
is	located	in	the	centre	of	County	Meath	in	the	Navan	        for	County	Meath,	however	in	Meath	there	is	320	farms,	
Electoral	Area.	Gibbstown	is	one	of	two	Gaeltacht	areas	in	   which	are	over	100	ha	indicating	large	scale	farming	
County	Meath.	Gibbstown	is	located	on	the	R163	(Slane/        activity
Kells	Regional	Road)	approximately	7km	northwest	of	
Navan	Town.	The	Gaeltacht	area	in	Meath	had	a	combined	       The	land	through	which	the	alignment	runs	consists	
population	of	1,591	persons	in	2002,	representing	an	         primarily	of	agricultural	lands,	as	towns	and	villages	
increase	of	13%	from	the	1996	Census.	The	population	in	      were	avoided	when	identifying	the	line	route.	Landuse	is	
2006	comprised	1,670	persons	representing	a	population	       detailed	further	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapters	7	and	12	of	
increase	of	5%	(Gibbstown	Draft	Local	Area	Plan	2009).	       the	EIS.	

All	of	the	villages	and	towns	listed	herein	have	
experienced	population	increases.		

Other	Settlements	and	District	Electoral	Divisions	(DED)

The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013,	contains	
a	further	settlement	tier	and	these	are	called	Graigs	or	
rural	clusters.	Graigs	located	within	5km	of	the	proposed	
development	include	Robinstown,	Dunderry,	Bohermeen,	
Oristown,	Wilkinstown,	Castletown,	Drumree,	Dunsany,	
Cortown,	Teervurcher	and	Batterstown.	




                                                                                                                           61
     5 Human Beings


                                                          Unemployment	Rate                        Participation	Rate

       State                                                     12.0%                                   62.5%

       Mid-East	Region                                           10.8%                                   65.9%

       Border	Region                                             13.4%                                   57.2%


     Table 5.3: Quarterly National Household Survey (Q2 2009)
     Source: CSO, 2009


     5.2.4	                                                          June	2009)	the	participation	rate	in	the	State	is	62.5%.	
                                                                     The	Mid	East	Region’s	participation	rate	is	65.9%,	which	
     Employment	and	Economic	Activity	                               is	higher	than	that	of	the	State.	While	the	Border	Regions	
                                                                     participation	rate	is	57.2%	which	is	lower	than	that	of	the	
     Employment	                                                     State.	

     Employment	is	an	important	indicator	of	the	economic	           The	CSO	publishes	figures	relating	to	the	live	register.	
     standing	of	an	area.	This	section	examines	unemployment	        These	figures	are	not	strictly	a	measure	of	unemployment	
     levels,	employment	status	and	industrial	groups	in	             as	they	include	persons	who	are	legitimately	working	part	
     Counties	Meath	and	Cavan.	The	Quarterly	National	               time	and	signing	on	part	time.	However	they	can	be	used	
     Household	Survey	(QNHS)	provides	details	of	                    to	provide	an	overall	trend	within	an	area.
     unemployment	on	a	regional	level.	Meath	is	located	in	
     the	Mid	East	Region	and	Cavan	is	located	in	the	Border	         The	figures	in	Table	5.4	show	that	over	the	period	
     Region,	therefore	these	regions	will	be	used	to	illustrate	     September	2008	–	September	2009	the	number	of	
     unemployment	in	this	area.	                                     persons	on	the	live	register	increased	immensely	in	all	
                                                                     regions.	This	trend	indicates	that	there	were	significantly	
     Table	5.3	illustrates	the	findings	from	the	most	recent	        more	persons	unemployed	in	Cavan	and	Meath	in	
     QNHS	quarter	two	(April-June	2009).	The	unemployment	           September	2009	than	in	September	2008	and	indicates	a	
     rate	is	the	number	of	unemployed	persons	expressed	as	          need	for	employment	in	these	regions.	
     a	percentage	of	the	total	labour	force.	The	unemployment	
     rate	for	the	State	was	12%	while	the	unemployment	rate	         Socio-Economic	Profile	
     for	the	Mid	East	Region	and	Border	Region	was	10.8%	
     and	13.4%	respectively.	The	Border	Region	has	a	higher	         The	occupational	groups	for	persons	living	in	Counties	
     unemployment	rate	than	the	State,		while	the	Mid	East	          Cavan	and	Meath	are	outlined	in	Table	5.5.	The	number	
     Region	has	a	lower	employment	rate	than	the	State.	             of	people	employed	as	Manufacturing	workers	(16%	
                                                                     Cavan	and	13%	Meath)	and	as	Clerical,	managing	and	
     The	participation	rate	is	the	number	of	persons	in	the	         government	workers	(14%	Cavan	and	20%	Meath)	are	
     labour	force	expressed	as	a	percentage	of	the	total	            high	in	both	Counties.	
     population	(over	the	age	of	15	years).	In	Quarter	2,	(April-	


                                               Sept	2008                     Sept	2009                      %	Change

       State                                    240,217                       423,639                          76%

       Border	Region	                            34,911                        58,721                          68%

       Mid	East	Region                           21,797                        39,903                          83%

       Cavan                                     4,141                          7,191                          74%

       Meath                                     5,598                         11,257                          101%

     Table 5.4: Live Register 2008-2009
     Source: CSO, 2009




62
   Occupational	Group                                                                              Percentage	Cavan       Percentage	Meath

   Farming,	fishing	and	forestry	workers                                                                 9%                       4%

   Manufacturing	workers                                                                                 16%                      13%

   Building	and	Construction	workers                                                                     11%                      10%

   Clerical,	managing	and	government	workers                                                             14%                      20%

   Communication	and	transport	workers                                                                   5%                       6%

   Sales	and	commerce	workers                                                                            12%                      13%

   Professional,	technical	and	health	workers                                                            12%                      15%

   Service	workers                                                                                       10%                      10%

   Other                                                                                                 10%                      9%

Table 5.5: Occupational Groups
Source: CSO, 2006. Note figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.


The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013,	                                        It	is	also	an	economic	development	policy	to	‘ensure	that	
identifies	that	the	county	is	underperforming	in	terms	                              the	appropriate	infrastructure	including	sanitary	services,	
of	its	economic	development	and	that	sustainable	                                    roads,	public	transport	system,	energy	supply	and	
development	in	Meath	requires	more	jobs	in	the	county,	                              telecommunications,	training	infrastructure	and	housing	
i.e.	local	job	creation	for	the	existing	and	projected	                              is	provided’	(Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013,	
resident	population.                                                                 Ref	ED	POL	6).	

The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013,	                                        The	development	of	the	transmission	line,	is	in	line	with	
states	that ‘the planning authority proposes to remove                               the	policies	and	objectives	of	Meath	County	Council	as	set	
identified internal county inhibitors to economic                                    out	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013.	
development and assist the development of all economic
sectors by the implementation of objectives’. One of
these objectives is the ‘provision of necessary physical
                                                                                     5.2.5	
infrastructure’ (Meath	County	Development	Plan	                                      Tourism	and	Amenities
2007-2013,	Ref	Section	3.1.6).	The	development	of	the	
transmission	line	will	contribute	to	this	objective	to	                              According	to	Fáilte	Ireland	there	were	approximately	
provide	for	physical	infrastructure.                                                 322,000	people	employed	in	the	tourism	sector	in	2007	in	
                                                                                     Ireland.	Meath	is	located	in	the	East	and	Midlands	tourist	


                                                                                            N.	
                                                     Britain	              Europe	                        Other	        Total	       Revenue	
                                                                                         America	
                                                     (000s)                (000s)                        (000s)        (000s)         (€m)	
                                                                                          (000s)

   No.	of	Visitors-Ireland	                           3,776                2,577           1,071          316           7,739           4,902

   Meath                                                77                   36             25             4             143             44

   Cavan                                                56                   25             15             4             100             35

Table 5.6: Overseas Tourism to Meath and Cavan, 2007
Source: Fáilte Ireland, 2008




                                                                                                                                                    63
     5 Human Beings


     region	and	Cavan	is	located	in	the	North	West	tourist	          the	largest	castle	in	Ireland.	Trim	Castle	is	also	known	as	
     region.	The	latest	full	available	statistics	from	Fáilte	       King	John’s	castle	following	a	visit	he	made	there	in	1210.	
     Ireland	are	for	the	year	ending	December	2007.	According	       Trim	Castle	is	located	in	the	town	of	Trim	and	the	Trim	
     to	these	statistics	approximately	7.7	million	overseas	         Visitor	Centre	is	also	located	there.
     visitors	arrived	in	Ireland	in	2007	generating	total	revenue	
     of	€4.9	billion.	Domestic	tourism	expenditure	amounted	         Hill	of	Tara
     to	€1.55	billion	making	tourism	in	total	a	€6.45	billion	
     industry	in	2007.		                                             The	Hill	of	Tara	is	an	area	of	raised	upland	to	the	south	
                                                                     of	Navan.	It	is	immediately	adjacent	to	the	N3	national	
     Table	5.6	illustrates	that	there	were	approximately	            primary	route,	which	links	Navan	to	Dunshaughlin	to	the	
     143,000	overseas	visitors	to	Meath	in	2007	and	100,000	         east	of	the	Hill	of	Tara.	Though	best	known	as	the	seat	
     overseas	visitors	to	Cavan	in	2007	and	they	generated	          of	the	High	Kings	of	Ireland,	the	Hill	of	Tara	has	been	an	
     total	revenue	of	€79	million.                                   important	site	since	the	late	Stone	Age	when	a	passage	
                                                                     tomb	was	constructed	there.	Tara	was	at	the	height	of	
     The	top	visitor	attractions	identified	by	Fáilte	Ireland	for	   its	power	as	a	political	and	religious	centre	in	the	early	
     County	Meath	are:	                                              centuries	after	Christ.	Attractions	include	an	audio	visual	
                                                                     show	and	guided	tours	of	the	site.
        •	 Brú	na	Bóinne	Visitor	Centre	(20km	approximately	
           from	alignment);                                          Meath

        •	 Newgrange	(19km	approximately	from	the	                   The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013	states	
           alignment);                                               that:

        •	 Trim	Castle	(5.5km	approximately	from	the	                    ‘Meath has much to offer as a tourist destination
           alignment);                                                   – in particular its rich heritage, the quality of
                                                                         the rural landscape and its coastline. Meath
        •	 Knowth	(18km	approximately	from	the	alignment);	              has a large number of visitor attractions, the
           and                                                           most famous being the Brú na Bóinne Visitor
                                                                         Centre which incorporates the internationally
        •	 Hill	of	Tara	(6km	approximately	from	the	                     recognised megalithic tombs and passage graves
           alignment).	                                                  at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. In marketing
                                                                         terms, Newgrange, Trim Castle and Tara have the
     The	top	visitor	attractions	identified	by	Fáilte	Ireland	for	       highest profile in both the domestic and overseas
     County	Cavan	are:                                                   markets and are very popular destination for day
                                                                         trips by tourists staying in Dublin. Apart from
        •	 Saint	Kilians	Heritage	Centre	(9km	approximately	             the Boyne Valley, there are a number of high
           from	the	alignment);	and                                      quality visitor attractions based on the county’s
                                                                         archaeological and historical heritage’ (Ref	
        •	 Corravahan	House	and	Gardens	(27km	                           Section	3.3.1).
           approximately	from	the	alignment).
                                                                     It	is	a	goal	of	Meath	County	Council	as	stated	in	the	Meath	
     None	of	these	visitor	attractions	will	be	directly	affected	    County	Development	Plan	2007-2013	to:
     by	the	proposed	development	as	the	closest	visitor	
     attraction	(Trim	Caste)	is	located	approximately	5.5km	             ‘promote, encourage and facilitate the
     from	the	alignment.	A	brief	summary	of	Trim	Castle	and	             development of the tourism industry through
     the	next	nearest	attraction	the	Hill	of	Tara	are	detailed	          sustainable means, including the conservation,
     herein.	Visual	impacts	are	discussed	in	detail	in	Volume	2	         protection and enhancement of the built and
     Part	A,	Chapter	12.	                                                natural heritage, the protection of sensitive
                                                                         landscapes and cultural and community
     Trim	Castle                                                         environments in order to maximise upon the
                                                                         economic benefits arising from the industry’ (Ref	
     In	1172	Hugh	de	Lacy	erected	a	motte	and	timber	tower	              Section	3.3.2).
     at	Trim	in	order	to	begin	the	conquest	of	the	surrounding	
     land.	The	present	tower	at	Trim	Castle	was	completed	               ‘To provide adequate protection of views and
     by	William	Peppard	in	1220,	combined	with	the	massive	              vistas that contribute to the appreciation of
     curtain	walls,	gates	and	associated	buildings	to	make	it	           landscape character’ (Ref	HER	POL	85).




64
   ‘To maintain scenic vistas and panoramic                        To	ensure	the	location,	design	and	visual	
   views from key vantage points and towards key                   prominence	of	developments	are	examined,		
   landmarks and features within the landscape’	(Ref	              including	possible	effects	on	views	from	the	public	
   HER	POL	86).                                                    realm	towards	sensitive	or	vulnerable	landscape	
                                                                   features	and	areas	using	the	following	criteria:
   ‘To encourage the continued sustainable
   development of rural communities without                        –	 Importance	value	of	the	view	in	question;
   compromising the physical, environmental, natural
   and heritage resources of the county’	(Ref	HER	                 –	 Whether	the	integrity	of	the	view	has	been	
   POL	88).                                                           affected	to	date	by	existing	development;

    ‘To have regard to the traditional Green Belt                  –	 Whether	the	development	would	intrude	
   concept of ensuring residents of urban areas have                  significantly	on	the	view;	and
   adequate access to high quality green open space
   that provides recreational opportunities, retains               –	 Whether	the	development	would	materially	alter	
   attractive landscapes near population centres,                     the	view.
   improves degraded land and secures nature
   conservation’ (Ref	HER	POL	98).                              •	 With	regard	to	Scenic	Routes	it	is	the	policy	of	the	
                                                                   Planning	Authority	to	regulate	development	that	
   ‘To protect areas of recognised landscape                       would	seriously	obstruct	and	detract	from	views	of	
   importance and significant views from construction              high	scenic	value	from	designated	scenic	routes.	
   of such large scale visually intrusive energy                   Development	will	be	restricted	where	it	is	likely	
   transmission infrastructure’	(Ref	HER	POL	103).                 to	cause	irreconcilable	damage	to	the	exceptional	
                                                                   scenic	value.
Visual	amenity	and	tourist	attractions	in	County	Meath	are	
illustrated	on	Maps	5	and	18	respectively	of	the	Landscape	     •	 To	maintain	and	protect	the	natural	landscapes	
Character	Assessment	which	forms	part	of	the	Meath	                visual	character	which	is	recognised	to	be	of	an	
County	Development	Plan	2007-2013.	Visual	impacts	are	             exceptional	high	amenity	value.	These	upland	
dealt	with	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	12	of	the	EIS.	The	         landscapes	of	west	Cavan	are	open	and	exposed,	
tourist	attractions	map	for	County	Meath	is	included	in	           unenclosed	and	vulnerable	to	insensitive	
Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	5.1	“Meath	County	Council	               development.	These	scenic	routes	are	considered	to	
Tourist	Attraction	Map”.                                           be	part	of	the	county’s	amenity	resources.

Cavan                                                           •	 With	regard	to	Riverside	Amenity	Areas,	the	Cavan	
                                                                   County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	identifies	
The	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	states	                six	Riverside	Amenity	Areas.	It	is	the	policy	of	the	
that,	‘Tourism makes an important contribution to the              Planning	Authority	to	regulate	all	development	on	
economy of Cavan with income derived from tourist                  lands	these	rivers	in	order	to	maintain	their	amenity	
activity being distributed across a wide range of economic         value.
sectors. Tourism can also be of particular significance
in the diversification of the rural economy and in the          •	 With	regard	to	Forest	Parks	and	Other	Parks	
regeneration of certain towns and villages’	(Ref	Cavan	            the	Planning	Authority	policy	is	to	regulate	
County	Development	Plan,	2008-2014,	Section	9.4).	It	also	         development	within	parks	to	maximise	recreational,	
recognises	the ‘importance of rural forms of recreational          amenity	and	community	uses.	
provision, such as rivers, lakes, forests and mountains
which provide major facilities for walks, picnicing, boating,   •	 With	regard	to	Lakeside	Amenity	Areas	the	Planning	
angling etc and also act as importance tourist attractions.        Authority	policy	is	to	regulate	development	of	
It is the policy of the Planning Authority to protect these        adjoining	lands	to	ensure	that	public	use	is	not	
facilities’	(Ref	Cavan	County	Development	Plan,	2008-              prejudiced	by	incompatible	use	or	adverse	visual	
2014,	Section	9.4).                                                impacts.

   •	 With	regard	to	Scenic	Views	and	Viewing	points,	          •	 With	regard	to	Major	Lakes	and	Lake	Environs	
      it	is	the	policy	of	the	Planning	Authority	in	the	           the	Planning	Authority	policy	is	to	maintain	their	
      current	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	             amenity	value	within	a	landscape	recreational	and	
      to	restrict	development	that	would	obstruct	views	           ecological	context	by	restricting	and	regulating	
      and	to	minimise	visual	intrusion	by	only	permitting	         development	that	would	prejudice	public	use	and	
      compatible	uses.	                                            enjoyment	of	areas,	or	give	rise	to	adverse	visual	
                                                                   impacts	or	threaten	habitats	through	disposal	of	
                                                                   effluents.



                                                                                                                            65
     5 Human Beings


     Scenic	views/routes,	walking	routes	and	river	and	lakeside	        and	Putt	Courses	at	Castletown	and	Navan	are	located	
     amenities	in	County	Cavan	are	illustrated	on	Maps	8-10	            approximately	3km	and	4km	respectively	from	the	line	route.	
     of	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014.	Visual	
     impacts	includes	details	of	scenic	views	and	scenic	routes	        Angling	
     in	Meath	and	Cavan	are	outlined	in	detail	in	Volume	2	Part	
     A,	Chapter	12	of	the	EIS.	There	are	no	riverside	or	lakeside	      According	to	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-
     amenity	areas	located	within	or	in	proximity	to	the	proposed	      2013,	angling	in	County	Meath,	takes	place	in	the	River	
     development.	There	are	also	no	major	lakes	and	lake	               Boyne	and	its	tributaries,	the	Royal	Canal,	Lough	Sheelin	
     environs.	                                                         and	the	North	Meath	lakes	(Ref	Section	3.3.1).	

                                                                        The	main	rivers	that	the	line	route	crosses	are	the	River	
     5.2.6	                                                             Boyne	and	the	River	Blackwater,	sections	of	both	rivers	
     Activities	                                                        are	within	candidate	Special	Areas	of	Conservation	(cSAC).	
                                                                        The	main	channel	of	the	River	Boyne	is	also	a	designated	
     Walking	Routes	and	Cycle	Routes                                    salmonid	river.	Other	rivers	that	the	line	route	crosses	are	
                                                                        the	River	Dee,	Kilmainham	River,	Clady	River,	Derrypatrick	
     It	is	stated	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-            and	the	Boycetown	River.	
     2013,	that ‘Public rights of way which contribute generally
     to the amenities of the county and local areas will be             Airfields	and	Helipads
     protected and maintained. Cycling routes such as Táin
     Trail, linking the Rathcroghan area of Roscommon and the           Trim	airfield	is	located	approximately	4km	northwest	of	Trim	
     Cooley peninsula in Louth will be pursued and developed.           and	has	one	grass	runway	that	is	560m	long.	The	airfield	is	
     Pedestrian walks such as the Royal Canal and Boyne                 located	approximately	1.2km	from	the	line	route.	
     towpath will also be facilitated and conserved. Other routes
     that arise from time to time will also be supported (Ref	          Communication	with	the	Irish	Aviation	Authority	(IAA)	
     Section	3.3.11)’.                                                  indicates	that	the	line	route	will	not	impact	on	Trim	Airfield.	
                                                                        A	review	of	the	obstacle	limitation	surfaces	as	defined	in	the	
     It	is	also	policy	for	public	rights	of	way ‘HER POL 37: To         IAA	Aerodrome	Licensing	Manual	ALM002,	indicates	that	
     preserve and protect for the common good all existing              the	overall	heights	of	the	towers	will	not	infringe	the	defined	
     public rights of way which contribute to amenity’ and ‘HER         obstacle	limitation	surfaces.	
     POL 38: To create new rights of way or extend/enhance
     existing rights of way in the interest of amenity’	(Ref	Section	   A	helipad	has	been	identified	within	the	study	area.	This	
     8.2.16).                                                           is	located	in	the	townland	of	Tankardstown	and	is	located	
                                                                        approximately	125m	from	the	line	route.	This	will	not	be	
     A	number	of	way	marked	paths	and	cycle	routes	are	located	         impacted	upon	by	the	proposed	development.	
     within	County	Meath.	The	marked	routes	run	from	Drogheda	
     to	Navan,	further	south	from	there	to	the	Hill	of	Tara	and	        Other	
     westwards	towards	Trim.	The	routes	continue	northwards	to	
     Athboy	and	Kells	and	further	northeast	from	there	towards	         There	are	other	activities	which	take	place	throughout	Meath	
     Ardee	in	County	Louth.	It	includes	the	indicative	route	for	       and	Cavan	which	may	take	place	in	the	vicinity	of	the	line	
     potential	footpaths	and	cycle	routes	associated	with	the	          route	including	equestrian	activities	and	passive	recreation.	
     River	Blackwater.	

     It	is	policy	of	Cavan	County	Council	as	set	out	in	the	Cavan	
                                                                        5.2.7	
     County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	with	regard	to	walking	          Gaeltacht	Area
     and	cycling	routes	to	facilitate	the	protection,	development	
     and	maintenance	of	walking	and	cycling	routes	throughout	          County	Meath	contains	two	separate	Gaeltacht	areas	
     the	county	(Ref	Section	9.4.1).	Cavan	County	Council	has	          that	have	been	officially	designated	by	the	Department	
     referenced	18	walking	routes	but	none	of	these	are	located	        of	Community,	Rural,	and	Gaeltacht	Affairs	namely	(a)	
     in	proximity	to	the	line	route.	The	nearest	walking	route	is	      Rathcairn,	three	miles	south	east	of	Athboy	and	(b)	Baile	
     located	at	Lough	an	Leagh.                                         Ghib,	six	miles	east	of	Kells.

     Golf	Courses                                                       It	is	a	policy	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	to	‘To
                                                                        ensure that all new development in the Gaeltachtaí have a
     Golf	is	a	popular	activity	for	tourists	and	locals	alike.	There	   positive impact upon the use of Irish in the area’	(RD	POL	
     are	no	golf	courses	in	proximity	to	the	line	route.	Pitch	         31).	




66
The	line	route	runs	through	the	Gaeltacht	area	of	Baile	          Public	health	and	safety	during	the	construction	phase	
Ghib.	This	Gaeltacht	area	includes	the	townlands	of	              are	dealt	with	in	Chapter	4	of	this	Volume	of	the	EIS.	The	
Teltown,	Oristown,	Donaghpatrick,	Gibstown,	Tankardrath,	         potential	impacts	on	local	populations	in	terms	of	EMF	
Gibstown	Demesne	and	Clongill.	                                   (Chapter	6),	Noise	(Chapter	11),	Landscape	(Chapter	12),	
                                                                  Traffic	(Chapter	13)	and	Cultural	Heritage	(Chapter	14)	are	
Údarás	na	Gaeltachta	in	general	support	the	development	          dealt	with	in	this	Volume	of	the	EIS	(Volume	2	Part	A).		
and	they	state	in	correspondence	in	2008	that	as	long	            As	a	result	of	the	appropriate	route	selection,	the	
as	the	development	‘agrees	with	the	development	                  proposed	development	does	not	require	the	demolition	of	
programme	of	Údarás	na	Gaeltachta,	the	standard	                  any	residential	dwellings.	Therefore	this	will	not	result	in	
of	infrastructure	is	of	critical	importance	to	induce	            the	loss	of	any	population	in	the	area.	The	predominance	
and	generate	investment	in	the	functional	area	of	the	            of	urban	development,	one	off	housing	and	ribbon	
Gaeltacht’.	The	letter	also	states	that	they	‘support the         development	in	the	region	has	influenced	the	location	and	
development of the transmission line, as we believe it will       alignment	of	the	transmission	line.	EirGrid	has	guided	its	
have an advantageous influence on services’.	                     consultants,	to	seek,	if	possible,	to	achieve	a	minimum	
                                                                  separation	distance	of	50	metres	from	occupied	dwellings.
5.2.8	
Community	Facilities                                              5.3.2	
                                                                  Landuse
There	are	numerous	sports	playing	pitches	located	in	
Counties	Meath	and	Cavan.	The	nearest	identified	playing	         Landuse	along	the	line	route	is	detailed	in	the	habitat	
pitch	to	the	line	route	is	the	Wolfe	Tone	Gaelic	football	        mapping	provided	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	7.2.1	-	
club	grounds	and	is	located	in	the	townland	of	Gibstown	          7.2.20	“Habitat	Maps”.	During	the	construction	phase	
Demesne.	This	is	located	approximately	260m	east	from	            there	will	be	a	temporary	change	of	landuse	in	the	areas	
the	line	route.	                                                  surrounding	the	proposed	towers.	An	area	adjacent	to	
                                                                  each	tower	will	be	required	for	the	assembly	of	towers.		
There	are	no	schools	located	in	proximity	to	the	line	route.	
The	nearest	identified	school	is	located	at	Robinstown	           The	loss	of	land	use	will	be	negligible	and	farming	
which	is	located	approximately	570m	from	the	line	route.	         activities	can	still	be	carried	out	along	the	line	route,	in	
                                                                  the	past	any	such	loss	is	compensated	for	in	accordance	
The	nearest	identified	church	to	the	line	route	is	located	       with	the	IFA	agreement	between	ESB	and	IFA.		
in	the	townland	of	Oristown.	This	is	located	approximately	
150m	west	of	the	line	route	and	approximately	210m	from	
the	nearest	tower.	
                                                                  5.3.3	
                                                                  Employment	and	Economic	Activity
5.3	                                                              Construction	Impacts
POTENTIAL	IMPACTS
                                                                  The	capital	value	of	the	overall	project	is	in	the	region	of	
During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	                  €280	million.		It	will	involve	the	provision	of	a	significant	
number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	           number	of	direct	and	indirect	jobs	both	on	and	off	site,	
notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	                   over	the	construction	period.
evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	        Employment	will	be	created	by	the	construction	of	this	
the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	       development.	Like	other	major	construction	projects,	this	
been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	                      project	will	be	put	out	for	competitive	tender.	Therefore	
                                                                  it	is	not	possible	to	state	definitively	if	construction	
                                                                  materials,	services	etc.	will	be	purchased	locally.	However	
5.3.1	                                                            materials	such	as	concrete	and	other	standard	materials	
Population                                                        may	be	sourced	locally	where	possible.	Other	more	
                                                                  specialised	materials	such	as	the	transformer,	substation	
Whilst	this	development	is	as	an	essential	contribution	          switchgear,	tower	steel,	conductors,	insulators	and	other	
to	all	island,	national,	regional	and	local	development,	         line	hardware	will	be	sourced	outside	the	study	area.	
there	is	also	a	clear	acknowledgement	that	the	benefits	          Spin	off	employment	will	also	be	generated	to	serve	the	
of	development	must	be	tempered	by	proper	regard	to	              construction	project	and	its	employees.	
potential	environmental	impact,	including	to	people	and	
communities.		




                                                                                                                                   67
     5 Human Beings


     Operational	Impacts	                                            5.3.5	
     National	investment	strategies	both	in	the	Republic	and	        Activities	
     Northern	Ireland	identify	that	the	energy	infrastructure	is	
     crucial	to	containing	and	enhancing	competitiveness	and	        The	proposed	development	will	not	impact	on	golf	courses	
     the	economy.	Both	strategies	endorse	an	All	Island	Single	      as	there	are	no	golf	courses	in	proximity	to	the	line	route	
     Energy	Market	as	an	opportunity	to	maximize	market	             and	the	nearest	Pitch	and	Putt	Course	at	Castletown	is	
     size	on	the	island	and	to	create	economies	of	scale	in	the	     located	approximately	3km	from	the	line	route.
     energy	sector	to	the	benefit	of	consumers	and	businesses	
     on	both	sides	of	the	boarder.	                                  Angling	is	not	likely	to	suffer	adverse	impacts	as	the	
                                                                     attractiveness	of	the	area	for	this	activity	is	most	
     The	impacts	on	human	beings	are	likely	to	be	positive	          dependent	on	water	quality	and	fish	stocks	rather	than	
     as	the	proposed	development	will	facilitate	the	future	         tourism	amenity.	Appropriate	route	selection	has	avoided	
     reinforcement	of	existing	transmission	infrastructure	in	       any	direct	impacts	on	rivers	and	no	tower	base	will	be	
     the	north-eastern	region	of	the	Republic	of	Ireland	as	may	     constructed	in	close	proximity	to	any	watercourse.	The	
     be	required	to	meet	future	population	and	employment	           nearest	rivers	to	a	tower	base	is	the	Derrypatrick	River	.	
     growth	in	the	region,	as	envisaged	in	the	National	Spatial	
     Strategy.	                                                      The	proposed	development	will	not	directly	inhibit	any	
                                                                     visitor	activities	along	its	alignment,	but	may	be	perceived	
                                                                     as	reducing	the	visual	amenity	of	an	area	used	for	
     5.3.4	                                                          activities.	
     Tourism	and	Amenities	
                                                                     The	most	significant	tourist	attractions	and	activities	have	
     Fáilte	Irelands	TIA	methodology	states	that	there	are	          been	avoided	in	determining	the	alignment.	Therefore	it	
     primarily	four	ways	in	which	the	tourism	amenity	value	         can	be	concluded	that	the	proposed	development	will	not	
     of	an	area	or	attraction	can	be	impacted	upon.	These	           have	any	significant	impact	on	tourism	and	amenities.	
     include;

        1.	 Impact	on	the	attractiveness	of	an	area	or	attraction	
                                                                     5.3.6	
            (impact	on	image);                                       Gaeltacht	Area
        2.	 Impact	on	visitor	numbers;                               As	indicated	by	Údarás	na	Gaeltachta	there	is	a	potential	
                                                                     for	positive	impacts	for	the	Gaeltacht	areas	from	the	
        3.	 Impact	on	the	range	and	quality	of	tourist	              proposed	development.	These	impacts	will	arise	from	
            attractions,	activities	and	facilities;	and              improved	infrastructure,	which	will	be	important	in	
                                                                     encouraging	and	generating	investment	in	the	functional	
        4.	 Impact	on	the	visitor’s	experience/enjoyment/            area	of	the	Gaeltacht.	
            expectation	of	an	area	or	attraction.	

     None	of	the	top	visitor	attractions	in	County	Meath	and	
                                                                     5.3.7	
     Cavan	will	be	affected	by	the	proposed	development	             Community	Facilities
     as	the	closest	visitor	attraction	(Trim	Caste)	is	located	
     approximately	5.5km	from	the	line	route.	                       The	proposed	development	will	not	impact	on	community	
                                                                     facilities.	The	nearest	identified	playing	pitch	to	the	line	
     There	are	no	riverside	or	lakeside	amenity	areas	located	       route	is	the	Wolfe	Tone	Gaelic	football	club	grounds	and	
     within	or	in	proximity	to	the	alignment.	There	are	also	no	     this	is	located	approximately	260m	east	from	the	line	
     major	lakes	and	lake	environs.	                                 route.	There	are	no	schools	located	in	proximity	to	the	line	
                                                                     route.	The	nearest	identified	church	to	the	line	route	is	
     The	line	route	avoids	most	of	the	sensitive	designated	         located	in	the	townland	of	Oristown	located	approximately	
     landscapes	in	the	county.	Where	effects	could	not	be	           150m	west	of	the	line	route	and	approximately	210m	from	
     avoided	on	designated	landscapes	or	viewpoints,	they	are	       the	nearest	tower.	
     described	in	detail	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	12	of	the	
     EIS.	Visual	impacts	on	tourist	routes	and	places,	walking	
     routes	and	cycling	routes	are	also	assessed	in	more	detail	
     in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	12	of	the	EIS.




68
5.4	                                                         5.5	
MITIGATION	MEASURES	                                         RESIDUAL	IMPACTS
Route	selection	has	been	the	main	mitigation	measure	        Once	the	operational	phase	begins	there	is	no	significant	
used	to	reduce	potential	significant	adverse	impacts	on	     impact	on	Human	Beings	predicted	for	the	proposed	
human	beings	as	a	result	of	the	operation	of	the	proposed	   development.
development.	No	further	mitigation	measures	are	
therefore	required.
                                                             5.6	
Specific	mitigation	measures	are	being	included	for	         INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	
the	construction	stage	of	the	proposed	development	to	
ensure	any	adverse	impacts	on	human	beings	will	be	          ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS
minimised.	These	are	detailed	in	the	relevant	chapters	of	
the	EIS.                                                     This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	2	
                                                             Part	A,	Chapter	6	–	EMF,	Chapter	11	–	Noise,	Chapter	12	–	
The	proposed	development	will	be	developed	in	a	manner	      Landscape,	Chapter	13	–	Traffic	and	Chapter	14	-	Cultural	
such	that	the	impact	on	human	beings	is	minimised.	          Heritage	for	a	full	understanding	of	the	main	interactions	
Mitigation	measures	for	Chapter	6	-	EMF,	Chapter	11	-	       between	these	environmental	topics.
Noise,	Chapter	12	-	Landscape,	Chapter	13	-	Traffic	and	
Chapter	14	-	Cultural	Heritage	are	dealt	with	in	this	
Volume	of	the	EIS	(Volume	2	Part	A).		




                                                                                                                           69
70
        Chapter 6


        Electric &
                              6
        Magnetic
            Fields




        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              71
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


     6.1	                                                            considerable	weight,	as	they	reflect	the	consensus	
                                                                     of	experts	that	employ	scientific	methods	to	arrive	at	
     INTRODUCTION                                                    conclusions,	rather	than	the	views	of	individuals	or	
                                                                     unsupported	conclusions.	EirGrid’s	position	on	ELF-
                                                                     EMF	and	health	is	based	solely	on	the	conclusions	and	
     This	chapter	assesses	the	impacts	from	Electric	and	
                                                                     recommendations	of	these	authoritative	reviews.		
     Magnetic	Fields	(EMF)	arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	
     overhead	transmission	line	and	associated	development	
                                                                     In	2002,	the	International	Agency	for	Research	on	Cancer	
     (including	the	electricity	substation),	between	the	existing	
                                                                     (IARC),	which	is	part	of	the	World	Health	Organization	
     substation	at	Woodland,	near	Batterstown,	County	
                                                                     (WHO),	classified	ELF	magnetic	fields	as	“possibly	
     Meath	and	the	proposed	substation	at	Moyhill.	The	
                                                                     carcinogenic”	on	the	basis	of	“limited	evidence”	from	
     assessment	has	been	prepared	by	Bill	Bailey	of	Exponent	
                                                                     epidemiology	studies	concerning	childhood	leukaemia	
     International.
                                                                     and	“inadequate	evidence”	from	in	vivo	research.	The	
                                                                     IARC	concluded	that	the	evidence	on	ELF	electric	fields	
     The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	distance	of	
                                                                     was	‘inadequate’	and	did	not	classify	them	in	terms	of	
     85m	either	side	of	the	line.
                                                                     carcinogenicity.	

     6.1.1	                                                          The	WHO	EMF	Task	Group	published	the	most	recent	
                                                                     review	of	ELF-EMF	health	research	in	June	2007	as	part	of	
     Overview                                                        a	10	year	international	collaborative	project	on	EMF	and	
                                                                     health.	The	conclusions	of	the	WHO	report	updated	the	
     Extremely	low	frequency	(ELF)	electric	and	magnetic	fields	     IARC	2002	report.	The	EMF	Task	Group’s	main	objective	
     (EMF)	surround	all	things	that:                                 was	to	review	the	scientific	literature	related	to	ELF	fields	
                                                                     to	assess	any	possible	health	risks	and	use	this	health	
        •	 Generate	(e.g.	generators);                               risk	assessment	to	make	recommendations	to	national	
                                                                     authorities	on	public	health.	The	Task	Group	concluded	
        •	 Transmit	(e.g.,	substations,	power	lines	and	             that	the	current	body	of	evidence	does	not	support	the	
           wiring);	or	                                              conclusion	that	there	are	health	effects	related	to	ELF-
                                                                     EMF	at	the	levels	generally	encountered	by	members	
        •	 Use	electricity	(e.g.,	appliances	and	other	devices).		   of	the	public.	As	with	any	body	of	scientific	research,	
                                                                     some	uncertainty	remains	and	the	WHO	recommended	
     Thus,	electric	and	magnetic	fields	are	a	common	exposure	       future	research	to	address	research	gaps.	Given	the	weak	
     in	modern	life.		These	fields	will	be	generated	in	the	         evidence	in	support	of	a	potential	risk,	however,	the	WHO	
     vicinity	of	the	proposed	Moyhill	to	Border	(Lemgare)	           recommended	that	only	low	cost	precautionary	measures	
     400kV	transmission	line.		This	chapter	addresses	               be	taken	to	reduce	exposures.				
     the	nature	of	ELF-EMF	and	the	levels	associated	with	
     the	proposed	development,	as	well	as	the	scientific	            In	March	2007,	a	panel	of	independent	scientists,	
     consensus	on	research	related	to	ELF-EMF	and	health.			         convened	by	Ireland’s	Department	of	Communications,	
                                                                     Marine	and	Natural	Resources	(DCMNR),	published	a	brief	
     Questions	about	the	possible	harmful	effects	of	ELF-            Q&A	document	entitled	“Health Effects of Electromagnetic
     EMF	on	humans	and	animals	were	first	investigated	              Fields.”	The	conclusions	of	this	document	were	consistent	
     in	the	1970s.		Since	then,	extensive	research	has	been	         with	reviews	by	the	IARC,	WHO	and	other	national	and	
     conducted	in	many	areas,	involving	the	expenditure	             international	agencies.		In	relation	to	ELF-EMF,	the	report	
     of	over €440m.		Currently,	a	large	body	of	research	            stated,	“No adverse health effects have been established
     exists	from	around	the	world	on	many	different	                 below the limits suggested by international guidelines.”
     diseases;	no	reputable	health	or	scientific	agency	has	
     concluded	that	ELF-EMF	has	harmful	effects	at	the	levels	       International	guidelines	for	ELF-EMF	were	set	in	1998	by	
     typically	encountered	in	our	environment.	Short-term	           the	International	Commission	on	Non-Ionizing	Radiation	
     neurostimulatory	(i.e.,	shock-like)	effects	have	been	          Protection	(ICNIRP),	a	formal	advisory	agency	to	the	WHO.	
     demonstrated	at	very	high	field	levels	that	are	only	           The	International	Commission	on	Non-Ionising	Radiation	
     encountered	in	rare	occupational	or	medical	settings	and	       Protection	(ICNIRP)	reviewed	the	research	and	concluded	
     guidelines	developed	by	international	scientific	agencies	      it	was	insufficient	to	establish	exposure	guidelines	on	
     exist	to	prevent	against	these	effects.			                      the	basis	of	long-term	health	effects;	on	the	other	hand,	
                                                                     the	agency	found	sufficient	evidence	for	short-term,	
     Numerous,	independent	national	and	international	               neurostimulatory	effects	at	very	high	field	levels	and	
     scientific	bodies	have	reviewed	the	research	on	ELF-            exposure	guidelines	were	established	to	prevent	against	
     EMF	and	health.	The	findings	of	these	bodies	carry	




72
this	effect.	The	ICNIRP	guidelines	subsequently	formed	
the	basis	of	the	European	Union	(EU)	guidelines	in	
                                                                6.2	
1999.	The	WHO	monograph	recommended	that	policy-                EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
makers	establish	guidelines	for	ELF-EMF	exposure	
for	both	the	general	public	and	workers,	and	the	best	
source	of	guidance	is	the	ICNIRP	guidelines.	The	ICNIRP	        6.2.1	
recently	issued	updated	draft	guidelines	for	comment,	
which	reviewed	the	research	since	the	1998	report	and	          Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	
concluded	that	the	cumulative	evidence	does	not	warrant	        in	our	Everyday	Environments
any	changes	to	the	approach	of	the	1998	exposure	
guidelines.	The	Irish	electricity	network,	including	the	       Electrical	objects	and	anything	connected	to	them	
proposed	400kV	transmission	line,	complies	with	the	            produce	two	types	of	fields	–	electric	fields	and	magnetic	
ICNIRP	guidelines.	                                             fields.		The	term	“field”	is	used	to	describe	the	way	an	
                                                                object	influences	its	surrounding	area.		A	temperature	
Thus,	according	to	international	authoritative	agencies,	       field,	for	example,	surrounds	a	warm	object,	such	
the	cumulative	body	of	evidence	indicates	that	ELF-EMF	         as	a	space	heater.		EMFs	surround	any	object	that	is	
from	power	lines	does	not	have	any	adverse	effects	on	          generating,	transmitting	or	using	electricity,	including	
health	at	the	levels	below	ICNIRP	guidelines.		None	of	         appliances,	wiring,	office	equipment,	generators,	
these	scientific	agencies	considered	it	necessary	or	           batteries	and	any	other	electrical	devices.		EMFs	are	
appropriate	to	limit	the	construction	of	electric	facilities	   invisible	and	they	cannot	be	felt	or	heard.	
or	recommend	exposure	standards	below	the	1998	ICNIRP	
limits.		                                                       Electric	fields	occur	as	a	result	of	the	electric	potential	
                                                                (or	voltage)	on	these	objects,	and	magnetic	fields	occur	
The	precautionary	principle	is	a	framework	for	public	          as	a	result	of	current	flow	through	these	objects.		Just	
health	policy	decisions	in	areas	of	scientific	uncertainty,	    like	a	temperature	field,	electric	and	magnetic	fields	can	
which	states	that	where	uncertainty	exists	about	the	           be	measured	and	their	levels	depend	on,	among	other	
possible	effects	of	a	particular	exposure,	measures	            things:
should	be	taken	that	are	proportional	to	the	weight	of	the	
scientific	evidence.	In	areas	where	there	is	weak	evidence	        •	 Properties	of	the	source	of	the	field	(voltage,	
for	a	health	risk,	but	uncertainty	remains,	precautionary	            current,	configuration	and	geometry	of	tower	head,	
measures	should	be	low	in	cost	and	convenient.	In	the	                in	the	case	of	power	lines);	and
development	of	precautionary	approaches,	the	recent	
WHO	monograph	stated	that	electric	power	brings	                   •	 Distance	from	the	source	of	the	field.	
benefits	to	society	and	that	these	benefits	should	be	
considered	along	with	the	strength	of	the	scientific	           Both	electric	and	magnetic	fields	decrease	rapidly	with	
evidence	suggesting	adverse	health	effects.		Specifically,	     distance	from	the	source.		For	example,	a	magnetic	field	of	
the	WHO	concluded,	“Given the weakness of the evidence          100	µT	within	3	cm	of	a	microwave	oven	diminishes	to	0.1	
for a link between exposure to ELF magnetic fields and          µT	at	2	m	(Gauger,	1985).		This	is	similar	to	the	way	that	
childhood leukaemia and the limited potential impact            the	heat	from	a	candle	or	campfire	weakens	as	you	move	
on public health, the benefits of exposure reduction on         farther	away.		Although	ordinary	objects	do	not	block	
health are unclear and thus the cost of reducing exposure       magnetic	fields,	objects	such	as	trees	and	buildings	easily	
should be very low.”                                            block	electric	fields.		

EirGrid’s	standard	route	planning	criteria	generally	seek	      Both	electric	and	magnetic	fields	occur	naturally	in	our	
to	avoid	heavily	populated	areas	on	visual	and	amenity	         environment	and	even	in	our	own	bodies	as	part	of	the	
grounds.		Thus,	the	proposed	line	will	be	routed	as	far	        normal	functioning	of	our	cardiac	and	nervous	systems.		
from	existing	homes	as	is	reasonably	possible.	This	            The	earth’s	magnetic	field,	which	is	due	mainly	to	
approach	has	the	added	benefit	of	reducing	possible	ELF-        currents	circulating	in	the	outer	layer	of	the	earth’s	core,	
EMF	exposures	to	surrounding	communities,	consistent	           varies	between	about	30µT	(microTesla,	1000µT	=	1	mT,	
with	WHO	recommendations	for	low	cost	precautionary	            milliTesla)	at	the	equator	and	about	60µT	at	the	poles.		
measures.	The	proposed	line	will	also	be	in	compliance	
with	ICNIRP	standards.			                                       There	is	also	a	natural	electric	field	at	the	earth’s	
		                                                              surface	that	is	created	by	electric	charges	in	the	upper	
                                                                ionosphere.		These	electric	field	levels	vary	between	100	
                                                                and	150	volts	per	meter	(V/m)	in	good	weather.		Below	a	
                                                                storm	cloud	containing	large	quantities	of	electric	charge,	




                                                                                                                                73
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


     the	electric	field	may	reach	intensities	up	to	20,000	V/m	               oscillate	at	a	fixed	frequency	and	are	referred	to	as	
     over	flat	surfaces	and	can	be	considerably	higher	above	                 alternating	current	(AC)	fields.		In	Ireland,	the	AC	electric	
     hillocks	or	near	the	tops	of	objects	such	as	trees.		In	                 and	magnetic	fields	produced	by	the	power	system	vary	
     mountains,	for	instance,	these	fields	produce	electrical	                at	a	frequency	of	50-Hertz	(Hz)	(i.e.,	the	fields	alternate	
     discharges	and	crackling	noises	on	sharp	ridges	and	on	                  direction	and	intensity	back	and	forth	50	times	each	
     the	ends	of	ice	picks.		Sailors	throughout	the	centuries	                second).
     have	observed	this	same	phenomenon,	known	as	Saint	
     Elmo’s	Fire,	at	the	tops	of	ships’	masts.		The	cause	is	local	           Electric	and	magnetic	fields	are	produced	in	all	residential	
     ionisation	of	the	air	due	to	the	high	electric	field	level,	just	        and	working	environments	as	a	result	of	nearby	electrical	
     as	can	occur	at	the	surface	of	the	high	voltage	conductors	              wiring,	appliances,	and	power	lines,	among	other	things.		
     (i.e.,	the	corona	effect).	                                              In	many	cases,	domestic	electrical	appliances	and	tools	
                                                                              can	generate	much	higher	magnetic	and	electric	fields	in	
     Such	naturally	occurring	electric	and	magnetic	fields	                   their	close	proximity	than	transmission	lines	at	a	nominal	
     do	not	change	direction	and	are,	therefore,	referred	to	                 50-metres	(m)	distance.		A	comparison	of	the	predicted	
     as	static	or	direct	current	(DC)	fields.		DC	fields	differ	              electric	and	magnetic	field	levels	from	the	proposed	
     from	the	ELF-EMF	produced	by	the	power	system,	which	                    transmission	line	and	the	fields	measured	near	domestic	
                                                                              appliances	is	shown	in	Illustration	6.1.	While	Illustration	
                                                                              6.1	provides	valuable	perspective,	it	is	limited	by	several	
                                                                              differences	between	power	lines	and	appliances.	First,	
                                                                              magnetic	fields	are	only	associated	with	appliances	
                                                                              for	the	duration	that	the	appliance	or	tool	is	in	use,	
                                                                              while	power	lines	are	typically	in	service	at	all	times.		
                                                                              Furthermore,	the	field	levels	from	appliances	drop	off	at	a	
                                                                              faster	rate	with	distance,	compared	to	transmission	lines.

                                                                              Low	voltage	sources	such	as	appliances,	however,	
                                                                              contribute	significantly	to	our	overall	exposure.	In	a	recent	
                                                                              study	of	homes	in	the	UK,	for	example,	77%	of	homes	
                                                                              with	average	magnetic	field	levels	above	0.2	µT	and	57%	
                                                                              of	homes	with	average	magnetic	field	levels	above	0.4	
                                                                              µT	were	attributed	to	low	voltage	sources	(i.e.,wiring,	
                                                                              appliances,	and	distribution	circuits)	(Maslanyi	et	al.,	
                                                                              2007).
                                                                              		
                                                                              6.2.2	
                                                                              Electromagnetic	Spectrum
                                                                              ELF-EMF	is	part	of	the	electromagnetic	spectrum.	The	
                                                                              electromagnetic	spectrum	ranges	from	waves	with	low	
                                                                              frequencies	and	long	wavelengths	to	waves	with	high	
                                                                              frequencies	and	short	wavelengths	(Illustration	6.2).	At	
                                                                              the	low	frequency	end	are	ELF	EMF,	which	includes	50/60-
                                                                              Hz	“power	frequency”	EMF,	while	at	the	high	frequency	
                                                                              end	are	radio	and	microwaves,	infrared,	visible	and	ultra	
                                                                              violet	light,	x-rays	and	gamma	rays.

                                                                              The	frequency	of	EMF	produced	by	the	power	system	
                                                                              in	Ireland	is	50-Hz,	which	falls	in	the	ELF	category	on	
                                                                              the	electromagnetic	spectrum.	Fields	at	much	higher	
                                                                              frequencies	are	generated	by	other	devices,	e.g.	by	
                                                                              radio,	television	and	microwave	antennas.	Because	of	
                                                                              differences	in	energy,	wavelength	and	frequency,	these	
                                                                              higher	frequencies	interact	with	objects	and	people	in	a	
                                                                              different	way	than	power	frequency	EMF,	the	frequency	
     Illustration 6.1: Typical EMF values                                     of	electromagnetic	energy	is	a	key	factor	in	its	interaction	
     Source:http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Electro%20Magnetic%20Fields%20-%20
     EMF.pdf
                                                                              with	living	things.	




74
                                                                                          it	was	insufficient	to	establish	exposure	guidelines	on	
                                                                                          the	basis	of	long-term	health	effects	such	as	cancer;	on	
                                                                                          the	other	hand,	the	agency	found	sufficient	evidence	
                                                                                          for	short-term,	neurostimulatory	effects	at	very	high	
                                                                                          field	levels	and	exposure	guidelines	were	established	to	
                                                                                          prevent	against	this	effect.		

                                                                                          In	July	2009,	the	ICNIRP	published	a	draft	of	an	update	
                                                                                          to	their	1998	standard	for	public	comment.	The	update	
                                                                                          addresses	developments	in	exposure	dosimetry,	
                                                                                          experimental	studies,	and	epidemiologic	studies	(ICNIRP,	
                                                                                          2009).	The	2009	draft	document	did	not	recommend	any	
                                                                                          changes	to	the	Reference	Levels	(i.e.	guidelines)	used	
                                                                                          to	determine	compliance	with	limits	on	current	density	
                                                                                          within	tissues.

                                                                                          ICNIRP	set	the	Basic	Restrictions	for	the	induced	current	
                                                                                          density	in	the	central	nervous	system	as	10	mA/m2	and	2	
                                                                                          mA/m2,	respectively,	for	occupational	and	general	public	
                                                                                          exposure5.	Since	it	is	not	possible	to	directly	measure	
                                                                                          induced	current	density	(or	internal	electric	fields),	the	
                                                                                          ICNIRP	produced	Reference	Levels	for	both	electric	and	
                                                                                          magnetic	field	exposure,	which	are	assumed	to	correlate	
                                                                                          to	the	induced	current	density	restrictions	under	a	number	
                                                                                          of	suppositions.		The	Reference	Levels	for	residential	
                                                                                          and	occupational	magnetic	field	exposure	are	100	µT	and	
                                                                                          500	µT,	respectively,	and	5	kV/m	and	10	kV/m	for	electric	
                                                                                          field	exposure,	respectively6.	It	should	be	noted	that,	as	
                                                                                          adopted	in	the	EU,	these	exposure	guidelines	apply	only	
Illustration 6.2: Electromagnetic Spectrum                                                where	members	of	the	public	could	be	expected	to	spend	
Source: http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Electro%20Magnetic%20Fields%20-%20                   significant	periods	of	time	(EC,	1999).	
EMF.pdf
                                                                                          	
                                                                                          ICNIRP	and	the	UK’s	Health	Protection	Agency	(HPA)	state	
X-rays	and	gamma	rays,	for	example,	are	capable	of	                                       that,	if	the	calculated	or	measured	EMF	level	is	less	than	
ionising,	i.e.,	disrupting	individual	molecules	or	atoms	                                 the	Reference	Level,	compliance	with	the	basic	restriction	
and	damaging	living	material.	Radiofrequency	radiation	                                   can	be	assumed7.	If	the	calculated	or	measured	EMF	level	
has	wavelengths	on	the	order	of	centimetres	and	at	                                       is	greater	than	the	reference	level,	the	HPA	explains	that	
sufficiently	high	intensities	can	heat	tissues.	The	energy	                               this	does	not	necessarily	mean	that	the	Basic	Restriction	
associated	with	ELF-EMF	(which	has	a	wavelength	on	                                       is	exceeded.	The	HPA	states,	“These	[ICNIRP]	reference	
the	order	6,000	kilometres),	however,	is	not	sufficient	to	                               levels	are	not	limits,	but	are	values	that	should	trigger	
ionise	or	heat	molecules	or	atoms.	Therefore,	research	                                   further	investigation	into	compliance	with	the	exposure	
on	fields	with	frequencies	far	greater	than	60-Hz	is	not	                                 guidelines.”		
relevant	to	assessing	the	possible	health	effects	of	ELF-
EMF.                                                                                      The	HPA	recommends	that,	in	the	circumstance	where	
                                                                                          calculated	or	measured	EMF	levels	exceed	the	reference	
6.2.3	                                                                                    levels,	exposure	circumstances	should	be	examined	more	
                                                                                          closely	and	compliance	investigated	using	the	most	up-to-
Exposure	Guidelines	from	                                                                 date	dosimetry	methods.	The	HPA	cited	calculations	from	
International	Organisations                                                               several	studies	by	Dimbylow	et	al.,	published	and	peer-
                                                                                          reviewed	between	1998	and	2005,	which	demonstrate	
ICNIRP,	an	international	authoritative	organisation,	issued	                              an	electric	field	level	of	approximately	9	kV/m	and	a	
guidelines	for	exposure	to	time-varying	EMF	(up	to	300	                                   magnetic	field	level	of	360	µT	correspond	to	an	induced	
GHz),	including	power-frequency	exposure	limits,	in	1998	                                 current	density	of	2	mA/m.2.	The	HPA	stated,	“If	the	
(ICNIRP,	1998).		These	guidelines	formed	the	basis	of	the	                                results	of	the	field	assessments	are	at	or	below	these	
EU	guidelines	for	human	exposure	to	EMF	(EU,	1999).		The	                                 values,	then	compliance	with	the	basic	restrictions	can	be	
ICNIRP	reviewed	the	cumulative	research	and	concluded	                                    assumed.”		


5	 In	the	2009	draft	update,	ICNIRP	expressed	these	basic	restrictions	in	terms	of	the	electric	field	measured	in	tissue.		The	relationship	between	current	density	and	internal	
   electric	field	levelsin	tissue	is	given	by	Ohm’s	law	or	J	=	σ E,	where	J	is	expressed	in	mA/m2,	σ	in	S/m,	and	E	in	V/m.
6	 The	Reference	Levels	recommended	by	ICNIRP	as	guidelines	to	ensure	compliance	with	Basic	Restriction	on	exposures	to		electric	and	magnetic	fields	in	the	2009	draft	standard	
   are	the	same	as	in	the	previous	standard	published	in	1998.
7	 http://www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/understand/information_sheets/icnirp_exp_guidelines.htm
                                                                                                                                                                                    75
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


     6.3	                                                                                        methodology	(EPRI,	1982).	The	electric	and	magnetic	field	
                                                                                                 values	were	calculated	at	1m	above	ground	level	using	
     POTENTIAL	IMPACTS                                                                           the	parameters	outlined	in	Table	6.1.	The	maximum	EMF	
                                                                                                 levels	associated	with	the	proposed	400kV	and	220kV	
     During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	                                            lines	were	calculated	by	assuming	a	“maximum	normal	
     number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	                                     operating	phase	current”	of	2,163	amperes	(A),	which	
     notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	                                             corresponds	to	a	maximum	power	transfer	of	1500MVA.		
     evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	                             These	correspond	to	the	summer	ratings9	of	the	400kV	
     the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	                                  line.	The	calculations	show	categorically	that	the	EMF	
     the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	                                 levels	generated	from	the	proposed	line	will	fully	comply	
     been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	                                                with	the	ICNIRP	and	EU	EMF	exposure	guidelines.

     6.3.1	                                                                                      As	illustrated	graphically	in	Illustrations	6.3	to	6.6,	both	
                                                                                                 the	electric	and	magnetic	field	levels	decrease	sharply	
     EMF	Associated	with	the	                                                                    with	distance	from	the	line.	The	calculated	EMF	level	is	
                                                                                                 affected	not	only	by	lateral	distance	from	the	line,	but	also	
     Development                                                                                 by	the	height	of	the	conductors	overhead,	which	sag	more	
                                                                                                 with	increasing	temperature.	The	minimum	conductor	
     The	EMF	levels	associated	with	transmission	lines	are	
                                                                                                 height	above	ground	is	9m	for	400kV	lines.		Minimum	
     related	to	the	power	transfer	in	addition	to	the	prevailing	
                                                                                                 clearance	only	occurs	when	the	absolute	maximum	load	
     weather	conditions.	Higher	power	transfer	levels	increase	
                                                                                                 current	is	flowing,	with	an	ambient	air	temperature	of	
     the	conductor	temperature	and	hence	the	sag	of	the	
                                                                                                 25°C,	in	full	sunshine	and	with	no	wind.	These	conditions	
     conductor	due	to	thermal	expansion.	The	prevailing	
                                                                                                 are	clearly	unlikely	to	occur	simultaneously;	therefore,	
     weather	will	clearly	affect	the	conductor	temperature	(e.g.	
                                                                                                 EMF	calculations	are	also	presented	for	the	minimum	
     wind	blowing	on	the	conductor	will	have	cooling	affects).	
                                                                                                 ground	clearance	at	maximum	sag	under	normal	operating	
     EirGrid’s	method	for	calculating	the	conductor	thermal	
                                                                                                 conditions	(10.4m).		
     rating	may	be	termed	a	seasonal	based	deterministic	
     approach.		Thermal	rating	software	is	used	to	calculate	
                                                                                                 Table	6.2	shows	the	calculated	electric	and	magnetic	
     “ampacity”	limits	for	conductors,	which	correspond	to	
                                                                                                 field	levels	for	the	absolute	minimum	(9m)	and	normal	
     the	maximum	allowable	current	that	limits	conductor	
                                                                                                 minimum	(10.4m)	ground	clearances,	calculated	with	the	
     temperature	under	the	assumed	worst	cooling	conditions.	
                                                                                                 corresponding	load	currents,	directly	under	the	centre	
     The	maximum	operating	temperature	for	proposed	400kV	
                                                                                                 of	the	line,	at	25m,	50m	and	100m	lateral	distance	from	
     and	220kV	lines	is	80°C.	At	this	maximum	operating	
                                                                                                 the	centre	of	the	line.	Although	the	peak	electric	field	
     temperature,	the	minimum	ground	clearance	will	be	9m8	                                      value	from	the	proposed	line	at	9m	ground	clearance	
     and	8m	respectively.                                                                        exceeds	the	nominal	ICNIRP	5	kV/m	Reference	Level,	
                                                                                                 the	HPA-recommended	basic	restriction	of	2mA/m²	is	
     The	maximum	electric	and	magnetic	field	levels	expected	                                    not	exceeded.	These	guidelines,	along	with	the	values	
     to	be	associated	with	the	proposed	Moyhill	to	Border	                                       predicted	for	the	proposed	overhead	line,	are	presented	
     (Lemgare)	400kV	transmission	line	were	calculated	                                          graphically	in	Illustrations	6.3	to	6.6.
     using	computer	software	and	conservative	assumptions	
     based	on	the	Electric	Power	Research	Institute	Red	Book	


                                                               Parameters	for	400kV	EMF	Calculations10

        Peak	load	(under	exceptional	system	conditions)                                                                                                   1,500MVA

        Peak	load	(under	‘system	normal’	conditions)                                                                                                      750MVA

        Typical	daily	peak                                                                                                                                500MVA

        Maximum	operating	voltage	-	to	be	applied	when	calculating	the	electric	field	strength                                                            420kV

        Normal	operating	voltage		-	to	be	applied	when	calculating	the	magnetic	field	strength                                                            400kV

     Table 6.1: Parameters for 400kV EMF Calculations10


     8	 The	actual	minimum	ground	clearance	will	be	greater	than	9m	due	to	the	fact	that	the	full	capacity	of	the	conductor	will	not	be	used.		The	substation	equipment	limits	the	trans-
        fer	capacity	to	1500MVA.
     9	 EirGrid’s	thermal	rating	practice	is	to	calculate	seasonal	ratings	ie	Spring,	Summer,	Autumn	and	Winter	ratings	values	advised	to	ESBI	by	EirGrid,	September	2009.
     10	 Values	advised	to	EJBI	by	EirGrid,	September	2009
76
Illustration 6.3: Electric field strength underneath the proposed 400kV single circuit line at different line loads




Illustration 6.4: Magnetic field strength underneath the proposed 400kV single line for different line loads




                                                                                                                      77
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields




     Illustration 6.5: Electric field strength underneath the proposed 400kV double circuit line at different line loads




     Illustration 6.6: Magnetic field strength underneath the proposed 400kV double circuit line for different line loads




78
   Exposure	Characteristics                                              Electric	Field	Strength	(kV/m)      Magnetic	Flux	Density,	(μT)

   ICNIRP

   -Occupational	Reference	Level                                                      10                                 500

   -General	Public	Reference	Level	
                                                                                       5                                 100
   (up	to	24	hr/day)

   -	General	Public	Basic	Restrictions11                                               9                                 360

Table 6.2: ICNIRP 50-Hz EMF Exposure Guidelines (1998)


                                                                 400kV	Double	Circuit                        400kV	Single	Circuit

                                                        Electric	Field	                               Electric	Field	
                                                                                 Magnetic	Flux	                            Magnetic	Flux	
   Location	                                              Strength	                                     Strength	
                                                                                 Density	(uT)                              Density	(uT)
                                                           (kV/m)                                        (kV/m)

   Peak	Level                                                  8.8                    39.4                 7.8                  46.7

   Under	the	Line	(100%	load)                                  3.8                    39.4                 0.9                  45.9

   Under	the	Line	(33%	load)                                    3.5                   16.7                 0.8                  13.3

   25m	from	the	Line	(100%	load)                                1.1                    8.4                  1.8                 12.1

   25m	from	the	Line	(33%	load)                                 1.0                    3.9                  1.8                  3.8

   50m	from	the	Line	(100%	load)                               0.2                     1.6                 0.2                   3.0

   50m	from	the	line	(33%	load)                                0.2                     0.8                 0.2                   3.0

   85m	from	the	Line	(100%	load)                                0.1                    0.4                  0.1                  1.1

   85m	from	the	Line	(33%	load)                                 0.1                    0.2                  0.1                  0.3

Table 6.3: Predicted EMF Values for Proposed Overhead Lines

A	peak	electric	field	of	8.8	kV/m	as	outlined	in	Table	                           than	the	Basic	Restriction	recommended	for	continuous	
6.3		occurs	underneath	the	Moyhill	to	Border	(Lemgare)	                           exposure	for	the	general	public.	At	50	metres	from	the	line	
400kV	transmission	line	on	the	double	circuit	section.	                           centre,	the	magnetic	field	is	3.0	µT.	Again	both	of	these	
At	50	metres	from	the	line	centre,	the	electric	field	is	0.2	                     figures	are	based	on	maximum	line	load	in	combination	
kV/m.		Both	of	these	figures	are	based	on	maximum	line	                           with	least	favourable	environmental	(weather)	conditions.
load	in	combination	with	least	favourable	environmental	
(weather)	conditions.

The	maximum	magnetic	field	underneath	the	400kV	line	
is	46.7µT	as	addressed	in	Table	6.3	and	is	associated	with	
the	single	circuit	sections.	This	value	is	considerably	less	




11	Values	from	peer-reviewed	and	HPA-endorsed	publication	by	Dimbylow	(2005).
                                                                                                                                                 79
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


     6.3.2	                                                         disease).	A	statistical	association	reported	in	a	single	
                                                                    study	does	not	provide	definitive	information	about	a	
     EMF	and	Health	Studies                                         cause	and	effect	relationship;	rather,	it’s	a	single	piece	
                                                                    of	information	in	a	large	body	of	evidence	for	a	possible	
     Questions	about	the	possible	health	effects	of	power	          cause-and-effect	relationship.	Each	study	has	strengths	
     frequency	fields	can	be	traced	back	to	the	early	1970s.		      and	limitations	that	need	to	be	evaluated	to	determine	
     Extensive	studies	around	the	world	ensued	and	were	            what	information	the	study	provides	and	the	weight	that	
     initially	concentrated	on	the	electric	field	and	its	          should	be	placed	on	that	information.	Just	like	any	area	of	
     influence.	No	adverse	health	effects	related	to	electric	      health	research,	all	of	the	epidemiology	studies	need	to	
     field	exposures	on	people,	farm	animals	or	crops	were	         be	considered	together	to	come	to	a	conclusion	about	a	
     identified.	                                                   possible	association,	or	statistical	link,	between	exposure	
                                                                    and	disease.		
     During	the	late	1970s	and	early	1980s,	interest	in	electric	
     fields	waned	and	was	replaced	by	questions	about	              Scientists	also	consider	animal	studies	(in	vivo)	and	
     magnetic	fields,	stimulated	particularly	by	the	results	       studies	in	cells	and	tissues	(in	vitro)	to	evaluate	whether	
     of	several	studies	which	suggested	that	children	with	         the	data	from	these	studies	supports	a	cause-and-effect	
     cancer	were	more	likely	to	live	near	low-voltage	and	          relationship.		In	vivo	studies,	for	example,	expose	animals	
     medium-voltage	overhead	distribution	wires.	The	effort	        to	very	high	levels	of	magnetic	fields	and	provide	valuable	
     devoted	to	animal	and	cellular	studies	also	increased	in	      information	about	whether	the	exposure	is	related	to	the	
     the	1990s	due	in	large	part	to	a	considerable	investment	      disease	because,	since	the	studies	are	highly	controlled,	
     by	the	U.S.	government	in	the	form	of	a	program	referred	      the	influence	of	other	factors	can	be	largely	eliminated.	
     to	as	the	Electric	and	Magnetic	Fields	Research	and	Public	
     Information	Dissemination	(EMF	RAPID)	Program.	More	
     recently,	research	programs	funded	by	several	European	        6.3.3	
     countries	and	the	EU	have	continued	research	on	this	          Brief	Summary	of	Findings
     topic.	Research	on	humans,	animals,	and	cells	was	
     conducted	through	the	twentieth	century	and	continues	         Some	epidemiologic	studies	have	reported	statistical	
     today.	Thus,	over	the	past	30	years,	a	large	amount	of	        associations	between	estimates	of	higher	magnetic	
     research	has	been	conduced	on	EMF	worldwide	both	in	           field	exposure	and	cancer,	while	other	epidemiologic	
     people	(i.e.	epidemiology	studies)	and	in	the	laboratory	      investigations	have	not	reported	statistical	associations.		
     (i.e.,	animal	and	cell	studies).	                              When	the	data	from	a	group	of	studies	on	childhood	
                                                                    leukaemia	and	magnetic	field	exposure	were	pooled	
     The	way	scientists	evaluate	whether	a	possible	health	risk	    together,	a	weak	statistical	association	was	reported	
     exists	is	to	examine	the	research	in	a	weight	of	evidence	     between	childhood	leukaemia	and	average	exposures	
     review.	A	weight-of-evidence	review	evaluates	the	entire	      greater	than	0.3-0.4µT	(Ahlbom	et	al.,	2000;	Greenland	et	
     body	of	evidence,	giving	more	weight	to	studies	of	            al.,	2000).	The	epidemiologic	data	is	less	consistent	for	
     better	quality.	Numerous	independent	scientific	panels,	       other	childhood	and	adult	cancers.	
     consisting	of	scientists	with	knowledge	in	the	relevant	
     disciplines,	have	been	organised	to	conduct	weight	of	         Studies	of	laboratory	animals	exposed	to	high	levels	
     evidence	reviews.                                              of	magnetic	fields	for	their	entire	lifespan	have	not	
                                                                    demonstrated	that	exposed	animals	develop	cancer,	
     A	large	number	of	epidemiologic	investigations	have	           including	leukaemia,	at	a	greater	rate	than	unexposed	
     calculated	statistical	associations	between	estimated	         animals.		In	addition,	studies	in	cells	and	tissues	have	
     exposure	to	magnetic	fields	and	a	variety	of	diseases	         not	demonstrated	that	magnetic	field	exposures	cause	
     (including	childhood	cancers,	adult	leukaemia,	lymphoma,	      changes	to	normal	cells	that	appear	to	initiate	disease.	
     brain	cancer,	and	breast	cancer,	neurodegenerative	
     diseases,	cardiovascular	disease,	and	miscarriage).	           With	regard	to	non-cancerous	outcomes,	no	consistent	
                                                                    statistical	association	has	been	reported	between	
     A	statistical	association	is	simply	a	measure	of	how	often	    magnetic	fields	and	cardiovascular	outcomes	or	
     a	disease	and	exposure	occur	together	(e.g.	high-fat	          miscarriage.	A	statistical	association	has	been	observed,	
     diets	and	cardiovascular	disease),	with	statistics	used	       however,	between	estimates	of	higher	occupational	
     to	estimate	the	probability	that	the	association	would	        magnetic	field	exposure	and	two	neurodegenerative	
     occur	upon	repeated	testing.	Exposures	and	diseases	           disorders	–	Alzheimer’s	disease	and	Amyotrophic	Lateral	
     may	occur	together	more	often	than	expected	(i.e.	a	           Sclerosis	(ALS).		Experimental	studies	in	animals	have	
     positive	association	such	as	that	observed	for	high-fat	       not	provided	consistent	evidence	of	a	relationship	
     diets	and	cardiovascular	diseases),	or	they	may	occur	         between	magnetic	field	exposure	and	the	development	or	
     together	less	often	than	expected	(e.g.	a	negative	or	         progression	of	neurodegenerative	diseases.			
     protective	association	such	as	exercise	and	cardiovascular	




80
6.3.4	                                                         concluded	that	there	is	“inadequate”	data	in	support	of	
                                                               an	association	between	magnetic	fields	and	Alzheimer’s	
Conclusions	of	International	                                  disease	or	ALS.	The	panel	recommended	more	research	in	
                                                               this	area	using	better	methods.	
Review	Bodies
                                                               Because	no	adverse	health	effects	in	humans	have	
The	IARC	routinely	reviews	research	on	chemical	and	
                                                               been	established	at	the	EMF	levels	typically	found	in	
other	substances	to	determine	the	strength	of	the	
                                                               our	environments,	scientific	organisations,	including	
evidence	in	support	of	these	exposures	as	a	cause	of	
                                                               the	WHO,	have	not	recommended	exposure	standards	
cancer.		The	organisation	uses	a	standard	method	for	
                                                               at	these	levels	or	drastic	steps	to	reduce	the	public’s	
classifying	chemicals	based	on	their	carcinogenicity,	with	
                                                               exposures.
categories	including	carcinogen,	probable	carcinogen,	
possible	carcinogen,	not	classifiable,	and	probably	not	
a	carcinogen.	Approximately	80%	of	the	substances	             6.3.5	
fall	into	the	categories	of	“possible	carcinogen”	or	“not	
classifiable”	due	to	the	uncertain	and	evolving	nature	        Conclusions	of	Governmental	Bodies
of	science.	In	2002,	the	IARC	reviewed	the	existing	body	
of	scientific	research	and	classified	ELF	magnetic	fields	     The	conclusions	of	governmental	bodies	and	advisors	in	
as	“possibly	carcinogenic”	on	the	basis	of	“inadequate”	       the	jurisdictions	where	the	proposed	Moyhill	to	Border	
epidemiologic	evidence	for	most	types	of	cancer	               (Lemgare)	400kV	transmission	line	will	be	developed	are	
and	“inadequate”	evidence	in	animals,	but	“limited”	           noted	herein.
epidemiologic	evidence	for	childhood	leukaemia.		The	
IARC	panel	concluded	that	the	evidence	on	ELF	electric	        In	March	2007,	the	DCMNR	published	a	Q&A	document	
fields	was	“inadequate”	to	classify	these	fields,	due	to	      entitled	“Health	Effects	of	Electromagnetic	Fields,”	
either	inconsistent	or	insufficient	scientific	information.    which	was	compiled	by	an	international	expert	panel.	
                                                               The	conclusions	of	this	document	were	consistent	
The	WHO	EMF	Task	Group	had	a	broader	remit	than	IARC,	         with	reviews	by	the	IARC,	WHO	and	other	national	and	
in	that	it	considered	all	health	effects,	but	for	cancerous	   international	agencies.		In	relation	to	ELF-EMF,	the	panel	
endpoints	focused	on	studies	published	after	the	IARC	         concluded;
review	in	2002.		In	June	2007,	the	Task	Group	concluded	
that	there	are	no	substantive	health	issues	related	to	           “There is limited scientific evidence of an
ELF	electric	fields	at	the	levels	generally	encountered	          association between ELF magnetic fields and
by	members	of	the	public	and	did	not	recommend	                   childhood leukaemia. This does not mean
future	epidemiologic	research	related	to	electric	fields.	        that ELF magnetic fields cause cancer, but
Furthermore,	the	Task	Group	concluded	that	recent	                the possibility cannot be excluded. However
studies	did	not	change	the	IARC	classification	of	ELF	            considerable research carried out in laboratories
magnetic	fields	as	“possibly	carcinogenic”	based	on	              has not supported this possibility, and overall
limited	epidemiologic	evidence	related	to	childhood	              the evidence is considered weak, suggesting it is
leukaemia	and	inadequate	evidence	from	in	vivo	studies.	          unlikely that ELF magnetic fields cause leukaemia
The	WHO	panel	recognised	the	statistical	association	             in children. Nevertheless the evidence should not
between	childhood	leukaemia	and	estimates	of	exposure	            be discounted and so no or low cost precautionary
to	high	levels	of	magnetic	fields,	but	could	not	rule	out	        measures to lower people’s exposure to these
the	possible	effect	of	other	factors	(chance,	bias	and	           fields have been suggested.”
confounding)	on	these	results.	Thus,	when	the	limited	
epidemiologic	data	was	considered	along	with	the	largely	      The	HPA	consists	of	independent	advisors	to	the	UK	
negative	findings	from	experimental	studies,	the	WHO	          government.		In	their	review	and	advice	on	limiting	EMF	
panel	stated	that	the	cumulative	evidence	was	not	strong	      exposure	in	2004,	the	HPA	stated	the	following:	
enough	to	conclude	that	magnetic	fields	are	a	known	or	
likely	cause	of	childhood	leukaemia.	                             “The epidemiological evidence that time-weighted
                                                                  average exposure to power frequency magnetic
With	regard	to	neurodegenerative	diseases,	the	WHO	               fields above 0.4 µT is associated with a small
discussed	the	statistical	association	observed	in	many	of	        absolute raised risk of leukaemia in children is,
the	studies	between	occupational	magnetic	field	exposure	         at present, an observation for which there is no
and	mortality	from	Alzheimer’s	disease	and	ALS.	They	             sound scientific explanation. There is no clear
noted,	however,	that	the	design	and	methods	of	these	             evidence of a carcinogenic effect of ELF EMFs in
studies	were	weak	and	chance,	bias	and	confounding	               adults and no plausible biological explanation
could	not	be	ruled	out.	As	a	result,	the	WHO	panel	               of the association that can be obtained from




                                                                                                                             81
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


        experiments with animals or from cellular and                  •	 Changes	to	engineering	practices	to	reduce	ELF	
        molecular studies. Alternative explanations for                   exposure	from	equipment	or	devices	should	
        this epidemiological association are possible: for                be	considered,	provided	that	they	yield	other	
        example, potential bias in the selection of control               additional	benefits,	such	as	greater	safety	or	
        children with whom leukaemia cases were in                        involve	little	or	no	cost.
        some studies and chance variations resulting from
        small numbers of individuals affected. Thus any                •	 When	changes	to	existing	ELF	sources	are	
        judgements developed on the assumption that the                   contemplated,	ELF	field	reductions	should	be	
        association is causal would be subject to a very                  considered	alongside	safety,	reliability,	and	
        high level of uncertainty.”                                       economic	aspects.

     The	HPA	also	advised	that,	“having	considered	the	totality	       •	 Local	authorities	should	enforce	wiring	regulations	
     of	the	scientific	evidence	in	the	light	of	uncertainty	and	          to	reduce	unintentional	ground	currents	when	
     the	need	for	a	cautious	approach,”	it	recommends	that	               building	new	or	rewiring	existing	facilities,	while	
     restrictions	on	EMF	should	be	based	on	ICNIRP	guidelines.	  	        maintaining	safety.	
     It	also	recommended	evaluating	the	need	and	extent	for	
     precautionary	measures.		This	recommendation	resulted	            •	 Proactive	measures	to	identify	violations	or	existing	
     in	the	creation	of	a	group	referred	to	as	Stakeholder	               problems	in	wiring	would	be	expensive	and	unlikely	
     Advisory	Group	on	ELF	EMFs	(SAGE),	which	is	discussed	               to	be	justified.
     further.
                                                                       •	 National	authorities	should	implement	an	effective	
                                                                          and	open	communication	strategy	to	enable	
     6.3.6	                                                               informed	decision-making	by	all	stakeholders;	this	
     Precautionary	Recommendations                                        should	include	information	on	how	individuals	can	
                                                                          reduce	their	own	exposure.	
     The	precautionary	principle	refers	to	the	idea	that,	when	
     there	is	any	scientific	uncertainty	about	whether	an	             •	 Local	authorities	should	improve	planning	of	
     exposure	is	a	cause	of	a	particular	disease,	precautionary	          ELF	EMF-emitting	facilities,	including	better	
     measures	may	be	taken	that	are	proportional	to	the	                  consultation	between	industry,	local	government,	
     perceived	level	of	risk,	with	science	as	the	basis	for	              and	citizens	when	siting	major	ELF	EMF-emitting	
     measuring	that	risk.	A	key	element	of	the	precautionary	             sources.	
     approach	is	the	recognition	that	a	real	risk	from	the	
     exposure	may	not	exist	and,	as	a	result,	reductions	in	           •	 Government	and	industry	should	promote	
     exposure	may	not	reduce	the	level	of	adverse	effects	                research	programs	to	reduce	the	uncertainty	of	the	
     in	the	population.	The	recommendations	of	the	WHO,	                  scientific	evidence	on	the	health	effects	of	ELF	field	
     DCMNR,	and	HPA	with	regard	to	appropriate	precautionary	             exposure.	(adapted	from	pp.	372-373,	WHO	2007).
     measures	given	the	current	state	of	the	science	are	noted	
     herein.	                                                        In	summary,	the	general	recommendation	of	the	WHO	is	
                                                                     as	follows:	
     The	WHO	recommended	the	following	precautionary	
     measures:	                                                         “electric power brings obvious health, social
                                                                        and economic benefits, and precautionary
        •	 Countries	are	encouraged	to	adopt	international	             approaches should not compromise these
           science-based	guidelines.                                    benefits. Furthermore, given both the weakness
                                                                        of the evidence for a link between exposure to ELF
        •	 Provided	that	the	health,	social,	and	economic	              magnetic fields and childhood leukaemia, and the
           benefits	of	electric	power	are	not	compromised,	             limited impact on public health if there is a link,
           implementing	very	low-cost	precautionary	                    the benefits of exposure reduction on health are
           procedures	to	reduce	exposures	is	reasonable	and	            unclear. Thus the costs of precautionary measures
           warranted.                                                   should be very low.”	

        •	 Policy-makers	and	community	planners	should	              The	DCMNR	report	stated	the	following	with	regard	to	
           implement	very	low-cost	measures	when	                    precautionary	measures:
           constructing	new	facilities	and	designing	new	
           equipment	including	appliances.                              “As	a	precautionary	measure	future	power	lines	
                                                                        and	power	installations	should	be	sited	away	




82
   from	heavily	populated	areas	to	keep	exposures	
   to	people	low.	The	evidence	for	50Hz	magnetic	
                                                               6.4	
   fields	causing	childhood	leukaemia	is	too	weak	to	          MITIGATION	MEASURES
   require	re-routing	of	existing	lines,	and	so	these	
   measures	should	only	apply	to	new	lines.”	
                                                               6.4.1	
The	SAGE	was	established	in	the	UK	to	bring	together	          EirGrid’s	EMF	Policy
stakeholders	to	discuss	the	precautionary	approach	to	
ELF-EMF	and	provide	advice	to	the	UK	Government.		SAGE	        EirGrid	regards	the	protection	of	the	health,	safety	and	
issued	an	interim	report	in	April	2007,	which	made	two	        welfare	of	its	staff	and	the	general	public	as	a	core	
relevant	precautionary	recommendations:                        company	value	in	all	of	its	activities.		It	is	EirGrid’s	policy	
                                                               to	design	and	operate	the	network	to	the	highest	safety	
   •	 Provide	more	information	to	home	owners;	and             standards	and	to	continually	review	and	update	standards	
                                                               in	light	of	new	developments	and	research	findings.
   •	 Design	power	lines	to	minimise	magnetic	fields	
      (transposed	phasing).                                    EirGrid’s	position	on	ELF-EMF	and	health	is	based	solely	
                                                               on	the	conclusions	and	recommendations	of	established	
The	interim	report	also	discussed	another	precautionary	       national	and	international	health	and	scientific	agencies	
option	of	“power	corridors,”	defined	as	60	metre	              that	have	reviewed	the	body	of	literature.		These	panels	
exclusion	zones	from	the	centre	of	any	new	high	               have	consistently	concluded	that	the	research	does	not	
voltage	transmission	line	to	homes	or	schools.	SAGE	           suggest	that	ELF-EMF	causes	any	adverse	health	effects	at	
did	not	formally	recommend	this	option,	nor	has	               the	levels	encountered	in	our	everyday	environment	and	
any	governmental	organization	recognised	SAGE’s	               compliance	with	the	existing	ICNIRP	standards	provides	
recommendations	or	options.	A	cost-benefit	analysis	by	        sufficient	public	health	protection.		
SAGE	shows	that	the	cost	of	such	power	corridors	could	
be	up	to	billions	of	pounds.		This	analysis	provides	the	UK	   EirGrid	recognises	that	some	individuals	are	genuinely	
Government	with	the	necessary	information	to	evaluate	         concerned	about	issues	regarding	electric	and	magnetic	
whether	power	corridors	would	be	a	proportionate	              fields	and	health.		EirGrid	is	committed	to	addressing	
response	in	the	absence	of	any	strong	or	conclusive	           these	concerns	by	continuing	to:
scientific	evidence	of	adverse	health	effects	of	ELF-EMF.	
The	HPA	has	expressed	support	for	the	precautionary	              •	 Design	and	operate	the	transmission	system	
recommendations	of	SAGE	and	agrees	that	the	power	                   in	accordance	with	the	most	up-to-date	
corridor	option	is	not	justified	on	the	basis	of	existing	           recommendations	and	guidelines	of	the	various	
information	(HPA,	2007).                                             independent	international	bodies;							

EirGrid’s	standard	route	planning	criteria	complies	with	         •	 Closely	monitor	and	support	engineering	and	
all	authoritative	international	and	national	guidelines	for	         scientific	research	in	this	area;	and
ELF-EMF	exposure	and	generally	seeks	to	avoid	heavily	
populated	areas	on	visual	and	amenity	grounds.	Thus,	the	         •	 Provide	advice	and	information	to	the	general	
proposed	line	will	be	routed	as	far	from	existing	homes	             public	and	to	staff	on	this	issue.
as	is	reasonably	possible.	EirGrid’s	goal	of	locating	the	
centre	of	the	proposed	line	more	than	50	m	from	existing	
residences	has	been	substantially	met.                         6.4.2	
                                                               Overall	Conclusions	
                                                               of	Mitigation	Measures
                                                               The	current	scientific	consensus,	as	expressed	most	
                                                               recently	by	the	WHO,	is	that	the	research	does	not	
                                                               suggest	that	ELF-EMF	causes	any	health	effects	at	
                                                               the	levels	typically	encountered	in	our	environments.	
                                                               Authoritative	scientific	organisations	have	not	
                                                               recommended	exposure	limits	at	these	levels	or	drastic	
                                                               steps	to	reduce	our	exposures.		




                                                                                                                                  83
     6 Electric & Magnetic Fields


     The	electric	and	magnetic	fields	expected	to	be	associated	
     with	the	operation	of	the	proposed	400kV	line	comply	
                                                                     6.5	
     with	the	ICNIRP	and	EU	guidelines	on	exposure	of	the	           RESIDUAL	IMPACTS
     general	public	to	ELF-EMF.	EirGrid	will	continue	to	base	its	
     EMF	policy	on	the	latest	international	scientific	research	     Adherence	to	the	mitigation	measures	will	ensure	
     and	policy	in	this	area.		                                      that	there	are	no	residual	impacts	associated	with	the	
                                                                     proposed	development.
     Further	information	on	EMF	can	be	found	on	the	following	
     Internet	sites:	
                                                                     6.6	
     EirGrid’s	website:                                              INTERRELATIONSHIPS	AND	
     http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Electro%20Magnetic%20              ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS
     Fields%20-%20EMF.pdf
                                                                     This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	2	
     WHO	EMF	web	site:                                               Part	A,	Chapter	5	Human	Beings	for	a	full	understanding	
                                                                     of	the	main	interactions	between	these	environmental	
     http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs322/en/             topics.
     index.html

     Electricity	Association	web	site:

     http://2009.energynetworks.org/electric-magnetic-fields-
     emfs/




84
85
86
        Chapter 7


Flora & Fauna
                              7

        Meath-Tyrone	400kV
Interconnection	Development


                              87
     7 Flora & Fauna


     7.1	                                                           In	relation	to	Fauna

     INTRODUCTION                                                      •	 Disturbance	during	construction	and/or	operation;	
                                                                          and
     7.1.1	                                                            •	 Obstruction	of	animal	movements.	
     Background
                                                                    In	relation	to	Flora
     This	chapter	assesses	the	ecological	impacts	arising	
     from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	line	               •	 Disturbance	during	site	clearance	and/or	
     and	associated	development	(including	the	upgrade	of	                operation;	and
     Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	
     site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	for	       •	 Accidental	habitat	loss	impacts	(especially	due	to	
     a	new	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	                        leakages).

     The	final	assessment	of	the	EIS	follows	on	from	previous	      In	relation	to	Water
     assessments	including	a	preliminary	ecology	constraints	
     report	that	considered	alternative	1km	route	corridors	and	       •	 Interference	with	water	courses	during	
     the	potential	impacts	on	the	ecological	value	of	a	wider	            construction;	and	
     study	area.	The	selection	of	the	preferred	1km	route	was	
     considered	in	the	context	of	nature	conservation	interests	       •	 Ground/surface	water	quality	impairment	due	to	
     and	designations,	potential	impacts,	consultations	with	             leakages.
     statutory	bodies	and	other	parties	and	other	information	
     available.		The	selection	process	of	the	preferred	1km	        Section	3,	Type	20	also	draws	attention	to	the	principal	
     route	corridor	which	also	took	cognisance	of	other	            mitigation	measures	being:
     constraints,	is	described	in	the	“Constraints	Report”,	July	
     2007.                                                             •	 Routing	alternatives;

     The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	            •	 Design	alternatives	(materials,	insulation,	
     area	than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	               structures	etc.);
     of	approximately	250m	either	side	of	the	alignment	
     for	habitats,	mammals,	species	and	fisheries,	1km	for	            •	 Choice	of	construction	season	(with	reference	to	
     breeding	birds,	lakes,	rivers	and	5km	for	wintering	birds	           flora	and	fauna);
     and	ecological	designations.
                                                                       •	 Height	of	structures;	and
     For	a	list	of	reports	referenced	in	this	chapter	refer	
     to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.1	“Flora	&	Fauna	                  •	 Use	of	light	construction	machinery	necessitating	
     References”.                                                         less	clearance	and	ground	disturbance	than	
                                                                          conventional	plant.
     7.1.2	
     Scope	of	the	Assessment                                        7.1.2.2	
                                                                    Scope	of	the	ecological	assessment
     7.1.2.1	                                                       This	chapter	summarises	the	results	of	the	ecological	
     Typical	concerns	arising	in	relation	                          assessment	undertaken	for	the	proposed	Moyhill	to	
                                                                    Woodland	400kV	section	of	the	Meath	–	Tyrone	400kV	
     to	ecology	and	overhead	                                       Interconnection	Development.	It	also	assesses	the	
     transmission	lines                                             potential	impacts	on	ecology	and	nature	conservation	
                                                                    within	the	study	area	as	a	result	of	the	construction	
     Section	3,	Type	20	developments	(which	includes	               and	operation	of	the	transmission	line	and	mitigation	
     overhead	lines)	of	the	EPA’s	“Advice	Note	on	Current	          measures	are	suggested	where	appropriate.	A	full	
     Practice	in	the	Preparation	of	Environmental	Impact	           description	of	the	proposed	development	which	stretches	
     Statements”	(page	99)	notes	that	the	typical	potential	        approximately	57km	is	provided	in	this	Volume	(Volume	2	
     effects	of	this	type	of	project	on	ecology	and	ecological	     Part	A,	Chapter	4)	of	the	EIS.	
     resources	are:




88
Additional	areas	such	as	lakes	within	1km	of	the	line	route	                                transboundary	impacts,	and	other	developments	(as	
and	some	wetland,	bog	and	rivers	were	also	checked	                                         appropriate)	are	also	considered.
outside	the	immediate	study	area.	The	Whooper	Swan	
study	extended	beyond	this	survey	area	and	included	all	
line	route	options	(1,	2,	3A	and	3B).
                                                                                            7.1.2.3	
                                                                                            Issues	of	concern	highlighted	during	
The	study	area	in	this	assessment	is	often	referred	to	as	
the	“	works	site”.	The	works	site	refers	to	the	works	area	                                 the	constraint	study	and	scoping
including	locations	for	siting	towers,	the	area	where	the	
transmission	line	will	be	“strung”	across,	and	the	overall	                                 Following	from	scoping	carried	out	by	TOBIN	Consulting	
works	areas	for	construction	and	accessing	the	line.	                                       Engineers	during	the	initial	constraints	study	(July	
This	study	area	is	the	focus	of	this	chapter	as	this	area	is	                               2007)12	and	subsequent	formal	scoping,	the	main	issues	
where	detectable	impacts	to	ecology	are	potentially	most	                                   of	concern	in	relation	to	ecological	impacts	are	outlined	
likely	(outside	Whooper	Swan	issues).		                                                     herein.	

This	ecological	assessment	was	conducted	in	accordance	                                     Alternatives
with	Institute	of	Ecology	and	Environmental	Management	
(IEEM)	guidelines.                                                                          Alternatives	to	the	development	and	alternative	routes	for	
                                                                                            the	transmission	line	were	considered	during	the	course	
Ecological	field	surveys	and	assessments	within	the	wider	                                  of	the	preliminary	studies.	The	rationale	for	selection	of	
study	area,	were	undertaken	to	inform	the	EIA.		Between	                                    the	preferred	1km	wide	corridor,	over	the	alternatives,	
July	and	September	2008	and	again	between	April	and	                                        was	based	on	a	wide	range	of	criteria	including	ecology.	
June	2009	surveys	were	conducted	to	obtain	information	                                     Also	regarded	was	how	each	1km	wide	corridor	would	
about	habitats,	breeding	birds	and	protected	mammals	                                       have	the	least	impact	on	designated	areas	and	species	
and	flora.	Extensive	wintering	bird	studies	have	also	been	                                 of	conservation	interest	by	avoidance	where	possible	(a)	
conducted	to	date	during	winter	2007/2008	(Wintering	                                       designated	areas	(cSAC,	NHAs	and	SPAs),	(b)	established	
Survey	Period	1)	and	winter	2008/2009	(Wintering	                                           known	flight	paths	of	sensitive	bird	species	and	(c)	
Survey	Period	2).		Further	winter	bird	survey	work	has	                                     fisheries.	
commenced	for	2009/2010	(Wintering	Survey	Period	
3)	and	will	continue	monthly	for	the	entire	period	when	                                    All	corridors	posed	potential	impacts	to	ecology,	including	
Whooper	Swans	are	present.		                                                                the	selected	corridor,	which	poses	a	number	of	risks	
                                                                                            detailed	herein.		Specific	ecological	issues	had	to	be	
Refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.2	“Flora	&	                                            balanced,	taking	into	account	other	constraints	such	as	
Fauna	Plates	of	Survey	Area”,	Areas	of	scientific	and/                                      landscape,	soils,	water,	cultural	heritage,	and	human	
or	conservation	interest,	as	well	as	the	presence	of	                                       beings	(farming	operations	and	residential	areas).	
protected	plant	and	animal	species	within	the	vicinity	of	                                  Appropriate	mitigation	has	been	incorporated	into	the	
the	proposed	development	site	were	investigated.	On	the	                                    project	design	to	minimise	significant	ecological	risks,	as	
basis	of	consideration	of	the	interactions	of	these	factors,	                               far	as	possible.
the	predicted	impact	of	the	development	is	assessed.	
                                                                                            Nature	conservation	designated	sites
Minor	modifications	to	the	line	route	have	been	
recommended	following	the	ecology	survey	work	to	avoid	                                     The	proposed	alignment	will	avoid	EU	designated	Special	
ecological	features	of	note	identified	during	the	survey,	                                  Protection	Areas	for	Birds	(SPA)	and	National	Heritage	
thereby	further	minimising	ecological	impacts.	Mitigation	                                  Areas	(NHAs)	designated	under	the	Irish	Wildlife	Act	
is	also	provided	to	include	validation	monitoring	and	                                      (2000).	The	alignment	will	require	two	crossings	of	the	
investigations	for	protected	mammals	in	the	works	area,	                                    River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	candidate	Special	Area	for	
where	possible	breeding	sites	may	exist	between	now	                                        Conservation	(cSAC).	Mitigation	is	detailed	that	seeks	
and	commencement	of	construction.	Where	minor	route	                                        to	avoid	risks	to	the	cSAC	conservation	objectives.	River	
changes	are	required,	site	investigations	will	determine	if	                                Boyne	and	Blackwater	cSAC	is	of	International	ecological	
these	changes	can	be	implemented	or	if	not	where	other	                                     value	and	protected	as	part	of	the	Natura	2000	network13.
mitigation	measures	are	required.	
                                                                                            A	separate	Appropriate	Assessment	report14	was	
Appropriate	mitigation	of	potential	impacts	and	                                            produced	for	the	River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	cSAC.	This	
monitoring	through	all	phases	of	the	project	will	be	                                       is	detailed	in	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.3	“Appropriate	
implemented.	The	cumulative	impact	of	the	development	                                      Assessment	of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	
in	light	of	the	overall	transmission	line	project,	including	                               cSAC”.	



12	 http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Meath-CavanConstraintsReportVolume1.pdf
13	 Designated	and	legally	protected	by	Irish	statutory	instruments	following	adoption	of	the	EU	Habitats	Directive	(92/43/EEC).
14	 An	Appropriate	Assessment	(AA)’	is	required	under	the	EU	Habitats	Directive	(92/43/EEC)	for	any	proposed	plan	or	project	which	may	have	a	significant	effect	on	one	or	more	
    European	sites	and	which	is	not	necessary	for	the	management	of	those	sites.	The	purpose	of	AA	is	to	determine	whether	or	not	significant	effects	are	likely	and	to	suggest	ways	
    in	which	they	could	be	avoided.
                                                                                                                                                                                        89
     7 Flora & Fauna


     Species	of	conservation	concern                                 7.1.2.4	
     Species	of	note	within	the	study	area	and	the	wider	            Characteristics	of	the	proposed	
     County	Meath	environs	include	regular	nationally	
     significant	wintering	populations	of	Whooper	Swan	
                                                                     development	as	relevant	to	ecology
     (Cygnus	cygnus),	and	Golden	Plover	(Pluvialis	apricaria).	
                                                                     The	proposed	development	is	a	linear	development.		This	
     Other	species	listed	on	Annex	1	of	the	EU	Birds	Directive	
                                                                     element	of	the	400kV	transmission	line	will	consist	of:
     and/or	of	conservation	concern	in	Ireland	occur	in	
     low	numbers	based	on	desk	studies,	survey	work	and	
                                                                        •	 Woodland	Substation:	Extension	of	the	substation	
     consultations	(including	National	Parks	and	Wildlife	
                                                                           at	Woodland	is	detailed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	
     Service	(NPWS))	to	date.	
                                                                           4	of	the	EIS.		
     NPWS	and	Birdwatch	Ireland	highlighted	Whooper	Swan	
                                                                        •	 Construction:	excavation	for	the	erection	of	the	
     as	utilising	the	Kells	and	Blackwater	valley	area.	These	
                                                                           supporting	towers	will	be	the	main	construction	
     Whooper	Swans	may	potentially	be	impacted	by	the	
                                                                           features.	The	main	methods	employed	during	the	
     development.	Whooper	Swans	are	listed	under	Annex	I	of	
                                                                           construction	phase	are	outlined	in	the	construction	
     the	EU	Birds	Directive	(EU	79/409/EEC).	An	ornithological	
                                                                           methodology	detailed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4	
     study	has	been	undertaken	for	two	winter	seasons	to	
                                                                           of	the	EIS.	The	location	of	towers	is	outlined	in	the	
     date	(Late	winter	2007	/	early	2008	and	late	winter	
                                                                           supporting	maps	and	construction	descriptions.
     2008/early	2009).	Further	studies	have	commenced	for	
     winter	2009/2010	and	will	be	ongoing	to	April	2010.	This	
                                                                        •	 Access	routes:	the	specific	location	of	proposed	
     Winter	Bird	Study	aims	to	provide	a	better	understanding	
                                                                           temporary	access	routes,	where	required,	to	install	
     (baseline)	of	Whooper	Swan	and	other	wintering	bird	
                                                                           the	towers.	This	cannot	be	finalised	in	detail	until	
     movements	and	distribution	during	the	winter	period	
                                                                           agreements	with	landowners	are	put	in	place.
     in	this	study	area.	It	also	aims	to	address	the	potential	
     impacts	of	the	line	on	Whooper	Swan	and	other	wintering	
                                                                        •	 Mitigation:	the	mitigation	employed	during	the	
     bird	species	populations	in	the	area.		
                                                                           construction	phases,	are	outlined	in	Section	7.5	of	
                                                                           this	chapter.	While	avoidance	is	the	best	mitigation,	
     A	separate	report	on	the	Whooper	Swan	study	undertaken	
                                                                           impacts	can	also	be	reduced	by	due	care	during	
     is	detailed	in,	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.4	“Whooper	
                                                                           construction	to	minimise	impacts	on	vulnerable	
     Swan	Study	Report”.	
                                                                           soils,	etc.
     Fisheries
     	                                                               7.1.2.5	
     The	Eastern	Regional	Fisheries	Board	(ERFB)	was	
     consulted	at	the	constraints	study	stage	as	a	number	of	        Constraints	and	technical	difficulties
     significant	salmonid	fisheries	namely	the	Rivers	Boyne	
     and	Blackwater	exist	within	the	study	area.	Updated	            During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS	constraints,	regarding	
     correspondence	highlighting	the	line	route	has	been	            site	access	existed.	However,	a	fair	evaluation	of	habitats	
     forwarded	to	ERFB.	Best	practice	will	be	incorporated	into	     and	species	present	within	the	study	area	has	been	
     construction	practices	near	streams	and	rivers,	where	any	      undertaken	given	the	quality	of	aerial	photography	and	
     significant	risk	exists	particularly	during	the	construction	   consultations	combined	with	limited	field	access.
     phase.
                                                                     The	principles	for	selecting	access	to	tower	sites	is	set	out	
     Habitats	of	high	local	value                                    in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4.	Temporary	access	routes	
                                                                     cannot	be	identified	exactly	at	this	point,	as	the	exact	
     Due	consideration	is	given	to	priority	and	listed	habitats,	    location	will	be	determined	following	agreement	with	the	
     and	flora	and	fauna	listed	under	Annex	I	and	II	of	the	         landowners.	
     EU	Habitats	Directive.	The	line	route	has	been	selected	
     to	avoid	habitats	of	high	local	ecological	value,	where	        In	terms	of	accounting	for	both	of	these	constraints,	
     possible	(e.g.	lakes,	bogs	and	other	wetlands),	bearing	        appropriate	mitigation	is	being	proposed.	This	will	
     in	mind	other	constraints.	Where	avoidance	is	not	fully	        largely	involve	the	engagement	of	an	ecologist	to	carry	
     possible	mitigation	is	outlined	to	reduce	impacts	on	these	     out	pre-construction	monitoring	checks	prior	to	actual	
     habitats.                                                       construction	works	being	carried	out.	This	will	confirm	
                                                                     if	protected	species	breeding	sites	are	present	during	
                                                                     construction,	refine	site	works	and	appropriate	mitigation,	
                                                                     and	verify	the	evaluation	presented	in	this	assessment.	




90
7.2	                                                              •	 Impacts	on	bats,	badgers	and	otters	in	relation	to	
                                                                     hedgerow/	linear	woodland	impacts	especially	
METHODOLOGY                                                          tower	and	access	road	construction;	and

This	ecological	assessment	comprised	detailed	                    •	 Impacts	on	breeding	birds.
consultation	with	the	relevant	stakeholders,	a	desktop	
study	and	field	surveys.	A	summary	of	the	key	works	           The	ERFB	was	also	consulted	with	reference	to	water	
implemented	is	detailed	herein.                                quality	and	significant	fisheries.	Providing	sufficient	
                                                               mitigation	measures	are	put	in	place	the	ERFB	have	no	
                                                               objection	to	the	proposed	development	from	a	fishery	
7.2.1	                                                         management	perspective.	
Consultation
                                                               BirdWatch	Ireland	(BWI)	was	also	consulted	with	
Extensive	consultation	was	conducted	with	statutory	           reference	to	bird	species	within	the	study	area.	A	
and	non-statutory	bodies	(Refer	to	Volume	2	Part	A,	           response	from	BWI	highlighted	the	potential	impacts	to	
Chapter	2	of	this	EIS	for	a	full	list	of	consultees)	during	   Whooper	Swan	and	the	need	to	carry	out	bird	surveys,	
the	constraints	study	and	follow	up	consultation	was	          which	were	implemented.
conducted	as	part	of	the	EIS	for	the	proposed	line	route.

The	NPWS	were	consulted	for	relevant	ecological	
                                                               7.2.2	
information	relating	to	the	study	area	and	surrounding	        Desk	study
areas.	Formal	scoping	was	carried	out	between	2006	and	
2008	through	the	NPWS	Development	Applications	Unit,	          A	detailed	desk	top	study	was	undertaken	in	order	to	
with	informal	communication	with	NPWS	Deputy	Regional	         gather	existing	ecological	information	available	on	the	
Manager	and	Area	Wildlife	Ranger.	Further	consultation	        study	area	as	part	of	the	baseline	ecological	assessment	
was	carried	out	with	NPWS	officers	including;	Mr.	Michael	     for	the	proposed	development.	This	included	a	study	of:	
Hackett,	NPWS	(District	Conservation	Officer),	Mr.	Maurice	
Eakin	(District	Conservation	Officer),	and	Ms.	Annette	           •	 Identification	of	all	sites	designated	for	nature	
Lynch	(Ranger)	in	March	2009	to	review	the	findings	                 conservation	within	5km	of	the	proposed	
and	constraints	of	the	ecological	survey	to	date.	Further	           development	and	a	review	of	their	site	synopses;
consultation	in	relation	to	specific	issues	such	as	bat	
roosts	and	ornithological	issues	was	carried	out	by	TOBIN	        •	 Ordnance	Survey	maps,	aerial	photography	and	
Consulting	Engineers	in	2009.	The	main	issues	of	concern	            LIDAR	in	order	to	determine	broad	habitats	that	
highlighted	by	the	NPWS	were:                                        occur	within	the	study	area;

    •	 River	Boyne	&	River	Blackwater	Special	Area	of	            •	 Rare	and	Protected	Flora	recorded	within	the	study	
       Conservation	(cSAC)	and	sensitive	associate	fish	             area;
       receptors	(salmonids	and	lamprey	spp.);
                                                                  •	 EPA	water	quality	data	and	river	catchment	water	
    •	 Potential	impacts	to	Whooper	Swan	and	other	Bird	             quality	information	(Water	Framework	Directive	
       species	listed	on	Annex	1	of	the	EU	Birds	Directive.	         (WFD));	15
       Other	Red-listed	and	Amber-listed	Birds	species	of	        	
       Conservation	Concern;                                      •	 Protected	species	records	within	the	study	
                                                                     area	including	relevant	information	sources	for	
    •	 Annex	1	habitats	listed	on	the	EU	Habitats	                   protected	flora,	bats,	otter,	birds	and	badger;
       Directive;	
                                                                  •	 Consultation	with	interested	birdwatchers	/	
    •	 Protected	mammals	including	bat	species,	otter	               landowners	regarding	Whooper	Swans;
       and	badger;
                                                                  •	 Relevant	reports	and	literature;	and
    •	 General	impacts	relating	to	habitat	loss	and	
       fragmentation;                                             •	 Relevant	websites	including	NPWS	and	Bat	
                                                                     Conservation	Ireland.

                                                               In	addition	to	the	consultation	and	desk	studies,	field	
                                                               studies	were	also	completed	as	detailed	herein.	




15	 	http://watermaps.wfdireland.ie/
                                                                                                                           91
     7 Flora & Fauna


     7.2.3	                                                                                        7.2.4	
     Habitat	description                                                                           Mammals
     This	section	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	3	                                     Bats
     Part	A,	Figure	7.2.1	-	7.2.20,	“Habitat	Maps”.
                                                                                                   An	assessment	of	potential	roost	sites	at	road	crossings	
     Aerial	photography	was	studied	to	assist	in	the	broad	                                        was	conducted	based	on	Kelleher	and	Marnell	(2006)16.
     habitat	classification.	The	vast	majority	of	lands	crossed	
     by	the	alignment	are	intensively	managed	farmland	                                            Old	mature,	ivy	clad	trees	which	may	possibly	support	
     (arable	and	grazing).	                                                                        bat	roosts,	were	noted	which	may	potentially	be	cleared	
                                                                                                   within	the	works	footprint.		
     The	review	of	aerial	photographs	and	LIDAR	allowed:
                                                                                                   Bats	were	surveyed	using	a	heterodyne	detector.	This	
         •	 Reasonably	accurate	mapping	of	modified	                                               allowed	detection	of	bat	presence	and	a	high	degree	of	
            grassland	(improved	and	crops),	rush	pastures,	                                        species	identification.	The	bat	survey	was	conducted	
            hedgerows	and	linear	woodland	(mature	trees	                                           from	dusk.	Bats	were	identified	by	their	ultrasonic	calls	
            and	hedgerows).	The	focus	was	to	highlight	areas	                                      coupled	with	behavioural	and	flight	observations.	While	it	
            where	some	tree	cutting	will	be	required;	and                                          is	difficult	to	accurately	identify	some	species	e.g.	Plecots	
                                                                                                   auritus	using	this	method,	the	nature	of	impacts	are	such	
         •	 Reasonably	accurate	determination	of	(relatively	                                      that	no	roosts	of	this	species	are	likely	to	be	impacted.
            more)	ecologically	important	habitats	including	
            bogs,	wet	grasslands,	semi	natural	deciduous	                                          A	windscreen	based	bat	survey	was	undertaken	in	
            woodlands,	scrub,	lakes,	reed	swamp	and	larger	                                        September	and	early	October	2009	to	assess	for	presence	
            streams/rivers	with	associated	riparian	habitats.		                                    or	absence	of	bat	activity	along	public	roads	within	
            Where	these	habitats	could	not	be	accessed	                                            the	site	area.	This	survey	broadly	followed	methods	
            mitigation	by	avoidance	was	recommended	                                               described	in	Roche	et	al.,	(2008)17.	This	method	provided	
            or	minimisation	of	impact	i.e.	avoid	habitat	                                          a	measurement	of	bat	species	relative	abundance	for	
            fragmentation	as	far	as	possible.                                                      comparison	with	the	study	described	in	Roche	et	al.,	
                                                                                                   (2008)	and	also	identification	of	some	of	the	bat	species	
     Habitat	and	faunal	field	survey	assessments	were	                                             likely	to	occur	in	the	area.		This	method	is	not	suitable	
     conducted	from	public	roads	in	the	vicinity	of	the	                                           for	detecting	accurately	Plecotus	auritus	and	Myotis	
     proposed	development	in	August	and	September	2008	                                            daubentonii.		Therefore	random	spot	checks	were	made	
     with	follow	up	checks	in	April,	May	and	June	2009.	The	                                       at	some	hedgerows,	and	rivers	(Blackwater	and	Boyne)	
     habitat	maps	detail	habitats	and	habitat	complexes	noted	                                     for	Myotis	daubentonii.		At	these	locations	the	surveyor	
     within	the	alignment	and	a	general	100m	buffer	zone,	                                         conducted	monitoring	outside	the	vehicle	and	waited	for	a	
     either	side.		In	some	instances	noteworthy	habitats	are	                                      period	of	time	(approximately	15	minutes).
     detailed	outside	this	area.	
                                                                                                   The	September	survey	was	conducted	during	the	
     Habitats	were	classified	according	to	The	Heritage	                                           recommended	time	of	year	for	detecting	bat	activity.	
     Council’s	“A	Guide	to	Habitats	in	Ireland”	(Fossitt,	2000).	                                  The	October	survey	was	undertaken	slightly	outside	the	
     Aerial	photography	assisted	habitat	classification,	                                          recommended	period.	Bats	were	nevertheless	readily	
     delineation	and	interpretation.	Where	possible,	dominant	                                     detected	during	both	surveys,	as	weather	conditions	were	
     plant	species	for	each	habitat	type	were	recorded	in	order	                                   suitable,	being	dry	and	mild.
     to	accurately	determine	habitats	present	on	the	site.		
     Plant	identification	and	nomenclature	principally	followed	                                   Other	mammals	
     Webb	et	al.	(1996)	and	Rose	(2006).	
                                                                                                   Badger	(Meles	meles)	activity	was	determined	by	search	
                                                                                                   for	setts,	trails,	latrines	and	feeding	signs	along	roadsides	
                                                                                                   and	tracks.

                                                                                                   Surveys	for	Otter	(Lutra	lutra)	activity	were	conducted	
                                                                                                   at	river	crossings	within	or	close	to	the	works	site	and	a	
                                                                                                   minimum	100m	upstream	and	downstream	(where	access	
                                                                                                   allowed).	Signs	such	as	holts	(breeding	and	temporary),	
                                                                                                   slides	and	territorial	marking	points	(spraints)	were	noted.



     16	 Kelleher,	C.	&	Marnell,	F.	(2006)	Bat	Mitigation	Guidelines	for	Ireland.	Irish	Wildlife	Manuals,	No.	25.	National	Parks	and	Wildlife	Service,	Department	of	Environment,	Heritage	
         and	Local	Government,	Dublin,	Ireland.
     17	 Roche	N.,	Langton	S.	and	Aughney	T.	(2009)	The	Car-Based	Bat	Monitoring	Scheme	for	Ireland:	Synthesis	Report	2003-2008.	Irish	Wildlife	Manuals,	No.	39.	National	Parks	and	
         Wildlife	Service,	Department	of	the	Environment,	Heritage	and	Local	Government,	Dublin,	Ireland.
92
The	presence	of	other	protected	species	including	             at	larger	wooded	areas	(demesnes),	river	crossings	and	
Irish	hare	(Lepus	timidus	hibernicus),	deer	species,	          occasional	lakes	(outside	the	works	area	e.g.	Whitewood	
Pine	marten	(Martes	martes)	and	Red	squirrel	(Sciurus	         Lough).	These	accessible	lakes	and	ponds	within	2km	of	
vulgaris)	were	recorded	if	signs	were	observed.                the	site	were	checked	for	wildfowl.
                                                               	
Common	mammal	species	were	noted.                              All	bird	species	were	recorded	by	call	and	sightings	and	
                                                               based	on	the	summary	findings	of	the	two	surveys,	bird	
                                                               breeding	was	categorised	as:
7.2.5	
Birds                                                             •	 Probable/	confirmed	breeder	(B);

Extensive	bird	surveys	were	conducted	to	take	into	               •	 No	breeding	evidence	though	possibly	breeding	
account	all	bird	species	likely	to	be	present	throughout	            (NC);	and
the	year	within	the	study	area.	These	are	detailed	as	
follows:                                                          •	 Non-breeder	i.e.	wintering,	passage	migrant	or	
                                                                     habitat	unsuitable	(NB).	
7.2.5.1	                                                       Weather	conditions	during	all	of	the	site	visits	were	
Breeding	birds	                                                deemed	to	be	suitable	for	carrying	out	bird	survey	work.

Breeding	and	late	summer	bird	surveys	were	undertaken	         Based	on	the	findings	of	the	early	and	late	season	survey,	
throughout	the	study	area	and	wetlands,	rivers	and	lakes	      a	summary	of	breeding	birds	noted	in	the	study	area	in	
close	to	the	line	route	(up	to	1km	from	route).		While	        2009	is	detailed	with	a	comment	on	general	abundance,	
no	full	walkover	survey	was	possible	the	survey	data	          location	and	habitat	association.	Refer	to	Volume	4	Part	
and	habitats	present	provide	a	reasonable	baseline	            A,	Appendix	7.6	“Summary	Findings	of	Breeding	Bird	
description	of	bird	fauna	in	the	wider	area	of	the	proposed	   Survey”.	
development	including	detection	of	rarer	species.	Two	
main	surveys	were	conducted:                                   7.2.5.2	
    •	 Late	Summer	Survey	(July	and	August	2008);	and          Whooper	Swans
    •	 Breeding	Bird	Survey	(April,	May	and	June	2009).		      This	survey	focussed	on	wintering	Whooper	Swan.	Other	
                                                               Annex	1	(EU	Birds	Directive)	listed	species	and	any	other	
The	late	summer	survey	was	completed	outside	the	ideal	        species	of	conservation	concern	(BirdWatch	Ireland)	seen	
time	for	surveying	breeding	birds,	though	birds	including	     during	the	survey	were	noted.		
species	of	conservation	concern	were	noted.	The	breeding	
bird	survey	is	considered	the	most	relevant	survey	and	        A	detailed	report	of	the	findings	including,	foraging	sites,	
is	discussed	further	herein.		The	overall	breeding	bird	       roosting	sites,	numbers	and	assessment	of	key	sites,	
evaluation	and	assessment	is	based	on	both	surveys.            flight	line	mapping	and	proposed	mitigation	is	detailed	
                                                               in	Volume	4	Part	A,		Appendix	7.4	“Whooper	Swan	Study	
The	breeding	bird	survey	was	the	main	survey	conducted	        Report”.
and	followed	the	recommended	period	for	conducting	
breeding	bird	surveys	(CIREA	c587	Optimal	Ecological	          This	survey	comprised	desktop	and	field	study	elements,	
Survey	Guidelines18)	i.e.	between	early	April	and	June.	       with	the	results	from	the	desktop	work	identifying	
Methodology	broadly	followed	BirdWatch	Ireland	                the	areas	for	fieldwork.		A	list	of	known	sites	with	grid	
countryside	breeding	bird	survey	methodologies	tailored	       references,	gathered	through	desktop	studies	and	
to	fit	the	access	issues.	A	section	of	road	/	track	at	most	   consultation,	was	compiled	and	plotted	within	the	study	
line	route	crossings	was	walked	and	all	birds	recorded	by	     area.		The	study	area	included	wintering	Whooper	Swan	
site	and	sound.	Accessible	lakes	and	ponds	were	scanned	       sites	lying	within	the	area	bounded	by	the	four	1km	route	
for	water	fowl	and	passerines.		The	survey	included	two	       corridors	in	addition	to	sites	lying	within	5km	to	the	west	
site	visits,	one	month	apart.                                  and	east	of	route	options	1	and	3	respectively.

All	road	crossings	within	the	vicinity	of	the	proposed	        Field	studies	were	undertaken	every	month,	over	two	
development	were	visited	and	surveyed	for	birds	early	in	      winter	seasons	to	date	including	November	2007	to	March	
the	morning	(between	5.30AM	and	11AM).	There	was	little	       2008	(Wintering	Survey	Period	1)	and	October	2008	to	
general	variation	in	habitats	throughout	the	site	except	      April	2009	(Wintering	Survey	Period	2).		The	aim	of	survey	




18	 	http://www.ciria.org.uk/pdf/calendar.pdf
                                                                                                                               93
     7 Flora & Fauna


     work	was	to	determine	the	numbers	and	distribution	
     of	Whooper	Swans	within	the	study	area.	Field	studies	
                                                                   7.3	
     aimed	to	identify	feeding	sites,	numbers,	roosting	sites	     EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
     and	any	flight	lines	between	feeding	and	roosting	sites.	
     Additional	consultation	with	the	NPWS,	local	birdwatchers	
     and	landowners	provided	further	information	on	sites	
                                                                   7.3.1	
     used	by	Whooper	Swans	including	records	of	numbers	           General	study	area	description
     using	these	sites	during	the	study	period.	
                                                                   The	study	area	extends	through	most	of	County	Meath	
     Further	survey	works	commenced	in	October	2009	and	           and	into	County	Cavan.	The	landscape	is	largely	
     will	continue	until	April	2010	(Wintering	Survey	Period	      dominated	by	agricultural	farmland	managed	for	cattle,	
     3),		these	surveys	will	also	include	an	aerial	survey	in	     sheep	and	arable	farming.	Field	boundaries	largely	consist	
     February	2010.	This	aerial	survey	will	aim	to	provide	as	     of	linear	hedgerows,	with	associated	trees	to	a	varying	
     accurate	a	snapshot	as	possible	of	maximum	Whooper	           extent.	Occasional	mature	deciduous	treelines	occur	
     Swan	numbers	in	the	study	area.                               notably	around	demesne	estates.	Larger	towns	include	
                                                                   Navan	and	Trim	to	the	east	and	west	respectively	of	the	
     Based	on	the	findings	of	the	survey	work	appropriate	         proposed	development.	A	number	of	smaller	towns	and	
     mitigation	is	detailed.                                       villages	exist	close	to	the	alignment,	though	the	dominant	
                                                                   settlement	feature	of	the	locality	is	scattered	housing	
                                                                   along	the	extensive	network	of	roads.	
     7.2.6	
     Other	species                                                 A	general	difference	exists	between	landscape	and	
                                                                   habitats	within	the	study	area	to	the	north	of	the	N52	
     The	Common	frog	(Rana temporaria),	the	Smooth	newt	           road	(Tower	119	to	164)	and	lands	further	to	the	south	
     (Triturus vulgaris)	and	the	common	lizard	(Lacerta            (Tower	1	to	119).	This	southern	section	consists	largely	
     vivipara)	are	all	protected	species	under	the	Wildlife	Act	   of	relatively	flat	intensively	managed	mixed	farmland	
     (1976)	and	have	a	widespread	distribution	in	Ireland.	        (arable	and	livestock	grazing).	Two	major	river	crossings	
     Pools,	ponds,	drainage	ditches	and	wet	grasslands	            occur	in	this	section,	on	the	Boyne	(near	Trim)	and	at	
     provide	suitable	habitat	for	amphibians	in	the	area.	The	     the	Blackwater	(near	Donaghpatrick	village	at	Teltown).	
     Common	Lizard	is	widespread	in	suitable	habitats	such	as	     This	section	includes	a	number	of	large	demesne	estates	
     dry	banks,	heathland	and	bog	habitats.	These	species	and	     with	associated	mature	deciduous	woodland	planting.	
     potential	breeding	habitat	were	noted	if	seen.                Large	fields	in	this	section	of	the	alignment	are	typically	
                                                                   enclosed	by	mature	species	rich	hedgerows	with	large	
     Other	species	such	as	Marsh	fritillary	(Euphydryas            mature	trees.	A	number	of	linear	woodlands	will	be	
     aurinia)	may	potentially	occur	within	the	works	site.		No	    crossed,	or	towers	located	within	this	area.	
     known	colonies	exist	within	the	works	site	and	typical	
     habitat	(wetlands	with	abundant	Succisa pratensis)	is	        The	northern	section	of	the	survey	area	consists	of	
     avoided.		Signs	of	this	species	were	searched	for	during	     rolling	drumlin	country	with	smaller	intensively	managed	
     survey.                                                       fields	typically	enclosed	by	hedgerows	dominated	by	
                                                                   hawthorn	and	ash.		Arable	land	is	scarce	here	and	linear	
                                                                   semi	natural	riparian	woodland	occurs	at	several	of	the	
     7.2.7	                                                        alignment	crossing	points.	The	alignment	crosses	several	
     Evaluation	of	ecological	significance                         areas	with	new	coniferous	forestry	and	in	the	Brittas	
                                                                   townland	(between	Towers	130	and	133),	it	will	cross	two	
     The	proposed	development	is	evaluated	for	its	ecological	     distinct	blocks	of	mature	deciduous	woodland.	A	number	
     significance	based	on	the	outcome	of	the	desk	and	field	      of	lakes	are	located	at	least	0.5km	from	the	alignment	in	
     studies	and	consultation	with	statutory	bodies	to	date.	      the	Northern	section	including	Whitewood,	Newcastle	and	
                                                                   Breaky	Loughs.
     The	assessment	of	the	ecological	value	of	each	ecological	
     feature	was	rated	according	to	the	Site	Evaluation	Scheme	
     contained	in	the	“National Roads Authority’s Guidelines
     for Assessment of Ecological Impacts of National Road
     Schemes”	(National	Roads	Authority	(NRA),	2004)	
     and	with	regard	to	guidelines	for	other	linear	projects	
     including	the	Draft	Guidelines	“Electricity Powerline
     Ecology Guidelines; A standard approach to ecological
     assessment of Electricity Transmission Systems”	(Natura	
     2007).




94
7.3.2	                                                      7.3.3	
Legislative	context                                         Rare	and	restricted	
Legislation	relevant	to	an	ecological	assessment	is	as	
                                                            distribution	species
follows:
                                                            Protected	flora
   •	 Council	Directive	79/409/EEC	on	the	conservation	
                                                            The	alignment	is	located	in	the	Ordnance	Survey	National	
      of	wild	birds	(commonly	referred	to	as	the	Birds	
                                                            Grid	10km	squares	N78,	N79,	N85,	N86,	N87,N88,	N94	
      Directive);
                                                            and	N95.	A	plant	species	list	for	these	10km	squares	was	
                                                            generated	from	the	CD-Rom	version	of	the	New	Atlas	of	
   •	 Council	Directive	92/43/EC	on	the	conservation	
                                                            British	and	Irish	Flora	(Preston	et	al.,	2002).	This	list	was	
      of	natural	habitats	and	of	wild	fauna	and	flora,	
                                                            then	compared	to	the	list	of	species	protected	under	
      (commonly	referred	to	as	the	Habitats	Directive);
                                                            the	Flora	(Protection)	Order,	(1999)	and	those	which	are	
                                                            included	in	the	Irish	Red	Data	Book	(Curtis	and	McGough,	
   •	 Wildlife	Act	1976	and	Wildlife	(Amendment)	Act	
                                                            1988).	Table	7.1	presents	the	protected	or	rare	species	
      2000;	
                                                            with	records	occurring	in	these	grid	squares.
   •	 European	Communities	(Natural	Habitats)	
                                                            No	rare	specimens	of	plants	listed	in	Table	7.1	were	
      Regulations,	1997	to	2005;	and
                                                            recorded,	except	cowslip.	Of	plants	listed,	conditions	
                                                            along	the	alignment	may	possibly	be	suitable	for	
   •	 Flora	(Protection)	Order	1999	(S.I.	No.94	of	1999).
                                                            Betony	and	Bee	Orchid.	Of	these	species	only	Betony	is	
                                                            protected	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland	and	it	is	categorised	
The	Wildlife	and	Amendment	Acts,	1976	and	2000,	their	
                                                            as	“Endangered”.	This	species	has	only	been	recorded	
associated	statutory	instruments	(including	the	Flora	
                                                            from	two	locations	in	this	general	area	and	has	not	been	
Protection	Order)	and	Natural	Habitat	Regulations	(for	
                                                            recorded	since	pre-1970’s.		Its	typical	habitat	(well	drained	
Special	Areas	of	Conservation,	SACs	(including	candidate	
                                                            relatively	unimproved	grassland	along	woodland	edges)	is	
SACs))	are	implemented	and	controlled	by	the	National	
                                                            very	limited	in	extent	within	the	study	area.
Parks	and	Wildlife	Service	(NPWS)	of	the	Department	
                                                            	
of	the	Environment,	Heritage	and	Local	Government	
(DoEHLG).




                                                                                                                             95
     7 Flora & Fauna


                                                                                                           10km	      Likelihood		
      Common	name           Latin	name        Status         Category         Habitat	requirements
                                                                                                          Square       of	Impact

                                                                              Marshes	and	ditches	                      Habitat	
                              Hottonia                                        in	S.	Tipperary,	Fer-                     avoided
      Water-violet	                             (NI)	        Vulnerable                                     N79
                              palustris                                       managh	and	Down.	
                                                                                    Very	rare.                           None

                                                                                 Sandy	and	grav-
                              Filago                       Data	Deficient	
      Small	Cudweed	                         Protected	                       elly	places,	mainly	in	       N79        Unlikely	
                              minima                          Species
                                                                              South	and	East;	rare.

                                                                                                                       Possible	-	
                                                             Species	not	
                                                                                                            N79,	    Minimise	dis-
                                                             Considered	
                                                                               Pastures;	frequent	in	       N88,	     turbance	to	
                                                           Threatened	in	
                                                                              the	Centre,	rather	rare	      N87,	     areas	where	
      Cowslip	             Primula veris        (NI)	       the	Republic	
                                                                               in	the	north-east	and	       N86,	     this	occurs.	
                                                           of	Ireland	but	
                                                                                    south-west.             N85,	    Reinstate	soil	
                                                              protected	
                                                                                                          N95,	N94     post	con-
                                                                in	NI
                                                                                                                        struction

                                                                                 Woods	and	bushy	
                            Stachys of-                                          places;	very	rare,	
      Betony	                                Protected	     Endangered                                      N88        Unlikely	
                             ficinalis                                         local	and	apparently	
                                                                                    decreasing.

                                                             Species	not	
                                                             Considered	
                                                                                 Woods	and	damp,	
                                                           Threatened	in	
                              Prunus                                          rocky	places;	frequent	
      Bird	Cherry	                              	(NI)       the	Republic	                                   N88        Unlikely	
                              padus                                           in	the	north-west,	rare	
                                                           of	Ireland	but	
                                                                                    elsewhere.
                                                              protected	
                                                                in	NI

                                                             Species	not	
                                                             Considered	
                                                           Threatened	in	    Bogs,	mostly	lowland;	
                            Andromeda                                                                       N79,	    Habitat	avoid-
      Bog-rosemary	                             (NI)	       the	Republic	    frequent	in	the	Centre;	
                             polifolia                                                                    N87,	N86     ed	-	None
                                                           of	Ireland	but	       rare	elsewhere.
                                                              protected	
                                                                in	NI

                              Scandix
      Shepherd’s-
                              pecten-            	             Extinct        Tilled	fields;	very	rare.     N86        Unlikely
      needle	
                              veneris

                                                                                Woods	and	shady	
                                                                                  places;	locally	
      Hairy	St	John’s-      Hypericum
                                             Protected	     Endangered        frequent	in	the	Liffey	       N86        Unlikely	
      wort	                  hirsutum
                                                                              valley,	very	rare	else-
                                                                                      where.

                                                                              Calcareous	gravels,	
      Red	Hemp-              Galeopsis
                                             Protected	     Endangered       especially	on	eskers	in	       N85        Unlikely	
      nettle	               angustifolia
                                                                             the	East	-Centre;	rare.

     Table 7.1: Rare and protected species previously recorded in the vicinity of the site




96
                                                                                             Rare	on	sandy	or	
                            Hyoscyamus                                                    stony	shores	through-
  Henbane	                                             	             Vulnerable                                                 N85                None
                               niger                                                       out;	often	imperma-
                                                                                                   nent.

                                                                     Species	not	
                                                                     Considered		
                                                                                             Dry	banks,	sand	
                                                                   Threatened	in	
                               Ophrys                                                      dunes	and	grassland	
  Bee	Orchid	                                         (NI)	         the	Republic	                                               N85              Unlikely	
                               aprifera                                                     on	limestone	soils;	
                                                                   of	Ireland	but	
                                                                                              local	and	rare.	
                                                                      protected	
                                                                        in	NI

Table 7.1: Rare and protected species previously recorded in the vicinity of the site

Protected	fauna                                                                    and	roadside	verges	occur	in	the	area	and	ecological	
                                                                                   descriptions	have	been	provided	in	various	commentaries	
The	following	protected	species/	species	of	conservation	                          (websites	etc),	as	being	of	probable	local	conservation	
importance	were	highlighted	both	through	consultation	                             value.	Relevant	Meath	County	Council	policy,	HER	POL	
and	from	the	literature	review	within	the	route	study	area:                        14	(Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-201319)	
                                                                                   recognises	habitats	existing	within	the	works	site.	This	
    •	 Otter	(Rivers	and	Streams);                                                 policy	recognises	that	nature	conservation	is	not	just	
                                                                                   confined	to	designated	sites,	and	acknowledges	the	need	
    •	 Bat	species	(not	including	Rhinolophus	                                     to	protect	non	designated	habitats	and	landscapes	and	to	
       hippsideros);	(woodlands,	hedgerows	and	                                    conserve	the	biological	diversity	of	the	county.	The	natural	
       buildings);                                                                 heritage	of	County	Meath	includes	a	variety	of	diverse	
                                                                                   habitats	including	lakes,	rivers,	streams,	woodland,	trees,	
    •	 Badger;	(woodlands	and	hedgerows);                                          hedgerows,	stone	walls,	the	coastline,	estuaries	and	
                                                                                   associated	wildlife.
    •	 Aquatic	fauna	including	lamprey	species,	salmon	
       and	white	clawed	crayfish;	and
                                                                                   7.3.4	
    •	 Bird	species	including	Whooper	Swan,	Golden	                                Designated	conservation	areas	
       plover,	Kingfisher	and	Cormorant.
                                                                                   Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	7.1.1	-	7.1.3	“Designated	
Habitats	of	high	local	value                                                       Conservation	Areas	Map”	and	Table	7.2	details	designated	
                                                                                   site	locations	within	10km	of	the	alignment	and	provide	
Outside	cSAC	river	habitat	no	specific	habitats	of	high	                           distance	from	the	alignment.	
local	ecological	habitat	have	been	highlighted	within	
the	works	site.		Old	demesne	woodland	estate,	linear	
woodland/	hedgerows	at	field	boundaries,	rivers	




19	 http://www.meath.ie/LocalAuthorities/Publications/PlanningandDevelopmentPublications/CountyMeathPlanningPublications/CountyMeathDevelopmentPlan2007-2013/
    File,6742,en.pdf
                                                                                                                                                                97
     7 Flora & Fauna


                                                                                                   Approximate	Distance	
                 Code                            Site                     Designation
                                                                                                    From	The	Alignment

                                                                                                  9.5km	from	existing	line
                001398                Rye	Water	Valley/	Carton            cSAC	/	pNHA
                                                                                                    9.7km	from	new	line

                002103                       Royal	Canal                     pNHA                          8.6km

                000557                   Rathmoylan	Esker                    pNHA                          7.2km

                                       River	Boyne	and	River	
                002299                                                        cSAC                          0km
                                            Blackwater

                001324                     Jamestown	Bog                      NHA                          2.8km

                001592                      Boyne	Woods                      pNHA                          8.9km

                                           Killyconny	Bog		
                000006                                                        cSAC                         10.0km
                                            (Cloghbally)

                001558                    Breakey	Loughs                     pNHA                           1.2km

                001594                     Ballyhoe	Lough                    pNHA                          8.0km

                000552                    Corstown	Lough                     pNHA                          9.7km

                001580                       Girley	Bog	                      NHA                          9.8km

     Table 7.2: Designated Sites Within 10km of the Alignment


     There	are	11	designated	areas	of	conservation	value	          objectives	of	this	cSAC	will	not	be	impacted	by	the	
     within	the	study	area.	Sites	detailed	will	be	avoided	by	     proposed	development	and,	accordingly,	the	integrity	of	
     the		proposed	development	and	no	impacts	are	likely.	         that	cSAC	will	not	be	adversely	affected	by	the	proposed	
     The	exception	is	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	        development,	provided	the	mitigation	measures	detailed	
     cSAC,	which	is	crossed	by	the	alignment	twice.	The	River	     hereunder	are	implemented.	
     Boyne	and	Blackwater	cSAC	is	selected	for	alkaline	fen	
     and	alluvial	woodlands,	both	listed	on	Annex	I	of	the	        An	Appropriate	Assessment	report	for	this	project	is	
     EU	Habitats	Directive.	This	cSAC	is	also	selected	for	        detailed	in	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.3	“Appropriate	
     Atlantic	salmon,	Otter	and	River/Brook	Lamprey,	all	listed	   Assessment	of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	
     on	Annex	II	of	the	EU	Habitats	Directive.	Populations	        cSAC”.	This	report	aims	to	address	potential	issues	to	the	
     of	brook/	river	lamprey	are	considered	favourable	in	         River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC.
     the	main	River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	channels	in	the	
     vicinity	of	the	proposed	crossings,	O’Connor	(2006).	
     Site	synopsis	for	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	
                                                                   7.3.5	
     cSAC	is	contained	in	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.5	“Site	     Habitats	and	flora
     Synopsis	for	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC”,	
     (downloaded	from	www.npws.ie).
                                                                   7.3.5.1	
     The	point	where	the	alignment	crosses	the	Boyne	section	      Habitat	description
     includes	the	river	channel	and	a	steep	bank	with	scattered	
     mature	hawthorn,	elder	and	ruderal	vegetation.	Adjacent	      This	section	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	3	
     to	the	river	bank	are	taller	ash	trees.	The	point	where	      Part	A,	Figures	7.2.1	-	7.2.20	“Habitat	Maps”.	A	number	of	
     the	alignment	crosses	the	Blackwater	section	consists	        areas	are	detailed	in	these	maps,	where	habitats	of	local	
     of	the	main	river	channel	with	improved	grassland	            ecological	importance	(e.g.	demesne	woodland)	will	be	
     fields	up	to	the	edge	of	the	channel.	The	conservation	       avoided.	




98
In	addition,	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.2	“Flora	&	Fauna	       Fragmentary	habitats					
Plates	of	Survey	Area”,	Plates	7.1	to	7.7,	illustrates	the	
habitats	noted	within	the	wider	study	area.	                        •	 Broadleaved	woodland	(WD1);

Agriculture	activity	is	the	dominant	landuse	within	                •	 Immature	woodland	(WS2);
the	vicinity	of	the	proposed	development	and	hence	
habitats	are	significantly	influenced	by	this	activity.	These	      •	 Oak-ash-hazel	woodland	(WN2);
agricultural	habitats	are	summarised	in	the	habitat	maps	
as	an	agricultural	managed	complex	(BC1/GA1/GS4/WL1	                •	 Riparian	woodland	(WN5);
refer	to	Fossitt	2000	codes).	These	complexes	include	
arable	farmland,	improved	grassland,	species	poor	wet	              •	 Scrub	(WS1);
grassland	and	hedgerows/stone	walls/	drainage	ditches.		
                                                                    •	 Stonewalls	and	other	stonework	(BL1);
The	habitats	detailed	below	are	those	habitats	identified	
along	the	alignment.	A	brief	description	is	provided	of	            •	 Dry	calcareous	and	neutral	grassland	(GS1);
habitats	of	note	(moderate	-	high	local	ecological	value)	in	
the	surrounding	study	area.	The	dominant	habitats	along	            •	 Eutrophic	lakes	(FL5)	–	Avoided;
the	alignment	are	improved	agricultural	grassland	(GA1),	
arable	grasslands	(BC1),	hedgerows/	treelines	-	linear	             •	 Dry	meadow	and	grassy	verge	(GS2)	–	roadsides	
woodland	(WL1/WL2)	and	more	managed	hedgerows	                         Avoided;
(WL1).	At	roadsides	a	grassy	verge	is	often	present	(not	
mapped).	Drainage	ditches	are	commonly	associated	with	             •	 Drainage	ditch	(FW4)	–	associated	with	linear	
linear	woodland	and	hedgerows	throughout	the	study	                    woodland;
area	(not	mapped).
                                                                    •	 Bog	woodland	(WN7)	–	Avoided;
More	scattered	habitats	include	species	poor	modified	
wet	grasslands,	mature	deciduous	woodland	(typically	               •	 Raised	bog	(PB1)	–	Avoided;
in	demesnes),	new	coniferous	forest	and	several	river	
crossings.	A	description	of	the	major	and	more	isolated	            •	 Cutover	bog	(PB4)	–	Avoided;	
habitats	is	summarised	here,	with	a	description	of	each	
features	ecological	significance	also	provided	in	the	next	         •	 Wet	willow-alder-ash	woodland	(WN6);	and	
section.		
                                                                    •	 Scattered	trees	and	parkland	(WD5)	–	Avoided.
Habitat	types	recorded	at	and	adjacent	to	the	
development	site	(Fossitt	2000)	are	summarised	herein.           Improved agricultural grassland, GA1

Dominant	Habitats                                                This	habitat	occupies	the	vast	majority	of	the	study	area.	
                                                                 It	is	predominantly	managed	for	agricultural	purposes.	
   •	 Improved	agricultural	grassland	(GA1);                     It	has	been	improved	to	a	large	extent	and	includes	
                                                                 grassland	which	has	been	reseeded	and	/	or	regularly	
   •	 Arable	crops	(BC1);                                        fertilised	and	is	either	heavily	grazed,	used	for	silage	
                                                                 making	or	planted	as	part	of	an	arable	rotation.	This	
   •	 Hedgerows	and	tree	lines	(WL1/	WL2);                       habitat	is	principally	dominated	by	Perennial	Rye	grass	
                                                                 (Lolium perenne)	and	is	species	poor.	More	semi	improved	
   •	 Hedgerows	(WL1);                                           grassland	types	has	a	scattered	localised	occurrence	
                                                                 along	the	alignment.	Agricultural	herb	species	are	
   •	 Wet	grassland	(GS4);                                       common	namely	creeping	buttercup	(Ranunculus repens)	
                                                                 and	dandelion	(Taraxcum officinale)	with	nettles	(Urtica
   •	 Buildings	and	artificial	surfaces	(BL3);	                  dioica),	docks	(Rumex sp.),	and	umbeliferae	species	more	
                                                                 frequent	at	field	edges.	Rushes	(Juncus spp.)	occupy	areas	
   •	 Conifer	plantation	(WD4);	and                              with	increasing	soil	moisture	and	declining	management	
                                                                 intensity,	but	rush	pasture	is	not	a	dominant	feature	of	
   •	 Rivers:	Depositing/	Lowland	rivers	and	Eroding/	           the	study	area.	These	areas	are	considered	to	be	of	low	
      upland	Rivers	(FW1/FW2).                                   ecological	value,	locally	important.




                                                                                                                               99
      7 Flora & Fauna


      Arable Crops (BC1)                                            rose	(Rosa canina).	Common	tree	species	include	ash	
                                                                    (Fraxinus excelsior),	sycamore	(Acer pseudoplatanus),	and	
      This	habitat	occupies	a	large	part	of	the	southern	half	      occasional	oak	(Quercus robur).	Hedgerows	are	managed	
      of	the	study	area	and	is	cultivated	and	managed	for	the	      typically	at	most	roadsides	though	many	hedges,	
      production	of	arable	crops	including	cereals	and	potatoes.	   especially	in	the	northern	section	of	the	alignment	are	
      “Weed”	species	noted	include	chickweeds	(Stellaria            unmanaged	and	overgrown.	Hedgerows	are	important	
      spp.),	fumitory	(Fumaria spp),	occasional	poppy	(Papaver      nesting	areas	for	birds	and	are	utilised	by	bats	as	foraging	
      rhoeas)	and	oat	grass	species	(Avena spp.).	This	habitat	     corridors.	Badger	setts	may	potentially	exist	in	some	
      is	of	low	ecological	value	botanically,	though	several	       hedgerows.	Hedgerows	are	locally	important	for	wildlife	
      specific	bird	species	of	conservation	interest	including	     and	are	considered	to	be	of	moderate	ecological	value,	
      Yellowhammer	and	Whooper	Swan	use	this	habitat.	              locally	important.

      Hedgerows and Tree Lines (WL1/ WL2) – Linear woodland         Wet Grassland (GS4)

      There	is	an	extensive	hedgerow	and	associated	mature	         This	habitat	is	found	in	several	fields	scattered	along	the	
      tree	line	network	within	the	study	area	as	this	linear	       northern	half	of	the	proposed	development.	These	areas	
      woodland	forms	field	and	property	boundaries.	The	            are	poorly	drained	and	managed	for	cattle	grazing.	These	
      ecological	value	of	these	hedgerows	and	treelines	vary	       areas	have	been	subject	to	land	improvements	and	low	
      considerably	from	dense	well	structured	mature	linear	        levels	of	fertiliser	input.		Consequently	species	diversity	
      woodland	(typical	in	southern	section)	to	more	leggy	         is	low.	Species	composition	varies	and	is	dominated	
      immature	structures	with	frequent	gaps	which	are	             by	abundant	rushes,	mainly	soft	rush	(Juncus effusus),	
      infrequent	in	the	northern	section.	The	linear	woodlands	     and	broadleaved	herbs	such	as	broad	leaved	plantain	
      is	predominantly	species	rich	with	ash	(Fraxinus              (Plantago major),	lady’s	smock	(Cardamine pratensis),	
      excelsior),	oak	(Quercus sp.),	beech	(Fagus	sylvatica),	      creeping	buttercup	(Ranunculus repens),	marsh	ragwort	
      willow	(Salix	spp.),	hawthorn	(Crataegus monogyna),	          (Senecio aquaticus),	selfheal	(Prunella vulgaris),	compact	
      sycamore	(Acer pseudoplatanus),	hazel	(Corylus                rush	(Juncus conglomeratus)	and	daisy	(Bellis perennis).	
      avellana),	blackthorn	(Prunus spinosa),	and	occasional	       This	habitat	is	considered	to	be	of	low	ecological	value.
      holly	(Ilex aquifolium)	and	spindle	(Euonymus europaeus).	
      Typical	associated	vegetation	includes	fern	species	(e.g.	    An	isolated	more	species	rich	area	exists	close	to	the	
      harts	tongue,	male	and	occasional	polypody	fern	species)	     River	Blackwater	near	Tower	91.	Species	noted	here	
      and	creepers	including	ivy	(Hedera helix),	honeysuckle	       include	Phalaris	arundinacea,	occasional	sedges	(Carex
      (Lonicera periclymenum)	and	brambles	(Rubus fruticosus        spp.)	and	flowering	herb	species	including	yellow	flag	
      agg).	Herbs	noted	include	herb	Robert	(Geranium               iris	(Iris pseudacorus),	Wild	Angelica	(Angelica sylvestris)	
      robertianum),	dog	violet	(Viola canina),	stitchwort	          and	meadowsweet	(Filipendula ulmaria).	This	area	
      (Stellaria	spp.)	cleavers	(Galium aparine),	nettle	(Urtica    and	an	associated	dry	drainage	ditch	connected	to	the	
      dioica),	primrose	(Primula vulgaris)	and	ruderal	weeds	       Blackwater	River	are	considered	to	be	of	moderate	local	
      at	the	woodland	edge	(nettle,	dock	and	thistle).		Mature	     ecological	value.
      trees	are	a	frequent	feature	of	hedgerows	within	the	
      study	area	and	many	are	unmanaged.	Hedgerow	and	              Buildings and Artificial Surfaces (BL3)
      treeline	linear	woodland	habitat	acts	as	refuge	for	plant	
      diversity	in	an	intensively	managed	region.	These	habitats	   The	alignment	crosses	a	large	number	of	tracks	and	
      are	important	breeding	habitats	for	most	common	birds	        roads.	It	avoids	crossing	buildings.	These	habitats	are	
      noted	and	provide	foraging	networks	for	bats.	They	may	       considered	to	be	of	low	ecological	value.
      also	be	utilised	for	badger	breeding	sites.	These	areas	
      are	considered	to	be	of	moderate	-	high	ecological	value,	    Conifer Plantation WD4
      locally	important.
                                                                    Several	blocks	of	coniferous	plantation	are	crossed.	
      Hedgerows (WL1)                                               Species	noted	include	sitka	spruce	(Picea sitchensis),	
                                                                    larch	(Larix spp.)	and	alder	(Alnus glutinosa)	at	the	block	
      Hedgerows	are	a	dominant	feature	forming	field	and	road	      boundary.	These	plantations	are	predominantly	closed	
      boundaries	along	the	alignment.	They	are	typically	low	       canopy	and	are	greater	than	5m	high.	Tree	trimming	
      growing	structures	less	than	5m	high	often	with	scattered	    will	be	required	in	these	areas	in	the	future	if	they	may	
      trees	mainly	ash	and	hawthorn.	The	most	common	species	       potentially	interfere	with	the	transmission	line.	These	
      are	hawthorn	(Crataegus monogyna),	blackthorn	(Prunus         areas	are	considered	to	be	of	low	ecological	value,	locally	
      spinosa),	bramble	(Rubus fruticosus),	elder	(Sambucus         important.
      nigra),	honeysuckle	(Lonicera periclymenum)	and	dog	




100
Watercourses (FW1) and (FW2)                                       Because	of	the	designated	(cSAC)	status	of	the	River	
                                                                   Boyne	and	Blackwater	and	fishery	importance	these	areas	
The	proposed	alignment	will	cross	approximately	30	                are	of	international	importance.
rivers	and	streams.	Larger	rivers	(3rd	and	4th	order	
watercourses)	are	presented	in	Table	7.3.	                         Broadleaved woodland (WD1)

Water	courses	include	relatively	slow	flowing	large	rivers	        Blocks	of	distinct	woodland	will	be	traversed	by	the	
including	the	Boyne	and	Blackwater.	These	areas	are,	on	           alignment	at	specific	locations	including	between	
occasion,	fast	flowing	during	flood	conditions	thereby	            towers	111	and	112	and	130	and	133.	In	these	locations	
retaining	characteristics	of	both	river	types.	Riparian	           the	woodlands	occupy	part	of	mature	estates.	Species	
vegetation	is	variable	and	includes	improved	grassland,	           noted	include	mature	beech	(Fagus	sylvatica),	oak,	ash	
isolated	trees	and	areas	of	riparian	woodland.		Marsh	             and	cherry	laurel	(Prunus	laurocerasus)	species.	These	
and	other	habitats	were	not	noted	along	the	alignment	             woodlands	are	likely	to	be	locally	important	for	foraging	
but	were	noted	locally	in	the	wider	study	area.	The	key	           bats	and	may	contain	temporary	summer	roosts.
ecological	value	of	watercourses	is	fisheries.	
                                                                   These	areas	based	on	limited	surveying	are	considered	to	
                                                                   be	of	moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value.
                River                                    Habitat
                                                                   Immature woodland (WS2)
             River	Dee                                    FW1
                                                                   Within	the	Brittas	townland	(Towers	130	to	133),	
        Kilmainham	River                                  FW1      new	plantations	have	been	established	consisting	of	
                                                                   deciduous	trees	including	beech.	This	area	is	considered	
        River	Blackwater                                  FW2      to	be	of	low	to	moderate	local	ecological	value	botanically.	
                                                                   This	habitat	is	locally	important	for	common	breeding	
                                                                   birds.
            Clady	River                                   FW1
                                                                   Oak-ash-hazel woodland (WN2)
           River	Boyne                                    FW2
                                                                   Mature	semi	natural	woodland	borders	are	crossed	at	
           Derrypatrick                                   FW1      four	locations	in	the	northern	section	of	the	proposed	
                                                                   development	(between	Towers	139	and	149).	These	
        Boycetown	River                                   FW1      woodlands	are	relatively	species	rich	and	tree	species	
                                                                   noted	include	alder,	hazel	(Corylus	avellana),	ash,	
                                                                   hawthorn	(Crataegus	monogyna),	blackthorn	(Prunus	
Table 7.3: Larger Rivers in which the Proposed Alignment           spinosa),	willow	(Salix	spp.)	and	occasional	holly	(Ilex	
Will Cross                                                         spp).	Ground	flora	is	relatively	diverse	and	includes	lords	
                                                                   and	ladies	(Arum	maculatum),	bluebells	(Mertensia	
No	tower	base	will	be	constructed	within	any	watercourse.	         virginica),	wood	anemone	(Anemone	nemorosa),	lesser	
The	nearest	river	to	a	tower	base	is	the	Derrypatrick	River,	      celandine	(Ranunculus	ficaria),	dog	violet,	honeysuckle	
which	is	located	at	a	distance	of	approximately	13m.	              and	ivy.	These	areas	are	considered	to	be	of	high	local	
                                                                   ecological	value.
The	main	channel	of	the	River	Boyne	(located	
approximately	210m	from	a	tower	base)	is	also	a	                   Riparian woodland (WN5)
designated	salmonid	river	under	S.I.	No.	293/1988,	
European	Communities	(Quality	of	Salmonid	Waters)	                 Mature	semi-natural	woodland	exists	in	patches	adjacent	
Regulations,	1988.	Under	this	statutory	instrument,	local	         to	the	main	channel	of	the	River	Boyne	to	the	south	west	
authorities	are	required	to	maintain	the	water	quality	in	         of	the	proposed	development.	This	forms	part	of	the	
the	designated	rivers	at	a	level	that	is	suitable	to	support	      River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC.	This	area	will	be	
salmonid	fish	(salmon	and	trout)	and	parameters	for	               avoided	by	development	works.
water	quality	are	given.	Current	EPA	water	quality	data20	
for	the	Blackwater	and	Boyne	rivers	at	the	Trim	crossing	it	       Scrub (WS1)
is	Q	3-4	(Moderate	–Good)	while	at	the	Blackwater	River	
crossing	it	is	Q4	(Good).                                          Gorse	and	hawthorn	Scrub	with	some	immature	ash	
                                                                   trees	was	noted	on	an	esker.	This	area	is	likely	to	be	of	
                                                                   moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value.	No	towers	will	




20	http://maps.epa.ie/InternetMapViewer/mapviewer.aspx
                                                                                                                                   101
      7 Flora & Fauna


      be	located	in	this	habitat	and	this	area	will	be	avoided	      Stonewalls and other stonework (BL1)
      during	construction.	As	woody	vegetation	is	very	low	tree	
      trimming	during	the	operational	phase	is	likely	also	to	be	    This	habitat	is	associated	with	hedgerows	in	parts	of	the	
      minimal.                                                       northern	section.	These	habitats	are	considered	to	be	of	
                                                                     low	to	moderate	local	ecological	value	and	will	be	avoided	
      Bog woodland (WN7) – Located outside the site                  and	works	will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats/	linear	
                                                                     woodlands.
      This	habitat	is	dominated	by	birch	(Betula	spp.)	trees	
      with	brambles	and	bracken	(Pteridium	aquilinum).	The	          Wet willow-alder-ash woodland (WN6) – Located outside
      line	route	has	been	modified	to	avoid	this	habitat	and	        the site
      works	will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats.	This	area	
      is	considered	to	be	of	moderate	to	high	local	ecological	      This	habitat	is	typical	locally	in	the	basins	between	
      value.                                                         drumlins	at	the	north	of	the	site	and	as	a	fringe	around	
                                                                     parts	of	Whitewood	Lough.	This	habitat	is	avoided	and	is	
      Raised bog (PB1)                                               considered	to	be	of	high	local	ecological	value	as	works	
                                                                     will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats/	linear	woodlands.
      An	area	of	modified	raised	bog	surrounded	by	cutaway	
      bog	(PB4)	is	avoided	through	a	line	modification	and	          Dry calcareous and neutral grassland (GS1)
      works	will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats.
                                                                     Several	relatively	more	unimproved	fields	were	noted	
      Dry meadow and grassy verge (GS2)                              during	the	survey.	Herb	species	are	more	dominant	and	
                                                                     include	knapweed	(Centaurea	nigra),	hawkbit	(Leontodon	
      This	habitat	is	well	developed	at	roadsides	particularly	      spp.)	and	narrow	leafed	plantain	(Plantago	lanceolata).	
      in	the	Trim	area.	These	areas	are	dominated	by	tall	grass	     These	fields	are	grazed	and	considered	to	be	of	low	to	
      species	and	are	associated	with	hedgerows.	A	diversity	of	     moderate	ecological	value.
      herb	species	including	field	scabious	(Knautia	arvensis),	
      cow	parsley	(Heracleum	sphondylium),	vetches	(Vicia	           Eutrophic lakes (FL5) – Located outside the site
      spp.),	common	valerian	(Valeriana	officinalis),	false	oxlip	
      (Primula	x	polyantha),	ladies	bedstraw	(Galium	verum),	        Whitewood	Lough	located	approximately	500m	from	
      horsetail	(Equisetum	spp.),	wall	lettuce	(Mycelis	muralis),	   the	alignment	is	an	ecological	feature	of	high	local	
      meadow	vetchling	(Lathyrus	pratensis),	knapweed	               ecological	value	mainly	as	a	breeding	site	for	birds,	coarse	
      (Centaurea	nigra),	thistle	(Cirsium	spp.),	cowslip	(Primula	   fishery	and	semi	natural	surrounding	wet	woodland	and	
      veris),	meadow	buttercup	(Ranunculus	acris)	and	creeping	      reedbeds.	Other	ponds	also	exist	within	the	study	area.	
      buttercup	were	noted.	Many	of	these	areas	appear	to	be	        This	habitat	will	be	avoided	and	works	will	take	place	in	
      subject	to	ongoing	impacts	from	herbicide	spraying	and	        agricultural	habitats/	linear	woodlands.
      cutting.	These	areas	are	considered	to	be	of	moderate	
      ecological	value,	locally	important	and	are	avoided	as	        Scattered trees and parkland (WD5)
      works	will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats/	linear	
      woodlands.                                                     This	habitat	occurs	at	one	location	in	the	northern	section	
                                                                     of	the	study	area	and	consists	of	scattered	mature	
      Drainage ditch (FW4)                                           deciduous	trees.	This	area	will	be	avoided	and	works	will	
                                                                     take	place	in	agricultural	habitats/	linear	woodlands.
      This	habitat	is	associated	with	field	boundaries/	
      hedgerows	and	treelines.	Drainage	ditches	typically	will	      A	summary	of	the	conservation	value	of	each	of	these	
      be	avoided	within	the	works	site.	These	areas	noted	are	       habitats	described	herein	is	presented	in	Table	7.4.	
      regularly	maintained	and	contain	a	variety	of	wet	land	
      and	weed	species	such	as	Phalaris	arundinacea,	nettles	
      (Urtica	dioca),	broad	leaved	dock	(Rumex	obtusifolius)	
                                                                     7.3.5.2	
      and	grass	species.	Aquatic	plants	such	as	fools	watercress	    Ecological	character	of	the	line	route
      (Apium	nodiflorum),	water	cress	(Rorippa	nasturtium-
      aquaticum),	duckweed	(Lemna	spp.)	and	brooklime	               The	ecological	character	of	the		proposed	development	
      (Veronica	beccabunga)	were	also	noted.	These	areas	are	        is	described	to	highlight	features	of	high	local	value.	
      considered	to	be	of	low	to	moderate	ecological	value,	         Specific	mitigation	for	described	areas	is	detailed	in	
      locally	important.	These	areas	will	be	avoided	as	works	       section	7.5.	The	description	of	the	line	route	is	in	a	
      will	take	place	in	agricultural	habitats/	linear	woodland.     south	to	north	manner.	The	line	route	is	broken	into	two	
                                                                     broad	regions	–	northern	and	southern	section.	Within	
                                                                     each	region,	subsections	based	on	groups	of	towers	are	
                                                                     provided	along	with	details	of	key	ecological	features.	




102
  Habitat                                      Ecological	Value             Impact

  Improved	Agricultural	Grassland	(GA1)              Low          Traversed	and	Towers	Located

  Arable	Crop	(BC1)                                  Low          Traversed	and	Towers	Located

  Hedgerows	and	Treelines	(WL1	/	WL2)          Moderate	–	High    Traversed	and	Towers	Located

  Hedgerows	(WL1)                                 Moderate        Traversed	and	Towers	Located

  Wet	Grassland	(GS4)                          Low	-	Moderate     Traversed	and	Towers	Located

  Buildings	and	Artificial	Surfaces	(BL3)            Low                     None

  Conifer	Plantation	(WD4)                           Low                   Traversed	

  Depositing	Lowland	Rivers	(FW2)                   High             Traversed	(No	impact)

  Eroding	/	upland	Rivers	(FW1)                     High             Traversed	(No	impact)

  Broadleaved	Woodland	(WD1)                   Moderate	–	High             Traversed

  Immature	Woodland	(WS2)                      Low	-	Moderate     Traversed	and	Tower	Located

  Oak-ash-hazel	Woodland	(WN2)                      High                   Traversed

  Riparian	Woodland	(WN5)                      Moderate	-	High             Traversed

  Scrub	(WS1)                                  Moderate		-	High            Traversed

  Stonewalls	and	other	stonework	(BL1)         Low	-	Moderate              Traversed

  Dry	calcareous	and	neutral	grassland	(GS1)   Low	-	Moderate     Traversed	and	Tower	Located

  Eutrophic	lakes	(FL5)	                            High	                   Avoided

  Dry	meadow	and	grassy	verge	(GS2)               Moderate                 Traversed	

  Bog	woodland	(WN7)                           Moderate	–	High              Avoided

  Raised	bog	(PB1)                                  High                    Avoided

  Cutover	bog	(PB4)                               Moderate                  Avoided

  Wet	willow-alder-ash	woodland	(WN6)               High                    Avoided

  Scattered	trees	and	parkland	(WD5)              Moderate                  Avoided

Table 7.4: Ecological Value of Habitats




                                                                                                 103
      7 Flora & Fauna


      Southern	Region	–	(South	of	N52	road	to	Woodland)               habitat	and	associated	mature	tree	field	boundaries	and	
                                                                      wet	ditch.	The	Blackwater	River	is	part	of	the	Boyne	River	
      Woodland - Bogganstown (existing transmission line)             cSAC	and	is	crossed	between	tower	89	and	90.	Tree	cover	
      	                                                               is	limited/	non-existent	at	this	location.	Towers	also	cross	
      Landuse	is	dominated	by	mixed	farmland	with	dense	              a	stream	tributary	of	the	Blackwater	River	between	tower	
      linear	hedgerow/	woodland	field	boundaries.                     86	and	87.	Mature	linear	woodland	is	typical	in	field	
                                                                      boundaries	between	towers	84	to	87.	
      Bogganstown - Crumpstown: Towers 1-30
                                                                      Crasulthan - Dowdstown area: Towers 97-108
      Landuse	in	this	area	consists	of	mixed	arable	and	cattle	
      grazing	farmland	typically	with	mature	hedgerow	and	            The	landscape	is	relatively	flat	and	dominated	by	mixed	
      scattered	tree	field	enclosures.		Mature	linear	woodland	       farming	(arable	and	livestock	grazing).		A	relatively	
      is	present	in	the	Culmullin	area.	No	specific	features	of	      extensive	area	of	immature	coniferous	plantation	
      high	local	ecological	value	exist	outside	boundary	mature	      woodland	is	evident	between	towers	101	and	102.		Mature	
      linear	woodland	and	hedgerows	present.                          linear	woodland	(field	boundaries)	occurs	at	several	
                                                                      crossing	points	between	tower	101	and	103.	A	field	of	
      Crumpstown- West of Robinstown village: Towers 30 - 50          coniferous	plantation	exists	between	tower	101	and	99.		
                                                                      Again	mature	linear	woodland	(field	boundaries)	exist	at	
      The	landscape	is	relatively	flat	and	dominated	by	large	        several	crossings	between	101	and	97
      arable	fields	with	smaller	fields	used	for	livestock	grazing	
      and	horses.	Mature	linear	woodland	is	typical	on	field	         Dowdstown area to Cloony: Tower 108-120
      boundaries.		Between	tower	47	and	46	the	line	route	
      crosses	Boyne	River	cSAC.		Scrub	and	a	line	of	leggy	ash	       The	landscape	in	this	area	is	relatively	flat	with	large	
      trees	is	extant	adjacent	to	the	northern	side	of	the	river	     improved	fields	dominated	by	arable	grass	crops.		
      channel	here.		A	stream	crossing,	which	is	a	tributary	of	      Two	distinct	linear	mature	deciduous	woodlands	
      the	River	Boyne	but	located	outside	the	cSAC,	is	crossed	       with	associated	stream/	drainage	ditch	are	crossed	
      at	towers	44	to	45.	Mature	linear	woodland	is	again	            between	towers	110	and	113.	Habitats	of	local	ecological	
      typical	in	several	arable	field	enclosure	boundaries	in	this	   importance	including	mature	coniferous	plantation	
      area.	The	line	crosses	an	esker	with	low	scrubby	semi	          (potential	red	squirrel	habitat)	and	birch	dominated	bog	
      natural	woodland	with	taller	immature	ash.	Roadside	            woodland	formerly	between	Tower	108	to	110	are	now	
      grassland	verges	are	notably	species	rich.                      avoided	through	modification	to	the	line.	An	area	of	
                                                                      modified	raised	bog	is	located	approximately	250m	east	
      West Robinstown Village-Ardbraccan –: Towers 50-74              of	the	line	route.

      The	landscape	is	relatively	flat	and	dominated	by	mixed	        Northern	Region	–	(North	of	N52	road	Towers	120	–	167)
      farming	with	a	large	demesne	estate	(Dunderry	area).		
      Field	and	estate	boundaries	include	mature	linear	              Cloony area to Rahood: Tower 120-130
      woodland.	The	line	will	cross	several	mature	linear	
      woodland	field	boundaries.	A	stream	crossing,	which	is	a	       The	landscape	in	this	area	is	dominated	by	long	low	
      tributary	of	the	River	Boyne	exists	at	towers	50	to	51.		       hills	with	large	improved	pasture	fields	and	some	arable	
                                                                      land.	The	main	features	of	ecological	value	are	limited	to	
      Ardbraccan - Grange: Towers 74-82                               hedgerows	and	trees	with	associated	wildlife.

      The	landscape	is	relatively	flat	and	dominated	by	arable	       Cruicetown/Brittas area: Tower 130-139
      farming	with	some	livestock	grazing.		Field	boundaries	
      are	typically	mature	linear	woodland.	The	line	crosses	the	     This	area	is	dominated	by	drumlin	hills.	Habitats	typically	
      new	M3	road	works	footprint	between	tower	80	and	81.	           consist	of	improved	pastures	with	scattered	fields	of	semi	
      Key	features	of	ecological	value	in	this	area	are	mature	       improved	wet	grassland.	Between	Towers	130	and	133	two	
      linear	woodland	field	boundaries.		                             distinct	blocks	of	mature	deciduous	woodland	dominated	
                                                                      by	beech	with	oak,	ash	and	laurel,	are	crossed.	This	area	
      Grange - Crasulthan: Towers 82-97                               is	considered	to	be	of	moderate	to	high	local	ecological	
                                                                      value.
      The	landscape	is	relatively	flat	and	slopes	into	the	
      Blackwater	river	valley.		Farming	is	dominated	by	livestock	
      grazing	with	some	arable	fields.	Tower	91	to	92	cross	an	
      isolated	area	of	less	improved	wet	grassland/	tall	herb	




104
West Kilmainhamwood village: Tower 139-150                                             relatively	small	and	lined	with	hedgerows	with	scattered	
                                                                                       trees	dominated	by	ash.	An	area	of	cutaway	bog	and	
This	area	is	dominated	by	drumlin	hills.	Habitats	typically	                           willow	scrub,	of	moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value,	
consist	of	improved	pastures	with	scattered	fields	of	semi	                            will	be	avoided	following	recommendations	based	on	
improved	wet	grassland.	Towers	148-149	cross	a	small	                                  findings	of	the	field	survey.	Tower	152	to	154	cross	two	
river	(River	Dee)	with	associated	species	rich	semi	natural	                           distinct	areas	of	coniferous	plantation.
(oak-ash-hazel	WN2)	woodland	of	high	local	ecological	
value.	Whitewood	Lough	to	the	east	of	the	line	route	
(c.a.	500m)	is	an	area	of	high	local	ecological	value	for	
                                                                                       7.3.5.3	
habitats	and	birds	(wintering	and	breeding),	which	is	                                 Summary	of	key	ecological	habitat	
avoided.	Towers	142	-	139	cross	three	distinct	areas	of	
linear	semi	natural	hazel	dominated	woodlands	(WN2)	                                   features	
with	associated	streams.	These	areas	are	considered	to	be	
of	moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value	and	drain	into	                             Bog	and	wetland	habitats	are	scarce	in	the	study	area	and	
Whitewood	Lough.                                                                       any	significant	areas	will	be	avoided.		Where	habitats	of	
                                                                                       moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value	may	potentially	be	
Breaky Lake Area (North of Breaky Lake): Tower 150 – 167                               impacted,	mitigation	measures	are	proposed.

This	area	is	dominated	by	drumlin	hills.	Habitats	typically	                           Features	of	ecological	significance	along	the	alignment	
consist	of	improved	pastures	with	scattered	fields	of	                                 include	linear	woodland	(hedgerows	with	abundant	
semi	improved	species	poor,	wet	grassland.		Fields	are	                                mature	trees	on	field	boundaries).	These	are	detailed	in	


                                                                                      Distance	to	
                                                                                                            Zone	of	         Location	Relative	
   Site                                          Habitat	type                        transmission	
                                                                                                            impact             to	Tower	Nos.
                                                                                          line

                                         Cutaway	bog	and	willow	
   Breaky	Lake	Area	                                                                         0.5km          Avoided	        2km	south	of	164.
                                                 scrub

   West	Kilmainham-                       Semi	natural	woodland	
                                                                                             0km          Wires	cross          148	and	149
   wood	village	                           bordering	River	Dee

   Whitewood	lake                               Eutrophic	lake                               0.5km          Avoided                 141

                                          3	distinct	areas	of	Semi	
   West	of	Whitewood	
                                          natural	woodland	with	                             0km          Wires	cross        134,	139	and	141
   lake
                                             associated	stream

                                            Mature	broadleaved	
   Brittas	Townland.                                                                         0km          Wires	cross            130	-	133
                                                woodland

                                         Mature	coniferous	plan-
   Dowdstown	                                                                                0.1km          Avoided	            west	of	108
                                        tation	and	bog	woodland

   Blackwater	River	
                                                      River                                  0km          Wires	cross           89	and	90
   cSAC

                                          River	and	riparian	semi	
   Boyne	River	cSAC                                                                          0km          Wires	cross           46	and	47
                                             natural	woodland

                                            Stream	and	riparian	                                                             Refer	to	Habitat	
   Other	River	crossings	                                                                    0km          Wires	cross
                                           woodland	vegetation.                                                                   Maps

Table 7.5: Specific Site of High Local Ecological Value along the Alignment
Note: The Tower Numbers are Indicative of the Exact Location along the Proposed Line Route




                                                                                                                                                     105
      7 Flora & Fauna


      Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	7.2.1	-	7.2.20	“Habitat	Maps”.	           •	 Eutrophic	lake	and	artificial	ponds	(avoided);
      Linear	mature	woodland	is	considered	to	be	a	feature	of	
      moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value	as	it	is	relatively	       •	 Bog	and	modified	raised	bog	woodland		(avoided);	
      undisturbed	and	mature	existing	within	an	intensively	                and
      managed	region	of	Ireland.	This	habitat	is	common	in	field	
      boundaries	in	the	flat	landscape	south	of	the	N52	road	            •	 Inter-drumlin	modified	wetland	(avoided).
      crossing.

      Hedgerows	are	generally	considered	to	be	of	moderate	
                                                                      7.3.5.4	
      local	ecological	value	and	are	typical	north	of	the	N52	        Protected	and	rare	flora
      but	also	occur	along	the	alignment.	Isolated	scattered	
      immature	and	mature	trees	are	common	within	                    No	protected	flora	species	were	noted	during	survey	work.
      hedgerows.
                                                                      Cowslip	(not	protected	Republic/	Protected	NI)	was	
      Outside	hedgerows	specific	sites	of	ecological	value	           noted	at	several	locations	along	the	alignment.	This	
      are	scarce	along	the	alignment	as	it	passes	through	            species	is	still	locally	common	in	suitable	habitat	(semi	
      intensively	managed	farmland.	Specific	habitats	of	             improved/	unimproved	grasslands	and	roadside	verges)	
      moderate	to	high	local	ecological	value	noted	during	           in	the	area.		No	protected	flora	species	are	likely	to	be	
      survey	and	potential	impacts	from	the	development	are	          impacted	as	habitats	where	most	species	may	potentially	
      detailed	in	Table	7.5.                                          occur	will	not	be	impacted.	The	exception	is	wooded	
                                                                      edge	areas	where	betony	may	possibly	occur.	Therefore	
      Most	sites	of	significant	ecological	value	have	been	           it	is	recommended	that	an	Ecologist	check	wooded	
      avoided	along	the	alignment.	Crossing	of	features	like	         areas	including	linear	woodland	where	vegetation	
      rivers	and	drainage	ditches	connected	to	rivers	cannot	         clearance	is	required	for	this	species,	immediately	prior	
      be	completely	avoided.	Streams	and	watercourses	are	            to	construction	at	a	time	of	year	when	species	detailed	in	
      sensitive	habitats	where	the	water	quality	is	intimately	       Table	7.1	are	detectable.	If	any	of	these	species	are	noted	
      associated	with	activities	in	local	catchments.	The	rivers	     NPWS	will	be	informed	and	suitable	mitigation	based	on	
      and	streams	along	the	alignment	include	salmonid	               licensing	requirements	will	be	implemented,	if	the	works	
      breeding	habitats.	Mitigation	measures	are	detailed	            area	cannot	be	reasonably	moved.		
      to	prevent	significant	impacts	on	freshwater	habitats	
      and	water	quality	where	river	sites	may	potentially	
      be	impacted	by	the	alignment.		Best	practice	during	            7.3.6	
      construction	and	careful	selection	of	temporary	access	         Fauna
      routes,	if	required,	to	avoid	crossing	High	Value	Sites	will	
      play	a	key	role	in	mitigation.	
                                                                      7.3.6.1	
      In	summary	key	extensive	features	of	moderate	to	               Mammals	
      potentially	high	local	ecological	value	noted	during	the	
      survey	and	during	consultation	include:                         Fauna	surveys	were	implemented	at	accessible	areas	
                                                                      along	the	alignment.	From	the	habitats	present	along	the	
         •	 Hedgerows	with	mature	trees	–	Linear	woodland.	           alignment,	it	is	expected	that	protected	mammals,	which	
            (WL1/WL2);	and	                                           will	utilise	the	study	area	will	include	Badger	(Meles	
                                                                      meles),	Otter	(Lutra	lutra)	and	bat	species.	
         •	 Hedgerows	with	isolated	trees	(WL1).
                                                                      Bats
      Isolated	ecological	features	of	note	include:
                                                                      The	study	area	contains	a	large	network	of	hedgerow,	
         •	 Semi	natural	deciduous	woodland	(crossed);                treeline	and	scattered	patches	of	woodland	habitat,	
                                                                      which	provide	abundant	foraging	routes	for	bat	species	
         •	 Deciduous	woodland	(impacts	likely	at	several	            throughout	the	area.	River	corridors	also	provide	foraging	
            locations);                                               potential.	

         •	 Rivers	and	streams	(crossed);	                            All	Irish	bat	species	are	protected	under	the	Wildlife	
                                                                      Act	1976	(as	amended	2000)	and	the	Habitats	Directive	
         •	 Scrub	on	an	esker	(crossed);                              1992.	Bats	are	further	protected	across	Europe	under	
                                                                      the	Convention	on	the	Conservation	of	European	Wildlife	




106
and	Natural	Habitats	(Bern	Convention,	1982)	and	the	           interferes	with	or	destroys	the	breeding	place	or	resting	
Convention	on	the	Conservation	of	Migratory	Species	            place	of	any	protected	wild	animal,	shall	be	guilty	of	an	
of	Wild	Animals	(Bonn	Convention	1979,	enacted	1983).		         offence.	
Both	these	conventions	have	been	ratified	by	the	Irish	
Government.                                                     Given	the	probability	of	linear	woodland/	hedgerow	
                                                                clearance	requirements	for	this	development,	it	is	
No	building		with	potential	bat	roost	sites	will	be	impacted	   proposed	to	undertake	a	pre-construction	check	at	the	
by	the	proposed	development.	An	assessment	of	potential	        proposed	tower	base	locations	and	immediate	vicinity,	to	
tree	roost	sites	conducted	along	roads	confirmed	that	          validate	if	any	active	badger	setts	occur	or	not.	If	active	
very	old	mature	decaying	trees	suitable	as	temporary	           setts	are	present	then	appropriate	mitigation	measures	
summer	bat	roosts	and	possible	maternal	roosts,	are	            will	be	put	in	place,	refer	to	section	7.5	(Mitigation	
relatively	scarce	along	the	alignment.	A	number	of	             Measures)	which	will	be	drawn	up	in	co-operation	with	the	
inaccessible	linear	woodland	areas	and	woodland	blocks	         NPWS.	
(Kilmainhamwood	village	area)	may	possibly	be	suitable	
as	bat	roosts.                                                  Otter	

A	bat	activity	survey	carried	out	in	September	and	October	     Otter	signs	(spraints	and	trails)	were	noted	at	the	Rivers	
2008,	confirmed	abundant	bat	activity	along	mature	             Boyne	and	Blackwater	close	to	the	line	route	crossing	
hedgerows,	rivers	and	linear	woodland	throughout	               points,	as	would	be	expected.
the	alignment.	Bat	species	recorded	included	common	
pipistrelle	(Pipistrellus pipistrellus),	soprano	pipistrelle	   The	Otter	may	be	found	in	a	variety	of	habitats	such	as	
(Pipistrellus pygmaeus),	leisler	(Nyctalus leisleri),	and	      rivers,	streams,	lakes,	marshes,	estuaries	and	on	the	
daubenton’s	(Myotis daubentonii).                               coast.	Otters	are	rarely	found	far	from	the	water	and	tend	
                                                                to	occupy	linear	home	ranges.	Otters	have	a	number	of	
A	pre-construction	bat	roost	check	will	be	conducted	at	        holts,	which	includes	a	breeding	site,	in	their	home	range	
mature	trees	required	for	clearance	at	all	proposed	tower	      which	are	usually	located	in	natural	recesses	under	the	
base	locations	and	temporary	access	routes	which	require	       edge	of	the	riverbank	or	among	root	systems	of	trees.	
breaking	through	linear	woodland,	to	assess	if	roosts	          Otter	holts	can	occur	quite	far	from	main	river	channels	
are	present.	If	a	bat	roost	particularly	a	maternal	roost	      though	typically	sett	locations	on	drains	and	small	rivers	
is	likely	then	appropriate	mitigation	measures,	(refer	to	      connect	to	a	main	feeding	channel.		
section	7.5)	will	be	put	in	place	in	co-operation	with	the	
NPWS.                                                           The	Otter	is	fully	protected	in	Ireland	under	the	Irish	
                                                                Wildlife	Act	1976	(as	amended	2000).	It	is	listed	on	the	
Badger                                                          Irish	Red	Data	book	as	“Internationally	Important”.	The	
                                                                otter	is	also	protected	under	Annex	II	and	Annex	IV	of	
Surveys	conducted	along	roads	found	limited	evidence	           the	EU	Habitats	Directive	giving	it	strict	protection	as	a	
of	Badgers	and	no	setts	were	found.		Well	worn	wildlife	        species	of	community	interest	for	which	EU	nations	must	
tracks	noted	widely,	are	likely	to	be	utilised	by	Badgers	      designate	Special	Areas	of	Conservation	(cSAC).	The	River	
though	no	hair	or	other	signs	were	detected.                    Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC	is	designated	as	such	
                                                                for	Otter.	The	Otter	is	also	listed	on	Appendix	II	of	the	
Badgers	breed	at	widespread	locations	in	the	study	             Convention	on	the	Conservation	of	European	Wildlife	and	
area	(Smal	1995,	Hayden	&	Harrington,	2000).	Setts	are	         Natural	Habitats	(Bern	Convention,	1982),	of	which	Ireland	
typically	located	in	hedgerows/	linear	woodland	rather	         has	ratified.		
than	in	scrub	or	woodlands.	Smal	(1995)	surveyed	Badger	
extensively	in	County	Meath.	During	this	survey	28	by	          A	pre-construction	Otter	holt	check	will	be	conducted	at	
1km	squares	were	surveyed	and	122	setts	were	confirmed.	        suitable	breeding	habitat	(streams,	drainage	ditch	and	
County	Meath	was	considered	to	have	moderately	high	            rivers	edges)	close	to	proposed	tower	base	locations	
densities	relative	to	other	counties	surveyed.	                 and	temporary	access	routes	which	may	be	disturbed	by	
                                                                construction	activity,	to	confirm	that	breeding	sites	do	
Badgers	are	listed	on	Appendix	III	of	the	Convention	           not	occur.	Particular	attention	will	be	paid	at	designated	
on	the	Conservation	of	European	Wildlife	and	Natural	           cSAC	Rivers	and	non	designated	streams,	draining	into	
Habitats	(Bern	Convention,	1982)	as	a	species	to	be	            cSAC	Rivers.		If	active	holts	are	present	then	appropriate	
protected	and	whose	exploitation	must	be	regulated.	The	        mitigation	measures	will	be	put	in	place	in	cooperation	
badger	is	protected	in	Ireland	under	the	Irish	Wildlife	Act	    with	the	NPWS	and	licensing	conditions	implemented.
1976	(as	amended	2000).	Section	23	(5)(d)	of	the	Wildlife	
Act	1976	as	amended,	states	that	any	person	who	wilfully	




                                                                                                                               107
      7 Flora & Fauna


                                                                     (<1km).	These	are	summarised	based	on	level	of	
                                                                     conservation	concern.
      Other	Mammals                                                  Annex 1 EU Habitats Directive

      Other	protected	mammals	noted	included	Irish	hare	             Four	species	listed	on	Annex	1	of	the	EU	habitats	Directive	
      (Lepus	timidus	hibernicus).	This	species	was	noted	            were	noted	including	Whooper	Swan,	Peregrine	falcon,	
      on	several	occasions	in	grassland	and	field	boundary	          Golden	plover	and	Kingfisher.	Of	these	only	Kingfisher	
      areas	throughout	the	study	area.	Irish	hare	are	relatively	    was	noted	as	probably	breeding	in	the	study	area,	though	
      common	in	a	wide	range	of	habitats	including	semi	             Peregrine	is	likely	to	breed	in	the	wider	region.	Kingfisher	
      improved	grassland,	improved	grassland,	upland	habitats	       was	noted	along	the	Boyne	and	Blackwater	River	valley	
      and	bogs.	                                                     and	also	in	the	Tara	Mines	area.	This	species	is	associated	
                                                                     with	riparian	habitats.
      The	Irish	hare	is	a	quarry	species	(may	be	hunted	under	
      licence)	and	has	limited	protection	under	domestic	            Red Listed
      legislation.	It	is	listed	in	the	Irish	Red	Data	book	as	
      internationally	important	and	on	Appendix	III	of	the	          Six	species	of	high	conservation	concern	were	noted	
      Bern	Convention	as	a	protected	species.	It	is	also	listed	     during	the	survey	including	Lapwing,	Curlew,	Black	
      under	Annex	V	of	the	Habitats	Directive	as	a	species	          headed	gull,	Herring	gull	and	Golden	plover.	Most	of	these	
      which	may	be	exploited	but	not	to	the	extent	that	it’s	        were	wintering	or	foraging/loafing	rather	than	breeding	
      favourable	conservation	status	is	compromised	(Hayden	&	       birds.	Only	Yellowhammer,	a	passerine	species	was	
      Harrington,	2000).	                                            probably/confirmed	breeding	in	the	southern	section	of	
                                                                     the	proposed	development	where	it	is	relatively	common.		
      No	other	protected	mammal	species	were	noted.	Other	           It	breeds	in	hedgerows	in	mixed	farmland	landscapes	and	
      protected	species	which	may	occur	include	Red	squirrel	        is	particularly	associated	with	arable	farming.
      (Sciurus	vulgaris).	The	Red	squirrel	occupies	a	variety	of	
      woodland	types	across	much	of	Ireland.	It	is	protected	        Amber Listed
      under	the	fifth	schedule	of	the	Irish	Wildlife	Act	1976	
      (as	amended	2000)	and	is	on	Schedule	III	of	the	Bern	          Twenty	four	species	of	moderate	conservation	concern	
      Convention.	                                                   were	noted.		Of	these,	thirteen	were	probably/confirmed	
                                                                     breeding	including:	Grasshopper	Warbler,	Great	crested	
      Common	mammal	species	noted	included	Grey	squirrel	            grebe,	House	Martin,	House	Sparrow,	Kestrel,	Skylark,	
      (Sciurus	carolinensis),	Rabbit	(Oryctolagus	cuniculus)	        Linnet,	Little	grebe,	Mute	swan,	Starling,	Stock	dove	
      and	Fox	(Vulpes	vulpes).	Irish	stoat	(Mustela	erminea),	       Swallow	and	Tree	sparrow.
      Wood	mouse	(Apodemus	sylvatica),	Pygmy	shrew	(Sorex	
      minutus),	Hedgehog	(Erinaceus	europaeus)	and	Brown	rat	           •	 Grasshopper	warbler	were	noted	sporadically	in	
      (Rattus	norvegicus)	are	likely	to	be	common	in	the	study	            rush	dominated	wet	grassland	and	lakeside	marsh	
      area.	                                                               fringe	in	the	northern	section	of	the	study	area	
                                                                           outside	the	alignment.
      7.3.6.2	                                                          •	 Great	crested	grebe	is	a	local	breeding	species	
      Birds	                                                               on	lakes	in	the	area.	This	species	was	noted	on	
                                                                           Whitewood	Lough	with	3	plus	pairs	and	several	
      Late	summer	(August	/	September	2008),	wintering	(two	               non-breeding	individuals	noted.		No	other	Great	
      Wintering	Bird	Periods	2007,	2008	and	early	2009)	and	               Crested	Grebes	were	noted	breeding	close	to	
      breeding	bird	(April	to	June	2009)	surveys	were	conducted	           the	alignment	though	Ervey	Lake,	Breaky	and	
      as	part	of	the	baseline	studies.	A	total	of	75	bird	species	         Newcastle	Lough	are	breeding	sites	<2km	away.
      were	noted	during	the	survey.	Of	these	19	were	wintering	
      only	or	unlikely	to	be	breeding	within	the	study	area.	           •	 House	martin	are	scarce	in	this	region	and	were	
                                                                           noted	sporadically	nesting	on	houses.
      Breeding	Birds
                                                                        •	 Kestrel	was	occasionally	noted	foraging	and	is	
      A	summary	of	all	bird	records	including	breeding	status	             probably	breeding	within	the	general	area	though	
      and	level	of	conservation	concern	is	provided	in	Volume	             no	evidence	that	it	breeds	in	the	study	area	was	
      4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.6	“Summary	Findings	of	Breeding	                determined.	
      Bird	Survey”.	A	total	of	55	bird	species	were	probably	
      or	confirmed	breeding	within	or	close	to	the	line	route	          •	 Skylarks	are	a	widespread	breeding	bird	of	large	




108
      arable	fields	in	Meath.                                   Whooper	Swan	move	as	a	response	to	food	availability,	
                                                                quite	widely	in	the	wider	Meath	landscape.	However	
   •	 Linnets	are	locally	common	in	areas	of	gorse	scrub	       they	return	in	the	evening	to	two	main	roost	sites	in	the	
      and	overgrown	hedgerows.                                  Blackwater	valley	area	including	Tara	Mines	tailing	ponds	
                                                                (near	Navan)	and	Headford	estate	(Kells).		
   •	 Little	grebe	were	noted	on	Whitewood	Lough	
      and	at	least	one	pair	probably	breeds	here.	This	         The	northern	section	of	the		proposed	development	
      species	breeds	on	lakes	and	ponds	and	is	likely	to	       passes	close	to	Cruicetown	a	foraging	area	for	Whooper	
      be	locally	common	on	lakes	and	ponds	within	the	          Swan	and	within	several	kilometres	of	roost	sites	in	the	
      study	area.                                               area	including	Newcastle	Lough,	Whitewood	Lough	and	
                                                                Breaky	Lough.
   •	 A	pair	of	Mute	swan	was	noted	breeding	on	
      Whitewood	Lough.	They	also	utilise	larger	rivers	         Whooper	Swans	have	been	highlighted	in	numerous	
      such	as	the	River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	and	the	           studies	as	being	prone	to	collision	with	transmission	
      Tara	Mines	Tailing	Ponds.                                 lines.

   •	 Starling,	House	sparrow	and	Swallow	are	common	           Whooper	Swan	flight	lines	were	confirmed,	crossing	the	
      around	farmsteads	and	fields.                             line	route	in	two	areas	including:

   •	 Stock	dove	and	Tree	sparrow	were	noted	in	the	Trim	          •	 Blackwater	River	valley	–	between	various	foraging	
      area	between	Towers	80	and	100.		These	are	local	               areas	along	the	Blackwater	valley	and	a	roost	site	
      breeding	species	of	arable	farmland	with	mature	                at	Tara	Mines	Tailings	Ponds.	Nationally	significant	
      linear	woodlands.                                               numbers	(approximately	130)	of	Whooper	Swan,	
                                                                      with	a	peak	roost	count	of	145	birds,	at	least	
Green Listed – Common species                                         occasionally	during	winter	months,	fly	over	the	line	
                                                                      route	at	this	location.	
A	wide	range	of	common	breeding	species	occur	within	
the	study	area.		Breeding	sites	are	predominantly	                 •	 Whooper	Swans	fly	between	roost	sites	at	
hedgerows,	linear	woodland,	and	woodlands.	A	number	                  Whitewood	Lough	(and	probably	Newcastle	Lough	
of	species	listed	are	associated	with	water	bodies	which	             also)	and	a	foraging	area	on	improved	grasslands	
will	largely	be	avoided	except	at	river	crossings.	Grassland	         at	Cruicetown.	A	peak	roost	count	of	60	birds	was	
species	are	scarce	as	would	be	expected	given	the	                    noted	during	this	study	which	may	potentially	fly	
intensive	farm	management	typical	in	the	area.                        over	the	line	route	at	this	location.	

Whooper Swans                                                   Other	species

Extensive	wintering	bird	studies	focussing	on	Whooper	          While	the	focus	of	the	study	was	Whooper	Swans	other	
Swan,	were	conducted	as	part	of	the	baseline	works	             wintering	bird	species	observed	were	recorded.	The	focus	
and	further	surveys	in	winter	2009/2010	are	ongoing.	           was	on	species	of	conservation	concern	or	species	which	
Whooper	Swan	has	been	highlighted	in	consultation,	as	          are	potentially	susceptible	to	transmission	line	collision.
extensively	using	the	study	area,	in	numbers	that	can	
exceed	nationally	significant	levels.                           On	occasion	during	the	winter,	nationally	significant	flocks	
                                                                of	Golden	plover	(<3000)	cross	the	line	route	between	a	
The	wintering	bird	survey	findings	to	date	are	described	in	    roost	site	at	Tara	Mines	Tailings	Ponds	and	foraging	areas	
more	detail	in	a	separate	report;	refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	    in	the	Blackwater	River	valley.	
Appendix	7.4	“Whooper	Swan	Study	Report”.	Flight	lines	
recorded	and	foraging	areas	are	mapped	and	detailed	in	         Small	numbers	of	Curlew,	Lapwing,	Shelduck	and	duck	
this	report.                                                    species	roost	and	loaf	on	Tara	Mines	Tailings	Ponds	
                                                                though	none	were	noted	leaving/	returning	to	this	area	
The	key	findings	detailed	in	this	report	highlight	             during	surveys	which	were	implemented	during	key	
nationally	significant	populations	of	Whooper	Swan,	            periods	for	detecting	localised	movements	(dawn	and	
wintering	in	the	Blackwater	valley	area.	The	alignment	         dusk	winter	studies).
crosses	the	Blackwater	River	between	these	foraging	
areas	and	an	important	roost	site	at	Tara	Mines	Tailings	       No	other	waterfowl/wader	species	were	noted	crossing	
Ponds.	                                                         the	line	route.




                                                                                                                                109
      7 Flora & Fauna


                                                                    in Environmental Impact Statements (2002) and the
                                                                    Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s
                                                                    Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment (IEEM 2006)
      7.3.6.3	                                                      and with reference to the National Road’s Authority
      Fisheries                                                     Guidelines for ecological impact assessment (NRA 2004),
                                                                    refer to Table 7.6.
      The	study	area	exists	entirely	within	the	jurisdiction	of	
      the	Eastern	Regional	Fisheries	Board.	The	majority	of	the	    This	evaluation	considers	the	presence/absence	of	
      route	south	of	Whitewood	Lough	exists	within	the	Boyne	       noteworthy	species	and	a	judgement	of	the	viability	of	the	
      River	catchment.		Whitewood	Lough	exists	within	the	River	    habitat	present.	Habitat	evaluation	is	considered	in	terms	
      Dee	catchment.                                                of	extent,	diversity,	naturalness,	rarity,	fragility,	recorded	
                                                                    history,	position,	potential	value	and	intrinsic	appeal.	
      There	is	a	minimum	of	30	identified	river	and	stream	         Field	survey	data	was	supplemented	by	relevant	literature	
      crossings	(as	detailed	in	the	OSi	1:50,000	Discovery	         and	other	existing	information	when	carrying	out	the	
      Data	Maps).	These	river/stream	crossings	are	outlined	in	     assessment.
      Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	7.2.1	-	7.2.20	“Habitat	Maps”.
                                                                    As the line is an extensive linear development ecological
      The	Rivers	Blackwater	and	Boyne	are	crossed	by	the	           features are divided into distinguishable levels of ecological
      alignment.	In	addition	a	number	of	drainage	channels	         value:
      are	crossed,	which	drain	into	these	larger	rivers.	The	
      Blackwater	River	is	a	major	tributary	of	the	River	Boyne.	    A	      Internationally	Important
      It	has	a	good	stock	of	Brown	trout	Salmo	trutta	and	
      spawning	Salmon	Salmo	salar	(O’Reilly	2004).		The	Boyne	           •	 River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	cSAC-	Salmonids	and	
      is	the	main	river	draining	County	Meath	and	is	considered	            Lamprey	species	present.	Kingfisher	and	Otter	
      as	one	of	Ireland’s	premier	game	fisheries	both	for	Salmon	           confirmed	during	survey.	The	site	is	designated	
      (spring)	and	Brown	trout	fishing.		Salmon	are	considered	             under	Irish	and	EU	Habitats	Directive	legislation.
      scarce	(except	in	late	summer	with	floods)	on	the	section	
      of	the	River	Boyne	near	Trim	at	the	line	route	crossing	      B	      Nationally	Important
      point.
                                                                         •	 Wintering	bird	populations	of	Whooper	Swans/	
      Whitewood	Lough	located	approximately	0.5km	from	                     Golden	Plover	in	the	Blackwater	valley	and	Tara	
      the	alignment	is	a	noted	coarse	fishery	(ERFB).		Species	             Mines	Tailings	ponds	area.
      include	Roach,	Bream	and	Pike.
                                                                    D-C	    Moderate-	High	value:	locally	Important:
      7.3.6.4	                                                           •	 Fisheries	(streams	and	rivers)	particularly	drainage	
      Other	species                                                         channels	of	the	Blackwater	and	Boyne.	

      No	amphibian	or	reptile	species	were	noted	during	the	             •	 Cutover	bog	and	bog	woodland	(highlighted	in	
      survey.	Drainage	ditches	and	ponds	within	the	study	area	             Table	7.5);
      provide	potential	breeding	sites	for	Common	frog	and	
      Smooth	newt.	These	habitats	will	be	avoided.                       •	 Mature	linear	woodland	(WL1/WL2)	highlighted	
                                                                            Habitat	maps	(Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	
      No	Marsh	fritillary	(Euphydryas	aurinia)	or	other	species	            7.2.1	-	7.2.20	“Habitat	Maps”);
      of	note	were	recorded	during	the	study.	Typical	habitat	of	
      marsh	fritillary	(breeding	and	feeding	wetland	sites)	will	        •	 Mature	deciduous	woodland	blocks;
      be	avoided	by	the	proposed	development.
                                                                         •	 Scarcer	farmland	breeding	birds	(Yellowhammer,	
                                                                            Tree	sparrow,	Stock	Dove)	mainly	in	the	Trim	Area;	
      7.3.7	                                                                and
      Evaluation	of	Ecological	Significance	
                                                                         •	 Semi	natural	(generally	riparian)	oak-ash-hazel	
      An	attempt	is	made	here	to	provide	an	evaluation	of	the	              woodland-	WN2	at	four	distinct	areas	crossed.
      habitats,	flora,	fauna	and	fisheries	along	the	alignment,	
      in	the	context	of	the	general	ecology	recorded	in	the	                -	 Fisheries/Watercourses	provide	inter-connecting	
      wider	area.	The	evaluation	has	been	undertaken	with	due	                 habitats	and	wildlife	corridors	for	aquatic	and	
      regard	to	the	revised EPA Advice Notes on Current Practice               terrestrial	fauna	such	as	Salmonids,	Kingfisher	
      (2003), EPA Guidelines on the information to be contained                and	Otter.	They	are	important	as	interconnecting	




110
   Rating           Qualifying	Criteria

                    Internationally	important.	

                    Sites	designated	(or	qualifying	for	designation)	as	SAC*	or	SPA**	under	the	EU	Habitats	or	Birds	Direc-
                    tive.	

       A            Undesignated	sites	containing	good	examples	of	Annex	I	priority	habitats	under	the	EU	Habitats	Direc-
                    tive.	

                    Major	Salmon	river	fisheries.

                    Major	salmonid	(salmon,	trout	or	char)	lake	fisheries.	

                    Nationally	important.	

                    Sites	or	waters	designated	or	proposed	as	an	NHA***	or	statutory	Nature	Reserves.	Undesignated	sites	
                    containing	good	examples	of	Annex	I	habitats	under	the	EU	Habitats	Directive	or	Annex	I	species	under	
                    the	EU	Birds	Directive	or	species	protected	under	the	Wildlife	(Amendment)	Act	2000.	
       B
                    Major	trout	river	fisheries.	

                    Water	bodies	with	major	amenity	fishery	value.	

                    Commercially	important	coarse	fisheries.	

                    High	value,	locally	important.	

                    Sites	containing	semi-natural	habitat	types	with	high	biodiversity	in	a	local	context	and	a	high	degree	of	
                    naturalness,	or	significant	populations	of	locally	rare	species.	
       C
                    Small	water	bodies	with	known	salmonid	populations	or	with	good	potential	salmonid	habitat.	Sites	
                    containing	any	resident	or	regularly	occurring	populations	of	Annex	II	species	under	the	EU	Habitats	
                    Directive	or	Annex	I	species	under	the	EU	Birds	Directive.	

                    Large	water	bodies	with	some	coarse	fisheries	value.	

                    Moderate	value,	locally	important.	

                    Sites	containing	some	semi-natural	habitat	or	locally	important	for	wildlife.	
       D
                    Small	water	bodies	with	some	coarse	fisheries	value	or	some	potential	salmonid	habitat.	

                    Any	water	body	with	unpolluted	water	(Q-Value	4-5).	

                    Low	value,	locally	important.	

       E            Artificial	or	highly	modified	habitats	with	low	species	diversity	and	low	wildlife	value.	

                    Water	bodies	with	no	current	fisheries	value	and	no	significant	potential	fisheries	value.	


Table 7.6: Site Evaluation Scheme
* SAC = Special Area of Conservation
** SPA = Special Protection Area
*** NHA =Natural Heritage Area




                                                                                                                                  111
      7 Flora & Fauna


               corridors	for	flora	dispersal.	Any	activity	within	
               freshwater	catchments	or	hydrologically	
               connected	habitats	may	have	an	indirect	effect	              -	 Other	isolated	habitats	(e.g.	GS1,	WS1)	occur	
               on	designated	habitats	and/or	species	of	                       along	the	line	route	of	the	alignment.	The	
               conservation	interest.		                                        location	of	tower	bases	largely	avoids	these	
                                                                               fragmentary	habitats.	
             -	 Cutover	bog	and	riparian	and	other	woodland	
                habitats	are	considered	to	be	of	high	local	value	
                within	a	landscape	that	is	intensively	and	widely	
                                                                     7.4	
                utilised	for	agriculture.	These	areas	are	avoided.   POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	
             -	 Mature	linear	and	occasional	larger	blocks	of	       During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	
                deciduous	woodland	occur	around	many	of	             number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	
                the	demesne	estates	in	County	Meath.	These	          notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	
                habitats	are	locally	important	wildlife	refuges	     evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
                for	flora	and	fauna	in	an	intensively	managed	       the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	
                landscape                                            the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	
                                                                     been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	
             -	 Mature	deciduous	woodland	blocks	will	be	
                crossed	by	the	alignment	and	therefore	some	
                trimming	will	be	required.	These	will	be	retained	   7.4.1	
                in	a	pollarded	form.                                 Impact	Evaluation	and	Terminology
             -	 Semi	natural	oak-ash-hazel	woodland	is	crossed	      The	impact	assessment	has	been	undertaken	with	
                by	the	alignment	at	several	locations.	This	is	      due	regard	to	the	revised EPA Advice Notes on Current
                generally	low	growing	and	may	require	trimming	      Practice (2003); the EPA Guidelines on the information
                in	the	future.                                       to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements
                                                                     (2003);	and	with	reference	to	the	Institute of Ecology and
      E-D	   Low	-	Moderate	value:	Locally	Important                 Environmental Management’s Guidelines for Ecological
                                                                     Impact Assessment (2006)	and	the	National	Roads	
        •	 Agricultural	grassland,	hedgerows,	drainage	              Authority’s	Guidelines for ecological impact assessment.
           ditches.
                                                                     Impacts	are	generally	considered	as	(a)	temporary	(in	
             -	 The	dominant	habitats	are	agricultural	grassland	    this	case	it	is	considered	to	be	the	period	of	construction	
                and	arable	farmland	which	are	considered	            and	recovery	of	habitat	(0-5	years)	and	(b)	permanent	
                of	low	ecological	value	botanically,	though	         (from	5	years	onwards)	following	from	the	initiation	of	
                important	for	some	scarcer	breeding	birds	e.g.	      development	(Regini	2000).		Terminology	to	describe	
                Yellowhammer	and	wintering	Whooper	Swan	             impacts	and	type	of	impact	are	detailed	in	Table	7.7
                and	Golden	plover	particularly	in	the	Blackwater	
                valley	area.                                         Specific	potential	impacts	are	described	for	each	phase	
                                                                     of	the	development	namely;	construction,	operation	and	
             -	 Managed	hedgerows	with	scattered	trees	in	           reinstatement	phases.
                places	are	of	moderate	local	ecological	value	as	
                they	consist	of	semi	natural	vegetation	and	are	
                utilised	by	most	bird	species	recorded,	bats	and	    7.4.2	
                potentially	badger	setts.                            Construction	(temporary)	
             -	 Grassland	verges	in	the	Trim	areas	of	County	        phase	impacts
                Meath	are	botanically	species	rich	and	will	be	
                avoided.                                             The	main	potential	impacts	are	likely	to	arise	during	
                                                                     the	construction	phase.	Key	features	of	the	proposed	
             -	 No	protected	plants	were	noted	during	               development	which	may	impact	ecology	include	the	
                surveying.	The	study	area	is	generally	unsuitable	   following:	
                for	protected	plant	species	recorded	in	the	
                general	area.	No	sightings	of	scarcer	plants	           •	 Construction	activity	including	vegetation	
                (besides	cowslip)	were	noted	along	the	line	route	         clearance,	tower	foundation	excavation,	tower	
                and	in	the	surrounding	area.                               construction	and	line	stringing;




112
  Quality	of	impacts

  Positive Impact

  A	change	that	improves	the	quality	of	the	environment	(e.g.	by	increasing	species	diversity,	or	improving	the	repro-
  ductive	capacity	of	an	ecosystem,	or	removing	nuisances	or	improving	amenities)

  Neutral Impact

  A	change	that	does	not	affect	the	quality	of	the	environment

  Negative Impact

  A	change	that	reduces	the	quality	of	the	environment	(e.g.	lessening	species	diversity	or	diminishing	the	reproduc-
  tive	capacity	of	an	ecosystem,	or	damaging	health	or	property	or	by	causing	nuisance)

  Significance	of	Impacts

  Imperceptible Impact

  An	impact	capable	of	measurement	but	without	noticeable	consequences

  Slight Impact

  An	impact	that	causes	noticeable	changes	in	the	character	of	the	environment	without	affecting	its	sensitivities

  Moderate Impact

  An	impact	that	alters	the	character	of	the	environment	in	a	manner	that	is	consistent	with	existing	and	emerging	
  trends

  Significant Impact

  An	impact	that,	by	its	character,	magnitude,	duration	or	intensity	alters	a	sensitive	aspect	of	the	environment

  Profound Impact

  An	impact	that	obliterates	sensitive	characteristics

  Duration	of	Impacts

  Short-term Impacts

  Impact	lasting	one	to	seven	years

  Medium-term Impact

  Impact	lasting	seven	to	fifteen	years

Table 7.7: Terminology used to describe Potential Impacts on Ecological Systems




                                                                                                                         113
      7 Flora & Fauna


        Long-term Impact

        Impact	lasting	fifteen	to	sixty	years

        Permanent Impact

        Impact	lasting	over	sixty	years

        Temporary Impact

        Impact	lasting	for	one	year	or	less

        Types	of	Impacts

        Cumulative Impact

        The	addition	of	many	small	impacts	to	create	one	larger,	more	significant,	impact

        ‘Do Nothing Impact’

        The	environment	as	it	would	be	in	the	future	should	no	development	of	any	kind	be	carried	out

        Indeterminable Impact

        When	the	full	consequences	of	a	change	in	the	environment	cannot	be	described

        Irreversible Impact

        When	the	character,	distinctiveness,	diversity	or	reproductive	capacity	of	an	environment	is	permanently	lost

        Residual Impact

        The	degree	of	environmental	change	that	will	occur	after	the	proposed	mitigation	measures	have	taken	effect	

      Table 7.7: Terminology used to describe Potential Impacts on Ecological Systems




114
                                                             7.4.2.1	
  •	 The	construction	of	temporary	access	road	              Designated	conservation	areas
     locations,	if	necessary;
                                                             The	proposed	development	will	cross	the	River	Boyne	and	
  •	 Storage	of	excavated	material;                          River	Blackwater	candidate	Special	Area	of	Conservation	
                                                             (cSAC)	at	two	locations.	
  •	 Noise	disturbance	from	machinery	and	staff;	and	
                                                             A	specific	Appropriate	Assessment	report	is	provided	in	
  •	 Pollution	runoff	to	drains	and	other	watercourses.	     Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.3,	“Appropriate	Assessment	
                                                             of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC”,	detailing	
Further	details	on	the	proposed	construction	methodology	    potential	impacts	to	European	designated	sites	from	the	
and	works	are	discussed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4.       project	and	provides	mitigation	measures	for	avoiding	
                                                             significant	negative	impacts.
The	vast	majority	of	the	alignment	passes	through	
intensively	managed	farmland	of	low	ecological	value.	Key	   Their	will	be	no	direct	habitat	loss	to	the	cSAC	as	the	
ecological	features	which	may	potentially	be	impacted	       nearest	tower	base	will	be	located	approximately	
include:                                                     110m	and	140m	from	the	cSAC	boundary	at	the	Rivers	
   •	 The	River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	cSAC	at	two	            Blackwater	and	Boyne	respectively.	No	vegetation	exists	
       points;                                               at	the	Blackwater	crossing.	An	area	of	scrub	and	ruderal	
                                                             vegetation	will	be	traversed	at	the	Boyne	crossing.	As	this	
  •	 Linear	woodland	/	hedgerow	(WL1/WL2)	loss	              occurs	on	a	steep	bank	and	vegetation	height	will	never	
     required	for	locating	tower	bases	(20	–	30m	length	     interfere	with	the	lines,	no	trimming	and/	or	other	impacts	
     per	tower);                                             will	be	required	here.

  •	 Trimming	of	other	linear	woodland	(WL1/WL2),	oak	       During	construction	no	machinery	will	be	located	within	
     ash	hazel	woodland	(WN2)	and	mixed	broadleaved	         the	cSAC	or	temporary	access	routes	created.		Stringing	of	
     woodland	(WD1),	under	the	line;                         the	lines	across	the	cSAC	river	crossing	will	be	conducted	
                                                             manually	from	the	relevant	tower	locations	located	
  •	 Loss	of	possible	roost	and	breeding	sites	within	       outside	the	cSAC	boundary.
     the	tower	footprint	for	protected	species	including	
     birds,	otter,	badger	and	bat	species;                   There	is	potential	for	pollution	/	runoff	impacts	to	occur	
                                                             during	the	construction	of	the	tower	base.	Providing	
  •	 Localised	noise	and	other	disturbance	caused	to	        mitigation	measures	are	adhered	to	it	is	predicted	there	
     sensitive	ecological	receptors	(birds	and	protected	    will	be	no	adverse	impact	on	the	integrity	of	the	cSAC	from	
     mammals	described)	during	the	construction	             the	proposed	development.	
     phase;
                                                             There	will	be	no	temporary	impacts	on	any	designated	
  •	 Hydrological	(surface	water	and	ground	water)	          sites	or	species	of	conservation	interest	during	
     perturbations	which	may	impact	sensitive	aquatic	       development	of	access	points	and	routes	and	excavation	
     receptors	in	streams	and	rivers;                        of	foundations	and	traffic	to	and	from	tower	locations.	

  •	 Direct	mortality	of	bird	species	including	Whooper	     Therefore	negative	impacts	to	conservation	objectives	of	
     Swans	through	collision	with	the	transmission	line	     the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC	will	be	avoided	
     and	towers;	and                                         at	both	river	crossings	with	implementation	of	mitigation	
                                                             measures	detailed	in	section	7.5.
  •	 Disturbance	impacts	during	the	maintenance/	
     operational	and	reinstatement	phases	are	likely	to	
     be	minor.
                                                             7.4.2.2	
                                                             Habitats
Potential	impacts	are	detailed	further	under	key	headings	
herein.                                                      The	erection	of	towers	and	installation	of	overhead	lines	
                                                             has	a	localised	impact	tending	to	be	restricted	to	the	base	
                                                             of	the	tower	and	essentially	being	non-destructive	over	
                                                             the	greater	part	of	the	line.	




                                                                                                                            115
      7 Flora & Fauna


      It	is	a	policy	of	EirGrid	to	locate	tower	bases	in	field	        Indirect	impacts	may	occur	on	habitats	to	be	retained	
      boundaries	in	order	to	avoid	impact	on	agricultural	             such	as	the	remainder	of	hedgerow	and	woodland	habitat,	
      activity.	Therefore	their	will	be	a	loss	of	linear	woodland	     through	damage	and	disturbance	arising	from	vehicular	
      -	hedgerows/	or	hedgerow	with	trees,	at	these	locations.	        activities	and	storage	of	overburden	and	materials,	
      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	7.2.1	–	7.2.20	“Habitat	       incurring	a	minor	to	moderate	negative	impact	depending	
      Maps”.	For	description	purposes	all	these	habitats	are	          on	the	extent	of	area	affected.	There	is	also	the	potential	
      described	as	linear	woodland.                                    for	pollution	or	siltation	of	watercourses	to	occur	from	
      At	these	locations	complete	woody	vegetation	clearance	          construction	activities.	
      may	be	required	within	a	works	footprint	of	between	20	          Indirect	impacts	may	also	occur	to	existing	habitats	
      and	30m	per	tower	base.	However,	complete	clearance	             through	the	introduction	of	invasive	species.	
      within	the	works	footprint	will	be	avoided	where	feasible	
      and	where	field	drains	are	present	the	tower	will	be	
      located	where	feasible	at	the	edge	of	the	field	drain.	This	
                                                                       7.4.2.3	
      will	be	determined	at	the	final	site	assessment	design	          Rare	and	protected	species	of	flora
      stage.	
                                                                       Betony	may	possibly	exist	within	the	study	area	and	
      Access	to	work	areas	for	construction	equipment	may	             is	protected	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland.	This	species	is	
      lead	to	further	linear	woodland	loss	where	current	access	       unlikely	to	occur	as	its	typical	habitat	preferences	and	
      gates	require	widening	though	this	will	be	determined	on	        location	is	rare	within	the	site	works	area.
      a	field	by	field	survey	basis	at	pre-construction	stage	and	
      will	be	minimised.                                               It	is	proposed	to	check	for	this	species	and	other	species	
                                                                       of	note	at	pre-construction	stage	within	the	footprint	
      Soil	storage	required	will	be	avoided	in	wetland	and	linear	     of	any	works	area	to	confirm	that	it	does	not	occur.	
      woodland	habitats	or	any	other	feature	of	ecological	            Appropriate	mitigation	measures	will	be	put	in	place	in	
      significance	determined.                                         cooperation	with	the	NPWS	if	any	specimens	are	recorded	
                                                                       that	will	be	impacted	by	construction	works.
      Fragmentation	of	existing	habitat	is	the	main	direct	impact	
      from	the	proposed	development	as	land	take	is	required	
      for	each	tower	site.	It	is	proposed	to	locate	the	majority	of	   7.4.2.4	
      tower	bases	to	the	edge	of	fields	where	possible,	creating	      Mammals
      a	small	permanent	impact	on	habitats	such	as	grassland,	
      arable	crops,	and	wet	grassland	habitats.	This	will	have	a	      Bats	
      minor	negative	impact	on	these	habitats.	
                                                                       The	removal	of	some	hedgerow,	treeline	and	woodland	
      The	placing	of	tower	bases	and	the	connection	of	wires	          habitat	may	potentially	impact	bats	through	loss	of	
      will	result	in	the	permanent	removal	of	some	linear	             roosting	opportunities,	loss	of	feeding	areas	and	
      woodland.	This	will	have	a	moderate	negative	impact	on	          disruption	to	commuting	corridors.	Monitoring	is	
      these	habitats.	                                                 proposed	at	areas	where	mature	tree	clearance	and	
                                                                       trimming	is	required.	This	work	will	assess	roost	potential	
      Blocks	of	mature	woodland	and	linear	semi	natural	               and	species	present,	if	a	roost	is	determined.	Monitoring	
      woodland	to	be	crossed	may	require	tree	trimming.	               is	required	as	bat	roosts	are	protected	under	Irish	and	EU	
      Provided	this	activity	is	conducted	in	a	manner	where	           legislation.	Further	mitigation	may	be	required	based	on	
      most	of	the	tree	structure	is	retained	and	vehicle	access	       the	findings	of	this	survey.
      and	hence	trampling	of	woodland	floor	is	avoided,	then	
      impacts	should	be	minor.		Cut	wood	retained	in	situ	may	         Badger
      potentially	increase	woodland	biodiversity	locally.
                                                                       A	badger	survey	was	implemented	at	road	crossings	
      Watercourses	along	the	alignment	will	be	passed	over	by	         within	the	proposed	works	footprint.	
      the	wires	and	therefore	a	neutral	impact	is	expected.	
                                                                       Given	that	badger	setts	are	protected	under	Irish	
      A	direct	impact	to	occur	will	be	an	increase	in	human	           legislation,	it	is	proposed	to	undertake	a	pre-construction	
      presence	in	the	area	during	the	operation	phase;	for	tower	      check	at	the	proposed	tower	base	locations	and	any	new	
      maintenance.	However,	this	is	unlikely	to	be	a	frequent	         access	roads	through	hedgerows/	treelines,	to	identify	
      occurrence	and	vehicular	access	is	unlikely	to	be	more	          and	record	any	active	badger	setts.	Badger	setts	may	
      damaging	than	the	current	use	of	farm	machinery.	                potentially	be	present	within	hedgerows	and	linear	
                                                                       woodland.	If	active	setts	are	present	they	may	be	directly	
                                                                       impacted	by	the	proposed	development	at	new	tower	




116
locations.	There	is	also	potential	for	badger	foraging	         such	as	tree	sparrow,	skylark	and	stock	dove	breeding.		
areas	to	be	disturbed	during	the	construction	phase	            Impacts	to	these	species	will	be	minimal	and	short	term	
although	any	impacts	will	be	minor	and	temporary	in	            (during	construction)	and	associated	with	disturbance	and	
nature	as	extensive	alternative	habitat	is	available.	There	    vegetation	clearance.
is	also	potential	for	indirect	impacts	to	occur	due	to	the	
positioning	of	construction	equipment	and	disturbance	          Other	sites	of	high	local	value	include	Whitewood	Lough	
due	to	noise.	                                                  and	other	lakes	which	are	<500m	from	the	alignment.	
                                                                Birds	in	these	areas	will	not	be	impacted.
Otter                                                           Other	widespread	habitats	including	linear	woodland,	
                                                                deciduous	woodland,	and	poor	quality	wet	grassland	are	
As	the	proposed	tower	bases	will	be	located	generally	          at	best	moderately	important	sites	for	birds,	therefore	
at	a	minimum	distance	of	13m	from	rivers,	it	is	expected	       impacts	will	be	minimal.	These	impacts	will	include	
that	no	active	holt	site	locations	will	be	directly	impacted	   localised	removal	of	sections	of	linear	woodland/	
by	the	positioning	of	tower	bases.	Given	otter	protected	       hedgerows,	woodland	and	to	a	lesser	extent	grassland	
status,	especially	within	River	Boyne	and	Blackwater	           habitat.	These	impacts	will	locally	and	temporarily	impact	
cSAC,	it	is	proposed	to	undertake	a	pre-construction	           birds	through	loss	of	nesting	/	feeding	opportunities	and	
check	at	the	proposed	tower	base	locations	close	to	            disturbance.	However,	similar	suitable	habitat	occurs	in	
watercourses	to	identify	and	record	any	maternity	holts.	       the	surrounding	area	and	it	is	expected	that	impacts	will	
If	maternity	holt	sites	are	found	close	to	a	construction	      be	temporary	and	minor	during	construction	reverting	to	
site,	then	appropriate	mitigation	measures	will	be	put	         neutral	post	construction.	The	proposed	development	is	
in	place	in	consultation	with	the	NPWS	to	avoid	adverse	        therefore	considered	to	have	potential	temporary	slight	
impacts.	There	is	potential	for	indirect	impacts	to	occur	      negative	impact	on	breeding	birds.
through	the	disturbance	of	habitat	from	the	positioning	of	
construction	equipment	and	noise.	                              Wintering	birds

Other	mammals                                                   Disturbance	may	occur	to	feeding	Whooper	Swan	and	
                                                                Golden	plover	during	the	construction	phase.	No	impacts	
It	is	expected	any	impact	on	other	mammals	will	be	             will	occur	to	roost	sites.	Impacts	to	foraging	areas	are	
minimal	and	temporary.	Fox	dens	and	rabbit	warrens	will	        likely	to	be	imperceptible	as	extensive	alternative	habitat	
be	recorded	as	part	of	monitoring	works	and	suitable	           is	available	and	possible	disturbance	will	occur	at	a	very	
mitigation	will	be	implemented	to	prevent	risks	of	animal	      localised	level.
cruelty.	Extensive	alternative	habitat	in	the	form	of	
hedgerows	and	grasslands	are	widely	available	where	
localised	disturbance	occurs	during	the	construction	
                                                                7.4.2.6	
phase.	                                                         Fisheries
                                                                The	works	will	be	relatively	small	scale	and	water	
7.4.2.5	                                                        pollution	management	practises	will	be	implemented	
Birds                                                           to	comply	with	all	Irish	pollution	control	legislation.	No	
                                                                impacts	are	likely	to	fish	including	salmon,	lamprey	and	
Breeding	birds                                                  brown	trout.	Given	the	extensive	river	systems	crossed	
                                                                and	wide	variety	of	existing	localised	water	pollution	
Based	on	this	study	no	areas	exist	within	or	close	to	          issues	existing,	it	is	highly	unlikely	that	any	detectable	
the	alignment,	which	are	deemed	to	be	of	International,	        impacts	will	arise	from	the	proposed	development.
National	or	Regional	Importance	for	breeding	Birds	
(Whooper	Swans	are	discussed	later).		
                                                                7.4.2.7	
No	specific	sites	of	high	local	value	for	sensitive	breeding	   Other	species
birds,	outside	the	larger	rivers	(River	Blackwater	and	
Boyne	-	kingfisher),	are	crossed	by	the	alignment.	These	       Significant	negative	impacts	to	amphibians	and	reptiles	
areas	will	not	be	adversely	impacted	(see	mitigation	           will	be	avoided	as	drainage	ditches	(possible	breeding	
section).		                                                     sites)	will	be	retained.

Mature	mixed	farmland	landscapes	with	arable	and	
mature	linear	woodland	habitats	sustain	relatively	rich	
farmland	bird	diversity	with	more	localised	species	




                                                                                                                               117
      7 Flora & Fauna


      7.4.3	 	                                                       Mortality	due	to	collision,	is	considered	to	represent	
                                                                     potentially	the	most	important	operational	impact	of	
      Operational/	Maintenance	                                      transmission	lines	on	collision	prone	species	including	
                                                                     wintering	and	breeding	bird	species.	Collision	impacts	
      Phase	Impacts                                                  by	birds	especially	large	bulky	species	with	poor	
                                                                     manoeuvrability	including	Whooper	Swan	has	been	
      7.4.3.1	                                                       detailed	extensively	in	literature.	However	empirical	data	
                                                                     regarding	the	population	effects	of	collision	mortality	on	
      Designated	conservation	areas	                                 most	species	are	not	available	and	predicting	collision	risk	
                                                                     and	therefore	significance	of	this	impact	is	difficult.	APLIC	
      No	impacts	are	likely	to	occur	and,	consequently,	there	       (1994)	states	that	most	researchers	agree	that	collisions	
      will	be	no	adverse	effect	on	the	integrity	of	designated	      are	not	a	biologically	significant	source	of	mortality	for	
      conservation	areas.                                            thriving	populations	of	birds.
      The	Blackwater	valley	has	not	been	designated	as	a	            Breeding	birds
      special	protection	area	for	birds	(SPA),	though	nationally	
      significant	numbers	of	Whooper	Swans	were	recorded	            Wildfowl	particularly	mute	swan	and	great	crested	grebe	
      during	this	study	and	are	regular	in	the	area	during	the	      have	been	highlighted	in	various	studies	as	particularly	
      winter	period	especially,	November	to	February.	Best	          prone	to	collision	with	transmission	lines.	The	line	route	
      practise	will	be	implemented	to	minimise	potential	            avoids	locations	where	these	species	breed	and	given	
      impacts	(refer	to	section	7.5).                                that	these	species	do	not	move	far	from	breeding	sites	
                                                                     during	the	breeding	season	it	is	unlikely	that	there	will	
      7.4.3.2	                                                       be	a	significant	collision	risk	from	the	transmission	line.	
                                                                     Precautionary	line	marking	along	the	transmission	line	is	
      Habitats	and	flora                                             proposed	at	a	number	of	locations	to	minimise	potential	
                                                                     collision	risks.
      Ongoing	maintenance	in	the	form	of	tree	trimming	will	be	
      required	to	prevent	interference	of	vegetation	with	the	       Whooper	Swans
      wires.
                                                                     No	site	regularly	utilised	by	Whooper	Swan	will	be	
      7.4.3.3	                                                       crossed	by	the	transmission	line.	Teltown	is	occasionally	
                                                                     utilised	which	is	less	than	100m	from	the	transmission	
      Mammals                                                        line,	though	it	is	not	an	important/key	foraging	area	and	
                                                                     is	in	fact	part	of	the	overall	extensive	areas	of	suitable	
      During	the	operational	phase	of	the	development	               habitat	available	in	the	Blackwater	valley	area.	Other	
      occasional	hedge	trimming	will	be	required.		Impacts	to	       areas	close	to/	under	the	transmission	line	may	be	
      mammals	are	likely	to	be	imperceptible.	Bat	roost	sites	(if	   utilised	for	foraging	indicating	the	widespread	availability	
      any)	and	other	protected	mammal	breeding	sites	will	be	        of	suitable	forage	habitat.	No	significant	loss	of	feeding	
      avoided.                                                       habitat	will	occur	from	the	development,	as	regular	
                                                                     foraging	sites	are	avoided	and	extensive	suitable	habitat	
      7.4.3.4	                                                       is	available.

      Birds                                                          Whooper	Swans	potentially	fly	over	the	study	area	as	they	
                                                                     migrate	from	north	to	south	at	the	beginning	of	the	winter	
      General                                                        and	south	to	north	on	the	return	migration,	but	they	fly	
                                                                     at	a	height	that	is	much	greater	than	the	transmission	
      Electrocution	has	been	highlighted	in	literature	as	a	         lines.	Additionally	the	general	north	south	orientation	
      potential	issue	for	large	raptors	(e.g.	Golden	Eagle).	        of	the	transmission	line	run	in	parallel	to	the	general	
      The	design	of	the	line	has	removed	this	possible	issue	        migration	routes	of	the	Whooper	Swans,	further	reducing	
      as	raptor	species	in	the	study	area	(e.g.	Buzzard	and	         any	risk	of	collision	with	the	transmission	lines.	Studies	
      Kestrel)	are	too	small	to	span	the	distance	between	phase	     have	noted	that	birds	are	at	greater	risk	of	collision	when	
      to	phase	or	conductor	to	conductor	(which	is	10metres)	        transmission	lines	cut	across	their	migration	corridors.
      and	the	distance	from	cable	to	ground	is	greater	than	9m	
      metres.	These	distances	are	significantly	greater	than	the	    The	positioning	of	the	transmission	line	poses	a	direct	
      wing	length	of	any	species	of	bird.	                           hazard	locally	to	regular	wintering	Whooper	Swan	
                                                                     populations	at	certain	locations	where	regular	flightlines	




118
have	been	observed.	This	is	discussed	in	detail	within	the	     with	transmission	lines.	Line	marking	on	the	Rivers	Boyne	
specific	Whooper	Swan	study	report	presented	in	Volume	         and	Blackwater	crossing	will	be	implemented	to	minimise	
4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.4	“Whooper	Swan	Study	Report”.	            risks.

Impacts	to	Whooper	Swans	may	result	through	collision	          Other	wintering	birds
with	transmission	lines	which	cross	their	flightlines	to	and	
from	known	traditional	feeding	and	roosting	sites	at	two	       A	range	of	species	besides	the	species	mentioned	
confirmed	locations	namely:                                     previously	overwinter	in	the	survey	area.		No	detectable	
                                                                impacts	are	likely	to	passerine	and	wildfowl	species	
   •	 The	Teltown	area	between	a	roost	site	in	Tara	Mines	      during	operational/	maintenance	phases.
      Tailing	Ponds	and	foraging	areas	in	the	Blackwater	
      River	valley;	and
                                                                7.4.3.5	
   •	 Whitewood	and	Newcastle	Loughs	(roosting	areas)	          Fisheries
      and	Cruicetown	(foraging	area).
                                                                Impacts	to	fisheries	are	likely	to	be	avoided	during	this	
Impacts	may	potentially	be	significant	at	a	local	level	        phase.
where	flightlines	are	crossed.		However,	it	is	highly	
unlikely	that	the	proposed	development	will	impact	on	
Whooper	Swans	at	a	national/	International	level.	This	is	      7.4.3.6	
because:	                                                       Other	species
   •	 Where	the	line	crosses	regular	flightlines,	it	will	be	   Impacts	to	amphibians,	reptiles	and	other	species	are	
      marked	to	increase	visibility	(refer	to	section	7.5);	    likely	to	be	avoided	during	this	phase.
      and

   •	 Whooper	Swan	and	other	bird	species	regularly	            7.5	
      feed	close	to	transmission	lines	and	industrial	          MITIGATION	MEASURES
      sites	throughout	their	wintering	range	(including	
      internationally	significant	numbers	observed	in	          Each	of	the	issues	of	concern	highlighted	during	the	
      close	proximity	to	transmission	lines	in	Northern	        scoping	and	preliminary	study	stages	were	taken	into	
      Ireland	and	Scotland).	In	addition	they	regularly	        consideration	at	the	design	stage	to	mitigate	as	far	
      cross	transmission	lines	between	roost	and	feeding	       as	possible	against	potential	negative	impacts	on	the	
      sites	throughout	their	range.	While	risks	remain	         ecological	integrity	of	habitats,	flora	and	fauna	present.	
      especially	during	poor	visibility	and	a	“recognition	     The	design	phase,	including	the	pre-construction	
      period”	immediately	following	construction,	              micrositing	process,	is	seen	as	the	most	effective	stage	to	
      Whooper	Swan	are	likely	to	rapidly	get	used	to	a	         minimise	the	impact	of	the	line	in	terms	of	avoiding	areas	
      predictable	stable	structure	such	as	transmission	        of	interest	and	thereby	minimising	potential	ecological	
      lines	and	fly	over	them	as	required.                      impacts.

Golden	Plover                                                   Other	constraints	as	detailed	throughout	the	EIS	were	
                                                                taken	into	consideration	and	following	from	this,	the	best	
Species	such	as	Golden	Plover	which	form	large	flocks	can	      line	route	possible	was	selected.	Mitigation	measures	are	
be	susceptible	to	collision	with	transmission	lines	(MBEC	      outlined	here	based	on	the	findings	of	the	overall	study	
2006).	Therefore	Golden	Plover	may	potentially	face	risks	      (preliminary	and	EIS	stage).	Mitigation	detailed	aims	to	
from	collision	where	it	crosses	the	Blackwater	valley	area	     avoid	potential	impacts	(Mitigation	by	Avoidance)	where	
specifically.		Mitigation	as	per	Whooper	Swans	will	be	         possible	at	the	planning	stage	and	if	this	is	not	possible	
implemented	to	minimise	risks.                                  reduce	impacts	(Mitigation	by	Reduction).	

Cormorant

Cormorant	are	known	to	commute	upstream	and	
downstream	of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater.		
While	the	line	is	likely	to	be	well	above	observed	flight	
heights	(cormorant	are	typically	low	flying),	their	may	be	
times	when	they	are	at	more	significant	risk	of	collision	




                                                                                                                               119
      7 Flora & Fauna


      7.5.1	                                                                                     7.5.1.1	
      Mitigation	by	avoidance                                                                    Specific	additional	mitigation	
      The	line	route	has	been	selected	as	far	as	possible	
                                                                                                 by	avoidance	(River	Boyne	and	
      to	avoid	designated	areas.		It	is	not	possible	to	avoid	                                   Blackwater	cSAC)
      crossing	the	Boyne	and	Blackwater	River	cSAC	at	two	
      locations.	However,	no	part	of	the	proposed	development	                                   An	Appropriate	Assessment	report	for	the	River	Boyne	
      will	be	located	within	the	land/water	take	area	of	the	                                    and	Blackwater	cSAC	detailing	mitigation	is	provided	in	
      cSAC	and	towers	are	located	outside	the	cSAC	at	a	                                         Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	7.3	“Appropriate	Assessment	
      distance	of	110m	from	Blackwater	and	140m	from	Boyne	                                      of	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater	cSAC”.	
      river	sections	of	the	cSAC.	
                                                                                                      •	 Tower	bases	and	all	construction	activity	will	
      The	line	route	has	been	routed	<500m	away	(as	far	as	                                              be	located	a	minimum	of	100m	from	the	cSAC	
      possible)	from	lakes	with	associated	sensitive	breeding	                                           boundary.
      and	wintering	wildfowl.
                                                                                                      •	 The	transmission	line	crossing	has	been	selected	at	
      Following	recommendations	based	on	the	ecology	survey,	                                            the	narrowest	point	possible	of	the	cSAC	at	each	of	
      towers	have	been	relocated	from	several	sites	of	high	                                             the	two	river	crossings.
      local	ecological	value,	refer	to	Table	7.6.
                                                                                                      •	 No	instream	or	bankside	works	will	take	place	
      Pollution	control	measures	will	be	implemented	at	                                                 within	the	cSAC	or	drains	and	rivers	draining	into	
      work	areas	within	50m	of	drains	and	rivers	which	drain	                                            here.
      into	the	cSAC	and	which	may	potentially	be	utilised	by	
      sensitive	aquatic	receptors	and	otter.	These	will	include	a	                                    •	 No	vegetation	clearance	will	take	place	within	
      construction	methodology	statement	which	will	have	the	                                            the	cSAC.	The	design	of	the	tower	and	sag	of	the	
      objective	of	avoiding	significant	negative	impacts	such	as	                                        lowest	conductor	wire	has	been	designed	in	a	
      excess	silt	runoff	entering	the	rivers.	                                                           manner	which	rules	out	potential	interference	from	
                                                                                                         vegetation	within	the	cSAC,	particularly	at	the	River	
      The	construction	management	plan	will	incorporate	                                                 Boyne	crossing,	and	thus	no	cutting	of	vegetation	
      any	recommendations	from	NPWS	and	ERFB.	Suitable	                                                  is	required.
      reference	for	best	practice	is	detailed	in	the	NRA	
      Guidelines21	and	Master-Williams	et	al22.                                                       •	 No	access	by	machinery	will	take	place	within	the	
                                                                                                         cSAC.
      During	the	construction	phase	as	part	of	the	
      environmental	and	earthworks	management	plan,	aquatic	                                          •	 During	the	construction	phase	as	part	of	the	
      monitoring	will	take	place	by	a	suitably	qualified	Aquatic	                                        environmental	and	earthworks	management	plan,	
      Ecologist	to	confirm	that	pollution	control	measures	                                              aquatic	monitoring	will	take	place	by	a	suitably	
      are	effective.	With	careful	implementation	of	mitigation	                                          qualified	Aquatic	Ecologist	to	confirm	that	pollution	
      measures	described	detectable	impacts	to	watercourses,	                                            control	measures	are	effective.	
      including	the	cSAC,	will	be	avoided.	
                                                                                                      •	 Pre-construction	otter	checks	will	be	conducted	
      Suitable	breeding	sites	for	amphibians	such	as	drains	will	                                        along	rivers	which	drain	into	the	cSAC	close	to	
      be	avoided.                                                                                        any	works	area	i.e.	where	there	is	a	possibility	to	
                                                                                                         disturb	a	breeding	site.		If	a	breeding	site	is	found	
      Tree	planting	with	species	of	local	provenance	will	take	                                          close	to	a	proposed	tower	base	or	the	possibility	
      place,	as	required,	post	construction	within	the	works	                                            for	disturbance	exists;	then	a	license	will	be	
      footprint	of	former	linear	woodland/	hedgerows.                                                    sought	from	NPWS	and	mitigation	(conditions)	
                                                                                                         implemented.

                                                                                                      •	 Stringing	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	conducted	
                                                                                                         manually	at	cSAC	river	crossing	points.	

                                                                                                      •	 Regarding	cSAC	river	crossings	all	access	by	
                                                                                                         machinery	and	personnel	should	be	avoided	to	
                                                                                                         habitats	contained	within	the	cSAC	boundary,	
                                                                                                         including	river	and	riparian	woodlands.	




      21	 NRA	2005.	Guidelines	for	the	crossing	of	watercourses	during	the	construction	of	national	road	schemes.		National	Roads	Authority	(NRA),	Dublin.
      22	 Masters-Williams	et	al	(2001).	Control	of	water	pollution	from	construction	sites.	Guidance	for	consultants	and	contractors	(C532).	CIRIA.
120
    •	 The	river	catchments	within	the	study	area	            The	temporary	access,	if	required,	routes	will	also	
       comprise	a	number	of	significant	salmonid	             be	selected	to	reduce	the	zone	of	impact	as	much	as	
       fisheries.	The	main	points	of	concern	in	terms	        possible,	particularly	along/across	watercourses	and	
       of	freshwater	ecology	relate	particularly	to	the	      drainage	ditches.		
       construction	phase	of	the	transmission	line	and	
       subsequent	maintenance.	The	guidelines	set	out	        Tree	trimming	may	be	required	under	the	line,	though	
       in	Requirements	for	the	Protection	of	Fisheries	       given	the	average	height	of	the	towers	(35m)	this	is	
       Habitat	during	Construction	and	Development	           likely	to	be	minimal	and	trees	will	be	pollarded	rather	
       Works	at	River	Sites23	will	be	employed.	              than	removed.	Ongoing	maintenance	in	the	form	of	tree	
                                                              trimming	will	be	required	to	prevent	interference	of	
    •	 A	minimum	buffer	zone	of	100m	from	the	cSAC	           vegetation	with	the	wires.
       boundary	should	be	highlighted	by	temporary	
       fencing/	markers	warning	personnel	and	machinery	      Post	construction	woodland	vegetation	will	be	allowed	to	
       to	avoid	accessing	these	areas.                        regrow	under	the	tower	and	within	any	works	area.		

The	same	mitigation	measures	advised	herein	should	be	
employed	during	maintenance	phases.	This	will	minimise	
                                                              7.5.2.1	
ongoing	and	long	term	impacts	and	impacts	relating	to	        Specific	mitigation	measures	
traffic	and	disturbance	along	the	line	route.
                                                              relating	to	bats
7.5.2	                                                        It	is	recommended	that	a	bat	specialist	identify	actual	and	
                                                              potential	bat	roost	sites	in	any	of	the	trees	to	be	removed.	
Mitigation	by	Reduction                                       If	bat	roosts	are	determined	which	cannot	be	avoided	then	
                                                              the	following	mitigation	is	recommended:
It	is	recommended	that	a	site	Ecologist	be	available	
during	the	pre-construction	and	construction	phases	of	
                                                                 •	 Mature	trees	which	are	required	to	be	removed	
the	development	to	provide	guidance	on	appropriate	
                                                                    should	be	felled	during	the	autumn	months	of	
responses	to	issues	which	may	arise	such	as	disturbance	
                                                                    September,	October	or	November	(felling	during	
to	wildlife,	monitoring	mitigation	effectiveness,	
                                                                    the	autumn	months	avoids	the	periods	when	bats	
recommending	further	mitigation	etc.
                                                                    are	most	active)	with	a	bat	specialist	in	attendance;
Pre-construction	bat,	badger	and	otter	breeding	site	
                                                                 •	 The	bat	specialist	should	carry	a	cloth	bag	on	their	
monitoring	will	be	implemented	at	all	hedgerow/linear	
                                                                    person	at	all	times	for	the	temporary	storage	of	
woodland/stream/and	drainage	ditch	locations	where	
                                                                    any	bats	found.	A	box	is	prepared	in	advance	for	
tower	bases	are	proposed.	Best	practice	mitigation	and	
                                                                    storage	of	bats	during	the	day	until	release	at	
licensing	requirements	(from	NPWS)	will	be	implemented	
                                                                    night-time.	Throughout	felling,	a	bat	detector	is	
if	any	possible	risks	are	likely	to	protected	mammals	from	
                                                                    used	to	detect	any	bats	leaving	trees	during	felling;	
construction	works.
                                                                 •	 Felling	of	trees	with	no	potential	for	roosting	bats	
Pre-construction	monitoring	will	be	conducted	within	
                                                                    (features	such	as	tree	holes,	crevices,	loose	bark,	
works	areas	for	protected	species	at	any	unsurveyed	
                                                                    spilt	limbs	and	dead	wood	are	absent)	do	not	
mature	deciduous	woodland	blocks	where	trimming	is	
                                                                    require	a	bat	specialist	to	be	present;
required.	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	7.2.1	-	7.2.20	
“Habitat	Maps”.	Findings	will	inform	best	practice	and	
                                                                 •	 Any	ivy	covered	trees,	which	require	felling	should	
licensing	requirements	(NPWS)	including	any	conditions,	
                                                                    be	left	to	lie	for	24	hours	after	cutting	to	allow	any	
which	may	be	required	to	minimise	impacts	to	bats.
                                                                    bats	beneath	the	cover	to	escape;	and
Impacts	to	sites	of	High	Local	Value	will	be	avoided	
                                                                 •	 If	any	roosts	sites	are	to	be	removed	alternative	
by	selection	of	temporary	access	routes	to	minimise	
                                                                    roost	sites	(bat	boxes)	must	be	provided	prior	to	
disturbance	within	identified	areas,	refer	to	Table	
                                                                    tree	removal	at	a	suitable	location	to	avoid	impacts	
7.5.	Damage	to	linear	woodland/	hedgerows	will	be	
                                                                    to	bats.	These	should	be	located	on	retained	
avoided	as	far	as	possible	regarding	access	selection	
                                                                    mature	trees.
for	construction/	maintenance.	Existing	field	gates	will	
be	used	even	where	frequent	access/	egress	onto	roads	
results,	rather	than	creating	additional	hedgerow	loss	
throughout	the	length	of	the	works	corridor.		This	is	of	
relevance	both	during	construction	and	maintenance	
phases.



23	 http://www.fishingireland.net/pdf/habitatboard.pdf
                                                                                                                              121
      7 Flora & Fauna


      A	licence	is	required	from	the	NPWS	to	fell	any	tree	            constructed	from	high-impact	grey	PVC	(UV	stabilised)	
      identified	as	a	bat	roost.	These	mitigation	measures	are	in	     fitted	at	15m	intervals	(or	a	similar	marker	type).
      general	accordance	with	the	Guidelines	for	the	Treatment	
      of	Bats	during	the	Construction	of	National	Road	Schemes	        A	number	of	other	sections	of	the	transmission	line	
      (NRA,	2005).	Furthermore	it	should	be	noted	that	any	            crosses	rivers	which	could	also	be	included	for	installation	
      works	interfering	with	bats	especially	their	roosts,	            of	these	markers	e.g.	between	towers	89	and	90	
      including	the	installation	of	lighting	in	the	vicinity	of	the	   (Blackwater	River)	and	46	and	47	(Boyne	River).
      latter,	may	only	be	carried	out	under	a	licence	issued	by	
      the	NPWS.	                                                       It	is	recommended	that	NPWS	be	consulted	regarding	
                                                                       areas	where	transmission	line	marking	are	proposed	to	
                                                                       be	located	and	areas	which	require	monitoring	during	all	
      7.5.2.2	                                                         phases	of	the	development.
      Specific	mitigation	measures	
                                                                       Maintenance	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	required	
      relating	to	birds                                                from	time	to	time.	It	is	likely	that	no	detectable	impacts	
                                                                       to	breeding	birds	will	occur	at	this	stage	therefore	no	
      Breeding	Birds                                                   mitigation	is	proposed.
      The	proposed	development	avoids	any	sites	of	                    Whooper	Swan	and	other	collision	prone	bird	species
      International,	National,	Regional	or	High	local	ecological	
      value.                                                           Mitigation	by	avoidance	has	been	implemented	as	
                                                                       far	as	possible	in	the	selection	of	the	preferred	1km	
      Where	woody	vegetation	clearance	is	required	to	create	          route	corridor.	However	given	the	geographic	spread	of	
      access	tracks	and	tower	bases,	it	is	recommended	that	           Whooper	Swan	in	this	area	and	other	significant	non-
      disturbance	such	as	vegetation	clearance	be	kept	to	a	           ornithological	constraints	it	will	not	be	possible	to	avoid	
      minimum	in	hedgerows	areas	of	gorse/	willow	scrub,	              completely	crossing	regular	Whooper	Swan	flightlines	
      wet	grassland	and	poorly	drained	areas	generally.	Post	          between	roost	and	feeding	sites.
      construction,	woody	vegetation	should	be	allowed	to	
      regrow	naturally	and	any	temporary	hardcore	material	to	         The	routing	of	transmission	lines	will	take	place	as	low	
      allow	machinery	access	should	be	removed.                        as	possible	between	drumlins	and	along	hedgerows	and	
                                                                       parallel	rather	than	across	flightlines,	where	possible.	
      It	would	be	recommended	that	any	scrub,	hedgerow	or	
      tree	removal/	trimming	be	undertaken	outside	of	the	bird	        Given	the	geographic	spread	of	Whooper	Swans	in	this	
      nesting	period,	which	begins	on	March	1st	and	continues	         area	and	other	significant	non-ornithological	constraints	
      until	August	31st,	in	order	to	protect	nesting	birds.	All	       it	will	not	be	possible	to	avoid	completely	crossing	
      birds	and	their	nesting	places	are	protected	under	the	          regular	Whooper	Swan	flight	lines	between	roost	and	
      Irish	Wildlife	Act	1976	(as	amended	2000),	though	there	         feeding	sites	therefore	a	precautionary	approach	will	be	
      are	exceptions	for	exempted	developments.	A	licence	is	          implemented	in	the	form	of	line	marking	to	minimise	as	
      required	from	the	NPWS	under	the	Wildlife	Acts	if	any	           far	as	possible	the	risk	of	collisions	with	the	transmission	
      habitat	(e.g.	scrub,	hedgerows,	trees)	to	be	removed	is	         line	by	Whooper	Swan	and	other	bird	species.	The	section	
      known	to	contain	nesting	birds.	Rook	breeding	colonies	          of	line	requiring	marking	includes:
      will	be	avoided	where	feasible.
                                                                          •	 The	line	route	crossing	of	the	Blackwater	Valley	
      At	river	crossings	the	construction	works	area	will	be	                near	Teltown;	and	
      located	so	as	to	avoid	disturbance	to	riparian	vegetation	
      and	banks	potentially	used	by	kingfisher.	                          •	 The	section	of	line	route	between	Cruicetown	and	
                                                                             Whitewood	and	Newcastle	Loughs.
      Because	of	the	nature	of	the	development,	there	is	
      potential	for	bird	collisions.	The	main	species	of	concern	      Precautionary	line	marking	of	the	earth	wire	is	also	
      are	Whooper	Swan,	Mute	swans,	Great	crested	grebe	and	           recommended	on	the	Boyne	River	crossing	near	Trim	as	
      Cormorants.	This	risk	may	arise	to	occasional	individuals	if	    the	Boyne	and	Blackwater	Rivers	are	used	by	cormorant	
      they	fly	between	lakes	across	the	proposed	transmission	         (species	prone	to	collision)	and	also	these	larger	rivers	
      line.		Given	the	relatively	low	level	of	bird	activity	and	      may	potentially	be	utilised	by	migrating	bird	species	as	
      sedentary	nature	of	species	noted	in	the	area;	it	is	            landmarks	to	follow	during	spring	and	autumn	migration.	
      unlikely	that	significant	negative	impacts	will	occur.	Some	     The	area	near	Clooney	Lough	may	also	require	marking.		
      specific	sections	of	the	line	may	be	marked	to	improve	the	      Further	survey	work	will	be	implemented	in	winter	
      visibility	of	transmission	lines	for	Whooper	Swans.	The	         2009/2010	(Wintering	Survey	Period	3)	to	confirm	if	
      type	of	marker	recommended	are	Swan	Flight	Diverters	




122
the	Clooney	Lough	area	and	other	sections	should	be	           During	construction	any	fuel	or	materials	to	be	stored	
recommended	for	marking.		Areas	proposed	for	line	             on	site	should	be	kept	within	an	adequately	designed	
marking	to	date	are	detailed	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	7.3	   bunded	area	with	an	impervious	base.	All	vehicles	that	are	
“Line	Route	Markings”.                                         not	in	use	should	also	be	parked	within	a	designated	area	
                                                               away	from	the	river	habitat.	Maintenance	of	these	vehicles	
Swan	Flight	Diverter	markers	constructed	from	high-            should	also	take	place	within	this	designated	area.
impact	grey	PVC	(UV	stabilised)	fitted	at	15m	intervals	are	
recommended.	These	will	mark	the	earth	wire	to	increase	
visibility	of	the	wires.	
                                                               7.6	
                                                               PREDICTED	IMPACTS	
Further	detail	on	Whooper	Swan	mitigation	and	
recommended	flight	deflectors	is	provided	in	Volume	4	         FOLLOWING	MITIGATION	
Part	A,	Appendix	7.4	“Whooper	Swan	Study	Report”.
                                                               The	impact	of	the	development	will	be	a	product	of	(a)	
                                                               the	location	of	support	structures,	(b)	the	construction	
7.5.2.3	                                                       phase	and	(c)	the	mitigation	measures.	The	impact	
                                                               is	considered	in	terms	of	the	distinguished	areas	of	
Specific	mitigation	measures	                                  ecological	value,	see	Table	7.8.	This	assumes	full	adoption	
relating	to	Fisheries                                          and	compliance	with	mitigation	measures	during	
                                                               construction	and	operational	phases,	namely	avoidance	
The	catchments	within	the	study	area	comprise	a	number	        and	careful	selection	of	temporary	access	routes	to	avoid	
of	significant	salmonid	fisheries.	The	main	points	of	         travel	through	these	sites	and/or	fragmentation	during	
concern	in	terms	of	freshwater	ecology	relate	particularly	    construction.
to	the	construction	phase	and	subsequent	maintenance.	
The	guidelines	set	out	in	Requirements	for	the	Protection	
of	Fisheries	Habitat	during	Construction	and	Development	
                                                               7.6.1	
Works	at	River	Sites	will	be	adhered	to	and	assistance	        Designated	conservation	areas	
of	staff	of	the	Eastern	Regional	Fisheries	Board	will	be	
sought	if	required.	                                           There	will	be	no	measurable	permanent	impacts	on	
                                                               designated	sites	during	all	phases	of	the	development	
Emergency	spill	kits	will	be	retained	on	site	during	          and	there	will	be	no	adverse	effect	on	the	integrity	of	
construction.                                                  those	designated	sites	as	towers	will	not	be	located	
                                                               within	a	cSAC.	It	is	acknowledged	that	the	line	route	will	
A	buffer	zone	of	20m	is	recommended,	where	possible	at	        cross	the	River	Boyne	and	River	Blackwater.	However,	
all	stream	and	river	crossings	to	mitigate	against	impacts	    providing	mitigation	detailed	is	implemented	their	will	be	
to	sensitive	aquatic	receptors	due	to	soil	runoff.	Further	    no	detectable	impacts	to	sensitive	ecological	receptors	
mitigation	and	buffer	details	are	included	in	Volume	2	Part	   and	conservation	objective	groups	including	habitats,	
A,	Chapter	9.                                                  aquatic	receptors	(e.g.	Atlantic	salmon	and	Lamprey	
                                                               species),	Otter	and	Kingfisher.
If	temporary	bridges	are	required	during	construction	
then	these	will	be	constructed	according	to	appropriate,	
Fisheries	Guidelines	which	avoid	significant	impacts	such	
as	vegetation	clearance	and	soil	water	runoff	to	water	
courses.




                                                                                                                              123
      7 Flora & Fauna


        Ecological	
        value*							                                                High	value,		         Moderate	          Low	value,		
                             Internationally	     Nationally	
                                                                       locally	          value,	locally	        locally		
                                important         important
        Impact	                                                      	important            important          important
        magnitude	

                                                  Permanent	
        Profound	            Any	permanent	      impacts	on	a	
        negative                impacts          large	part	of	
                                                     a	site

                               Temporary	         Permanent	          Permanent	
        Significant	          impacts	on	a	      impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	
        negative              large	part	of	     small	part	of	      large	part	of	
                                  a	site            a	site               a	site

                               Temporary	         Temporary	          Permanent	          Permanent	           Permanent	
        Moderate	             impacts	on	a	      impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	        impact	on	a	
        Negative              small	part	of	     large	part	of	      small	part	of	      small	part	of	     site	if	part	of	a	
                                 a	site              a	site             a	site              a	site          designated	site

                                                  Temporary	          Temporary	          Permanent	          Permanent	
        Slight	                                  impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	
        Negative                                 small	part	of	      large	part	of	      small	part	of	      large	part	of	
                                                    a	site               a	site             a	site               a	site	

                                                                      Temporary	          Temporary	          Permanent	
        Imperceptible	                                               impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	
        Negative                                                     small	part	of	      small	part	of	      small	part	of	
                                                                       the	site            the	site             a	site

        Neutral                No	impacts         No	impacts         No	impacts           No	impacts          No	impacts

                                                                                          Permanent	          Permanent	
                                                                                          beneficial	          beneficial	
        Slight	Positive                                                                  impacts	on	a	       impacts	on	a	
                                                                                         small	part	of	      large	part	of	
                                                                                            a	site               a	site

      Table 7.8: Impact Significance

      7.6.2	                                                       The	overall	permanent	impact	on	sites	of	High	Local	
      Habitats	high	and	moderate	                                  Value	from	the	transmission	line	is	likely	to	be	a	slight	
                                                                   negative	impact.	This	assumes	full	adoption	and	
      local	importance	                                            compliance	with	mitigation	measures	during	construction	
                                                                   and	operation	phases,	namely	avoidance	and	careful	
      There	will	be	low	negative	impact	on	most	habitats	within	
                                                                   selection	of	temporary	access	routes	to	avoid	minimise	
      the	proposed	development	area.	For	more	species	rich	
                                                                   impacts	to	hedges	and/or	excessive	fragmentation	during	
      mature	linear	woodland	this	impact	is	assessed	as	a	
                                                                   construction.
      moderate	negative	impact	during	the	construction	phase.	
      Post	construction	vegetation	will	be	allowed	to	re-grow	
                                                                   The	impacts	on	each	site	identified	as	High	Local	Value	are	
      depending	on	the	decisions	of	the	landowner	and	this	
                                                                   detailed	in	Table	7.9.	
      impact	will	likely	be	a	slight	negative	permanent	impact.




124
                                                    Distance		
          Site              Habitat	type                                   Zone	of	impact            Impact	Significance
                                                transmission	line

   River	Boyne	and	        River	and	fring-
                                                      >	100m                    None                         None
   Blackwater	cSAC          ing	woodland

     Other	Rivers/	                               >	8m.		Aim	for
  streams/	drainage	                            	>20m	where	fea-                None                         None
        ditches                                       sible

                                                                                                  Moderate	negative	during	
                                                 Individual	Tower	                                 the	construction	phase	
 Throughout	site	par-        Mature	Lin-        bases	will	be	con-       Construction	area	          returning	to	a	slight	
 ticularly	in	southern	     ear	woodland	       structed	within	20	     average	100	-	200m2	         negative	permanent	
        section.	            (WL1/	WL2)         -	30m	of	WL1/WL2	           /	tower	base            impact	during	the	op-
                                                     habitat.	                                    erational	phase	with	tree	
                                                                                                          re-growth.

                                                                                                    Slight	negative	impacts	
                                                Transmission	line	         Trimming	will	be	      are	likely	during	occasion-
                             Mature	Lin-
                                                 pass	over	linear	       required	for	mature	      al	tree	trimming	required	
    Throughout	site	        ear	woodland	
                                               woodland	/	hedge-          trees	under	trans-       under	transmission	lines	
                             (WL1/	WL2)
                                              rows	throughout	site            mission	line          during	the	operational	
                                                                                                              phase

                                                                                                   Moderate	negative	im-
                                                                                                  pacts	are	likely	during	the	
                                                                                                     construction	phase.
                             Deciduous	
   Kilmainhamwood	                              Transmission	line	         Trimming	under	
                             woodland	
      area	mainly                                  passes	over            transmission	line         Slight	negative	perma-
                               (WD1)
                                                                                                    nent	impacts	are	likely	
                                                                                                    during	the	operational	
                                                                                                            phase.

                                                                                                   Slight	negative	impacts	
                                                                                                  are	likely	during	the	con-
                                                                                                       struction	phase
                            Semi	natural	                                Trimming	(possible)	
   Kilmainhamwood	                              Transmission	line	
                             woodland	                                   under	transmission	
         area	                                     passes	over                                     Slight	negative	/	imper-
                              (WN2)                                              line
                                                                                                  ceptible	negative	impacts	
                                                                                                     are	likely	during	the	
                                                                                                      operational	phase.

Table 7.9: Sites of International/ national and moderate- high local ecological value along the line route
and impact significance




                                                                                                                                 125
      7 Flora & Fauna


      7.6.3	                                                          A	significant	negative	impact	is	likely	to	be	the	case	in	
                                                                      a	worst	case	scenario	only,	as	based	on	observations	of	
      Sites	of	Low	-	                                                 Whooper	Swan	behaviour	with	other	transmission	lines	
                                                                      it	is	unlikely	that	significant	negative	impacts	will	occur	
      Moderate	Local	Importance                                       except	possibly	during	the	first	few	years	of	operation	
                                                                      when	occasional	mortalities	are	likely,	especially	to	
      Given	the	localised	low	impact	magnitude	of	the	
                                                                      younger	birds,	as	they	get	used	to	the	new	immobile	
      development,	and	the	mitigation	measures	proposed,	the	
                                                                      hazard,	which	will	be	well	marked	to	provide	adequate	
      overall	impact	on	the	sites	of	Low	–	Moderate	Local	Value	
                                                                      visibility.	Impacts	in	a	best	case	scenario	are	therefore	
      from	the	proposed	development	will	be	imperceptible	
                                                                      likely	to	be	minor	/imperceptible	negative	though	
      negative	for	improved	farmland	habitats	ranging	to	slight	
                                                                      monitoring	will	be	required	to	confirm	this.	
      negative	for	hedgerow	habitats	during	construction.	
      Providing	most	hedgerows	successfully	re-establish	
                                                                      It	is	unlikely	that	Tara	Mines	Tailing	Ponds	will	be	
      operational	and	longer	term	impacts	are	likely	to	be	
                                                                      abandoned	as	a	roost	site,	as	the	transmission	line	is	
      imperceptible	negative/	neutral.	This	assumes	full	
                                                                      located	at	a	distance	of	over	2.5km	from	here,	which	is	
      adoption	and	compliance	with	mitigation	measures	during	
                                                                      an	adequate	distance	for	Whooper	Swans	to	gain	height	
      construction	and	maintenance	phases.
                                                                      as	they	fly	out	to	feed	or	come	back	to	roost.	They	may	
                                                                      change	feeding	patterns	locally,	though	observations	to	
      7.6.4	                                                          date	show	they	naturally	change	feeding	areas	regularly,	
                                                                      over	a	very	extensive	feeding	range,	as	they	respond	to	
      Mammals	                                                        feeding	resources.	
      Monitoring	will	be	conducted	for	bat	roosts,	badger	setts	      Monitoring	will	be	required	to	confirm	actual	impacts	and	
      and	otter	holts	where	towers	are	located	adjacent	to	or	        any	requirements	for	further	mitigation.
      within	hedgerows/	drains	especially	those	close	and	
      connected	to	larger	rivers/	lakes.	It	is	likely	providing	      The	disturbance	impacts	during	maintenance	along	the	
      appropriate	mitigation	measures	are	implemented	that	           footprint	of	the	transmission	line	are	considered	to	be	
      impacts	will	be	imperceptible	negative/	neutral.                imperceptible	negative,	as	works	will	be	conducted	within	
                                                                      a	relatively	small	area	of	available	foraging	habitat	with	
      7.6.5	                                                          plenty	of	alternative	areas	available	and	Whooper	Swan	
                                                                      readily	adjust	to	construction	disturbance	e.g.	the	new	M3	
      Birds                                                           roadworks	closeby.	Refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	
      Imperceptible	negative	impacts	are	likely	post	                 7.2,	“Flora	&	Fauna	Plates	of	Survey	Area”,	Plate	7.9.	
      construction	to	all	bird	species,	except	Whooper	Swans.	
      Recovery	of	vegetation	following	installation	of	supporting	
      structures	and	transmission	lines	can	occur	relatively	         7.6.6	
      quickly	as	long	as	the	area	of	disturbance	is	minimised	
      and	best	practice	is	employed.	It	is	strongly	advised	that	
                                                                      Fisheries
      the	main	mitigation	measures	should	be	reduction	of	            Following	implementation	of	careful	mitigation	measures	
      traffic	and	minimising	the	actual	habitat	impact	footprint	     which	will	aim	to	avoid	significant	discharges	to	water	
      during	all	phases	of	the	development.	                          courses	and	drain,	it	is	likely	that	any	impacts	during	the	
                                                                      construction	phase	will	have	an	imperceptible	negative/	
      Whooper	Swans                                                   neutral	impact	on	fisheries.	This	is	based	on	mitigation	
                                                                      measures	described	and	the	fact	that	the	transmission	
      Potential	permanent	impacts	on	Whooper	Swans	cannot	            line	will	cross	over	the	watercourses	and	supporting	
      be	fully	ruled	out	with	described	mitigation.	Impacts	          structures	will	remain	at	a	buffer	distance	of	20m	where	
      specifically	from	collision	with	the	transmission	lines	may	    possible.		Riparian	vegetation	clearance	will	also	be	
      potentially,	at	least	temporarily	be,	a	significant	negative	   avoided	at	river	crossings.
      impact,	as	the	route	interrupts	an	established	flight	path	
      in	two	areas	including:                                         No	detectable	impacts	are	likely	during	the	operational	
                                                                      phase.
         •	 Regular	nationally	significant	numbers	cross	the	
            Teltown	section	of	the	transmission	line;	and

         •	 Cruicetown/	Whitewood	sections.	




126
7.7	
MONITORING                                                   7.8.2	
It	is	recommended	that	a	clearly	defined	monitoring	
                                                             Cumulative	Impacts
programme	be	implemented	as	part	of	ongoing	
consultation	carried	out	by	those	acting	on	behalf	of	the	   7.8.2.1	
developer,	NPWS,	ERFB	and	EirGrid.	
                                                             Local,	Regional	and	National
This	is	especially	recommended	for	montoring	the	
success	of	mitigation	proposed	for	Whooper	Swans.		          There	is	a	potential	for	any	development	to	have	an	
This	monitoring	will	include	the	pre-planning	stage.		       enhanced	impact	on	the	natural	environment	resulting	
The	results	of	winter	monitoring	at	specific	locations	      from	the	additive	effect	of	developments.	Small	scale	
described	where	impacts	cannot	be	ruled	out	will	inform	     disruption	of	limited	areas	of	land	can	in	total	be	
further	actions	to	minimise	risks.		Yearly	monitoring	       significant	if	those	areas	are	of	high	conservation	value.	
reports	will	detail	required	actions	in	consultation	with	
NPWS	or	other	relevant	experts	as	appropriate.               Three	sections	of	overall	proposed	development	are	
                                                             considered	as	interrelated	developments	as	follows:
As	part	of	this	monitoring	it	is	recommended	that	a	site	
ecologist	be	available	during	the	pre-construction	and	         •	 Turleenan	to	the	Border	section	(TB)
construction	phases	of	the	development	to	provide	
guidance	on	appropriate	responses	to	issues	which	              •	 The	Border	to	Moyhill	(BM)
may	arise	such	as	disturbance	to	wildlife,	monitoring	
mitigation	effectiveness,	recommending	further	mitigation	      •	 Moyhill	to	Woodland	(MW)
etc.
                                                             Key	ecological	features	which	could	potentially	be	
                                                             cumulatively	impacted	are	considered	herein:
7.8	
                                                             Designated	sites:
RESIDUAL	AND	CUMULATIVE	
IMPACTS                                                         •	 No	significant	negative	impacts	to	designated	
                                                                   sites	are	likely	for	the	overall	project.	In	these	
                                                                   circumstances	no	adverse	effect	is	anticipated	
7.8.1	                                                             on	the	integrity	of	those	designed	sites.	Overall	
Residual	Impacts                                                   impacts	are	considered	neutral.

The	disturbed	areas	will	re-colonise	naturally	and	blend	    Habitats	of	Moderate	-	High	local	importance
with	the	surrounding	area.	This	is	provided	that	best	
practice	is	employed	by	contractors	to	minimise	the	            •	 Impacts	to	habitats	such	as	hedgerows	are	
footprint	of	disturbance	and	reduce	effects	on	vegetation	         considered	to	be	minor	negative	for	TB	and	MW	and	
and	watercourses	through	the	outlined	mitigation	                  imperceptible	negative	for	BM.		Overall	impacts	are	
measures.	Long	term	(detectable)	residual	impacts	                 considered	permanent	imperceptible	negative.	
are	likely	to	be	imperceptible/slight	negative	provided	
mitigation	measures	detailed	are	fully	implemented.             •	 The	restricted	footprint	of	individual	towers,	
                                                                   together	with	the	substation	footprint,	will	
                                                                   lead	to	small	scale	loss	and	fragmentation	of	
                                                                   existing	habitats	particularly	linear	woodland	and	
                                                                   hedgerow.	However,	the	location	of	towers	has	
                                                                   been	selected	to	avoid	habitats	of	High	Local	Value,	
                                                                   including	riparian	areas,	and	wetlands,	and	are	
                                                                   predominantly	located	in	widespread	habitats	of	
                                                                   Moderate	conservation	value,	particularly	improved	
                                                                   grassland	and	species-poor	rush	pasture.	There	
                                                                   will	therefore	be	a	low	cumulative	impact	on	these	
                                                                   habitats	in	terms	of	the	significance	of	the	impact	
                                                                   on	their	constituent	species	and	on	animal	species	
                                                                   that	use	the	habitats.




                                                                                                                           127
      7 Flora & Fauna


      Whooper	Swan                                                    7.9	
      Whooper	Swan	impacts	are	deemed	the	key	ecological	             INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	
      issue,	regarding	the	project.		Predicted	impacts	following	
      mitigation	for	each	section	are	determined	as	follows:
                                                                      ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS
                                                                      This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	
         •	 TB:	Unlikely	to	be	a	significant	impact	at	a	local	and	
                                                                      2	Part	A,	Chapter	9	–	Water	for	a	full	understanding	of	the	
            consequently	national	level.
                                                                      main	interactions	between	these	environmental	topics.
         •	 BM:	Permanent	Moderate	to	Imperceptible	
            negative	impacts.

         •	 MW:	Significant	negative	impacts	are	possible	in	
            a	worst	case	scenario	only.	Likely	impacts	will	be	
            minor/	imperceptible.	This	will	be	confirmed	by	
            monitoring	marking	success	and	further	mitigation	
            will	be	implemented	as	required	to	minimise	risks.

      The	overall	cumulative	impact	on	wintering	Whooper	
      Swan	populations	is	likely	to	be	a	Low	-	Moderate	
      Negative	impact	in	the	first	few	years	of	operation.		It	is	
      highly	likely	that	longer	term,	these	impacts	will	reduce	
      to	a	permanent	slight	negative/	imperceptible	impact	
      level.	Impacts	will	be	monitored	during	all	phases	of	the	
      development	and	additional	mitigation	implemented	in	
      consultation	with	relevant	statutory	authorities	(NPWS	
      (ROI)).




128
129
130
                                     8
zxzz




               Chapter 8


                   Soils &
                  Geology




               Meath-Tyrone	400kV
       Interconnection	Development


                                     131
      8 Soils and Geology


      8.1	                                                          The	following	is	a	list	of	published	geological	references	
                                                                    and	data	used:
      INTRODUCTION
                                                                       •	 1:100,000	scale	Sheet	No.	13	–	Bedrock	Geological	
                                                                          Map	of	County	Meath	(Geological	Survey	of	Ireland	
      This	chapter	assesses	the	impacts	on	soils	and	geology	
                                                                          (GSI),	2001);
      arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	
      line	and	associated	development	(including	the	extension	
                                                                       •	 1:100,000	scale	Sheet	8	–	Bedrock	Geological	Map	
      of	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	
                                                                          of	the	Carboniferous	of	Monaghan	–Carlingford		
      site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	for	
                                                                          (GSI	1997);
      a	proposed	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	
                                                                       •	 Geological	Heritage	of	Meath	(2007);	and	
      The	information	contained	within	this	chapter	is	
      concerned	with	the	description	of	the	geological	and	
                                                                       •	 An	Foras	Taluntaisi,	(1980),	Soil	Map	of	Ireland.
      hydrogeological	character	of	the	study	area.	
                                                                    For	a	list	of	reports	referenced	in	this	chapter	refer	to	
      The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	area	
                                                                    Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	8.1	“Flora	Soils	&	Geology	
      than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	in	excess	
                                                                    References”.
      of	500m	either	side	of	the	alignment.
                                                                    Numerous	online	datasets	were	referenced	in	relation	to	
      The	geological	material	existing	along	the	alignment	has	
                                                                    the	soil,	subsoil	and	geology	in	the	study	area	including	
      been	generated	by	the	deposition	of	detritus	over	millions	
                                                                    data	from	the	GSI,	Department	of	Communications,	
      of	years.	The	geological	material	underlying	the	study	
                                                                    Energy	and	Natural	Resources	(DCENR)	and	the	EPA.	
      area,	both	the	glacial	mineral	subsoil	and	the	bedrock	
                                                                    Consultation	was	undertaken	with	statutory	and	non-
      are	concealed	below	ground.	The	nature,	extent	and	
                                                                    statutory	organisations	(Refer	to	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	
      complexity	of	the	geological	material	are	detailed,	from	
                                                                    2),	which	includes	details	on	consultation	with	the	GSI.
      the	surface	downwards	through	the	mineral	subsoil	to	the	
      bedrock.		
                                                                    All	projects	and	developments	that	require	an	EIS	are	
                                                                    of	a	scale	or	nature	that	they	have	the	potential	to	have	
      8.1.1	                                                        an	impact	on	the	environment.	With	respect	to	the	
                                                                    construction	of	a	transmission	line	the	impact	on	the	soils,	
      Methodology                                                   geology	and	hydrogeological	environment	is	considered	
                                                                    low	in	comparison	to	other	environmental	criteria.	
      This	report	has	been	prepared	using	the	                      In	this	chapter	the	potential	impact	on	the	geological	
      recommendations	set	out	in	the	EPA	document	                  environment	resulting	from	the	proposed	development	is	
      “Guidelines on Information to be contained in                 assessed	and	mitigation	measures	are	proposed	to	reduce	
      Environmental Impact Statements (2002)”.	The	guidelines	      any	significant	impacts.	Based	on	the	mitigation	measures	
      and	recommendations	of	the	Institute	of	Geologists	           proposed	the	significance	of	the	predicted	impact	on	the	
      of	Ireland	(IGI)	publication	“Geology in Environmental        geological	environment	is	determined.	
      Impact Statements – A Guide (September 2002)”	was	also	
      taken	into	account	in	the	preparation	of	this	chapter.        Site	visits	of	the	study	area	were	conducted	in	February	
                                                                    and	July	2009.	Intrusive	site	investigations	were	not	
      The	information	contained	in	this	chapter	has	been	           undertaken	but	will	be	conducted	prior	to	construction,	
      divided	into	sub	sections,	so	as	to	describe	the	various	     subject	to	a	successful	outcome.		
      aspects	pertaining	to	soil,	geology	and	hydrogeology.	In	
      the	preparation	of	this	chapter,	all	available	information	
      was	collated	and	assessed.	The	information	sources	are	
      detailed	further	in	this	chapter.	

      The	characterisation	of	the	study	area	is	considered	
      detailed	and	sufficient	to	adequately	characterise	the	
      geological	setting	of	the	study	area.	The	information	
      included	in	this	chapter	is	considered	to	meet	the	data	
      requirements	suggested	in	the	IGI	publication	‘Geology in
      Environmental Impact Statements - A Guide” (2002).




132
8.2	 	                                                         8.2.2	
EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT                                           Soil
                                                               The	line	route	varies	in	terms	of	its	soil,	subsoil	and	
8.2.1	                                                         bedrock	geology.
Topography	and	Geomorphology
                                                               Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	8.1.1	-	8.1.4	“Soils	
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	8.1.1	-	8.1.4	“Soils	        Maps”.	
Maps”.	
                                                               There	are	a	range	of	soils	in	the	study	area	between	
The	topography	of	the	study	area	varies	approximately	         Moyhill	and	Woodland	Substation.	The	principal	soil	
from:                                                          groups	are:	

   •	 90m	and	130m	in	the	southern	section	(Tower	1-15);          •	 AminPD	–	Deep	Poorly	Drained	mineral	soil,	derived	
                                                                     from	mainly	non-calcareous	parent	materials.	
   •	 50m	and	100m	AOD	in	the	central	area	(Tower	16	                Surface	water	gleys	and	groundwater	gleys	are	
      -140);	and                                                     included	in	this	category;

   •	 50m	to	160m	AOD	in	the	northern	section	(Tower	             •	 AminDW	–	Deep	well	drained	mineral	soil,	derived	
      140	-	164).                                                    from	mainly	non-calcareous	parent	materials.	Acid	
                                                                     Brown	Earths	and	Brown	Podzolics	will	be	included	
Most	of	the	Quaternary	sediments	in	the	study	area	                  in	this	category;
deposited	during	the	late	Pleistocene,	directly	from	the	
huge	ice	sheets	that	moved	from	northwest	to	southeast	           •	 BminDW-	Deep	well	drained	mineral	soil	derived	
or	from	the	meltwater	following	the	slowly	melting	ice	              from	mainly	calcareous	parent	materials.	Grey	
sheets.	                                                             brown	podozolics	and	brown	earths	(medium	high	
                                                                     base	status)	are	included	in	this	category;
The	geomorphology	of	the	study	area	is	divided	between	
the	northern	drumlin	landscape	and	the	southern	                  •	 BminPD	–	Deep	poorly	drained	material	soil	derived	
Carboniferous	Limestone	lowland	area.	The	drumlin	                   from	mainly	calcareous	parent	materials.	Surface	
region	is	situated	to	the	north	of	the	alignment	(north	of	          water	gleys	and	ground	water	gleys	are	included	in	
Moynalty	and	Castletown	Tower	130	–	164).	                           the	category;	and

Elevations	above	sea	level	(OD)	here	range	from	                  •	 BminSW-	Shallow	well	drained	mineral	soil,	derived	
approximately	60m	along	the	Altmush	Stream	                          from	mainly	calcareous	parent	material.	Renzinas	
to	approximately	160m	to	the	north	west	of	                          and	Lithosols	are	included	in	this	category;
Kilmainhamwood.	The	drumlins	in	this	area	are	orientated	
northwest/southeast	in	the	direction	of	ice	flows.	Kames	      The	following	soil	groups	also	occur	but	are	less	
occur	between	drumlins	in	several	places	in	north	Meath,	      widespread	and	found	in	minor	formations:
notably	around	Kilmainhamwood	at	the	base	of	the	
Kingscourt	Valley.                                                •	 BminPDPT	–	Poorly	drained	mineral	soils	with	peaty	
                                                                     topsoil,	derived	from	mainly	calcareous	parent	
The	southern	limestone	lowland	is	generally	characterized	           materials.	Peaty	gleys	are	included	in	this	category;
by	gently	undulating	lowlands	underlain	by	diamictons,	
with	occasional	gravel	hillocks,	eskers	and	alluvial	flats.	      •	 AminSW	–	Shallow	well	drained	mineral	soil,	
Moraine	deposits	at	Galtrim	and	Kells	are	considered	to	             derived	from	mainly	non-calcareous	parent	
be	the	remains	of	a	pause	in	ice	retreat.                            materials.	Lithosols	and	Regosols	are	included	in	
                                                                     this	category;

                                                                  •	 AminSP	–	Shallow	poorly	drained	mineral	soil,	
                                                                     derived	from	mainly	non-calcareous	parent	
                                                                     materials.	Surface	water	and	groundwater	Gleys	
                                                                     are	included	in	this	category;




                                                                                                                             133
      8 Soils and Geology


         •	 BminSP	–	Shallow	poorly	drained	mineral	soil,	              huge	ice	sheets	that	moved	from	northwest	to	southeast	
            derived	from	mainly	calcareouls	parent	materials.	          or	from	the	meltwater	following	the	slowly	melting	ice	
            Surface	water	gleys	and	ground	water	gleys	are	             sheets.	
            included	in	this	category;
                                                                        With	reference	to	the	EPA	online	mapping	(http://maps.
         •	 AlluvMIN	–	Alluvial	undifferentiated;                       epa.ie/),	the	subsoils	comprise	primarily	of	Carboniferous	
                                                                        limestone	till	(TLs)	and	Namurian	shales/sandstone	
         •	 AminSW	-	Shallow	well	drained	mineral,	derived	             tills	(TNSSs)	while	Glaciofluvial	sands	and	gravels	(GLs/
            from	mainly	non-calcareous	parent	materials.	               GNSSs)	are	also	present.	Bedrock	at	the	surface	was	
            Lithosols,	Regosols	are	included	in	this	category;	         noted	by	the	EPA	and	the	GSI	in	small	area	along	the	
            and			                                                      alignment.	

         •	 Lac	–	Lacustrine	Deposits	(undifferentiated).               Till	derived	from	various	rock	formations	is	the	principle	
                                                                        material	encountered	along	the	alignment.	Till	is	an	
      In	addition,	alluvial	soils	are	evident	along	the	course	         unsorted	sediment	derived	from	the	transportation	and	
      of	the	main	surface	water	features	in	the	study	area.	In	         deposition	of	by	or	from	a	glacier.	Glacial	till	is	composed	
      particular,	alluvial	soils	are	evident	along	the	River	Boyne	     of	a	heterogeneous	mixture	of	clay,	sand,	gravel	and	
      and	its	tributaries.                                              boulders.

      Cutover	Peat	(Cut)	is	evident	in	the	study	area.	A	large	
      area	of	cutover	peat	is	located	near	Carlanstown,	                The	following	four	subsoil	groups	are	dominant	along	the	
      approximately	5km	northeast	of	Kells	(west	of	Towers	             alignment:
      105-115).	
                                                                           •	 TNSSs	–	Shales	and	Sandstones	Tills	(Namurian);
      8.2.3	                                                               •	 GLS	–	Limestone	Sands	and	Gravels	
      Quaternary	Geology                                                      (Carboniferous);

      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	8.2.1	-	8.2.4	“Subsoils	           •	 TLS	–	Limestone	Till	(Carboniferous);	and
      Maps”.
                                                                           •	 TLPSsS	–	Sandstone	and	Shale	Till	(Lower	
      General	information	concerning	the	Quaternary	(Subsoil)	                Palaeozoic).		
      Geology	is	contained	in	the	Geological	Survey	of	Ireland	
      Sheet	13,	1:100,000	map	series	“Geology	of	Meath”	
      publication.		Most	of	the	Quaternary	sediments	were	
      deposited	during	the	Ice	Age	itself,	either	directly	from	the	


        Subsoil	Group                                             No.	of	Towers	within	subsoil	category            %	Occurrence

        Alluvium	(Undifferentiated)                                                 2                                   1.22

        Glaciofluvial	sands	and	gravels                                            24                                  14.63

        Glaciolacustrine	deposits	(undifferentiated)                                4                                   2.44

        Bedrock	at	or	near	surface                                                  3                                   1.83

        Peat                                                                        2                                   1.22

        Till                                                                       132                                 78.66

        TOTAL	                                                                     164                                  100

      Table 8.1: Subsoil Classifications at Towers Locations




134
The	following	subsoil	groups	also	occur	along	the	                (320-290	million	years	ago)	between	Culmullin	and	
alignment,	but	are	less	dominant:                                 Bogganstown	(Tower	1-16).	Namurian	(undifferentiated)	
                                                                  (NAM)	beds	are	composed	of	sandstones,	siltstone	and	
   •	 A	–	Alluvial	undifferentiated;	                             shales	with	thin	coal	bands	and	occur	southwest	of	the	
                                                                  town	of	Dunshaughlin.	
   •	 Rck	–	Bedrock	at	Surface;
                                                                  Ordovican-Sulruian	age	deposits	are	located	to	the	north	
   •	 L	–	Lake	Sediment	Undifferentiated;                         of	Navan	with	Carboniferous	aged	(355million	years	to	
                                                                  290	million	years	ago)	deposits	located	between	Navan	
   •	 GNSSs	-	Shales	and	Sandstones	Sands	and	Gravels	            and	Culmullin	(Tower	No.	16-96).
      (Namurian);
                                                                  The	mid	section	of	the	proposed	development	(Tower	
   •	 BASESK	–	Basic	Esker	Sands	and	Gravels;                     17-96)	is	predominantly	underlain	by	the	Lucan	‘Calp’	
                                                                  Formation	(Lu).	
   •	 CUT	–	Cutover	Peat;	and	
                                                                  Towards	the	northern	region	of	the	proposed	development	
   •	 GLPSsS	–	Sandstone	and	Shale	Sands	and	Gravel.              (Tower	97-164)	there	is	a	large	variation	in	the	geological	
                                                                  formations.	The	formations	appear	to	be	striking	in	a	
A	summary	of	the	proposed	towers	locations	within	                southeast	direction.	The	northern	region	is	composed	
each	subsoil	group	is	outlined	in	Table	8.1	and	shown	on	         of	Salterstown	Formation	(SA),	Navan	beds	(NAV),	Mbr.	
Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	8.2.1	-	8.2.4	“Subsoils	Maps”.	           The	undifferentiated	Navan	beds	(SD),	Cruicetown	Group	
                                                                  (undifferentiated)	(CRT),	Fingal	Group	(undifferentiated)	
                                                                  (FNG),	Clontail	Formation	(CL),	and	Castlerahan	Formation	
8.2.3.1	                                                          (RA),	which	are	found	all	south	east	of	Moyhill,	County	
Depth	to	Bedrock                                                  Meath.	

A	small	fraction	of	the	surface	of	the	area	(<2%)	                The	distribution	of	geological	units,	along	the	alignment	is	
comprises	bedrock	outcrop,	with	a	deep	cover	of	                  based	on	published	information	from	the	GSI,	it	is	shown	
Quaternary	deposits	in	the	study	area.	Subsoil	depths	in	         on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	8.3.1	-	8.3.4	“Bedrock	Geology	
the	Bohermeen	area	to	the	west	of	Navan	above	the	Tara	           Maps”.		The	composition	and	the	characteristics	of	the	
Mines	SWEX	B	extension	vary	from	10m	to	70m	below	                various	rock	units	are	discussed	herein.
ground	level	(bgl).	Bedrock	outcrop	are	mainly	confined	
to	the	streams	along	the	line	route	including	Kilmainham							   Ordovican/Sulrurian	Deposits	(Salterstown	Formation,	
Stream	and	Altmush	Stream.	Bedrock	outcrops	are	more	             Clontail	Formation	and	Castlerahan	Fromation)	
prevalent	above	the	Namurian	bedrock	in	the	Culmullin	
area	to	the	south	of	the	alignment.		Additional	information	      The	Ordovician	deposits	along	the	alignment	are	
was	obtained	from	the	GSI	well	database	which	is	                 comprised	of	greywackes,	sandstones	and	mudstones.	
included	in	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	8.2	“GSI	Well	Card	         These	rocks	were	formed	from	muds	and	silts	deposited	
Data”.			                                                         by	turbiditic	currents	in	deep	marine	setting	at	the	edge	
                                                                  of	the	ancient	Iapetus	Ocean.	These	rocks	were	partially	
                                                                  metamorphosed	by	subsequent	folding,	faulting	and	
8.2.4	                                                            subduction	events.		
Bedrock	Geology
                                                                  Navan	Beds
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	8.3.1	-	8.3.4	“Bedrock	
Geology	Maps”.	                                                   The	Navan	Group	is	primarily	comprised	of	argillaceous	
                                                                  limestones,	shales	and	sandstones.	Within	the	Navan	
Reference	to	the	relevant	geological	information	                 Group	a	number	of	members	are	present	including	the	
(McConnell	et	al,	2001),	indicates	that	the	bedrock	              Rockfield	Sandstone	Member.
geology	along	the	alignment	is	varied.			Reference	
to	the	published	geological	map	for	this	area,	the	               Meath	Formation	
1:100,000	scale	Sheet	No.	13	–	Bedrock	Geological	Map	
of	County	Meath	(GSI,	2001)	and	the	1:100,000	scale	              The	Meath	Formation	is	typically	comprised	of	varied	
Sheet	8	–	Bedrock	Geological	Map	of	the	Carboniferous	            lithologies	including	micrite,	oolite,	sandstone,	
of	Monaghan	–Carlingford	(GSI,	1997),	indicates	that	             argillaceous	limestone,	and	shale.	The	Meath	Formation	
this	area	is	principally	underlain	by	Namurian	Deposits	          is	the	main	host	ore	body	to	the	Tara	Mines	Lead	Zinc	ore	
                                                                  body.	




                                                                                                                                  135
      8 Soils and Geology


      Calp	Limestone	(Lucan	Formation)                              8.2.5	
      Underlying	the	mid-section	of	the	proposed	development	       Areas	of	Geological	Heritage	
      area,	the	bedrock	is	comprised	of	the	Calp	Limestones.	
      The	term	‘Calp’	is	used	to	refer	to	the	various	basinal	
                                                                    Importance
      limestone	and	shales	occurring	in	these	successions.	The	
                                                                    Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	8.4.1	-	8.4.3	“Geological	
      Calp	units	generally	consist	of	dark	grey,	fine	grained,	
                                                                    Heritage	Sites”.
      impure	limestone	with	interbedded	shales	and	veins	of	
      white	calcareous	spar.	The	variation	in	bed	thickness,	
                                                                    The	Irish	Geological	Heritage	(IGH)	Programme	is	a	
      grain	size,	colour	and	proportion	of	shale	is	a	feature	of	
                                                                    partnership	between	the	GSI	and	the	NPWS	of	the	
      the	depositional	environment.	
                                                                    DoEHLG.	It	aims	to	identify,	document,	and	protect	the	
                                                                    wealth	of	geological	heritage	in	the	Republic	of	Ireland	
      Cruisetown	Group	&	Fingal	Group	
                                                                    and	conserve	it	against	ever	increasing	threats,	and	
                                                                    also	to	promote	the	value	of	these	geological	sites	with	
      The	Cruisetown	Group	and	Fingal	group	occur	in	the	
                                                                    landowners	and	the	public.
      Monalty	Basin	(between	Monalty,	Carlanstown	and	
      Nobber).	The	Cruisetown	and	Fingal	Group	are	structurally	
                                                                    The	GSI	provide	scientific	appraisal	and	interpretative	
      controlled	by	a	syncline	present	within	the	Monalty	Basin	
                                                                    advice	on	geological	and	geomorphological	sites.	They	
      trending	northeast/southwest.	The	Cruisetown	Group	
                                                                    are	responsible	for	the	identification	of	important	sites	
      is	primarily	comprised	of	Ballysteen	and	Waulsortian	
                                                                    that	are	capable	of	being	conserved	as	NHA.	The	NPWS	
      Limestones.	The	Fingal	Group	is	primarily	comprised	of	
                                                                    of	the	DoEHLG	have	the	responsibility	of	designation	and	
      Calp	limestones.	
                                                                    management	of	sites,	with	appropriate	advice	from	GSI.
      Namurian	Sandstones	and	Shales
                                                                    At	present,	the	GSI	has	compiled	a	list	of	sites	proposed	
                                                                    for	designation	as	Natural	Heritage	Areas	(pNHAs).	The	
      Thick	sequences	of	sandstones,	siltstones	and	
                                                                    GSI	has	also	determined	a	secondary	list	of	County	
      marine	shales	were	deposited	later	during	the	upper	
                                                                    Heritage	Areas,	which	may	be	considered	for	protection	
      Carboniferous	Period	(approx.	340	million	years	ago).	
                                                                    at	Local	Authority	functional	control	level	(i.e.	maybe	
      Several	different	lithologies	are	present	within	the	
                                                                    included	in	County	Development	Plans).	
      Namurian	Sandstones	and	Shales,	but	due	to	poor	
      exposure	in	the	area,	a	general	classification	is	given	
                                                                    There	are	five	sites	identified	by	the	GSI	located	along	
      to	the	rocks	in	the	area.	The	Namurian	shales	typically	
                                                                    the	alignment,	two	proposed	as	National	Heritage	Area	
      consist	of	siltstones,	mudstones	interbedded	with	fine	
                                                                    Geological	Sites	(pNHA)	and	three	proposed	as	County	
      –	medium	grained	sandstones,	calcareous	mudstone/
                                                                    Geological	Sites	(CGS).	These	are:
      siltstone	and	argillaceous	limestone.	
                                                                       •	 Altmush	Stream	(CGS);	
      8.2.4.1	
                                                                       •	 Gibstown	Castle	(CGS);	
      Karst	Features
                                                                       •	 Boyne	River	(CGS);	
      The	muddy	limestones	of	the	Lucan	‘Calp’	Formation	
      and	the	Ballysteen	Formation	are	less	susceptible	to	            •	 Galtrim	Morraine	(pNHA);	and	
      karst	solution	than	pale,	pure	limestones	(present	in	
      East	Meath	and	the	Drogheda	Platform).	Exposures	of	             •	 Trim	Esker	(pNHA).
      the	Calp	Limestones	do	not	indicate	any	major	Karst	
      solution	features.	The	Karst	database	held	by	the	GSI	        Altmush	Stream	(NGR	E278770	N286830)	comprises	
      was	consulted.	This	database	holds	records	of	locations	      a	continuous	section	of	natural	rock	outcrops	of	the	
      and	types	of	reported	Karst	features.	No	recorded	karst	      Lower	Carboniferous	(Visean)	to	Upper	Carboniferous	
      features	from	the	GSI	database	exist	within	1km	of	the	       (Namurian)	limestone	and	shale	of	the	Fingal	Group	and	
      alignment.	Karst	features	were	noted	at	former	Gibstown	      Ardagh	Shale	Formation	respectively	along	the	banks	of	a	
      Castle	(Gibstown	House)	approximately	1.2km	from	the	         stream	over	a	distance	of	1.5km,	has	been	proposed	under	
      alignment.	Anthropogenic	sources	have	modified	the	           IGH8	Lower	Carboniferous	and	IGH9	Upper	Carboniferous	
      original	setting	at	Gibstown	House.	                          Themes	as	a	CGS.	The	potential	impact	on	the	CGS	is	low	
                                                                    and	is	discussed	further	in	Section	8.3	and	8.4.	The	line	
                                                                    route	passes	over	the	CGS.	




136
Gibstown	Castle	(NGR	283100,	273100	comprising	a	
natural	rock	outcrop	of	Lower	Carboniferous	(Caurceyan)	
                                                              8.2.6	
Limestone	of	the	Ballysteen	Formation	and	spring,	            Current	and	Historical	Mining	Sites	
has	been	proposed	under	the	IGH1	Karst	theme	for	
designation	as	a	CGS	site	as	there	are	very	few	naturally	    The	main	mining	area	adjacent	to	the	proposed	
exposed	karst	features	seen	within	the	limestone	of	          development	is	Tara	Mines,	near	Navan,	County	Meath.	
Meath.	                                                       Tara	Mines	have	been	actively	mining	Lead	and	Zinc	for	
                                                              over	30	years.	The	current	mining	area	extends	to	west	of	
Boyne	River	(NGR	284350	258560)	a	section	of	the	Boyne	       Navan	and	is	present	beneath	the	alignment	particularly	
River	comprising	one	of	the	few	example	of	anatomizing	       in	the	Irishtown,	Betaghstown	and	Ongenstown	area.	This	
(distributary)	channel	system	in	Meath,	has	been	             area	is	referred	to	as	the	SWEX	B	extension.	The	SWEX	
proposed	under	IGH14	Fluvial/Lacustrine	Geomorphology	        B	mineralisation	is	a	significant	depth	below	surface	
theme	for	designation	as	a	CGS	site	as	anatomizing	           approximately	650m	to	900m	below	ground	level	(mbgl).	
channels	are	not	common	nationally.	The	line	route	           The	geology	of	this	area	has	been	extensively	investigated	
passes	over	the	CGS.                                          as	a	consequence	of	mining.	A	geological	summary	is	
                                                              given	in	Table	8.2
Galtrim	Moraine	(NGR	286000,	256000)	comprising	an	
example	of	an	esker	crossing	a	moraine.	The	site	has	         No	other	major	mines	were	noted	in	the	study	area.	
been	proposed	under	the	IGH7	Quaternary	theme	for	            The	alignment	does	not	cross	the	Kingscourt	Gypsum	
designation	as	a	pNHA	as	it	is	unique	in	Ireland.	The	        Formation,	which	is	located	approximately	1km	to	the	east	
deposition	of	the	Galtrim	Moraine	is	considered	to	be	        of	the	alignment.		There	are	no	active	quarries	or	sand	and	
the	remains	of	a	prolonged	pause	in	ice	retreat	during	       gravel	pit	located	under	the	alignment.		
the	Midlandian	age.	The	Galtrim	Moraine	is	comprised	
of	fans	and	deltas	of	gravel	built	at	the	ice	margin	into	
glacial	Lake	Summerhill.	This	lake	formed	when	water	was	
                                                              8.2.7	
trapped	between	the	ice	front	and	the	high	shaly	ground	      Geotechnical	and	Slope	Stability
at	Summerhill.	The	building	outwards	of	successive	
deposits	is	evident	and	above	them,	a	later	horizontal	       The	alignment	passes	through	a	gently	undulating	
layer.	                                                       topography	(Tower	No.	1-120),	with	steeper	slopes	present	
                                                              around	the	Drumlin	belt	(Tower	No.	121	–	164)	in	North	
Trim	Esker	(NGR	285000	253100)	comprising	a	14.5km	           Meath	and	within	river	valleys.	In	areas	with	sloping	
long	section	of	a	predominately	wooded	esker	ridge,	          ground,	the	composition	and	extent	of	the	superficial	
made	of	Quaternary	sand	and	gravel	deposits.	It	was	          geology	affects	the	stability	of	the	slopes	and	therefore	
formed	by	a	sub-glacial	river	which	flowed	beneath	an	        the	potential	for	slippage.	
ice	sheet,	covering	this	area	during	the	last	ice	age.	As	
this	subglacial	river	flowed	beneath	the	ice	it	deposited	    There	are	three	key	types	of	deposits	along	the	alignment	
material	which	remained	to	form	a	long	linear	ridge,	which	   that	can	be	characterised	by	generic	degrees	of	
stands	out	from	the	surrounding	landscape.	This	section	      consolidation.	The	actual	consolidation	of	deposits	varies	
has	been	proposed	under	the	IGH7	Quaternary	Theme	for	        considerably	based	on	a	wide	range	of	factors	at	the	local	
designation	as	a	pNHA	site,	as	it	represents	one	of	the	      level.	Detailed	information	of	the	geotechnical	capability	
finest	examples	of	an	esker	in	Ireland.                       of	deposits	can	only	be	determined	following	intrusive	
                                                              site	investigation.



  Horizon                                             Depth	(mbgl)                         Unit	Thickness	(m)

  Overburden	(glacial	till)                              10	-70                                  10-70m

  Upper	Dark	Limestones	                                 10-650                                   <600

  Pale	Beds/Ore                                         650	-900                                   <10

Table 8.2: Soil/Bedrock Profile at SWEX B




                                                                                                                             137
      8 Soils and Geology


         •	 Peat	Deposits:	The	alignment	crosses	areas	
            covered	with	peat	deposits	(including	two	towers).	
                                                                        8.3.1	
            The	depth	of	peat	and	the	lateral	extent	of	this	           Construction	Phase
            surficial	deposit	is	limited	where	it	occurs.	Based	
            on	the	findings	of	site	visits	the	peat	appears	to	         Geological	Impacts
            be	previously	modified	to	improve	land	drainage.	
            Peat	instability	issues	are	primarily	associated	with	      Potential	short	term	impacts	during	the	construction	
            modifications	to	intact	raised	bogs,	blanket	peat	          phase	include	activities	associated	with	the	movement,	
            and	deep	peat	deposits.	Such	conditions	do	not	             excavation	and	disposal	of	soils,	contaminated	materials	
            occur	along	the	proposed	line	route.	                       (if	present)	and	bedrock,	compaction	of	soils	and	
                                                                        temporary	construction	of	temporary	access	routes.
         •	 Glacial	Till:	The	alignment	crosses	an	area	
            predominantly	covered	by	glacial	till	deposits	             The	alignment	passes	close	to	five	sites	identified	as	CGS	
            commonly	comprising	sandy	gravelly	clay.	These	             or	proposed	National	Heritage	Areas	(pNHA).	These	have	
            deposits	are	generally	consolidated	although	this	          been	identified	as	Altmush	Stream,	Gibstown	Castle,	
            varies	between	deposits.	                                   Boyne	River,	Galtrim	Moraine	and	Trim	Esker.	

         •	 Sands	and	Gravels:	Sections	of	the	alignment	cross	         The	alignment	does	not	go	through	the	following	three	
            areas	of	fluvio-glacial	deposits	comprising	sands	          sites	Galtrim	Moraine,	Gibstown	Castle	or	Trim	Esker.	
            and	gravels	including	deposits	at	Derrypatrick	             Hence	these	sites	will	not	be	affected	by	the	proposed	
            and	Dunderry.	These	deposits	are	generally	more	            development.
            loosely	consolidated	than	glacial	till	deposits	
            however	as	with	other	deposits,	the	exact	details	          The	alignment	passes	over	the	Boyne	River	CGS	but	no	
            of	consolidation	varies	and	would	need	to	be	               towers	are	present	with	the	CGS	boundaries.	One	tower	
            confirmed	through	site	investigation.                       will	be	located	towards	the	southern	boundary	of	the	
                                                                        Boyne	CGS.	Hence	the	Boyne	CGS	will	not	be	affected	by	
      The	composition	and	geotechnical	properties	of	these	             the	proposed	development.
      deposits	vary	within	each	type.	However,	peat	is	generally	
      the	least	geotechnically	stable	of	the	three	deposits	listed	     It	is	proposed	to	locate	one	tower	within	the	
      and	where	it	occurs	on	sloping	ground	there	is	a	greater	         Altmush	Stream	CGS	boundary.		This	tower	is	located	
      risk	of	slope	instability.	The	alignment	largely	avoids	areas	    approximately	50m	from	the	Altmush	Stream	within	an	
      of	peat,	with	only	two	towers	located	within	peat	subsoil.	       agricultural	field.		The	geological	interest	at	the	Altmush	
                                                                        site	is	the	bedrock	exposures	within	and	along	the	banks	
                                                                        of	the	stream,	which	expose	rocks	of	the	Carboniferous	
      8.3	 	                                                            period.	Mitigation	measures	are	detailed	in	section	8.4.	
      POTENTIAL	IMPACTS
                                                                        During	the	construction	phase,	machinery	on	site	will	
      During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	                  include	diesel	powered	trucks,	excavators	and	a	crane.	
      number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	           The	potential	impacts	to	the	underlying	soil	and	geology	
      notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	                   from	the	proposed	development	could	derive	from	
      evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	   accidental	spillages	of	fuels,	oils	and	solvents,	which	
      the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	        could	impact	the	soil,	bedrock	and	groundwater	quality,	if	
      the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	       allowed	to	infiltrate	to	ground	during	construction.	
      been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	
                                                                        During	the	construction	phase,	the	digging	of	foundations	
      The	construction	methodology	is	outlined	previously	              for	the	towers	may	lead	to	an	increase	in	soil	erosion.	
      in	this	Volume	(Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	4).	The	                 During	the	construction	phase	topsoil,	subsoil	removal	
      transmission	line	will	have	potential	impacts	on	the	soil	        and	rock	excavation	will	be	required.	Topsoil	removal	has	
      and	geology	of	the	study	area.	                                   the	potential	for	silt	and	clay	to	be	removed	by	rainfall	and	
                                                                        surface	water	runoff.	Siltation	of	nearby	watercourses	may	
                                                                        be	a	potential	impact	and	careful	removal	and	storage	of	
                                                                        subsoil	should	be	considered.	Any	topsoil	that	is	removed	
                                                                        will	be	used	for	regrading	at	a	later	stage.




138
Geotechnical	Impacts                                            8.4	 	
The	alignment	crosses	over	areas	of	‘cutover	peat’	and	         MITIGATION	MEASURES
Lacustrine	deposits.	‘Cutover	peat’	and	Lacustrine	
deposits	are	not	ideal	for	siting	towers	as	it	is	not	          In	identifying	the	route	of	the	proposed	development,	
of	sufficient	strength	to	provide	stability	for	towers	         ‘avoidance	of	impact’	measures	were	employed.	This	is	
using	the	standard	methodology.	There	are	two	towers	           an	iterative	approach	and	has	been	considered	in	the	
proposed	to	be	located	within	an	area	of	cutover	peat,	         “Constraints	Report”	dated	July	2007.	Due	to	the	nature	
with	four	proposed	towers	located	within	areas	of	              of	the	proposed	development,	the	scale	of	impact	is	low	
Lacustrine	deposits.	Some	of	these	areas	appear	to	have	        albeit	permanent.	
been	modified	by	importing	soils,	particularly	in	the	
Carlanstown	area.		
                                                                8.4.1	
During	construction,	instability	may	impact	on	the	             Construction	Phase
construction	of	the	towers	in	peat	areas.	Mitigation	
measures	are	proposed	in	section	8.4.	The	presence	of	          Geological	Mitigation	Measures
peat	is	limited	within	the	footprint	of	the	line.	
                                                                Measures	to	minimise	the	impact	of	the	development	on	
Bedrock	that	is	prone	to	extensive	karstification,	may	         local	geology	might	include	reuse	of	in	situ	material	and	
result	in	weaknesses	below	the	ground	surface	and	hence	        importation	of	additional	material	from	local	sources.	
lead	to	fractures,	faults	and	caves	below	the	ground	           Where	possible,	the	location	of	towers	have	avoided	areas	
surface.	These	areas	may	cause	subsidence	if	placed	            of	intact	peat,	therefore	the	hydrology	of	peat	masses	in	
under	pressure	from	towers.	This	has	been	mitigated	            the	general	vicinity	of	the	alignment	will	not	be	affected.
against	by	placing	towers	away	from	karstified	areas.	The	
very	low	risk	of	subsidence	has	been	taken	account	of	          It	is	proposed	to	mitigate	the	potential	impacts	on	
and	this	has	been	allowed	for	in	the	design	of	the	tower	       the	Altmush	CGS.	It	is	possible	that	bedrock	may	be	
foundation.		                                                   encountered	during	the	site	investigation	works/
                                                                construction	of	the	tower	with	the	Altmush	CGS.	
The	presence	of	the	underground	mining	at	Navan	will	
not	affect	the	construction	of	the	line	route.	The	SWEX	        The	following	mitigation	measures	are	proposed:
B	mineralisation	is	a	significant	depth	below	surface	
(>650mbgl).	Maximum	measured	peak	particle	velocities	             •	 Continued	consultation	with	the	GSI;	
at	the	SWEX	extension	is	2.5	mm/s,	well	below	the	
guideline	values	of	12	mm/s.	Vibration	issues	are	dealt	           •	 Maintaining	an	adequate	distance	from	the	
with	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	11.                                  Altmush	Stream;	and
                                                                   	
The	proposed	development	will	utilise	the	existing	                •	 The	GSI	will	be	notified	about	any	significant	new	
substation	at	Woodland	thereby	minimising	the	impact	on	              section/feature	that	is	exposed	within	the	tower	
the	existing	environment.	Details	in	relation	to	the	Moyhill	         footprint.	
Substation	are	dealt	with	in	Volume	2,	Part	B,	Moyhill	to	
Border	(Lemgare)	400kV	Transmission	Line.                       A	construction	and	demolition	waste	management	plan	
                                                                will	be	developed	in	accordance	with	the	“Best Practice
                                                                Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management
8.3.2	                                                          Plans for Construction and Demolition Projects”	(DoEHLG,	
Operational	Phase	                                              2006)	to	ensure	that	all	construction	waste	is	stored,	
                                                                managed,	moved,	reused	or	disposed	of	in	an	appropriate	
Due	to	the	nature	of	the	development,	there	will	be	            manner	by	appropriate	contractors	in	accordance	with	all	
machinery	periodically	on	the	site	at	a	given	time.	            relevant	waste	legislation.	
This	may	lead	to	occasional	accidental	emissions,	
in	the	form	of	oil,	petrol	or	diesel	leaks,	which	could	        All	excavated	materials	will	be	visually	assessed	for	
cause	contamination	if	they	enter	the	soil	and	bedrock	         signs	of	possible	contamination	such	as	staining	or	
environment.		                                                  strong	odours.		Should	any	unusual	staining	or	odour	
                                                                be	noticed,	samples	of	this	soil	will	be	analysed	for	the	
                                                                presence	of	possible	contaminants	in	order	to	ensure	
                                                                that	historical	pollution	of	the	soil	has	not	occurred.	
                                                                Should	it	be	determined	that	any	of	the	soil	excavated	
                                                                is	contaminated,	this	will	be	dealt	with	appropriately	as	




                                                                                                                              139
      8 Soils and Geology


      per	the	Waste	Management	Act	of	1996	and	associated	             analysis	software	and	frequent	provision	of	slope	back	
      regulations.                                                     support	(using	cablebolts).	Vibration	levels	during	
                                                                       blasting	are	low	(less	than	2.5mm/s)	and	does	not	pose	a	
      To	minimise	any	impact	on	the	underlying	subsurface	             structural	risk	to	towers.	The	significance	of	effect	for	the	
      strata	from	material	spillages,	all	oils	and	solvents	           line	is	predicted	to	be	minor.	
      used	during	construction	will	be	stored	on	temporary	
      proprietary	bunded	surface	(i.e.	contained	bunded	plastic	       In	the	design	rationale	of	‘Avoidance	of	Impacts’,	
      surface).	These	will	be	moved	to	each	tower	location	            the	proposed	development	has	avoided	areas	of	
      as	construction	progresses.	Refuelling	of	construction	          bedrock	prone	to	karstification.	The	main	reason	for	
      vehicles	and	the	addition	of	hydraulic	oils	or	lubricants	to	    this	precautionary	measure	is	that	areas	prone	to	
      vehicles	will	take	place	away	from	surface	water	gullies	        karstification	may	have	weaknesses	below	the	ground	
      or	drains.	Spill	kits	and	hydrocarbon	absorbent	packs	will	      surface	such	as	fractures,	faults	and	caves	which	may	
      be	stored	in	this	area	and	operators	will	be	fully	trained	in	   lead	to	subsidence	if	placed	under	pressure	from	a	
      the	use	of	this	equipment.                                       tower.	During	construction	all	required	checks	should	be	
                                                                       undertaken	to	record	and	design	appropriate	foundations	
      Further	mitigation	measures	recommended	will	include:            if	any	significant	solution	features	are	encountered.

         •	 Controlling	working	practices	by,	for	example,	
            minimising	land	take,	avoiding	repetitive	handling	
                                                                       8.4.2	
            of	soils,	minimising	vehicle	movements	off	road	           Operational	Phase
            and	limiting	the	size	of	stockpiles	to	reduce	the	
            compaction	and	erosion	of	material;	and                    Any	vehicles	utilised	during	the	operational	phase	will	be	
                                                                       regularly	maintained	and	checked	to	ensure	any	damage	
         •	 Reinstatement	of	soils	to	their	original	locations	        or	leakages	are	corrected.	
            where	possible.

      Geotechnical	and	Stability	Mitigation	Measures                   8.5	
                                                                       RESIDUAL	IMPACTS
      ESB	Networks	has	extensive	experience	in	the	
      construction	and	maintenance	of	towers	and	will	manage	          The	nature	of	the	transmission	line	dictates	that	
      the	works	programme.	Site	conditions	will	be	assessed	by	        the	greatest	potential	impact	for	geological	impact	
      the	contractor	for	towers	and	temporary	access	routes	as	        (including	soil,	subsoil	and	bedrock)	associated	with	
      part	of	the	detailed	project	design.                             the	development	will	be	in	the	construction	phase.	If	the	
                                                                       proposed	mitigation	measures	as	outlined	herein	are	
      In	general,	the	slopes	encountered	within	the	study	             implemented,	the	geological	impact	associated	with	the	
      area,	are	characterised	as	gentle	to	moderate.	Specific	         construction	phase	of	the	development	is	predicted	to	be	
      geotechnical	assessment	will	be	undertaken	at	sensitive	         low	albeit	permanent.	
      tower	locations.	Slopes	characterised	by	steep	gradients	
      and/or	loosely	consolidated	superficial	deposits	are	            With	regard	to	the	operational	phase	of	the	development,	
      considered	to	represent	a	moderate	sensitivity.	The	             no	significant	impacts	on	the	local	geological	environment	
      magnitude	of	the	residual	effects	has	been	assessed	as	          are	predicted	if	the	mitigation	measures	are	adhered	
      negligible	to	low.	                                              to.	The	predicted	impact	on	the	soils	and	geology	is	
                                                                       considered	to	be	long	term	and	imperceptible.
      Key	effects	may	include	localised	slippage	and	increased	
      erosion.	The	significance	of	effect	for	slope	stability	
      has	been	assessed	as	minor	and	would	be	mitigated	               8.6	
      through	careful	on-site	practices	and	foundation	design.	        INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	
      Information	from	geotechnical	site	investigations	would	
      be	used	by	ESB	Networks	to	design	tower	foundations	             ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	
      appropriately.
                                                                       This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	
      Tara	Mines	does	not	have	any	geotechnical	issues	in	             2	Part	A,	Chapter	9	–	Water	for	a	full	understanding	of	the	
      relation	to	subsidence	in	the	Bohermeen	area.	The	               main	interactions	between	these	environmental	topics.
      likelihood	of	significant	hangingwall	failure	in	any	
      individual	slope	is	considered	to	be	low	due	to	the	
      following	reasons,	the	systematic	slope	design	process	
      is	based	on	a	high	density	of	drilling	data,	the	extensive	
      experience	base	at	Tara	Mines,	the	routine	use	of	stress	




140
141
142
                                     9
zxzz




               Chapter 9


                      Water




               Meath-Tyrone	400kV
       Interconnection	Development


                                     143
      9 Water


      9.1	                                                              •	 Office	of	Public	Works	(OPW)	flood	mapping	data;	

      INTRODUCTION                                                      •	 “Guidelines	for	the	Crossing	of	Watercourses	
                                                                           During	the	Construction	of	National	Road	
      This	chapter	assesses	the	impacts	on	the	water	                      Schemes”	(Natura	and	the	NRA,	2005);
      environment	arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	
      transmission	line	and	associated	development	(including	          •	 “Control	of	Water	Pollution	from	Construction	Sites,	
      the	extension	of	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	                   Guidance	for	Consultants	and	Contractors”	(CIRIA	
      existing	substation	site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	              650)
      the	site	identified	for	a	proposed	substation	near	Moyhill,	
      County	Meath.                                                     •	 Site	visits	of	the	study	area;	and

      This	chapter	addresses	the	surface	water	and	                     •	 Consultation	with	statutory	and	non-statutory	
      groundwater	aspects	of	the	study	area,	assesses	the	                 organisations.
      impacts	of	the	development	on	the	existing	water	
      environments	and	proposes	mitigation	measures.	                The	characterisation	of	the	study	area	is	considered	
                                                                     detailed	and	sufficient	to	adequately	assess	the	
      The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	area	    hydrological	and	hydrogeological	setting.	
      than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	in	excess	
      of	1km	from	the	alignment.                                     All	projects	and	developments	that	require	an	EIS	are	of	
                                                                     a	scale	or	nature	that	they	have	the	potential	to	have	an	
                                                                     impact	on	the	environment.	It	is	therefore	crucial	that	the	
      9.1.1	                                                         significance	of	the	potential	impact	is	determined.	In	this	
      Methodology                                                    chapter	the	potential	impact	on	the	surrounding	water	
                                                                     environment	resulting	from	the	proposed	development	
      This	report	has	been	prepared	using	the	                       is	assessed	and	appropriate	mitigation	measures	are	
      recommendations	set	out	in	the	EPA	document	                   proposed.
      ‘Guidelines on Information to be contained in
      Environmental Impact Statements’ (2002). The guidelines
      and recommendations of the Institute of Geologists
                                                                     9.2	
      of Ireland (IGI) publication ‘Geology in Environmental         EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
      Impact Statements – A Guide’ (2002)	was	also	taken	into	
      account	in	the	preparation	of	this	chapter.	                   The	setting	of	the	proposed	development	in	relation	to	the	
                                                                     surface	water	environment	is	shown	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	
      The	information	contained	in	this	section	has	been	divided	    Figure	9.1.1	-	9.1.4	“Surface	Water	Maps”	
      into	sub	sections,	so	as	to	describe	the	various	aspects	
      pertaining	to	the	water	environment.	In	the	preparation	       Baseline	conditions	have	been	established	via	a	detailed	
      of	this	chapter	the	following	sources	of	information	were	     desk	study	and	consultation	with	relevant	statutory	
      used	in	order	to	assess	the	regional	and	site	specific	        bodies,	including	the	EPA,	Meath	County	Council	and	the	
      context	and	character	of	the	study	area:                       Regional	Fisheries	Board.	Where	such	information	has	
                                                                     been	available,	the	desk	study	included	the	following:
         •	 The	GSI	well	card	and	groundwater	records	for	the	
            area	were	inspected,	with	reference	to	hydrology	           •	 Review	of	Ordnance	Survey	Ireland	(OSi	1:50,000	
            and	hydrogeology;                                              Discovery	Data)	maps	to	identify	the	locations	of	
                                                                           surface	water	bodies;
         •	 EPA	water	quality	monitoring	data	for	watercourses	
            in	the	area;                                                •	 Collation	of	the	results	of	the	Biological	and	
                                                                           Chemical	“General	Quality	Assessments”	
         •	 Water	Framework	Directive	Monitoring	Programme,	               (GQA)	for	monitored	surface	waters	close	to	the	
            EPA	2006;                                                      development;

         •	 Eastern	and	Neagh	Bann	River	Basin	District	                •	 Identification	of	surface	waters	containing	
            Characterisation	Reports;                                      salmonid	and/or	cyprinid	fish	species;	and

         •	 Eastern	and	Neagh	Bann	River	Basin	District	                •	 Identification	of	sensitive	waters.
            Management	System	Policy	and	Legislation	Report;




144
Site	visits	of	the	study	area	were	carried	out	between	        The	River	Dee	flows	in	an	easterly	direction	from	Nobber	
March	2009	and	July	2009	by	TOBIN	Consulting	Engineers	        in	County	Meath	to	Ardee	in	County	Louth.	The	River	Dee	
(by	suitably	qualified	scientists/engineers)	in	order	to	      along	with	its	tributary,		the	Kilmainham	River,	forms	
visually	assess	the	water	environment	in	the	vicinity	of	      a	large	element	of	the	drainage	network	towards	the	
the	rivers	and	streams	in	the	study	area.	The	site	visits	     northern	section	of	the	study	area.
comprised	windscreen	surveys	of	the	rivers	and	a	number	
of	visual	assessments	of	watercourse	crossings.	               A	number	of	small	streams	comprising	of	the	Clady	River,	
                                                               Derrypatrick	River,	Boycetown	River	and	River	Tolka	are	
                                                               located	in	the	southern	section	of	the	study	area.	
9.2.1	
Hydrology	                                                     There	is	a	high	drainage	density	throughout	the	central	
                                                               and	southern	regions	of	the	study	area.	North	of	Nobber	
The	River	Boyne,	River	Blackwater	and	River	Dee	dominate	      in	County	Meath	the	drainage	density	decreases	as	the	
the	natural	surface	water	area	of	the	study	area.	The	River	   relief	and	the	number	of	lakes	increase.	
Boyne	crosses	the	southern	section	of	the	alignment	
between	Tower	46	and	47.	It	flows	in	a	southwest	to	           As	can	be	seen	in	Table	9.1,	the	towers	are	principally	
northeast	direction	between	the	towns	of	Trim	and	Navan.	      located	within	the	River	Boyne	catchment.

The	River	Blackwater	flows	through	the	central	section	of	
the	proposed	development	(between	Tower	89	and	90)	
in	a	northwest	to	southeast	direction	from	Kells,	before	
entering	the	Boyne	at	Navan.	The	Yellow	River	joins	the	
Blackwater	River	approximately	4km	north	west	of	Navan.	


                                                                                                             %	of	Route		
  Hydrometric	Area              River	                                          Tributaries
                                                                                                              towers

                                                                                 Altmush

                                River	Dee	
  Hydrometric	Area	06                                                          Kilmainham                        25
                                (and	tributaries)

                                                                                  Ervey

                                                                               Derrypatrick

                                                                                Boycetown

                                                                                  Clady
                                River	Boyne	
  Hydrometric	Area	07                                                                                            73
                                (and	tributaries)
                                                                               Blackwater

                                                                     Owenroe/Moynalty	tributaries

                                                                               Yellow	River

                                River	Tolka	
  Hydrometric	Area	09                                                  River	Tolka	(and	tributaries)              2
                                (and	tributaries)

Table 9.1: Surface Water Features and Hydrometric Areas




                                                                                                                            145
      9 Water


      9.2.1.1	                                                                                    •	 There	are	no	RPA	habitat	rivers	along	the	
                                                                                                     alignment;
      Water	Framework	Directive	
                                                                                                  •	 There	are	no	RPA	nutrient	sensitive	lakes	and	
      Requirements                                                                                   estuaries	along	the	alignment;	and	
      European	Communities	Directive	2000/60EC,	establishing	
                                                                                                  •	 There	are	no	RPA	shell	fish	areas	along	the	
      a	framework	for	community	action	in	the	field	of	water	
                                                                                                     alignment.
      policy	(commonly	known	as	the	Water	Framework	
      Directive	(WFD)),	requires	‘good	water	status’	for	all	
                                                                                             Based	on	the	available	information,	the	majority	of	the	
      European	waters	by	2015.	This	is	to	be	achieved	through	a	
                                                                                             Boyne	and	Dee	Catchments	are	‘at Risk of not achieving
      system	of	river	basin	management	planning	and	extensive	
                                                                                             Good Status’	in	relation	to	Surface	Water	(1a	status).	The	
      monitoring.	In	2004	a	characterisation	and	analysis	of	all	
                                                                                             Moynalty	and	Clady	River	are	classified	as	1b	status	–	
      River	Basin	Districts	(RBD)	in	Ireland	was	undertaken	as	
                                                                                             ‘water body is thought to be at risk of failing to meet the
      required	by	Article	5	of	the	WFD.	In	this	characterisation	
                                                                                             objective pending further investigation’.	
      study	the	impacts	of	a	range	of	pressures	were	assessed	
      including	diffuse	and	point	pollution,	water	abstraction	
                                                                                             The	Boyne	and	Dee	catchments	are	located	in	
      and	morphological	pressures	(e.g.	water	regulation	
                                                                                             predominantly	agricultural	land.	The	catchments	are	
      structures).	The	purpose	of	this	exercise	was	to	identify	
                                                                                             comprised	primarily	of	pastureland	with	substantial	areas	
      water	bodies	at	risk	of	failing	to	meet	the	objectives	of	the	
                                                                                             of	arable	crops.		
      WFD	by	2015.	Measures	to	address	and	alleviate	these	
      pressures	are	to	be	included	in	a	formal	programme	of	
                                                                                             The	causes	of	the	high	number	of	“At	Risk”	Category	
      measures	to	be	submitted	to	the	EC	by	2009.
                                                                                             Rivers	on	the	Boyne	and	Dee	catchments	are	due	to	the	
                                                                                             following	areas;	
      In	relation	to	protected	areas	under	the	WFD,	it	indicates	
      the	following:
                                                                                             •	      Diffuse	Pollution	(i.e.	Agriculture);
          •	 There	are	no	“Registered	Protected	Areas”	(RPA)	
                                                                                             •	      Point	Source	Pollution	(Wastewater);
             nutrient	sensitive	rivers	along	the	alignment;
                                                                                             •	      Morphological	Pressures;

                                                                                             •	      Water	abstraction;	and
         River                                River	RBD	Title                  Status
                                                                                             •	      Tourism	and	Recreation.	
         River	Boyne                            EA_07_1894                       1(a)
                                                                                             Agriculture	and	Wastewater	(Wastewater	Treatment	Plants	
         Clady	River                          EA_07_311/312                      1(b)        (WWTP)	and	septic	tanks)	are	thought	to	contribute	over	
                                                                                             95%	of	the	total	polluting	matter	to	the	Boyne	catchment.
                                                                                             	
         Yellow	River                            EA_07_856                       1(a)
                                                                                             9.2.1.2	
         River	Blackwater                       EA_07_1536                       1(a)
                                                                                             Surface	Water	Quality
         Boycetown	River                         EA_07_909                       1(a)        The	EPA	monitors	the	quality	of	Ireland’s	surface	waters	
                                                                                             and	assesses	the	quality	of	watercourses	in	terms	of	
         Moynalty	River                         EA_07_1356                       1(b)        four	quality	categories;	‘unpolluted’,	‘slightly	polluted’,	
                                                                                             ‘moderately	polluted’,	and	‘seriously	polluted’.		These	
         Dee	River                            NB_06_50/610                       1(a)        water	quality	categories	and	the	water	quality	monitoring	
                                                                                             programme	are	described	in	the	EPA	publication	‘Water	
                                                                                             Quality	in	Ireland,	2001-2003’.	
         Kilmainham	River                        NB_06_733                       1(a)
                                                                                             The	water	quality	assessments	are	largely	based	on	
      Table 9.2: Selection of WFD classifications for the Major                              biological	surveys.	Biological	Quality	Ratings	or	Biotic	
      Rivers along the Allignment                                                            Indices	(Q	values)	ranging	from	Q1	to	Q5	are	defined	as	
                                                                                             part	of	the	biological	river	quality	classification	system.	
      Note: 1(a) Water Body at Risk of not achieving Good Status 1(b) Water body is
      thought to be at risk of failing to meet the objective pending further investigation
                                                                                             The	relationship	of	these	indices	to	the	water	quality	
                                                                                             classes	defined,	are	set	out	in	Table	9.3.




146
                   Biotic	Index                                           Quality	Status                                            Quality	Class

                     Q5,	4-5,	4                                              Unpolluted                                                 Class	A

                        Q3-4                                             Slightly	Polluted                                              Class	B

                       Q3,	2-3                                        Moderately	Polluted                                               Class	C

                     Q2,	1-2,	1                                         Seriously	Polluted                                              Class	D

Table 9.3: Relationship between Biotic Indices and Water Quality Classes

A	review	of	monitoring	station	results	suggests	that,	in	                              The	EPA	reports	14	No.	monitoring	stations	along	the	River	
general,	the	majority	of	the	rivers	along	the	alignment	are	                           Blackwater.	Similar	to	the	River	Boyne,	the	majority	of	
slightly	to	moderately	polluted.	                                                      these	stations	are	classified	as	slightly	polluted,	although	
                                                                                       some	are	classified	as	unpolluted.	Examples	of	these	
Overall,	there	are	17	No.	EPA	monitoring	stations	along	the	                           stations	are	included	in	Table	9.4	with	the	water	quality	
River	Boyne	with	the	majority	of	these	stations	classifying	                           results	from	1997-2009.	
the	surface	water	in	the	River	Boyne	as	slightly	polluted.	
Examples	of	these	stations	closest	to	the	alignment	are	                               The	rivers	to	the	north	of	the	study	area,	the	River	Dee	and	
included	with	water	quality	results	from	1997-2009.	Refer	                             its	tributary,	the	Kilmainham	River	had	a	higher	proportion	
to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	9.2	“EPA	Water	Quality	Data,	                             of	unpolluted	stretches	of	waterways	when	surveyed	by	
2003”.                                                                                 the	EPA	in	2003,	compared	to	the	rivers	in	the	southern	
                                                                                       part	of	the	study	area.	

                                                                                                                                    Biotic	Index
                     River                          Monitoring	Location
                                                                                                                  1997       2000        2003       2006        2009

                                                    u/s	Knightsbrook	River	confluence	1400                          4         3-4         3-4          4         3-4

                                                    Bective	Bridge	1500                                             3           3         3-4         3-4        3-4

                                                    Ballinteer	Bridge                                              3-4        3-4         3-4           -            -
                River	Boyne
                                                    Railway	Bridge,	Navan                                          3-4        3-4         3-4           -            -

                                                    Fords	of	Broc	House                                            3-4          4         3-4         3-4            4

                                                    d/s	Broadboyne	Bridge                                           3         3-4         3-4         3-4        3-4

                  Moynalty                          Fyanstown	Bridge                                                4           3         3-4          4             4

                Yellow	River	                       Br	u/s	Blackwater	River	confluence                              3           3          3           3             3

                                                    Donaghpatrick	Bridge	1500                                       4         3-4          4           4             4
             River	Blackwater
                                                    100m	d/s	New	Bypass	Bridge                                      -         3-4         3-4           -        3-4

                                                    Br	N	of	Martinstown                                            3-4          3          3*         3-4        3-4*
             Boycetown	River
                                                    Scurlockstown	Bridge                                           3-4          3          3*          4         3-4

                Killary	Water                       Rosehill	Bridge                                                3-4        3-4         3-4           -            -

            Kilmainham	River                        Bridge	North	of	Kilfannana                                      4           4          4            -            -

                  Dee	River                         Tom’s	Bridge                                                    3         3-4           3           -            -

Table 9.4: Selection of Biotic Indices (1997-2009) for the Major Rivers along the alignment
*Silt at this location
Source: Data taken from published EPA reports 1997-2003. Unpublished data, 2006 and 2009 is only available for the River Boyne Catchment as detailed in Table 9.4.




                                                                                                                                                                         147
      9 Water


      Most	rivers	(with	the	exception	of	the	Kilmainham	River)	      The	proposed	development	will	not	interfere	with	
      along	the	alignment	are	suffering	from	water	quality	          either	the	water	levels	or	flow	of	the	Boyne	River	and	
      problems,	principally	eutrophication	from	suspected	           its	Tributaries	or	Dee	River,	therefore,	the	impact	will	be	
      agriculture	sources	and	WWTP.	Calcification	and	siltation	     negligible.
      are	a	problem	on	the	River	Boyne	and	a	number	of	
      tributaries.	The	Boyne	river	remained	in	a	slightly	
      less	than	satisfactory	condition	due	to	widespread	
                                                                     9.2.2	
      eutrophication,	the	most	obvious	symptom	of	which	             Hydrogeology	
      was	the	abnormally	luxuriant	growth	of	filamentous	
      algae	which	can	seriously	upset	the	dissolved	oxygen	          The	assessment	of	the	groundwater	environment	is	
      (DO)	regime	and	stimulate	the	precipitation	of	calcium	        concerned	with	water	contained	below	the	ground	
      carbonate	(marl)	on	the	river	bed	thus	obliterating	           surface,	within	the	soil	and	bedrock	environment.	
      essential	niches	for	a	variety	of	mayfly	and	stonefly	
      indicator	species.
                                                                     9.2.2.1	
      9.2.1.3	                                                       Aquifer	Classification
      Lakes                                                          The	section	of	the	proposed	development	near	the	town	of	
                                                                     Trim,	is	composed	of	Dinantian	Upper	Impure	Limestones	
      No	lakes	are	present	within	0.5km	of	the	alignment.	           and	is	classified	as	a	Locally	Important	Aquifer,	which	is	
      The	nearest	lake	to	the	alignment	is	Whitewood	Lough.	         generally	moderately	productive.	The	same	formation	
      Whitewood	Lough	is	located	over	0.6km	from	Tower	No.	          southwest	of	Kells	is	classified	as	a	Locally	Important	
      141.	                                                          Aquifer	-	moderately	productive	in	local	zones	only.	
                                                                     Silurian	Metasediments	and	Volcanics	between	Navan	
                                                                     and	Ardee	and	northwest	of	Kells	are	classified	mainly	as	
      9.2.1.4	                                                       Poor	Aquifers	(Pl)	–	unproductive	except	for	local	zones	
      Flooding	Data                                                  and	Poor	Aquifers	(Pu).	An	aquifer	classification	by	the	
                                                                     GSI	describes	the	Lucan	Formation	as	a	Locally	Important	
      Substantial	areas	of	the	Boyne	and	Dee	catchments	have	        Aquifer,	bedrock	which	is	Generally	Moderately	Productive	
      been	artificially	drained	to	improve	agricultural	land	        (Lm).	According	to	the	GSI,	the	Calp	is	dominated	by	
      from	the	1960’s	to	1980’s.	An	estimated	656km	of	stream	       moderate	permeability,	fine	grained	and	argillaceous	
      channels	in	the	Boyne	catchment	have	been	modified	to	         limestones	and	shales.	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	
      prevent	flooding,	improve	agricultural	fields	and	allow	for	   9.2.1	-	9.2.4	“Groundwater	Aquifer	Maps”.	
      urban	development.	During	this	period	one	tributary	and	
      a	section	of	the	Boyne	itself,	on	average,	were	drained	       The	Quaternary	sediments	play	an	important	role	in	the	
      annually.	The	River	Dee	and	its	tributaries	have	been	         groundwater	flow	regime	of	the	region.	The	permeability	
      artificially	drained	since	the	1950’s.	                        of	the	glacial	tills,	which	occur	along	the	alignment,	is	
                                                                     variable	but	generally	moderate.	The	high	permeability	
      The	OPW	‘Flood	Hazard	Database’	was	used	in	order	to	          gravels	and	sands	and	moderate	permeability	till	allow	
      obtain	information	on	historical	flooding	events	in	the	       recharge	of	the	bedrock	unit	and	provide	additional	
      study	area.	This	information	was	used	to	establish	the	        storage	to	the	underlying	bedrock	aquifer.
      current	baseline	conditions	in	terms	of	what	sections	of	
      the	area	are	liable	to	flood.		
                                                                     9.2.2.2	
      Data	on	historical	flooding	are	limited	but	the	records	       Groundwater	Flow	Direction
      indicate	that	flooding	has	occurred	in	the	following	areas:	
                                                                     In	general	terms	it	would	be	expected	that	the	
         •	 Flooding	of	the	River	Boyne	Banks	at	Bective	(1km	       groundwater	gradient	would	follow	the	topographic	
            to	the	north	east);	                                     variation	in	an	area.	Flow	paths	and	distance	is	
                                                                     dependent	on	the	characteristics	of	the	aquifer	type.	
         •	 Flooding	at	Kilmainhamwood	along	Kilmainham	             Most	groundwater	flow	is	confined	to	the	upper	10m	of	
            River	(1km	to	the	east);                                 weathered	bedrock	and	will	discharge	to	the	nearest	
                                                                     watercourse.	An	assessment	of	the	topographic	contours	
         •	 Flooding	at	Culmullin	Cross	Roads	(0.8km	to	the	         displayed	on	the	Ordnance	Survey	1:50,000	scale	
            north	east);	and                                         Discovery	Series	Map	for	the	region,	indicates	that	the	
                                                                     predominant	groundwater	flow	direction	in	the	study	area	
         •	 Flooding	along	the	Derrypatrick	to	Grange	Road	          is	likely	to	be	towards:
            (0.7km	to	the	north).	




148
  Aquifer	                                                                                       %	of	Towers	located	
               Aquifer	Description
  Code                                                                                           within	Aquifer	type

  Pl           Poor	Aquifer	Bedrock	which	is	generally	unproductive	except	for	local	zones               31.1

  Ll           Locally	important	aquifer,	which	is	Moderately	Productive	only	in	Local	Zones             34.7

  LM           Locally	Important	Aquifer	-	Bedrock	which	is	Generally	Moderately	Productive              26.3

  Pu           Poor	Aquifer	-	Bedrock	which	is	Generally	Unproductive                                    7.8


Table 9.5: Aquifer Definitions


   •	 The	River	Tolka	and	Its	tributaries	Tower	No.	1-6;      The	DoEHLG,	EPA	and	GSI	vulnerability	mapping	
                                                              guidelines	allow	for	the	assignment	of	vulnerability	
   •	 The	Boyne	River	and	its	tributaries,	Tower	No.	7-96;	   ratings	from	“extreme”	to	“low”,	depending	upon	the	
      and                                                     subsoil	type	and	thickness.		With	regard	to	sites	where	
                                                              low	permeability	subsoils	are	present,	the	following	
   •	 The	Dee	River	and	its	tributaries	Tower	No.	97-164.	    thicknesses	of	unsaturated	zone	are	specified	in	Table	9.6.


9.2.2.3	
Water	Usage	
Water	usage	within	the	study	area	is	primarily	supplied	
by	Meath	County	Council	from	their	surface	water	
abstractions	at	the	River	Boyne	(Trim	and	Dowdstown	
supplies)	and	supplemented	by	Meath	County	Council	
groundwater	abstraction	boreholes.	

Along	the	alignment	a	number	of	private	wells	are	used	by	
individual	landowners.	A	search	of	the	GSI	well	database	
shows	there	are	a	number	of	wells	in	the	area	with	uses	
varying	from	private	to	agricultural	use.	The	GSI	Well	
Database	is	a	record	of	reported	wells	drilled	in	Ireland.	
Refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	8.2	“GSI	Well	Card	
Data”	for	details.			


9.2.2.4	
Groundwater	Vulnerability
The	DoEHLG,	EPA	and	GSI	have	produced	guidelines	
on	groundwater	vulnerability	mapping	that	aim	to	
represent	the	intrinsic	geological	and	hydrogeological	
characteristics	that	determine	how	easily	groundwater	
may	be	contaminated	by	human	activities.	Vulnerability	
depends	on	the	quantity	of	contaminants	that	can	reach	
the	groundwater,	the	time	taken	by	water	to	infiltrate	
to	the	watertable	and	the	attenuating	capacity	of	the	
geological	deposits	through	which	the	water	travels.		




                                                                                                                            149
      9 Water


                                                                                  Hydrogeological	Conditions

                                                                                                               Unsaturated	
                                            Subsoil	Permeability	(Type)	and	Tthickness                                             Karst	Features
                                                                                                                  Zone
          Vulnerability	
             Rating
                                                                    Medium	
                                      High	Perme-                                           Low	Perme-          (Sand	and	
                                                                  Permeability	
                                      ability	(Sand	                                       ability	(Clayey	   Gravel	aquifers	       <30	radius
                                                                  (Sandy	Sub-
                                       and	Gravel)                                         Subsoil/Peat)           only
                                                                     soil)

              Extreme	                   0	–	3.0m                    0	–	3.0m                 0	–	3.0m           0	–	3.0m                 -

                High	                      >3.0m                    3.0	-10.0m               3.0	–	5.0m           >	3.0m                N/A

             Moderate                        N/A                      >10.0m                 5.0-10.0m             N/A                  N/A

                 Low                         N/A                        N/A                    >10m                N/A                  N/A

      Table 9.6: Groundwater Vulnerability Categories

      Notes: N/A Not Applicable                                                        9.3	
      Precise Permabilities values cannot be given at present
      Release point of contamination is assumed to be 1-2m below ground surface        POTENTIAL	IMPACTS
      The	principal	Vulnerability	classes	included	are	High	and	                       During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	
      Moderate.	All	sand	and	gravel	subsoils	are	classified	as	                        number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	
      high.	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	9.3.1	-	9.3.4	“Interim	                   notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	
      Groundwater	Vulnerability	Maps”.                                                 evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
                                                                                       the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	
                                                                                       the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	
         Groundwater		                              Number	                            been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	
                                                                            %
         Vulnerability                             of	Towers
                                                                                       The	impact	magnitude	considers	the	scale	of	the	potential	
         Extreme                                         8                4.87         change	to	baseline	conditions	resulting	from	a	given	
                                                                                       effect	and	takes	into	account	the	duration	of	an	effect	i.e.	
         Extreme	Vulnerability	                                                        temporary	or	permanent.	
                                                         3                 1.83
         with	rock	at	Surface	
                                                                                       Construction	activities	which	will	be	undertaken	in	order	
                                                                                       to	construct	towers	and	erect	the	transmission	line	will	
         High	                                          76               46.34         be	short	term	and	transient	in	nature,	occurring	along	the	
                                                                                       approximate	57km	length	of	the	line.	The	main	activities	
         Moderate                                       68                41.46        associated	with	the	construction	of	tower	structures	are	
                                                                                       earthworks,	the	installation	of	foundations,	erection	of	
         High	to	Low                                     3                 1.83        towers	and	stringing	up	of	conductor	arrangements.	

         Low                                             6                3.67         While	the	construction	of	the	proposed	development	
                                                                                       poses	a	low	risk	to	the	water	environment,	relative	to	
                                                                                       other	major	linear	projects,	the	potential	impacts	are	
         TOTAL		                                       164                 100
                                                                                       outlined	herein.	

      Table 9.7: Groundwater Vulnerability % along line route


                                                                                       	




150
9.3.1	                                                         areas	of	intact	or	extensive	peat	deposits.	Peat	depths	at	
                                                               intervals	along	the	line	route	will	be	confirmed	prior	to	
Construction	Phase                                             construction,	as	is	normal	engineering	practice.

The	construction	phase	of	the	development	will	involve	        Sediment	Discharges
the	following	key	activities	that	may	have	potential	
impacts	on	surface	water	and	groundwater	conditions:	          There	is	the	potential	for	the	release	of	sediments	into	
                                                               watercourses	as	a	consequence	of	the	following	activities:
   •	 Felling	of	Forestry;
                                                                  •	 Soil	stripping,	if	necessary	to	construct	the	access	
   •	 Works	near	watercourses;                                       roads,	tower	foundations	and	other	infrastructures;

   •	 Construction	materials;	                                    •	 Run-off	and	erosion	from	soil	stockpiles	(prior	to	
                                                                     reinstatement);
   •	 Construction	of	temporary	access	routes,	where	
      necessary;	                                                 •	 Dewatering	of	excavations	for	tower	foundations;	
                                                                     and
   •	 Construction	of	tower	foundations	and	towers;	
                                                                  •	 Erosion	from	increased	flows	as	a	result	of	the	
   •	 Stockpiling	material;	and		                                    development.

   •	 Stringing	of	Cables.                                     The	result	of	increased	sediment	loading	to	watercourses	
                                                               is	to	degrade	water	quality	of	the	receiving	waters	and	
These	activities	may	impact	on	the	water	environment	by:	      change	the	substrate	character.	Details	of	water	treatment	
                                                               (where	appropriate)	is	outlined	in	section	9.4	herein.	
   •	 Flow	Alterations;	
                                                               Contaminant	Discharges	
   •	 Sediment	Discharges;	and
                                                               During	the	construction	of	the	proposed	development,	
   •	 Contaminant	Discharges.                                  there	is	a	risk	of	accidental	pollution	incidences	from	the	
                                                               following	sources:
Flow	Alterations
                                                                  •	 Spillage	or	leakage	of	oils	and	fuels	stored	on	site;
During	construction	there	is	potential	for	increased	
runoff	due	to	the	introduction	of	impermeable	surfaces,	          •	 Spillage	or	leakage	of	oils	and	fuels	from	
temporary	access	routes	and	the	compaction	of	soils.	                construction	machinery/vehicles;
This	will	reduce	the	infiltration	capacity	of	the	soils	in	
areas	where	earthworks	are	undertaken	and	increase	the	           •	 Spillage	of	oil	or	fuel	from	refuelling	machinery	on	
rate	and	volume	of	direct	surface	runoff.	The	potential	             site;	and
environmental	impact	of	this	is	to	increase	flow	rates,	
leading	to	increases	in	channel	erosion	and	sediment	             •	 The	use	of	concrete	and	cement	for	the	tower	
loading	reaching	watercourses.		                                     foundation.

If	excavations	for	tower	bases	encounter	groundwater,	         There	will	be	a	risk	of	pollution	from	site	traffic	
such	inflows	may	need	to	be	pumped,	resulting	in	              through	the	accidental	release	of	oils,	fuels	and	other	
short	term	localised	drawdown	of	the	water	table	and	          contaminants	from	vehicles.
discharges	to	the	surface	water	channels.			
                                                               Concrete	(specifically,	the	cement	component)	is	highly	
The	construction	of	towers	may	encounter	areas	of	peat.	       alkaline	and	any	spillage	to	a	local	watercourse	could	be	
In	such	areas,	peat	consistency	is	dependent	on	water	         detrimental	to	water	quality	and	flora	and	fauna.
content,	age	and	constituent	material.	The	quantities	
of	peat	along	this	line	route	are	limited	with	two	towers	     It	is	not	proposed	to	discharge	wastewater	from	Woodland	
located	in	cutover	peat.	Peat	stability	is	dependent	on	       Substation.		Potable	water	and	wastewater	facilities	will	
depth	of	material,	water	content,	strength	and	integrity	of	   be	delivered	to	the	Woodland	Substation	site,	during	the	
the	overlying	vegetation	and	the	slope	(type	and	gradient)	    construction	phase.		Mitigation	measures	are	included	in	
that	the	bog	is	positioned	on.	The	alignment	has	avoided	      section	9.4.




                                                                                                                              151
      9 Water


      The	proposed	development	will	utilise	the	existing	             All	site	works	including	temporary	access	route,	tower	
      substation	at	Woodland	thereby	minimising	the	impact	           foundations	and	stringing	will	be	conducted	in	an	
      on	the	existing	environment.	Details	in	relation	to	the	        environmentally	responsible	manner	so	as	to	minimise	
      Moyhill	Substation	are	dealt	with	in	the	Volume	2,	Part	B,	     any	adverse	impacts	on	the	soils	and	water	that	may	occur	
      Moyhill	to	Border	(Lemgare)	400kV	Transmission	Line,	as	        as	a	result	of	works	associated	with	the	construction	
      part	of	the	overall	Meath	–	Tyrone	400kV	Interconnection	       phase.	An	Environmental	Management	Plan	(EMP)	will	
      Development.                                                    be	employed	to	ensure	adequate	protection	of	the	water	
                                                                      environment.	All	personnel	working	on	the	project	will	
                                                                      be	responsible	for	the	environmental	control	of	their	
      9.3.2	                                                          work	and	will	perform	their	duties	in	accordance	with	the	
      Operational	Phase                                               requirements	and	procedures	of	the	EMP.	

      There	will	be	no	direct	discharges	to	the	water	                It	is	not	proposed	to	discharge	wastewater	from	Woodland	
      environment	during	the	operational	phase.	                      Substation.	Foul	drainage	will	be	collected	and	treated	
                                                                      offsite.	Potable	water	will	be	delivered	to	the	site	during	
                                                                      the	construction	period.	
      9.4	
      MITIGATION	MEASURES                                             Felling of Forestry

      The	design	of	the	proposed	development	has	taken	               The	clearance	of	forested	areas	should	take	place,	in	
      account	of	the	potential	impacts	of	the	development	and	        accordance	with	the	forestry	and	water	quality	guidelines	
      the	risks	to	the	surface	water	environment.	Measures	           (2000).	
      have	been	developed	to	mitigate	the	potential	effects	on	
      the	water	environment.	These	measures	seek	to	avoid	            Works Near Watercourses
      or	minimise	potential	effects	in	the	main	through	the	
      implementation	of	best	practice	construction	methods	           Some	construction	works	on	site	will	take	place	in	the	
      and	adherence	to	all	relevant	legislation.	Summary	tables	      vicinity	of	watercourses	in	the	riparian	zone.	The	riparian	
      and	mitigation	measures	are	highlighted	in	Tables	9.9	and	      zone	is	described	as	the	land	immediately	adjoining	and	
      9.10.                                                           influenced	by	the	aquatic	zone,	(The	Forestry	Commission,	
                                                                      2003).	A	buffer	zone	will	be	established	to	protect	
                                                                      the	riparian	and	aquatic	zones	from	disturbance	from	
      9.4.1	                                                          construction	work.	The	buffer	zone	generally	extends	
      Construction	Phase                                              beyond	the	riparian	zone.	The	width	of	a	buffer	zone	will	
                                                                      be	determined	by	the	risk	of	sediment	movement.	This	
      In	order	to	mitigate	potential	impacts	during	the	              in	turn	depends	on	landuse	and	soil	type	gradient	in	the	
      construction	phase,	all	works		associated	with	the	             surrounding	area,	in	addition	to	the	characteristics	of	
      construction	of	the	proposed	development	will	be	               the	catchment	area.	Table	9.8	provides	an	indication	of	
      undertaken	with	due	regard	to	the	guidance	contained	           average	widths	of	the	buffer	zones.	
      within	CIRIA	Document	C650	“Environmental	Good	
      Practice	on	Site”.	                                             All	watercourse	crossings	will	be	planned	in	consultation	
                                                                      with	the	local	authority	and	in	accordance	with	the	
                                                                      necessary	guidelines.




                                                                    Buffer	zone	width	on	each	        Buffer	zone	width	for	
        Average	slope	leading	to	aquatic	zone
                                                                     side	of	the	aquatic	zone         highly	erodable	soils

        Moderate	(even	to	1in	7	/	0-15%)                                      10	m                            15	m

        Steep	(1	in	7	to	1	in	3	/	15-30%)                                     15	m                            20	m

        Very	steep	(1	in	3	/	>30%)                                            20	m                            25	m

      Table 9.8: Surface Water Buffer Zones




152
Construction Materials                                          suspended	solids	concentrations	will	be	minimised	at	
                                                                source.	This	will	be	achieved	by	ensuring	that	all	silt/clay	
Wash	down	and	washout	of	concrete	transporting	vehicles	        and	topsoil	is	properly	stored	during	the	construction	
will	not	be	permitted	at	the	location	of	construction.	Such	    phase	of	the	development	and	so	a	major	source	of	fines	
washdown	and	washout	will	take	place	at	an	appropriate	         due	to	runoff	will	have	been	removed.	The	stockpiling	of	
facility	offsite	or	at	the	quarry	where	concrete	was	           materials	on	floodplains	will	be	minimised.
sourced.	
                                                                Stockpiling Material
With	regard	to	on	site	storage	facilities	and	activities,	
any	raw	materials	and	fuels,	will	be	stored	within	bunded	      Any	surplus	material	will	be	managed	in	compliance	with	
areas,	if	appropriate	to	guard	against	potential	accidental	    the	Waste	Management	Acts	of	1996	–	2003	and	Section	5	
spills	or	leakages.	All	equipment	and	machinery	will	have	      of	the	Waste	Management	(Collection	Permit)	Regulations	
regular	checking	for	leakages	and	quality	of	performance.       of	2001.

Spill	kits	are	retained	to	ensure	that	all	spillages	or	        Stringing of Cables
leakages	are	dealt	with	immediately	and	staff	are	trained	
in	their	proper	use.	Any	servicing	of	vehicles	will	be	         In	general	it	is	not	envisaged	that	temporary	roads	will	
confined	to	designated	and	suitably	protected	areas.	           be	required	for	the	stringing	of	the	cables.		Low	bearing	
                                                                pressure	vehicles	are	primarily	used	for	the	stringing	of	
Construction of Temporary Access Routes                         the	line.	

In	general	it	is	not	envisaged,	that	extensive	temporary	       Water	quality	monitoring	will	be	undertaken	prior	to	the	
roads	will	be	required	for	the	construction	of	the	proposed	    commencement	of	construction	to	establish	baseline	
development.	Low	bearing	pressure	vehicles	are	primarily	       data.
used	along	with	using	the	Derrick	pole	to	erect	the	metal	
structure.	Generally	speaking	temporary	stone	roads	are	
only	built	where	poor	ground	conditions	necessitate	the	
                                                                9.4.2	
installation	of	a	piled	foundation	and	consequently	the	        Operational	Phase
equipment	requires	a	high	quality	working	platform.	Over	
good	quality	land	the	use	of	tracked	machinery	usually	         Once	the	construction	activities	are	complete	and	material	
means	that	access	to	tower	sites	can	be	achieved	with	          removed,	the	operational	risk	of	the	development	is	low	to	
relative	ease.	Further	details	are	discussed	in	Volume	2	       imperceptible,	albeit	permanent.	
Part	A,	Chapter	4	“Construction	Methodology”.
                                                                It	is	not	proposed	to	discharge	wastewater	from	Woodland	
All	temporary	access	routes	will	be	removed	at	the	end	of	      Substation.	At	Woodland	Substation,	wastewater	will	
the	construction	phase	and	the	land	will	be	restored	to	its	    be	collected	within	a	foul	water	storage	sump	and	
original	condition.                                             periodically	emptied	and	taken	to	a	municipal	wastewater	
                                                                treatment	plant.	Potable	water	will	be	delivered	to	the	
Construction of Tower Foundations and Towers                    site	during	the	operational	phase	or	from	a	proposed	
                                                                groundwater	borehole.	A	successful	trial	well	was	
The	contractor	would	assess	the	potential	for	works	            completed	at	Woodland	Substation	with	initial	yields	
to	affect	private	water	supplies	in	the	vicinity	of	the	        capable	of	sustaining	340m3/day	which	is	well	in	
proposed	development	and	take	preventive	measures	              exceedance	of	water	requirement.	
to	ensure	that	interruption	or	pollution	of	such	supplies	
is	prevented.	The	construction	works	will	not	require	
significant	excavations	to	depth	therefore	the	potential	for	   9.4.3	
impacting	on	private	wells	is	low.	                             Summary	of	Operational	
The	proposed	development	has	avoided	areas	of	intact	           and	Construction	Phase
or	extensive	peat	deposits.	Peat	depths	will	be	confirmed	
prior	to	construction	of	tower	foundations,	as	is	normal	       The	potential	impacts	and	mitigation	measures	for	both	
engineering	practice.                                           groundwater	and	surface	water	is	summarised	below	in	
                                                                Table	9.9	and	Table	9.10.	
The	solution	to	maintaining	low	suspended	solids	is	
preventing	silt/clay	from	entering	the	surface	water	at	
source.	Preventative	measures	will	ensure	that	input	




                                                                                                                                153
      9 Water


      9.5	                                                            The	tower	foundations	may	result	in	localised	alterations	
      RESIDUAL	IMPACTS                                                to	surface	and	ground	water	flow	patterns,	however,	
                                                                      this	should	not	result	in	deterioration	of	water	quality	
      During	the	construction	period,	a	significant	potential	        in	nearby	surface	waters	nor	should	it	result	in	flooding.	
      exists	for	discharge	of	sediment	laden	water	from	the	          No	significant	adverse	effects	are	predicted	on	the	water	
      construction	site.	This	sediment	laden	water	will	be	           environment	as	a	result	of	the	proposed	development.
      generated	due	to	exposure	of	soil	surfaces.	With	the	
      incorporation	of	these	remedial	measures,	the	predicted	
      impact	of	the	construction	phase	is	minimal.	



                      IMPACT                          RISK                                   MITIGATION

                                                           Groundwater

                                                                        Deployment	of	temporary	bunds
                Suspended	Solids                 Medium	/	High          Correct	position	&	formation	of	stockpiles
                                                                        Controlled	pumping	with	sediment	trap	facility

                                                                        Minimise	quantities	brought	into	working	areas
                                                                        Correct	location	of	bunded	storage	areas
                                                                        Establish	procedures	for	delivery	&	refuelling
                      Fuel	Oil                        High              Programmed	preventative	plant	maintenance
                                                                        Designated	haulage	and	plant	access	routes
                                                                        Provision	of	appropriate	oil/water	separation	and	
                                                                        decanting	arrangements

                                                                        Limitation	of	quantities	brought	into	high	risk	areas
        Construction	Chemicals	(Concrete)            Medium             Minimise	exposure	of	rock	formations
                                                                        Secure	storage	&	controlled	usage

      Table 9.9: Groundwater Quality Risk and Mitigation Summary



                           IMPACT                                RISK                            MITIGATION

                                                       Surface	Water	Runoff

                                                                               Construction	programming
                                                                               Temporary	bunds
                      From	Excavations                       Medium/Low        Minimisation	of	open	time
                                                                               Minimise	exposure	of	rock	formations
                                                                               Allow	regeneration	of	vegetation

                                                                               Construction	programming
                    From	Barren	Surfaces                         High
                                                                               Profile	slopes	&	replace	top	soil

                                                                               Provide	modest	falls	and	avoid	focusing	runoff
                     From	Hardstandings                       Medium
                                                                               Allow	regeneration	of	vegetation

                       River	Crossings                           Low           Minimise	river	bank	disturbance

                                                                               Correct	design	and	execution	of	site	works
                 Downstream	Flood	Potential                      Low           No	further	specific	requirements	for	this	
                                                                               impact

      Table 9.10: Surface Water Runoff Risks and Mitigation Summary




154
9.6	
INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	
ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS	
This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	2	
Part	A,	Chapter	7	-	Flora	&	Fauna	and	Chapter	8	–	Soils	&	
Geology	for	a	full	understanding	of	the	main	interactions	
between	these	environmental	topics.




                                                             155
156
                        10
zxzz




       Chapter 10


        Climate & Air




               Meath-Tyrone	400kV
       Interconnection	Development


                                     157
      10 Climate & Air


      10.1	                                                           The	International	Kyoto	Protocol	was	devised	in	
                                                                      response	to	rising	emissions	of	the	principal	compounds	
      INTRODUCTION                                                    contributing	to	global	warming.	The	Kyoto	Protocol	was	
                                                                      subsequently	ratified	by	the	European	Union	in	2005.
      This	chapter	assesses	the	impacts	on	air	and	climate	           The	main	compounds	considered	to	contribute	to	global	
      arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	          warming	are	Carbon	Dioxide	(CO2)	and	Methane	(CH4).	
      line	and	associated	development	(including	the	extension	       Other	compounds	have	the	potential	to	contribute	to	
      of	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	        global	warming	but	are	generally	released	in	much	
      site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	for	     smaller	quantities.	
      a	new	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	
                                                                      Under	the	burden	sharing	agreement	within	the	European	
      As	with	the	majority	of	large	civil	engineering	projects	       Union,	devised	to	implement	the	Kyoto	Protocol,	Ireland	
      using	plant	and	equipment,	emissions	to	air	are	inevitable	     agreed	to	limit	emissions	between	2008	and	2012	to	13%	
      during	the	construction	phase.	However,	this	relatively	        above	1990	emission	levels.
      short	term	impact	should	be	considered	alongside	the	
      long	term	impact	of	the	development.	The	proposed	              Ireland’s	target,	according	to	the	EU	Climate	Change	and	
      development	will	have	net	positive	impacts	in	allowing	         Energy	Package,	is	to	reduce	CO2	emissions	by	20%	
      further	development	of	renewable	energy	sources	and	            and	to	increase	renewable	energy	production	by	16%.	
      thereby	reducing	the	national	dependence	on	fossil	fuels.       The	main	policies	implemented	by	Ireland	are	to	source	
                                                                      15%	of	national	electricity	requirements	from	renewable	
      The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	area	     energy	by	2010	and	by	40%	by	2020.	Other	policies	
      than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	in	excess	     include	improving	the	quality	and	participation	in	public	
      of	1km	either	side	of	the	alignment.                            transport,	use	of	bio-fuels,	higher	energy	conservation	
                                                                      in	building	standards,	schemes	to	improve	recovery/
                                                                      recycling	of	waste	streams	and	better	agricultural	and	
      10.1.1	                                                         forestry	management.
      Legislative	Context
      Air	quality	standards	have	been	developed	and	
                                                                      10.1.3
      incorporated	into	Irish	statute	in	order	to	protect	both	       Air	Quality	Standards	and	Guidelines
      human	health	and	the	ambient	environment.	These	
      standards	are	based	on	International	agreements,	which	         The	EC	has	formally	adopted	the	Air	Quality	Framework	
      identify	performance	standards	and	limit	the	generation	        Directive	(96/62/EC).	The	first	daughter	directive,	99/30/
      of	air	quality	pollutants	at	a	regional,	national	and	global	   EC	(adopted	April	1999),	set	specific	limits	for	four	air	
      level.	                                                         pollutants:	nitrogen	dioxide	(NO2),	sulphur	dioxide	(SO2),	
                                                                      particulate	matter	(PM10)	and	lead.		Owing	to	the	almost	
                                                                      completed	phasing	out	of	leaded	fuels	for	road	vehicles,	
      10.1.2	                                                         there	are	no	significant	sources	of	lead	associated	with	
      Global	Warming                                                  the	proposed	development	and,	therefore,	lead	is	not	
                                                                      described	further.	
      Global	warming	and	the	management	of	emissions	
      with	the	potential	to	contribute	to	global	warming	are	         In	December	2001,	the	EC	adopted	the	second	daughter	
      increasingly	important	on	a	national	and	international	         directive,	2000/69/EC,	relating	to	limit	values	for	
      basis.	Global	warming	has	numerous	potential	                   benzene	and	carbon	monoxide	(CO)	in	ambient	air.		These	
      implications	for	Ireland’s	environment,	including:              directives	have	been	transposed	into	Irish	legislation	by	
                                                                      the	Air	Quality	Standards	Regulations,	2002	(SI	No.	271	
         •	 Greater	risk	of	intense	rainfall	events	leading	to	       of	2002).	The	original	Air	Quality	Directives	have	been	
            greater	potential	for	flooding;                           replaced	by	one	overriding	European	Directive	(2008/50/
                                                                      EC)	in	May	2008,	but	the	specified	limits	for	the	protection	
         •	 Changes	to	habitats	and	eco-systems;                      of	human	health	remain	unchanged	from	those	specified	
                                                                      in	SI	No.	271	of	2002.	These	limit	values	are	presented	in	
         •	 Effects	on	sea	levels	and	river	levels;	and               Table	10.1.

         •	 Increased	stress	on	water	resources	and	potential	        Various	international	initiatives,	Protocols	and	Directives	
            for	over	exploitation.                                    exist	to	limit	and	reduce	emissions	at	a	national	level	
                                                                      including	ensuring,	for	example,	vehicles	meet	emission	
                                                                      standards.	




158
     Pollutant               Averaging	Period               Standard	         Percentile        Maximum           Target	Date
                                                            (μg/m3)                            Exceedences	
                                                                                                 per	year

        NO2                       1	hour                         200            99.8th              18             Jan	2010
                                 Annual                          40                -                 -             Jan	2010
                            Annual	(vegetation)                   30               -                 -               None

        SO2                       1	hour                         350            99.7th              24             Jan	2005
                                24	hours                         125            98.9th               3               None
                           Annual	(ecosystems)                   20                -                 -               None

       PM10                      24	hours                        50                -                35             Jan	2005
      Stage	1                     Annual                         40                -                 -             Jan	2005

       PM10                      24	hours                        50                -                 7             Jan	2010
      Stage	2                     Annual                         20                -                 -             Jan	2010

         CO                       8	hours                    10,000                -                 -             Jan	2005

      Benzine                     Annual                          5                -                 -             Jan	2010


Table 10.1: Relevant Air Quality Standards and Guidelines


10.1.4	                                                               of	material	and	consequent	reduction	in	sampling	errors.	
                                                                      This	method	is	defined	as	an	internationally	recognised	
Dust	Deposition	Standards	                                            standard	and	has	been	adopted	by	the	EPA	as	the	method	
                                                                      of	choice	for	licensed	facilities.
and	Guidelines
                                                                      The	TA	Luft/VDI	2119	recommended	threshold	guideline	
Currently	in	Ireland	there	are	no	statutory	limits	for	dust	
deposition.	Dust	particles	in	the	ambient	environment	are	            value	is	350mg/m2/day.	Below	this	threshold	guideline	
pervasive,	however	localised	increases	in	dust	particles	is	          value	dust	deposition	problems	are	considered	less	
usually	associated	with	exposure	of	soil	surfaces,	usually	           likely.	This	is	the	recommended	threshold	value	normally	
through	human	activities,	associated	with	agricultural	               conditioned	by	Local	Authorities	and	the	EPA	in	conditions	
practices	or	construction.	Whether	dust	deposition	                   attached	to	planning	determinations	and	waste	licences.	
becomes	an	issue	for	the	general	public	is	a	subjective	
issue	and	depends	on	a	variety	of	factors	including	the	              10.2	
sensitivity	of	nearby	locations,	the	repetitive	nature	of	
any	dust	deposition	occurring	and	the	nature	of	the	dust	             EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
particulate	itself.	It	is	because	of	these	variances	and	the	
subjectivity	of	the	issue	that	there	are	no	statutory	limits.	        10.2.1	
The	focus	for	dust	control	and	emissions	is	on	minimising	
the	potential	for	a	nuisance	occurring	in	the	first	instance	         Greenhouse	Gas	Emissions
and	implementing	good	site	practices	where	practicable.
                                                                      As	detailed	herein,	Ireland	agreed	to	limit	greenhouse	gas	
In	recent	years	the	TA	Luft/VDI	2119/Bergerhoff	Method	of	            emissions	to	13%	above	1990	emission	values	between	
dust	emission	monitoring	has	become	the	most	commonly	                2008	and	2012.	By	2001,	the	national	greenhouse	gas	
used	method.	This	method	is	advocated	by	both	the	                    emissions	(ghg)	had	risen	to	31%	above	the	1990	levels,	
EPA	and	the	DoEHLG.	This	method	involves	determining	                 due	to	a	period	of	rapid	economic	growth.	Recent	data	
a	mass	dust	deposition	rate	per	unit	area	over	a	given	               (2007)	shows	a	decrease	in	greenhouse	gas	emissions	to	
time	period,	using	a	direct	collection	pot	to	standardised	           23%	above	1990	levels	(i.e.	10%	over	target).
dimensions	of	either	glass	or	plastic.	The	system	benefits	
from	being	a	direct	collection	method	i.e.	less	transferring	




                                                                                                                                    159
      10 Climate & Air


      10.2.2	                                                          PM10	monitoring	undertaken	by	the	EPA	indicates	that	
                                                                       there	is	no	significant	source	of	fine	dust	particulates	in	
      Ambient	Air	Quality                                              the	ambient	environment.

      The	proposed	development	is	located	in	a	predominantly	
      rural	area.	The	area	contains	no	significant	industrial	         10.3	
      emission	sources.	Ambient	air	quality	is	influenced	             POTENTIAL	IMPACTS
      by	agricultural	activity,	domestic	heating	and	vehicle	
      emissions.                                                       During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	
                                                                       number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	
      The	EU	Air	Framework	Directive	requires	Member	States	           notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	
      to	categorise	geographic	areas	in	terms	of	Zone	and	             evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
      Agglomerations	for	Air	Quality.	The	alignment	falls	into	        the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	
      the	area	classified	as	Zone	D	–	Rural	Ireland.                   the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	
                                                                       been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	
      The	EPA	publication	Air	Quality	in	Ireland	2008	–	Key	
      Indicators	of	Ambient	Air	Quality	(www.epa.ie)	provides	
      monitoring	data	from	stations	established	nationwide.	           10.3.1	
      Data	was	sourced	from	the	nearest	available	stations.	           Climatic	Impacts
      The	most	nearest	air	quality	station	to	the	southern	most	
      section	of	the	study	area	is	at	Blanchardstown,	within	          The	proposed	development	will	comprise	a	major	
      a	Zone	A	classification	(i.e.	in	Dublin	Region).	There	is	a	     improvement	in	electricity	transmission	system	
      station	located	in	Navan,	with	a	Zone	C	classification	(i.e.	    infrastructure	on	the	Island	of	Ireland.	This	improvement	
      Regional	Town).	The	only	rural	station	in	the	vicinity	of	the	   in	energy	infrastructure	will	facilitate	the	expansion	
      proposed	development	is	at	Kilkitt,	County	Monaghan,	            and	incorporation	of	renewable	energy	generation	into	
      which	is	within	a	Zone	D	classification	(i.e.	Rural	Ireland)	    the	national	grid.	This	will	have	positive	impacts	on	
      and	provides	a	reference	of	the	air	quality	in	a	rural	          Ireland	achieving	its	EU	targets	with	respect	to	reducing	
      setting.	The	background	air	quality	data	is	provided	in	         greenhouse	gas	emissions	and	expanding	energy	
      Table	10.2	herein.                                               production	from	renewable	sources.

      Table	10.2	shows	the	variation	in	air	quality	from	
      an	industrial	urban	area	in	the	Dublin	Region	                   10.3.2	
      (Blanchardstown)	to	a	Regional	Town	Centre	(Navan)	to	
      a	rural	area	(Kilkitt,	County	Monaghan).	Notwithstanding	
                                                                       Transmission	Energy	Efficiency
      the	location	of	the	air	quality	stations,	the	monitoring	        The	development	will	consist	of	an	efficient,	co-ordinated	
      data	indicates	that	the	air	quality	is	below	all	limit	values	   and	economical	system	of	electricity	transmission,	which	
      and	demonstrating	good	to	very	good	quality.                     has	the	long	term	ability	to	meet	reasonable	demands	
                                                                       for	the	transmission	of	electricity.	This	will	facilitate	
      10.2.3	                                                          the	development	of	renewable	power	generation,	by	
                                                                       enabling	the	installation	and	integration	of	renewable	
      Dust	Deposition	                                                 energy	sources.	It	will	also	reduce	the	overall	generation	
                                                                       capacity	required	on	the	Island	of	Ireland	therefore	
      Owing	to	the	large	linear	nature	of	the	proposed	                having	a	net	positive	benefit	of	reducing	carbon	
      development	and	the	fact	that	it	lies	largely	in	a	rural	        emissions.	The	proposed	development	will	comprise	a	
      setting,	dust	deposition	monitoring	was	not	considered	          major	improvement	in	electricity	transmission	system	
      necessary	to	inform	the	existing	baseline	conditions.	           infrastructure	on	the	Island	of	Ireland.
      Apart	from	seasonal	agricultural	activity,	dust	deposition	
      is	unlikely	to	impact	on	the	ambient	environment.	The		


        Substance	(μg/m3)                      Blanchardstown             Navan                 Kilkitt             Limit	Value

        Sulphur	Dioxide	(SO2)                    Not	Available              6                      4                     20

        Nitrogen	Dioxide	(NO2)                        29                    21                     3                     40

        PM10                                          17               Not	Available              10                     50

      Table 10.2: EPA Air Quality Monitoring


160
10.3.3	                                                        Typical	sources	of	PM10	during	the	construction	phase	
                                                               are	similar	in	nature	to	those	that	give	rise	to	dust.	PM10	
Dust	and	Particulate	Matter                                    is	also	released	from	the	engines	of	site	plant,	such	as	
                                                               compressors,	generators	etc.	whilst	they	are	running.	
During	the	construction	of	the	proposed	development	           Therefore,	occasionally,	increased	and	perceptible	
there	will	be	site	preparation	and	construction	activities,	   emissions	(smoke	and	odour)	may	occur.	There	may	also	
both	of	which	have	the	potential	to	generate	dust.		Such	      be	occasions	when	mechanical	breakdown	of	site	plant	
emissions	can	be	divided	into	dust	and	PM10.                   could	cause	short	term	releases	of	excess	PM10	and	short	
                                                               term	release	may	also	occur	during	start	up.
Dust	deposition	is	usually	highly	localised	to	areas	of	
activity,	with	dust	particles	falling	to	the	ground	within	
several	hundred	metres	of	the	source.	Dust	emissions	          10.3.4	
from	the	source	are	also	highly	influenced	by	climatic	        Emissions	from	Construction	Traffic
conditions	and	the	lateral	extent	of	the	exposed	surface.	
                                                               Construction	traffic	associated	with	the	proposed	
Dust	emissions	do	not	cause	long	term	or	wide	spread	          development	would	contribute	to	existing	traffic	levels	
changes	to	local	air	quality	but	their	deposition	on	nearby	   on	the	surrounding	road	network.	However,	these	will	be	
properties	and	cars	has	the	potential	to	cause	soiling	and	    very	short	lived	and	are	not	predicted	to	be	of	sufficient	
discolouration.                                                numbers	to	adversely	affect	air	quality	and/or	climate.

The	main	sources	of	dust	during	the	construction	
activities	would	include:                                      10.3.5	
                                                               Sulphur	Hexafluoride	(SF6)
   •	 Haulage	routes,	construction	vehicle	movements	
      and	other	generated	traffic;                             SF6,	which	is	a	potential	pollutant,	is	used	as	an	
                                                               insulating	gas	in	substations	and	as	an	insulating	and	arc	
   •	 Soil	excavation,	handling,	storage,	stockpiling,	        quenching	medium	in	switchgear	for	high	and	medium	
      spillage	and	disposal;                                   voltage	applications.	These	are	all	closed	systems,	
                                                               which	are	extremely	safe	and	unlikely	to	leak.	SF6	is	non	
   •	 Site	preparation	and	restoration	after	completion;	      flammable.
      and                                                      	
                                                               SF6	is	a	powerful	greenhouse	gas	but	the	current	amount	
   •	 Construction	of	towers	and	temporary	access	             in	the	atmosphere	is	small.	Global	SF6	is	a	very	stable	
      routes.                                                  gas	and	therefore	most	emissions	accumulate	in	the	
                                                               atmosphere.	But	very	little	is	released,	so	the	contribution	
The	majority	of	the	releases	are	likely	to	occur	during	       to	the	greenhouse	effect	is	low.	Calculations	show	
the	‘working	week’	of	typically	5.5	days	per	week	of	          that	SF6	contributes	less	than	0.1	percent	to	the	total	
construction	activity.	However,	in	the	instance	of	exposed	    greenhouse	effect.		
soil	produced	from	significant	earthwork	activities,	there	
is	potential	for	short	term	dust	generation	to	occur	24	       On	site	SF6	containing	equipment	will	be	hermetically	
hours	per	day.                                                 sealed	to	prevent	leakage.		Specialised	gas	handling	
                                                               equipment	is	used	when	recovering	contaminated	SF6	gas	
PM10,	which	may	also	be	referred	to	as	‘suspended	             from	electrical	equipment	and	the	gas	loss	to	atmosphere	
particles’,	is	released	in	the	same	manner	as	dust.	           is	minimal.
However,	it	is	much	smaller	in	size	(typically	less	than	10	
micrometres	in	aerodynamic	diameter).			
                                                               10.4	
It	therefore	remains	suspended	in	the	atmosphere	for	a	
longer	period	and	can	be	transported	over	a	wider	area	
                                                               MITIGATION	MEASURES
than	dust,	by	wind.	It	is	small	enough	to	be	drawn	into	       The	most	effective	way	to	manage	and	prevent	particulate	
the	lung	during	breathing,	which	in	sensitive	members	of	      releases	is	through	effective	control	of	the	potential	
the	public	could	cause	an	adverse	reaction.		As	a	result	of	   source.	Specific	mitigation	measures	designed	to	ensure	
this	potential	impact	on	health,	standards	and	objectives	     that	emissions	from	these	sources	are	minimised	are	set	
for	PM10	are	defined	in	the	air	quality	standards	and	         out	herein.	
regulations.




                                                                                                                               161
      10 Climate & Air


      These	measures	are	specifically	aimed	at	site	preparation	     The	measures	outlined	herein	are	‘good	practice’	
      (tower	and	structure	installations)	access	roads	and	          measures	and	are	designed	to	ensure	that	the	
      construction	vehicle	operations	(including	off-site	vehicle	   construction	activities	do	not	generate	excessive	dust	
      movements	on	approach	and	access	roads):                       or	particulate	material	release.	Employment	of	such	
                                                                     measures	will	ensure	that	no	significant	dust	effects	occur	
         •	 Construction	activity	will	be	located	away	from	         during	the	project	construction	phase.
            sensitive	land	areas	and	receptors	where	possible.	
            Windbreak	netting	would	be	installed	where	              Mitigation	measures	will	be	employed	on	a	site	specific	
            appropriate	to	reduce	wind	speeds	across	the	site	       basis	based	on	a	review	of	the	construction	activities	
            of	the	activity.                                         involved	and	their	proximity	to	nearby	receptors	in	each	
                                                                     location.	The	site	specific	mitigation	measures	will	be	
         •	 Water	bowsers	will	be	used	to	dampen	material	           employed	to	ensure	that	properties	within	200m	of	the	
            down	and	prevent	dust	releases	during	stripping	         locations	where	ground	breaking	works	and	earthworks	
            activities.                                              are	predicted	to	occur	will	not	be	subject	to	significant	
                                                                     dust	nuisance.	This	process	will	focus	on	the	mitigation	of	
         •	 Earthworks	will	be	designed	to	encourage	                dust	from	key	activities	including	temporary	access	route	
            successful	reinstatement	of	vegetation.                  construction	and	earthworks.

         •	 Local	roads	will	be	regularly	inspected	and	cleaned	     Construction	traffic,	as	discussed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	
            if	necessary	and	site	boundaries	checked	for	dust	       Chapter	13	Traffic,	will	be	routed	along	the	most	suitable	
            deposits	in	locations	where	temporary	access	            roads	and	vehicles	will	be	kept	clean	and	sheeted	when	
            routes	meet	public	roads.                                on	public	roads.	

         •	 Exposed	surfaces	will	be	profiled	and	stockpiles	        Timing	of	large	scale	vehicle	movements	to	avoid	peak	
            arranged	downwind	of	each	other,	to	minimise	the	        hours	on	the	local	road	network	would	also	be	beneficial.	
            area	of	surfaces	exposed	to	oncoming	wind.               The	contractor	will	monitor	dust	in	sensitive	locations	
                                                                     where	temporary	access	routes	and	tower	locations	are	
         •	 The	surface	areas	of	stockpiles	will	be	minimised	       located	within	200m	of	groups	of	residential	properties	or	
            (subject	to	health	and	safety	and	visual	constraints	    settlements.	
            regarding	slope	gradients	and	visual	intrusion)	to	
            reduce	the	area	of	surfaces	exposed	to	wind	pick	        In	such	locations	implementation	of	best	management	
            up.                                                      will	include	a	site	representative	who	will	regularly	
                                                                     audit	practices	on	site.	The	contractor	will	be	required	
         •	 Dust	suppressed	tools	will	be	used	for	all	              to	implement	any	agreed	dust	monitoring	measures	and	
            appropriate	items	of	plant.                              to	provide	regular	reporting	of	the	monitoring	(where	
                                                                     appropriate)	to	the	Local	Authorities.
         •	 All	construction	plant	and	equipment	will	be	
            maintained	in	good	working	order	and	not	left	
            running	when	not	in	use.
                                                                     10.5
                                                                     RESIDUAL	IMPACTS
         •	 There	will	be	no	unauthorised	burning	of	any	
            material	anywhere	on	site.                               Depending	on	wind	speed	and	turbulence	during	
                                                                     construction	it	is	likely	that	the	majority	of	dust	would	be	
         •	 Appropriately	designed	vehicles	will	be	used	for	        deposited	in	the	area	immediately	surrounding	the	source	
            materials	handling.                                      (up	to	200m	away).		Therefore	properties	within	200m	of	
                                                                     the	works	site	will	be	most	likely	to	experience	nuisance,	
         •	 Vehicle	speeds	will	be	restricted	on	sites	and	          in	the	absence	of	appropriate	mitigation	measures,	as	
            temporary	roads.                                         outlined	herein.

         •	 Vehicles	carrying	loose	aggregate	and	workings	          During	construction,	levels	of	PM10	in	the	locality	will	
            will	be	sheeted	at	all	times.                            be	elevated.	Generally,	the	sources	of	PM10	during	
                                                                     construction	and	materials	handling	will	be	similar	in	
                                                                     nature	to	those	that	may	give	rise	to	dust	nuisance.	
                                                                     As	the	magnitude	of	these	releases	is	relatively	small,	
                                                                     any	adverse	effects	resulting	from	them	are	likely	to	be	
                                                                     relatively	short	term	with	negligible	effects	outside	the	
                                                                     boundaries	of	the	construction	sites.




162
Construction	traffic	will	contribute	to	existing	traffic	levels	
on	the	surrounding	road	network.	The	greatest	potential	
for	impacts	on	air	quality	from	traffic	associated	with	the	
construction	phase	of	the	proposed	development	will	be	
in	the	areas	immediately	adjacent	to	the	principal	means	
of	access	for	construction	traffic.	In	these	areas	increases	
in	dust	generated	by	vehicle	movements	and	local	air	
pollutant	emissions	from	vehicles	may	be	temporarily	
elevated	during	the	busiest	periods	of	construction	
activity,	however	no	significant	local	air	quality	effects	are	
predicted.

There	are	no	predicted	significant	negative	residual	air	
quality	or	climate	impacts	associated	with	the	proposed	
development.	The	development	will	have	residual	positive	
long	term	impacts	as	it	will	facilitate	further	development	
and	connection	of	renewable	energy	sources	thereby	
reducing	the	dependence	on	fossil	fuels.


10.6	
INTERRELATIONSHIP	BETWEEN	
ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS
During	both	construction	phase	and	the	operational	
phase	the	Air	and	Climate	impacts	will	be	associated	with	
the	road	traffic	impacts.	This	chapter	should	be	read	in	
conjunction	with	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	13	-	Traffic	for	a	
full	understanding	of	the	main	interactions	between	these	
environmental	topics.




                                                                   163
164
                        11
zxzz




       Chapter 11


                  Noise &
                Vibration




               Meath-Tyrone	400kV
       Interconnection	Development


                                     165
      11 Noise & Vibration


      11.1	                                                            11.2	
      INTRODUCTION	                                                    EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
      This	chapter	assesses	the	noise	and	vibration	impacts	           The	proposed	development	is	located	in	a	predominantly	
      arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	           rural	area.	Table	11.1	will	serve	to	quantify	the	typical	
      line	and	associated	development	(including	the	extension	        noise	levels	encountered	in	the	ambient	environment.	The	
      of	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	         values	in	Table	11.1	can	be	used	to	compare	the	predicted	
      site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	for	      and	measured	noise	levels	presented	in	this	chapter.
      a	new	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	
                                                                       11.2.1	
      This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	with	Volume	          Baseline	Noise	Assessment
      2	Part	A,	Chapter	4	of	this	EIS.	This	assessment	was	
      prepared	in	accordance	with	the	“Guidelines on the               The	baseline	noise	assessment	surveys	were	carried	out	
      information to be contained in Environmental Impact              along	the	alignment	and	at	the	existing	400kV	Woodland	
      Statements”	(EPA	2002).	                                         Substation	in	order	to	establish	expected	noise	levels	
                                                                       for	the	operational	phase.	The	locations	of	the	noise	
      The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	area	      monitoring	surveys	are	shown	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	
      than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	in	excess	      11.1.1	-	11.1.4	“Noise	Monitoring	Locations”.
      of	100m	either	side	of	the	line.
                                                                       Thirty	minute	measurements	were	recorded	during	
                                                                       daytime	and	fifteen	minute	measurements	were	
                                                                       recorded	during	the	night	time	at	each	noise	monitoring	
                                                                       location.	The	measurements	taken	were	deemed	to	be	
                                                                       representative	of	typical	noise	levels	in	the	vicinity.	The	
                                                                       equipment	used	during	this	survey	was	a	Larson	Davis,	
                                                                       824,	Type	1	sound	level	meter.	




                                                Typical	noise	levels	in	our	Environment

                     Sound	levels	in	decibels	dB	(A)                                     Description	of	Activity

                                     0                                                      Absolute	silence

                                    25                                                       Very	Quiet	room

                                    35                                            Rural	night	time	setting	with	no	wind

                                    55                                            Day	time,	busy	roadway	0.5km	away

                                    70                                                      Busy	Restaurant

                                    85                                     Very	busy	pub,	voice	has	to	be	raised	to	be	heard

                                    100                                                   Disco	or	rock	concert

                                    120                                      Uncomfortably	loud,	conversation	impossible

                                    140                                                 Noise	causes	pain	in	ears


      Table 11.1: Guidance Note for Noise in relation to Scheduled activities, 2nd Edition, EPA 2006




166
All	measurements	were	carried	out	in	accordance	with	           LAmin	 is	the	minimum	A-weighted	sound	level	
ISO	1996:	“Acoustics-	Description	and	measurement	                     measured	during	the	measurement	period.
of	environmental	noise”.	Measurements	were	made	
placing	the	microphone	at	a	height	of	1.5m	above	ground	        LA10			 is	the	A-weighted	sound	level	that	is	exceeded	
level	and	were	free	field,	measured	>2m	from	reflecting	                for	10%	of	the	measurement	period	and	is	used	
surfaces.		                                                             to	quantify	road	traffic	noise.	
                                                                LA90	 	 is	the	A-weighted	sound	level	that	is	exceeded	
Before	and	after	the	survey	the	measurement	apparatus	                  for	90%	of	the	measurement	period	and	is	used	
was	checked	and	calibrated	using	a	calibrator	to	an	                    to	quantify	background	noise	level.
accuracy	of	+/-	0.3dB.		Weather	conditions	during	the	
surveys	were	in	line	with	the	conditions	described	within	    A-weighting	is	the	process	by	which	noise	levels	are	
ISO	1996,	Acoustics	“Description	and	Measurements	of	         corrected	to	account	for	the	non	linearity	of	human	
Environmental	Noise”.                                         hearing.		All	noise	levels	quoted	are	relative	to	a	sound	
                                                              pressure	of	2x10-5	Pa.
The	measurement	results	were	noted	onto	survey	record	
sheets	immediately	following	each	measurement	and	also	       No	tangible	vibration	was	observed	at	any	of	the	noise	
stored	in	the	instrument’s	internal	memory	for	subsequent	    survey	locations	assessed	as	part	of	the	proposed	
analysis,	notes	were	taken	in	relation	to	the	primary	        development.
contributors	to	noise	build	up	at	each	monitoring	location.

Five	environmental	noise	parameters	were	measured	            11.2.2	
which	are	defined	herein:                                     Noise	Survey	Results
  LAeq		 	 is	the	A-weighted	equivalent	continuous	steady	    The	baseline	noise	levels	recorded	for	both	daytime	and	
           sound	level	during	the	measurement	period	and	     night	time	at	each	of	the	17	locations	are	presented	in	
           effectively	represents	an	average	ambient	noise	   Tables	11.2	and	Table	11.3	with	noise	monitoring	locations	
           value.                                             shown	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	11.1.1	-	11.1.4	“Noise	
                                                              Monitoring	Locations”.	The	results	of	noise	monitoring	at	
  LAmax	 is	the	maximum	A-weighted	sound	level	               Woodland	Substation	are	detailed	in	Table	11.4.
         measured	during	the	measurement	period.




                                                                                                                            167
      11 Noise & Vibration


                                                  Baseline	Noise	Survey	Results	Daytime
        	Location       Date          Time           Duration     LAeq        LAMin       LAMax   LA10   LA90
           N1        12-Jun-09      18:45:33         30:00.0      57.2        35.3        78.6    54.4   37.8
           N2        12-Jun-09      18:02:02         30:00.0      60.0        34.4        83.3    61.8   37.9
           N3        12-Jun-09      17:17:21         30:00.0      60.4        37.1        88.0    53.9   39.6
           N4        12-Jun-09      16:23:24         30:00.0      48.9        36.7        72.4    48.4   38.6
           N5        12-Jun-09      15:35:21         30:00.0      62.8        41.0        78.8    67.3   47.0
           N6        12-Jun-09      14:44:41         30:00.0      65.1        33.6        87.9    60.1   35.5
           N7        12-Jun-09      14:02:01         30:00.0      70.0        39.6        86.6    73.6   47.4
           N8         11-Jun-09     21:29:46         30:00.0      62.9        32.7        88.5    55.0   34.3
           N9         11-Jun-09     20:51:48         30:00.0      66.2        39.8        90.2    61.6   43.6
           N10        11-Jun-09     20:15:07         30:00.0      71.2        32.5        95.4    68.3   36.8
           N11        11-Jun-09     19:37:22         30:00.0      48.3        31.4        75.6    48.2   31.9
           N12        11-Jun-09     18:56:50         30:00.0      61.3        33.2        85.6    57.3   37.5
           N13        11-Jun-09     18:20:37         30:00.0      71.1        31.9        90.5    72.7   35.4
          N14         11-Jun-09     17:44:31         30:00.0      53.5        31.6        72.3    56.6   32.4
           N15        11-Jun-09     17:07:28         30:00.0      57.2        36.4        83.6    50.2   37.4
          N16         11-Jun-09     16:29:59         30:00.0      47.8        31.7        81.4    42.5   32.3
           N17        11-Jun-09     15:53:00         30:00.0      43.2        31.2        81.9    39.1   31.5

      Table 11.2: Baseline Noise Levels Daytime

                                               Baseline	Noise	Survey	Results	Nightime
        	Location       Date          Time           Duration     LAeq        LAMin       LAMax   LA10   LA90
           N1        13-Jun-09      01:31:10         15:00.0      39.4        32.3        63.5    41.3   34.6
           N2        13-Jun-09      01:03:43         15:00.0      46.1        31.2        74.9    38.1   32.3
           N3        13-Jun-09      00:39:57         15:00.0      37.5        31.6        70.3    34.6   32.2
           N4        13-Jun-09      00:12:11         15:00.0      58.4        33.0        94.9    47.3   34.6
           N5        12-Jun-09      23:40:23         15:00.0      58.0        31.2        75.8    59.3   32.1
           N6        12-Jun-09      22:57:43         15:00.0      55.9        31.0        82.6    42.2   31.7
           N7        12-Jun-09      22:33:21         15:00.0      63.9        32.7        83.7    64.0   35.0
           N8        12-Jun-09      02:07:19         15:00.0      36.4        30.7        67.9    33.4   30.9
           N9        12-Jun-09      01:46:38         15:00.0      40.2        30.7        67.2    33.7   30.9
           N10       12-Jun-09      01:24:19         15:00.0      40.6        37.5        68.0    38.9   37.9
           N11       12-Jun-09      01:01:48         15:00.0      42.3        30.8        69.6    34.0   31.0
           N12       12-Jun-09      00:37:58         15:00.0      57.1        30.8        80.0    48.8   31.4
           N13       12-Jun-09      00:15:41         15:00.0      40.8        30.4        73.8    34.6   31.2
          N14         11-Jun-09     23:45:24         15:00.0      48.2        31.6        81.5    39.5   32.4
           N15        11-Jun-09     23:17:26         15:00.0      64.3        32.1        90.3    53.3   34.7
          N16         11-Jun-09     22:47:34         15:00.0      62.8        39.4        88.8    56.4   43.0
           N17        11-Jun-09     22:00:22         15:00.0      64.3        32.8        93.0    56.2   34.6

      Table 11.3: Baseline Noise Levels Night Time


168
Noise	Monitoring	Location	N1                                   Noise	Monitoring	Location	N7

N1	is	located	between	Woodtown	and	Culmullin	on	the	           Halltown	crossroads	on	the	N51	road	is	the	site	of	location	
R125	road.	The	daytime	noise	in	the	area	was	dominated	        N7.	Passing	traffic,	agricultural	machinery	in	neighbouring	
by	passing	traffic,	foliage	noise,	overhead	aircraft,	and	     fields	and	farm	animals	were	the	dominant	noise	sources.	
farm	animals.		At	night	passing	traffic	and	foliage	noise	     At	night,	passing	traffic	on	the	N51	road	and	the	farm	
were	dominant	noise	sources.                                   animals	along	with	overhead	aircraft,	were	the	dominant	
                                                               noise	sources.
Noise	Monitoring	Location	N2
                                                               Noise	Monitoring	Location	N8
N2	is	located	halfway	between	the	townlands	of	
Collegeland	and	Derrypatrick	on	a	local	road.		Passing	        N8	is	located	west	of	Arbraccan	village	on	the	Bohermeen	
traffic	and	birdsong,	along	with	overhead	aircraft	and	        road.		Passing	traffic,	cattle	in	the	adjacent	field	and	
distant	road	traffic	noise	dominated	the	day	time	survey.	     passing	pedestrians	dominated	the	noise	climate	in	the	
At	night	passing	traffic	was	the	main	noise	source.            daytime.		At	night	the	same	sources	were	observed.

Noise	Monitoring	Location	N3                                   Noise	Monitoring	Location	N9

N3	is	located	between	the	townlands	of	Galtrim	and	            N9	is	located	on	the	Castlemartin	road,	approximately	
Martinstown	on	a	local	road.	This	day	time	noise	sources	      200m	from	the	Silver	Tankard	Pub	on	the	N3	road.	Traffic	
was	dominated	by	low	flying	aircraft	every	2	to	3	minutes,	    noise	from	the	N3	road,	passing	local	traffic,	pedestrians	
passing	traffic	and	distant	traffic	also	contributed.		A	      and	silage	trailers	dominated	the	day	time	noise	surveys.	
refrigeration	unit	in	the	distance	dominated	the	night	time	   The	N3	road	and	passing	local	traffic	dominated	the	night	
survey	along	with	passing	traffic.                             time	noise	surveys.

Noise	Monitoring	Location	N4                                   Noise	Monitoring	Location	N10

N4	is	located	in	Marshals	town	off	the	R154.	The	daytime	      N10	is	located	at	Gibbstown	Cross/Crasulthan	Cross	on	
noise	climate	is	dominated	by	passing	traffic,	horses,	        the	R163.	Football	training	in	an	adjacent	field	dominated	
distant	construction	noise	and	running	water	in	a	nearby	      the	daytime	noise	climate,	along	with	passing	traffic	and	
stream.	At	night	the	stream	and	passing	traffic	were	the	      birdsong.	The	noise	from	passing	traffic,	the	N3	road	in	
dominant	noise	sources	along	with	distant	traffic	noise	       the	distance	and	a	barking	dog	dominated	the	night	time	
from	surrounding	roads.                                        noise	climate.	

Noise	Monitoring	Location	N5                                   Noise	Monitoring	Location	N11

On	the	R161	Road	near	Bective	is	the	location	of	N5.		         The	townland	of	Red	Island,	north	east	of	Clongill,	is	the	
Passing	traffic	foliage	noise	and	low	flying	aircraft	         site	for	noise	monitoring	location	N11.		Passing	local	traffic	
dominated	the	noise	climate	in	this	area	during	the	day.	At	   and	birdsong	dominated	the	day	time	noise	climate.	Farm	
night	the	dominant	noise	sources	were	passing	traffic	on	      machinery	(silage)	operating	in	the	distance	was	the	
the	R161	road,	and	foliage	noise.                              dominant	noise	source	at	night.

Noise	Monitoring	Location	N6                                   Noise	Monitoring	Location	N12

N6	is	located	on	Oak	Drive	between	the	village	of	             Drakerath	is	the	site	of	monitoring	location	N12.		Silage	
Dunderry	and	Retaine	townland.	The	daytime	noise	              tractors	and	other	agricultural	machinery	along	with	road	
climate	at	this	location	is	dominated	by	passing	traffic,	     traffic	and	birdsong	dominated	the	day	time	noise	survey.		
overhead	aircraft	and	farm	animals.		Agricultural	             There	was	no	dominant	noise	source	at	night,	foliage	
machinery	in	the	distance	was	also	observed.	At	night	         noise	was	audible.
passing	local	traffic,	distant	traffic	on	the	N51	road	and	
agricultural	machinery	were	dominant.                          Noise	Monitoring	Location	N13

                                                               This	location	is	in	the	townland	of	Clooney,	near	Raffin	
                                                               Cross	on	the	N52.		Heavy	traffic	dominated	the	day	time	
                                                               survey,	along	with	birdsong.		Lighter	traffic	dominated	the	
                                                               night	time	survey.	




                                                                                                                                 169
      11 Noise & Vibration


                 Locations                 Date         Time         Duration      LAeq      LAMin     LAMax      LA10       LA90

          Woodland	Substation           24-Jun-09     14:46:46       15:00.0       44.4      35.2      62.8       47.2      37.7

          Woodland	Substation           24-Jun-09     15:05:44       15:00.0       46.0      35.3      64.8       49.0      37.7

          Woodland	Substation           24-Jun-09      15:21:50      15:00.0       43.3      35.3      60.5       46.7      37.0

      Table 11.4: Woodland Substation Baseline Noise Results

      Noise	Monitoring	Location	N14                                   During	the	night	the	dominant	noise	source	was	foliage	
                                                                      noise	and	infrequent	passing	traffic.
      Location	N14	is	located	in	the	townland	of	Rahood,	at	the	
      cross	roads.		The	daytime	noise	climate	was	dominated	          Noise	Monitoring	Location	N17
      by	an	angle	grinder	being	used	in	a	neighbouring	house.		
      Passing	traffic	is	also	a	dominant	contributor.		Night	time	    This	location	is	situated	in	the	townland	of	Moorlagh,	this	
      noise	was	dominated	by	passing	local	traffic.                   is	a	quiet	rural	area	and	the	noise	climate	is	dominated	
                                                                      by	birdsong,	distant	traffic	noise	and	passing	local	traffic,	
      Noise	Monitoring	Location	N15                                   during	the	daytime.	At	night	there	was	no	dominant	noise	
                                                                      source,	save	foliage	noise,	and	occasional	distant	traffic.
      Location	N15	is	in	the	townland	of	Altmush,	the	daytime	
      noise	climate	was	dominated	by	passing	traffic,	birdsong	       Woodland	Substation
      and	a	nearby	steam.	Passing	traffic	and	the	stream,	again	
      dominated	the	night	time	survey.                                In	addition	to	the	17	No.	noise	surveys,	a	baseline	
                                                                      assessment	was	carried	out	in	July	2009	at	Woodland	
      Noise	Monitoring	Location	N16                                   Substation	near	Batterstown	County	Meath.	This	is	
                                                                      where	the	line	will	connect	to	the	grid.	The	baseline	noise	
      On	the	N2	is	in	the	townland	of	Aghamore,	north	east	           monitoring	was	taken	under	the	existing	400kV	line	where	
      of	Kilmainhamwood.		The	daytime	noise	climate	is	               it	enters	the	substation	compound.	The	results	of	this	
      characterised	by	passing	traffic	and	birdsong,	while	           survey	are	presented	in	Table	11.4.
      occasional	passing	pedestrians	in	conversation	
      contributed	to	the	noise	climate.		




      Illustration 11 1: Octave Band Analysis Woodland Substation




170
As	can	be	seen	from	the	levels	recorded	at	Woodland	              The	construction	phase	will	involve	excavation,	piling	
Substation	in	Table	11.4,	there	is	no	significant	noise	          and	construction	activities	and	is	discussed	further.	The	
emission	from	the	substation.	The	substation	was	not	the	         operational	phase	will	not	have	any	vibration	impacts	
dominant	noise	source	in	the	area	during	the	surveys.	            and	will	have	the	potential	for	minimal	noise	impact,	as	
During	the	surveys,	the	dominant	noise	sources	were	              described	later	in	this	chapter.
a	trimmer	and	mower	in	use	further	down	the	road	in	a	
neighbouring	garden,	local	traffic	and	a	klaxon	or	whistle	
that	was	observed	to	sound	in	the	distance	at	roughly	
                                                                  11.3.1	
ten	minute	intervals.	The	source	of	the	latter	could	not	         Construction	Phase	Works	
be	determined.		During	lulls	in	the	more	dominant	noise	
sources	a	faint	ticking	noise	like	that	of	a	wind	up	clock	       Noise	Impact
was	audible	from	some	of	the	electrical	plant	within	the	
compound.                                                         The	construction	phase	of	the	development	has	the	
                                                                  potential	to	increase	noise	levels	at	noise	sensitive	
The	noise	levels	shown	in	Table	11.4,	include	all	of	these	       locations	surrounding	the	proposed	development	i.e.	at	
sources	in	addition	to	all	of	the	power	lines	entering	the	       the	positioning	stage	of	the	towers.	The	nearest	noise	
substation	including	the	existing	400kV	line,	multiple	           sensitive	locations	are	located	approximately	50m	or	more	
other	power	lines,	transformers,	line	bays,	bus	bars	and	         from	proposed	tower	locations.	
switch	gear	contained	in	the	substation	compound.		As	            	
such	the	modifications	required	to	the	substation	to	             Impact	from	the	construction	phase	will	depend	on	the	
accommodate	the	connection	of	the	line	is	not	expected	           number	and	type	of	equipment	employed	during	the	
to	have	any	significant	noise	impact	to	the	local	noise	          development	of	the	transmission	line.	Construction	noise	
climate.                                                          sources	will	result	in	a	temporary	impact	on	the	noise	
                                                                  climate	in	the	area.	The	temporary	and	transient	nature	
With	regard	to	tonality	a	1/3	Octave	frequency	band	              of	the	construction	phase	on	this	type	of	development	
analysis	was	carried	out	on	all	three	surveys	recorded	at	        should	not	give	rise	to	excessive	construction	noise	
Woodland	Substation.		The	results	of	these	analyses	are	          levels.	The	list	of	machinery	as	detailed	in	Table	11.5,	
presented	in	Illustration	11.1.                                   will	form	the	plant	which	will	be	in	operation	during	the	
                                                                  construction	phase.
As	can	be	seen	from	the	frequency	analyses,	there	was	no	
tonal	component	to	any	of	the	noise	sources	recorded	at	          Predicted	noise	levels	have	been	estimated	using	the	
Woodland	Substation.                                              methodology	described	in	“BS:	5228:	Noise	and	control	
                                                                  on	construction	and	open	sites”,	(1997).	Predictions	
                                                                  are	based	on	typical	equipment	used	during	various	
11.3	                                                             constructive	stages	of	the	proposed	development.	
                                                                  Predictions	are	based	on	a	LAeq1hour	value	with	all	
POTENTIAL	IMPACTS	                                                machinery	listed	in	Table	11.5	operating	for	a	continual	
                                                                  period	of	1	hour.		
During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	
number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	
                                                                  This	may	be	considered	a	worst	case	scenario	as	this	
notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	
                                                                  machinery	will	most	likely	not	operate	simultaneously.	
evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
                                                                  Additionally,	calculations	are	based	on	minimum	
the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	
                                                                  distances	between	site	activities	and	the	nearest	noise	
the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	
                                                                  sensitive	locations,	with	no	allowance	for	screening	of	
been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.
                                                                  hedges,	trees	or	buildings	in	between.
	
The	noise	and	vibration	characteristics	of	the	proposed	
development	will	be	divided	between	the	construction	
and	the	operational	phases	of	the	project.	The	majority	of	
impacts	will	occur	during	the	construction	phase	of	the	
development.




                                                                                                                               171
      11 Noise & Vibration


                                                          CONSTRUCTION	PHASE

                 BS5228	Calculations                     Estimated	Construction	noise	levels	at	varying	distances	LAeq	1	hour

                       Machinery                                50m                       75m                       100m

                    Wheeled	loader                              65                        60                         57

                         Winch                                  56                         51                        48

                     Line	Tensioner                             56                         51                        48

                 Road	Lorry	pulling	up                          49                        44                         41

                   Tracked	Excavator                            65                        60                         57

                   Vibratory	hammer                              61                       56                         53

                 Tracked	crane	moving                           66                         61                        58

                 Support	crane	moving                            57                       52                         49

                    Lorry	unloading                             63                        58                         55

                   Diesel	Generator                             54                        49                         46

                Continuous	Flight	Auger                         56                         51                        48

              Combined	Level	LAeq	1hour                        71dB                      67dB                       64dB

      Table 11.5: Construction Noise Level Predictions

      In	Ireland,	there	are	no	statutory	guidelines	relating	to	       The	NRA	does	note	however,	that	where	pre-existing	noise	
      noise	limits	for	construction	activities.	These	are	generally	   levels	are	particularly	low,	more	stringent	levels	may	be	
      controlled	by	local	authorities	and	commonly	refer	to	           more	appropriate.		Table	11.6	details	these	recommended	
      limiting	working	hours	to	prevent	a	noise	nuisance.	The	         limits.
      NRA	report	entitled	“Guidelines	for	the	treatment	of	
      noise	and	vibration	in	national	road	schemes”	(2004)	has	        As	the	predicted	values	are	a	worst	case	assessment	
      outlined	recommended	noise	levels	for	construction	noise	        the	impact	is	likely	to	be	moderate,	with	regard	to	the	
      during	road	works.		                                             nearest	noise	sensitive	locations.	The	temporary	nature	
                                                                       of	the	construction	period	and	the	variety	of	machinery	
      Although	these	refer	to	road	projects,	they	have	been	           used	should	ensure	that	no	construction	activity	is	
      developed	in	line	with	typical	construction	noise	limits	on	     operational	for	long	periods.	All	the	plant	listed	in	Table	
      construction	projects	used	previously	in	Ireland.	The	limits	    11.5,	will	not	be	in	use	at	the	same	stage	of	construction,	
      outlined	represent	a	reasonable	compromise	between	the	          as	it	is	a	phased	process.	As	such	the	noise	impact	to	be	
      practical	limitations	during	a	construction	project	and	the	     expected	at	the	nearest	noise	sensitive	receptor	would	be	
      need	to	ensure	an	acceptable	ambient	noise	level	for	local	      significantly	less	than	the	worst	case	scenario	described	
      residents.	As	a	result,	these	limits	have	become	the	most	       in	Table	11.5.	This	construction	phase	will	therefore	result	
      acceptable	standard	for	construction	noise	limits	for	EIS	       in	a	moderate	temporary,	transient	noise	impact.
      assessments	to	date.		




172
   Day	&	Times                                                                                                                LAeq	(1hr)	dB                  LAmax	dB

   Monday	–	Friday	(07:00	to	19:00	hrs)                                                                                                70                          80

   Monday	–	Friday	(19:00	to	22:00	hrs)                                                                                               601                         651

   Saturday	(08:00	to	16:30	hrs)                                                                                                       65                          75

   Sundays	and	Bank	Holidays	(08:00	to	16:30	hrs)                                                                                     601                         651

Table 11.6: Typical Maximum Permissible Noise Levels at the Façade of Dwellings During Construction Activities
1 Construction activities at these times, other than that required in respect of emergency works, will normally require the explicit permission of the relevant local authority.
Source: NRA Draft guidelines for the treatment of noise and vibration in national road schemes 2004.



11.3.2	                                                                                    Supply	vehicle	movements

Construction	Phase	                                                                        An	increase	of	3	dB(A)	on	existing	traffic	noise	is	required	
                                                                                           before	it	may	be	noticed	by	the	public	(example	ref:	
Traffic	Noise	Impact                                                                       UK	DOETR	“Guidance on the Methodology for Multi-
                                                                                           Modal Studies”,	Paragraph	4.3.5).	With	reference	to	the	
On	Site	vehicle	movements
                                                                                           “Calculation of Road Traffic Noise”	document	(CRTN),	and	
                                                                                           if	all	other	factors	remain	equal,	this	would	represent	an	
The	likely	heavy	goods	Vehicles	(HGV)	noise	impact	due	
                                                                                           increase	in	traffic	flow	of	100%.
to	the	expected	traffic	flows	has	been	calculated	using	the	
Haul	Road	Method	detailed	in	BS5228	“Noise and control
                                                                                           The	“Design	Manual	for	Roads	and	Bridges”	document	
on construction and open sites”,	(1997).	Considering	a	
                                                                                           (DMRB)	suggests	that	a	1dB	increase	in	traffic	might	be	
standard	tower	construction	site,	as	detailed	in	Volume	
                                                                                           perceptible,	although	it	acknowledges	that	other	factors	
2	Part	A,	Chapter	13	Traffic,	a	maximum	frequency	of	18	
                                                                                           in	visual	perception	and	magnitude	of	traffic	levels	before	
vehicle	trips	per	hour	(Q)	and	a	minimum	distance	of	at	
                                                                                           increases	are	relevant.	Again	with	reference	to	CRTN,	a	
least	15m	(v)	from	the	haul	road	to	any	nearby	property,	
                                                                                           1dB	increase	in	noise	level	is	approximately	equivalent	
and	a	speed	of	15km/h	(V)	the	calculated	noise	impact	is	
                                                                                           to	a	traffic	number	increase	of	25%.	It	is	unlikely	that	
as	follows:
                                                                                           the	introduction	of	a	small	number	of	additional	vehicles	
                                                                                           on	the	local	supply	roads	will	be	sufficient	to	present	a	
 Level	=	Average	SWL	-	33	+	10	log	Q	-	10	log	V	-	10	log	d
                                                                                           25%	increase	in	traffic	flows.	As	such	this	element	of	the	
       +	98	–	33	+	10	log	18	–	10	log	15	–	10	log	15
                                                                                           development	is	not	expected	to	cause	significant	noise	
                     =	54.2dB	LAeq,1h                                                      impact.
This	is	not	predicted	to	cause	any	significant	noise	impact	
to	the	nearest	sensitive	receptor	at	a	distance	of	15m.                                    11.3.3	
Considering	an	angle	mast	tower	construction	site,	as	
                                                                                           Construction	Phase	Vibration	Impact
detailed	in	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	13	Traffic,	a	maximum	
                                                                                           There	is	potential	for	ground	vibration	due	to	the	
frequency	of	31	vehicle	trips	per	hour	(Q)	and	a	minimum	
                                                                                           construction	phase	works,	this	will	mainly	be	derived	from	
distance	of	at	least	15m	(v)	from	the	haul	road	to	any	
                                                                                           excavation	and	from	piling	works	which	may	be	required	
nearby	property,	and	a	speed	of	15km/h	(V)	the	calculated	
                                                                                           at	some	tower	locations.		Vibration	may	be	defined	as	
noise	impact	is	as	follows:
                                                                                           regularly	repeated	movement	of	a	physical	object	about	
                                                                                           a	fixed	point.	The	magnitude	of	vibration	is	expressed	
 Level	=	Average	SWL	-	33	+	10	log	Q	-	10	log	V	-	10	log	d
                                                                                           in	terms	of	Peak	Particle	Velocity	(PPV)	expressed	in	
       +	98	–	33	+	10	log	31	–	10	log	15	–	10	log	15
                                                                                           millimetres	per	second	(mm/s).
                     =	56.5dB	LAeq,1h
                                                                                           Common	practice	in	Ireland	has	been	to	use	guidance	
This	is	not	predicted	to	cause	any	significant	noise	impact	                               from	internationally	recognised	standards.	Vibration	
to	the	nearest	sensitive	receptor	at	a	distance	of	15m.	A	                                 standards	come	in	two	varieties,	those	dealing	with	
distance	of	15m	has	been	assumed	in	these	calculations	                                    human	comfort	and	those	dealing	with	cosmetic	or	
and	is	presented	as	a	practical	assumption	for	distance	                                   structural	damage	to	buildings.	In	both	instances,	the	
from	receptor	to	field	entrance.                                                           magnitude	of	vibration	is	expressed	in	terms	of	PPV	in	
                                                                                           mm/s.


                                                                                                                                                                                   173
      11 Noise & Vibration


            Allowable	vibration	velocity	(Peak	Particle	Velocity)	at	the	closest	part	of	any	sensitive	property	to	the	source	
                                                    of	vibration,	at	a	frequency	of

                         Less	than	10Hz                                                   10	to	50Hz                                          50	to	100Hz	and	above

                               8mm/s                                                      12.5mm/s                                                       20mm/s

      Table 11.7: Allowable Vibration During Road Construction in Order to Minimise the Risk of Building Damage


      In	order	to	ensure	that	there	is	no	potential	for	vibration	                                  Such	discharges	are	often	more	active	during	the	
      damage	during	construction,	the	NRA	recommends	that	                                          increased	humidity	conditions	provided	by	fog	or	
      vibration	from	road	construction	activities	be	limited	to	                                    light	rain.	Water	drops	impinging	or	collecting	on	the	
      the	values	set	out	in	Table	11.7.	These	values	have	been	                                     conductors	produce	a	large	number	of	corona	discharges,	
      derived	through	consideration	of	the	various	international	                                   each	of	them	creating	a	burst	of	noise.	In	dry	conditions,	
      standards,	compliance	with	this	guidance	should	ensure	                                       the	conductors	usually	operate	below	the	corona	
      that	there	is	little	to	no	risk	of	even	cosmetic	damage	to	                                   inception	level,	and	less	corona	sources	are	present.
      buildings.
                                                                                                    Corona	noise	comprises	two	sound	components;	one	is	
      These	limits	will	be	adhered	to	at	all	times	during	the	                                      irregular	(random	noise)	sound	and	the	other	is	the	pure	
      construction	phase	of	the	project.	There	is	no	vibration	                                     sound	(corona	hum	noise)	of	buzzing.	The	random	sound	
      impact	predicted	for	the	operational	phase	of	the	project.                                    has	a	wide	frequency	band	because	the	impulsive	sounds	
                                                                                                    caused	by	corona	discharge	overlap	randomly.
      11.3.4	                                                                                       The	corona	hum	noise	results	from	the	excitation	of	ion	
      Operational	Phase	Noise	Impact                                                                groups,	which	was	generated	from	corona	discharge,	
                                                                                                    caused	by	the	electric	field	surrounding	the	conductors.	
      There	are	two	main	types	of	noise	generated	by	                                               The	predominant	frequency	of	the	corona	hum	noise	is	
      transmission	lines,	namely	gas	sparking	and	corona.	                                          double	the	commercial	frequency	(100Hz	in	this	instance).
      Further	to	that,	transmission	lines	given	the	correct	wind	
      conditions	can	produce	aeolian	noise.	These	aspects	are	                                      The	level	of	operational	noise	from	overhead	lines	will	
      assessed	in	detail	herein.                                                                    vary	depending	upon	the	environmental	conditions,	
                                                                                                    the	locality	and	a	number	of	other	factors	including	
      Gap	Sparking                                                                                  the	distance	to	ground	and	voltage.	The	noise	derived	
                                                                                                    from	this	discharge	is	typically	a	short	burst	of	random	
      Gap	sparking	can	develop	at	any	time	on	transmission	                                         ‘crackling’.	
      lines	at	any	voltage.		It	occurs	at	tiny	electrical	separations	
      (gaps)	that	develop	between	mechanically	connected	                                           Due	to	these	factors	an	exact	level	of	impact	cannot	be	
      metal	parts.		Combinations	of	factors	like	corrosion,	                                        definitively	predicted.	It	may	be	the	case,	that	under	
      vibration,	wind	and	weather	forces,	misfabrication,	poor	                                     certain	circumstances,	the	background	level	may	be	
      design	or	insufficient	maintenance	contribute	to	gap	                                         exceeded	by	more	than	+10	dB.		However	due	to	the	
      formation.	Gap	sparking	can	give	rise	to	electrical	noise,	                                   unpredictability	of	corona	noise	derived	from	overhead	
      i.e.	it	occurs	at	frequencies	higher	than	those	that	are	                                     lines	and	very	short	limited	duration	of	such	discharges	
      audible	to	humans.                                                                            (typically	peak	levels	of	a	duration	of	less	than	1	second)	
                                                                                                    the	overall	impact	when	considered	over	an	hour	(ref	
      Corona	Discharge	Noise                                                                        BS4142	daytime	reference	time	period)	will	be	minimal.		

      Corona	noise	can	occur	on	transmission	lines	carrying	                                        Table	11.8	shows	the	predicted	L50	(A-weighted	sound	
      higher	voltages.	Most	modern	transmission	lines	and	                                          level	that	is	exceeded	for	50%	of	the	measurement	
      substations	are	designed	to	reduce	the	magnitude	of	the	                                      period)	and	L10	audible	corona	noise	levels	as	a	function	of	
      electric	field	surrounding	the	line	conductors	below	the	air	                                 lateral	distance	from	the	centre	of	the	line24.	Since	corona	
      breakdown	value.	Corona	discharge	typically	occurs	where	                                     noise	from	the	line	is	likely	to	be	considerably	less	than	
      a	sharp	point	or	edge	is	present,	either	on	the	conductor	                                    noise	from	other	everyday	sources,	it	is	not	expected	to	
      or	the	tower	coupling.	Occasionally	a	small	sharp	point	                                      cause	annoyance.
      can	found	on	a	line	or	on	nearby	hardware	that	will	result	
      in	a	corona	discharge.



      24	 All	calculations	were	carried	out	using	the	software	applications	contained	in	the	electronic	version	of	the	Electric	Power	Research	Institute	(EPRI)	“AC	Transmission	Line	Refer-
          ence	Book	–	200kV	and	Above,	Third	Edition”.	
174
Corona	is	rarely	a	problem	at	distances	beyond	50m	             Aeolian	Noise
from	the	line.	The	level	of	audible	corona	at	any	time	is	
dependent	on	the	prevailing	weather	conditions.	The	            ‘Aeolian	noise’	also	known	as	turbulent	wind	noise	may	be	
dielectric	strength	of	air	is	lower	in	wet	weather	than	        created	due	to	high	wind	speeds	affecting	the	towers	and	
in	dry	weather.	Thus	the	voltage	stress	at	a	conductor	         conductors.	The	amount	of	aeolian	noise	is	directly	linked	
surface	does	not	have	to	reach	such	high	levels	in	wet	         to	wind	speed	and	direction.	This	type	of	noise	impact	
weather	for	corona	noise	to	become	audible.                     is	normally	not	considered	as	significant	as	the	ambient	
                                                                noise	levels	and	are	also	higher	(affected	by	occurrences	
Corona	noise	attains	higher	levels	and	may	become	              such	as	wind	in	trees)	therefore	minimising	any	impact.
audible	in	wet	weather,	when	large	numbers	of	corona	
sources	form	as	water	droplets	on	the	conductors.	              Continuous	Operational	Noise
However,	on	such	occasions	the	background	noise	level	
of	rainfall	and	wind	tend	to	mask	the	noise	from	the	line.	     Due	to	the	voltages	associated	with	400kV	overhead	
People	probably	find	any	noise	from	a	high	voltage	line	        transmission	lines	continuous	operational	noise	may	be	
to	be	more	noticeable	during	periods	of	light	rain,	snow,	      audible	but	not	dominant	over	the	ambient	noise	levels.	A	
fog	or	when	they	are	more	likely	to	be	outdoors	or	to	          noise	survey	at	an	existing	400kV	overhead	line	has	been	
have	windows	open,	and	when	the	background	noise	is	            conducted,	near	Woodland	Substation.	This	line	runs	to	
generally	lower.		                                              the	west	of	Woodland	Substation	on	a	route	south	of	the	
                                                                village	of	Summerhill,	County	Meath.	In	these	surveys,	
In	fair	weather,	corona	sources	are	sufficiently	few	in	        the	substation/tower	noise	was	audible	but	not	dominant	
number	that	this	noise	is	generally	of	no	concern	and	is	       over	the	ambient	noise	levels.
often	inaudible	to	people	on	the	ground.
                                                                The	measurement	results	are	presented	in	terms	of	‘dB	
                                                                LAeq,’	which	is	representative	of	an	average	of	the	energy	
                                                                associated	with	the	noise	at	a	location	over	a	given	time	
                                                                interval.	The	levels	in	terms	of	‘dB	LA90’	are	also	presented	
                                                                and	represent	the	level	exceeded	for	90%	of	the	given	
                                                                time	interval.	The	results	are	presented	in	Illustration	11.2	
                                                                and	Illustration	11.3.




Illustration 11.2: Audible Noise from Double Circuit 400kV Towers




                                                                                                                                 175
      11 Noise & Vibration




      Illustration 11 3: Audible Noise from Single Circuit 400 kV


      The	average	day	time	background	noise	level	(LA90)	at	           This	L50	noise	level	was	based	on	an	indoor	maximum	
      all	of	the	baseline	noise	locations	sampled	was	37.5dB.	         permitted	noise	level	of	35dB(A).	This	was	in	the	bedroom	
      The	average	day	time	background	noise	level	(LA90)	at	           of	a	house	at	the	edge	of	a	right	of	way.	It	was	assumed	
      Woodland	Substation	was	37.5dB.	It	should	be	noted	that	         that	the	noise	attenuation	of	a	partly	closed	window	
      the	setting	of	Woodland	Substation	is	typical	of	the	noise	      was	17dB(A).	An	examination	of	the	background	noise	
      climate	of	many	of	the	baseline	sensitive	receptors.	The	        measurements	and	the	predicted	corona	noise	levels	are	
      noise	climate	at	Woodland	Substation	includes	not	only	          unlikely	to	cause	annoyance.	The	predicted	corona	noise	
      the	400kV	line,	but	all	the	associated	plant/equipment	of	       emitted	from	400kV	line	(measured	50m	from	the	line)	are	
      the	substation	and	the	surrounding	area.                         given	in	Table	11.8.

      Since	the	400kV	line	in	addition	to	the	substation	does	         As	illustrated	in	Table	11.8	the	overhead	line	circuit	type	
      not	represent	any	increase	on	the	background	noise	              proposed	for	400kV	transmission	line	does	not	exceed	
      levels	from	the	line,	it	is	considered	that	there	will	be	no	    the	52dBA	guideline	at	50m	from	the	centre	line	in	rainy	
      significant	continuous	noise	impact	from	the	transmission	       conditions.	The	maximum	fair	weather	value	of	41.4dBA	is	
      line.                                                            significantly	lower	than	the	52dB	guidance	value.

      A	useful	guideline	referring	specifically	to	power	lines	
      is	the	New	York	Public	Service	Commission	(NYPSC)	
      following	a	public	enquiry	in	1978.	This	specified	a	L50	
      rain	level	limit	of	52dB(A)	at	the	edge	of	a	right	of	way.	



               Circuit	Type             L50	Rain	EPRI	(dBA)         L10	Rain	EPRI	(dBA)          Fair	Weather	Range	(dBA)

          400kV	Double	Circuit                   48.0                      55.4                   21.9                41.4

          400kV	Single	Circuit                   46.7                      52.7                   20.9                40.2


      Table 11.8 Summary of Noise Values




176
11.4	                                                                  and	should	have	no	gaps	or	joints	in	the	barrier	
                                                                       material.		As	a	rough	guide,	the	length	of	a	barrier	
MITIGATION	MEASURES                                                    should	be	5	times	greater	than	its	height.		A	shorter	
                                                                       barrier	should	be	bent	around	the	noise	source,	to	
                                                                       ensure	no	part	of	the	noise	source	is	visible	from	
11.4.1	                                                                the	receiving	location;	and
Construction	Phase	Noise	Mitigation                                •	 Siting	of	noisy	plant	as	far	away	from	sensitive	
                                                                      receptors,	as	permitted	by	site	constraints.
With	regard	to	construction	activities,	the	contractor	
appointed	will	ensure	that	all	plant	items	used	during	
the	construction	phase	will	comply	with	standards	              11.4.2	
outlined	in	“European	Communities	(Construction	Plant	
and	Equipment)	(Permissible	Noise	Levels)	Regulations”	
                                                                Construction	Phase	
(1998).		The	contractor	will	make	reference	to	“BS5228:	        Vibration	Mitigation
Noise	control	on	construction	and	open	sites”,	which	
offers	detailed	guidance	on	the	control	of	noise	from	          Any	construction	works	that	have	the	potential	to	cause	
construction	activities.                                        vibration	at	sensitive	receptors	will	be	carried	out	in	
                                                                accordance	with	the	limit	values	as	set	out	in	Table	11.6.	
It	is	proposed	that	various	practices	be	adopted	during	
construction,	including:
                                                                11.4.3	
   •	 Night	time	working	will	typically	not	occur,	but	         Operational	Phase	Noise	Mitigation
      there	may	be	a	necessity	to	continue	to	operate	
      generator,	pumps	or	other	equivalent	machinery	           As	outlined	in	the	previous	sections	it	is	not	expected	
      at	a	number	of	locations,	where	the	digging	of	           that	noise	arising	from	corona	will	cause	annoyance.	
      foundations	and	erection	of	towers	may	cause	             Corona	noise	will	only	be	audible	under	certain	weather	
      activity	to	remain	in	one	location	for	a	longer	period	   conditions	and	in	close	proximity	to	the	line.	Any	
      of	time;                                                  complaints	will	be	investigated	and	mitigation	measures	
                                                                implemented	if	necessary.	Corona	noise	is	caused	
   •	 On	these	occasions	screening	and	enclosures	can	          predominantly	by	items	of	transmission	line	hardware,	
      be	utilised	to	limit	noise	impact	to	45dB	(BS	5228	       other	than	conductors,	e.g.	clamps	and	can	be	mitigated	
      acceptable	night	time	level)	at	any	noise	sensitive	      by	replacement	of	individual	items	of	hardware.	Aeolian	
      receptors,	if	required	by	agreement	with	the	local	       noise	very	rarely	occurs	on	400kV	lines	and	is	not	
      authority;                                                expected	to	arise	on	the	proposed	project.	Mitigation		
                                                                measures	for	aeolian	noise,	including	the	fitting	of	air	flow	
   •	 Appoint	a	site	representative	responsible	for	            spoilers	on	conductors	and	the	replacement	of	composite	
      matters	relating	to	noise;	and                            insulators.

   •	 Establishing	channels	of	communication	between	           Radio	and	television	interference	arising	from	gap	
      the	contractor/developer,	local	authority	and	            sparking	occurs	infrequently	on	400	kV	lines.	When	it	
      resident	i.e.	for	notification	of	requirement	of	night	   does	arise,	it	is	easily	identifiable	and	can	be	solved	by	
      works,	should	this	be	required.	                          replacement	of	hardware.	EirGrid	is	committed	to	a	policy	
                                                                of	rigorous	investigation	and	resolution	of	such	problems	
Furthermore,	it	is	envisaged	that	a	variety	of	practicable	     if	they	do	occur.	Broad	utility	experience	suggests	that	
noise	control	measures	will	be	employed,	these	may	             less	than	half	of	the	radio	and	television	interference	
include:                                                        complaints	received	are	attributable	to	power	lines	and	
                                                                only	a	few	percent	of	those	specifically	involve	high	
   •	 Selection	of	plant	with	low	inherent	potential	for	       voltage	transmission	lines.	Gap	sparking	is	responsible	
      generation	of	noise	and/or	vibration;                     for	most	of	the	power	line	interference	complaints.

   •	 Erection	of	temporary	barriers	around	items	              Experience	to	date	indicates	that	corona	from	the	
      such	as	generators	or	high	duty	compressors.	             proposed	400	kV	lines	will	not	give	rise	to	problems	with	
      For	maximum	effectiveness,	a	barrier	should	              reception	of	radio	and	television	signals.
      be	positioned	as	close	as	possible	to	either	the	
      noise	source	or	receiver.	The	barrier	should	be	
      constructed	of	material	with	a	mass	of	>	7kg/m2	




                                                                                                                                 177
      11.5	
      RESIDUAL	IMPACTS
      Adherence	to	the	mitigation	measures	will	ensure	there	
      are	no	residual	impacts	associated	with	the	proposed	
      development.


      11.6	
      INTERRELATIONSHIPS	BETWEEN	
      ENVIRONMENTAL	FACTORS
      During	both	the	operational	and	the	construction	phase	
      the	Noise	impacts	will	be	associated	with	the	road	traffic	
      impacts.	This	chapter	should	be	read	in	conjunction	
      with	Volume	2	Part	A,	Chapter	13	–	Traffic,	for	a	full	
      understanding	of	the	main	interactions	between	these	
      environmental	topics.




178
179
180
                        12
zxzz




       Chapter 12


             Landscape




               Meath-Tyrone	400kV
       Interconnection	Development


                                     181
      12 Landscape


      12.1	                                                           sensitivity	to	the	proposed	development.	This	stage	of	
                                                                      the	route	selection	process	is	described	in	further	detail	
      INTRODUCTION	                                                   in	section	12.1.2.	The	line	route	that	emerged	from	this	
                                                                      process	avoids	the	most	sensitive	areas	of	County	Meath	
      This	chapter	assesses	the	landscape	and	visual	impacts	         in	terms	of	landscape	and	visual	impacts.	
      arising	from	the	proposed	400kV	overhead	transmission	
      line	and	associated	development	(including	the	extension	       Landscape	effects	are	defined	as	the	result	of	physical	
      to	Woodland	Substation)	between	the	existing	substation	        changes	to	the	fabric	of	the	landscape	resulting	from	new	
      site	at	Woodland,	County	Meath	and	the	site	identified	         development.	Such	physical	changes	may	include	the	
      for	a	new	substation	near	Moyhill,	County	Meath.	The	           addition,	alteration	or	removal	of	structures	(transmission	
      assessment	has	been	prepared	by	Scott	Wilson.                   towers,	buildings,	walls	and	fences)	or	vegetation	(trees,	
                                                                      woodland,	grassland,	hedgerows).	Landscape	effects	can	
      This	chapter	addresses	in	detail	the	potential	landscape	       be	temporary	and	include	those	caused	by	temporary	
      and	visual	effects	on	the	areas	directly	and	indirectly	        access	routes,	temporary	compounds	and	construction	
      affected	by	the	proposed	development.	The	potential	            traffic.	Landscape	effects	may	be	positive	(beneficial),	
      effects	of	the	construction	phase	will	be	addressed	as	         negative	(adverse)	or	neutral	(no	overall	change	or	a	
      well	as	the	effects	during	the	operational	phase	and	the	       balance	of	positive	and	negative	effects).	
      decommissioning	stage.
                                                                      This	chapter	will	address	the	following	landscape	effects:
      The	study	area	for	this	assessment	includes	a	greater	
      area	than	the	80m	wide	corridor.	It	considers	an	area	5km	         •	 Direct	effects	on	specific	valued	landscape	
      either	side	of	the	alignment	for	general	assessment,	1km	             features,	views,	routes	and	areas	as	described	in	
      either	side	of	the	alignment	for	currently	used	public	sites	         the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	(2007-2013)	
      and	10km	either	side	of	the	alignment	for	sensitive	and	              and	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	(2008-2014)	
      elevated	sites.                                                       Development	Plans	and	the	Meath	Landscape	
                                                                            Character	Assessment;
      The	chapter	is	supported	by	mapping,	refer	to	Volume	3	
      Part	A	for:                                                        •	 Potential	changes	to	landscape	character.	
                                                                            Landscape	character	is	the	distinct,	recognisable	
         •	 Figures	12.1.1	-	12.1.2	“Landscape	Character	Areas	             and	consistent	pattern	of	elements	that	creates	
            &	Type	and	12.2.1	-	12.2.7	“Landscape	Visual	Impact	            distinctiveness	and	a	sense	of	place.	This	part	of	
            Assessment	Maps”;                                               the	assessment	will	refer	to	the	Meath	Landscape	
                                                                            Character	Assessment,	its	description	of	Landscape	
         •	 Photosheets	12.3.1	-	12.3.21	“Photoplates	1	–	89”;	             Character	Areas,	Landscape	Value	and	Landscape	
            and                                                             Capacity,	(no	formal	Landscape	Character	
                                                                            Assessment	has	been	carried	out	to	date	by	Cavan	
         •	 Photomontages	1	-	85	(Photomontages	are	                        County	Council.	This	chapter	contains	descriptions	
            not	numbered	in	chronological	order,	they	are	                  of	landscape	character	in	County	Cavan	based	on	
            numbered	in	relation	to	the	photoplate	on	which	                field	survey.	The	length	of	line	in	County	Cavan	
            the	Photomontage	is	based).                                     covered	by	this	chapter	is	approximately	1km);

                                                                         •	 Effects	on	designated	landscapes,	conservation	
      12.1.1	                                                               sites	and	other	acknowledged	special	areas	of	
      Methodology                                                           interest;	

                                                                         •	 Cumulative	impacts	on	the	landscape	character;
      12.1.1.1	
      General	Approach	and	Methods                                       •	 Subtle	effects	that	contribute	towards	the	
                                                                            experience	of	intangible	characteristics	such	as	
      The	methodology	used	in	this	assessment	is	based	                     tranquillity,	wildness	and	cultural	associations;	and
      on	current	guidelines	as	described	in	section	12.1.1.2.	
      Prior	to	the	selection	of	the	final	line	route,	landscape	         •	 Potential	landscape	effects	during	the	construction	
      considerations,	were	included	in	two	Constraints	Studies;	            and	decommissioning	stage.
      “Constraints	Report”,	July	2007	and	“Constraints	
      Addendum	Report”	May	2008.	These	Constraints	Studies	           Visual	effects	relate	closely	to	landscape	effects	but	
      identified	areas	with	particular	visual	or	landscape	           concern	changes	in	views.	Visual	assessment	concerns	




182
people’s	perception	and	response	to	visual	amenity.	             •	 A	summary	of	the	baseline	information	on	the	
Effects	may	result	from	new	elements	located	in	the	                landscape	character	of	the	study	area	as	derived	
landscape	that	cause	visual	intrusion	(i.e.	interference	           from	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	
with	or	interruption	of	the	view).	Visual	effects	may	be	           (MLCA)	and	field	surveys;
positive	(beneficial),	negative	(adverse)	or	neutral	(no	
overall	change	or	a	balance	of	positive	and	negative	            •	 An	assessment	of	the	sensitivity	and	landscape	
effects).	The	chapter	will	address	the	following	visual	            capacity	of	the	entire	10km	wide	study	area	(5km	
effects:                                                            either	side	of	the	proposed	alignment)	referring	to	
                                                                    the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	and	
   •	 General	visual	impacts	on	roads,	settlements	and	             on-site	surveys;
      publicly	accessible	areas;	
                                                                 •	 A	detailed	description	of	each	section	in	terms	
   •	 Visual	impacts	on	tourist	routes	and	places,	way	             of	landscape	character,	landscape	value	and	
      marked	paths	and	cycle	routes,	Key	Viewpoints	                landscape	sensitivity;
      and	Scenic	Viewpoints,	Landmarks,	and	High	
      Landscape	Areas	as	designated	in	the	Meath	and	            •	 Description	of	general	landscape	and	visual	
      Cavan	County	Development	Plans	and	the	Meath	                 impacts;	
      Landscape	Character	Assessment;	and
                                                                 •	 Description	of	landscape	impacts	on	Landmarks	
   •	 Potential	visual	effects	during	the	construction	and	         and	High	Landscape	Areas;
      decommissioning	stage.
                                                                 •	 Description	of	cumulative	impacts	on	landscape	
For	the	purposes	of	this	assessment,	landscape	and	visual	          character;
effects	resulting	from	the	introduction	of	an	overhead	
transmission	line	will	normally	be	considered	to	be	of	an	       •	 Description	of	visual	impacts	on	tourist	routes	
adverse	nature,	the	magnitude	of	these	effects	will	be	             and	places,	way	marked	paths	and	cycle	routes,	
assessed	in	this	chapter.                                           settlements,	public	sites,	key	viewpoints	and	
                                                                    scenic	viewpoints,	high	landscape	areas;
Potential	mitigation	measures	will	be	proposed	that	
would	help	reduce	landscape	and	visual	impacts	                  •	 Description	of	potential	landscape	effects	during	
identified.                                                         construction;

The	assessment	has	been	undertaken	as	a	combination	             •	 Description	of	mitigation	measures;	and
of	desk	top	studies	and	site	visits	generally	within	5km	
either	side	of	the	alignment	(extending	to	10km	where	           •	 A	summary	including	overall	conclusions.
sensitive	and	elevated	sites	are	located).	See	section	
12.1.3	for	a	description	of	the	study	area.                   For	the	purposes	of	this	assessment,	the	alignment	has	
                                                              been	divided	into	nine	sections	(indicated	on	Figure	12.1.1)	
Included	in	this	chapter	are:                                 which	correspond	to	the	Landscape	Character	Areas	
                                                              (LCA)	as	described	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	
   •	 The	detailed	methodology	used	in	undertaking	the	       Assessment	(referred	to	as	the	MLCA).	
      assessment	including	definition	of	terms	used;
                                                              The	text	in	this	chapter	references	Figures,	Photosheets	
   •	 A	summary	of	the	findings	of	the	2007	and	2008	         and	Photomontages,	which	are	presented	in	Volume	3	
      Constraints	studies	–	i.e.	how	the	proposed	line	       Part	A.
      route	emerged;

   •	 A	description	of	how	the	study	area	was	
      determined;

   •	 Information	on	existing	statutory	and	non-statutory	
      landscape	designations	and	other	areas	of	interest	
      that	are	applicable	to	the	study	area;




                                                                                                                              183
      12 Landscape


         Section               Landscape	Character	Area	                  Figure            Photosheet         Photomontage

                                      Tara	Skyrne
             A                                                            12.2.1               12.3.1               1,	4,	7
                                   (Tower	1	to	7	incl.)

                                   Central	Lowlands
             B                                                            12.2.2           12.3.1-12.3.2           7,	8,	11
                                 (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)

                                     Boyne	Valley
             C                                                            12.2.3           12.3.3-	12.3.4        10,11,	15,	16
                                 (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)

                                  West	Navan	Lowland
             D                                                       12.2.3		-	12.2.4     12.3.4	-	12.3.8           22,	24
                                 (Towers	50	to	87	incl.)

                                                                                                               32,	33,	34,	35,	
                                   Blackwater	Valley
             E                                                            12.2.5          12.3.8	-	12.3.13     36,	37,	38,	39,	
                                 (Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
                                                                                                                   40,	41

                                 North	Navan	Lowland                                         12.3.12	-	
             F                                                        12.2.5	-	12.2.6                             50,	64,	67
                                (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)                                      12.3.17

                                 North	Meath	Lakeland                                        12.3.17	-	
             G                                                       12.2.6	–	12.2.7                              72,	79,	85
                             (Towers	128	to	160	incl.	&	166)                                  12.3.19

                                  Teervurcher	Uplands                                        12.3.20	-	
             H                                                            12.2.7                                      85
                                      (Tower	167)                                             12.3.21

                                     County	Cavan                                            12.3.19	-	
             I                                                            12.2.7                                      85
                                  (Towers	161	to	165)                                         12.3.21

      Table 12.1: Relationship between Text, Figures, Photosheets and Photomontages


      12.1.1.2	                                                       •	 “Advice	Notes	on	Current	Practice	in	the	
                                                                         preparation	of	EIS”	2003,	Environmental	Protection	
      Guidelines                                                         Agency,	Republic	of	Ireland;

      The	following	guidelines	and	documents	have	determined	         •	 “Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment”	(2007),	
      the	methodology,	terminology	and	assessment	approach	              Meath	County	Council;
      used	within	this	chapter.
                                                                      •	 Meath	County	Development	Plan,	2007-2013;	and
         •	 “Landscape	Character	Assessment	Guidance”	
            (2002),	Countryside	Agency	in	conjunction	with	           •	 Cavan	County	Development	Plan,	2008-2014.
            Scottish	Natural	Heritage;

         •	 “Guidelines	for	Landscape	and	Visual	Assessment”,	     12.1.1.3	
            Second	Edition	(2002),	edited	by	The	Landscape	        Definitions	of	terms	used	
            Institute	and	Institute	of	Environmental	
            Management	and	Assessment;                             in	this	Chapter
         •	 “Landscape	and	Landscape	Assessment;	                  Table	12.2	details	the	criteria	for	the	assessment	of	
            Consultation	Draft	of	Guidelines	for	Planning	         significance/value	of	a	landscape.
            Authorities”,	(2000),	DoEHLG;




184
  Category         Criteria                                                           Typical	example

                   Strong	landscape	structure,	characteristics,	patterns,	balanced	   Parts	of	the	LCA	rated	as	hav-
                   combination	of	landform	and	land	cover;                            ing	Exceptional	Value	in	the	
  High	-	
                   Appropriate	management	for	land	use	and	land	cover;                MLCA
  Excep-
                   Distinct	features	worthy	of	conservation;                          Internationally	or	nationally	
  tional
                   Sense	of	place;	and                                                recognised	e.g.	World	Heritage	
                   No	detracting	features.                                            Site,	National	Park

                   Strong	landscape	structure,	characteristic	patterns	and	bal-
                                                                                      Parts	of	the	LCA	rated	as	
                   anced	combination	of	landform	and	land	cover;
                                                                                      having	Very	High	Value	in	the	
                   Appropriate	management	for	landuse	and	land	cover	but	poten-
                                                                                      MLCA
  High             tially	scope	to	improve;
                                                                                      Nationally	or	regionally	recog-
                   Distinct	features	worthy	of	conservation;
                                                                                      nised	e.g.	Landscape	Conser-
                   Sense	of	place;	and
                                                                                      vation	Area
                   Occasional	detracting	features.

                   Recognisable	landscape	structure,	characteristic	patterns	and	
                   combinations	of	landform	and	land	cover	are	still	evident;
                                                                                      Parts	of	the	LCA	rated	as	hav-
                   Scope	to	improve	management	for	landuse	and	land	cover,
  Good                                                                                ing	High	Value	in	the	MLCA.
                   Some	features	worthy	of	conservation;
                                                                                      Of	regional	importance
                   Sense	of	place;	and
                   Some	detracting	features.

                   Distinguishable	landscape	structure,	characteristic	patterns	of	
                   landform	and	land	cover	often	masked	by	landuse;
                                                                                      Within	a	LCA	rated	as	having	
  Ordinary         Scope	to	improve	management	of	vegetation;
                                                                                      Moderate	Value	in	the	MLCA
                   Some	features	worthy	of	conservation;	and
                   Some	detracting	features.

                   Weak	landscape	structure,	characteristic	patterns	of	landform	
                   and	land	cover	are	often	masked	by	landuse;
                   Mixed	landuse	evident;                                             Within	a	LCA	rated	as	having	
  Poor
                   Lack	of	management	and	intervention	has	resulted	in	degrada-       Low	Value	in	the	MLCA
                   tion;	and
                   Frequent	detracting	features.

                   Degraded	landscape	structure,	characteristic	patterns	and	com-
                   binations	of	landform	and	land	cover	are	masked	by	landuse;
                   Mixed	landuse	dominates;                                           Within	a	LCA	rated	as	having	
  Very	poor
                   Lack	of	management/intervention	has	resulted	in	degradation;	      Very	Low	Value	in	the	MLCA
                   and
                   Extensive	detracting	features.

                   Damaged	landscape	structure;
  Damaged	         Single	landuse	dominates;                                          Within	a	LCA	rated	as	having	
  landscape        Disturbed	or	derelict	land	requires	treatment;	and                 Very	Low	Value	in	the	MLCA
                   Detracting	features	dominate.

Table 12.2: Criteria for the Assessment of Significance/Value of a Landscape




                                                                                                                        185
      12 Landscape


        Sensitivity      Typical	criteria                                Typical	scale    Typical	examples

                                                                                          Parts	of	an	LCA	of	High	Sensitivity	
                         Landscapes	that	are:
                                                                                          in	the	MLCA
                         Highly	valued                                   International
        High                                                                              World	Heritage	Sites
                         Particularly	rare	or	distinctive                  National
                                                                                          Areas	considered	to	be	of	national	
                         Susceptible	to	small	changes
                                                                                          importance	in	landscape	terms

                                                                                          Parts	of	an	LCA	of	Medium	Sensitiv-
                                                                                          ity	in	the	MLCA
                         Landscapes	that	are:
                                                                              Regional    Undesignated	landscape	but	value	
        Moderate         Valued	more	locally
                                                                               Local      expressed	in	(for	instance)	demon-
                         Tolerant	of	moderate	levels	of	change
                                                                                          strable	use	or	tourist	marketing	
                                                                                          material

                         Landscapes	that	are:
                         More	commonplace
                                                                                          Parts	of	an	LCA	of	Low	Sensitivity	in	
                         Potentially	tolerant	of	noticeable	change
        Low                                                                    Local      the	MLCA
                         Undergoing	substantial	development,	
                                                                                          Undesignated	landscapes
                         such	that	their	character	is	one	of	
                         change


      Table 12.3: Criteria for the Assessment of Landscape Sensitivity




        Definition	of	Landscape	Capacity        Typical	Criteria

                                                The	landscape	has	high	sensitivity	to	the	type	of	development	proposed	
        Low	Potential	Capacity
                                                which	could	have	a	detrimental	effect	on	landscape	character	or	value

                                                The	landscape	has	medium	sensitivity	to	the	type	of	development	proposed.	
                                                Any	change	caused	by	the	proposed	development	would	be	unlikely	to	have	
        Medium	Potential	Capacity
                                                a	significant	adverse	effect	on	landscape	character	or	value	that	could	not	be	
                                                mitigated	against.	

                                                The	landscape	will	have	low	sensitivity	to	this	type	of	development	and	
                                                few	constraints	imposed	by	landscape	elements.	Development	of	the	type	
        High	Potential	Capacity
                                                proposed	is	very	unlikely	to	have	an	adverse	effect	on	landscape	character	or	
                                                value.	

      Table 12.4: Definition of Landscape Capacity (as defined in the MLCA)




186
  Level	           Typical	criteria

  Negligible       Very	minor	loss	or	alteration	to	one	or	more	key	developments	/	features	/	characteristics	of	the	
                   baseline	i.e.	pre-development	landscape	or	view,	and	/	or	introduction	of	elements	that	are	not	
                   uncharacteristic	with	the	surrounding	landscape	–	approximating	the	“no	change”	situation.

  Low              Minor	loss	of	/	or	alteration	to	one	or	more	key	elements	/	features	/	characteristics	of	the	base-
                   line	i.e.	pre-development	landscape	or	view,	and	/	or	introduction	of	elements	that	may	not	be	
                   uncharacteristic	when	set	within	the	attributes	of	the	receiving	landscape.

  Medium           Partial	loss	of	/or	alteration	to	one	or	more	key	elements	/	features	/	characteristics	of	the	base-
                   line	i.e.	pre-development	landscape	or	view,	and	/	or	introduction	of	elements	that	may	be	promi-
                   nent	but	may	not	necessarily	be	considered	to	be	substantially	uncharacteristic	when	set	within	
                   the	attributes	of	the	receiving	landscape.

  High             Total	loss	of,	or	major	alteration	to	key	elements	/	features	/	characteristics	of	the	baseline	i.e.	
                   pre-development	landscape	or	view,	and	/	or	introduction	of	elements	considered	as	being	totally	
                   uncharacteristic	when	set	within	the	attributes	of	the	receiving	environment.

Table 12.5: Criteria for the Assessment of Magnitude of Effects on Landscape Character




  Definition	of	magnitude/
                                 Typical	criteria
  degrees	of	visual	effects

  None                           No	part	of	the	development,	or	work	or	activity	associated	with	it,	is	discernible

                                 Only	a	small	part	of	the	proposals	is	discernible	and	/	or	they	are	at	such	a	distance	
  Negligible                     that	they	are	scarcely	appreciated.		Consequently	they	have	very	little	effect	on	the	
                                 scene.

                                 The	proposals	constitute	only	a	minor	component	of	the	wider	view,	which	might	be	
  Slight                         missed	by	the	casual	observer	or	receptor.		Awareness	of	the	proposals	would	not	
                                 have	a	marked	effect	on	the	overall	quality	of	the	scene.

                                 The	proposals	may	form	a	visible	and	recognisable	new	element	within	the	overall	
  Moderate
                                 scene	and	may	be	readily	noticed	by	the	observer	or	receptor.

                                 The	proposals	form	a	significant	and	immediately	apparent	part	of	the	scene	that	
  Substantial
                                 affects	and	changes	its	overall	character.

                                 The	proposals	become	the	dominant	feature	of	the	scene	to	which	other	elements	
  Severe
                                 become	subordinate	and	they	significantly	affect	and	change	its	character.

Table 12.6: Definition of Magnitude/Degrees of Visual Effects Resulting from the Proposal




                                                                                                                           187
      12 Landscape


      12.1.2	                                                         options	which	would	result	in	less	impacts	located	further	
                                                                      east	of	the	identified	line	routes.	The	“Response	to	An	
      Constraints	Reports	Summary                                     Bord	Pleanála”	Report	December	2008,	was	a	desktop	
      	                                                               study	and	extended	the	study	area	eastwards	towards	
                                                                      the	Irish	Sea.	The	report	referenced	the	Meath	County	
      12.1.2.1	                                                       Development	Plan	2007-2013	and	the	Cavan	County	
      Constraints	Report,	July	2007                                   Development	Plan	2003-2009.		This	report	assessed	four	
      	                                                               additional	route	corridor	options	–	A,	B1,	B2	and	C.
      This	initial	“Constraints Report”(as	detailed	in	Volume	1	
      Chapter	5)	dated	July	2007,	consisted	of	a	desktop	study.	      The	conclusion	of	this	study	was	that	the	four	additional	
      The	report	referenced	the	Meath	County	Development	             route	options	would	pass	in	close	proximity	to	Brú	na	
      Plan	2007-2013	and	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	           Bóinne	or	the	Hill	of	Slane,	both	significant	heritage	sites.	
      2003-2009.	                                                     Brú	na	Bóinne	is	a	World	Heritage	site.	It	was	therefore	
      	                                                               concluded	that	the	eastern	options;	A,	B1,	B2	and	C,	
      Designations	relating	to	landscape	and	visual	constraints	      would	have	higher	landscape	and	visual	impacts	than	the	
      and	policies	relating	to	visual	character	were	identified.	     original	route	options	of	1,	2,	3A	and	3B.
      These	were	plotted	onto	the	OSI	1:50,000	Discovery	
      Data	maps	and	resulting	constraints	were	determined	in	
      relation	to	the	1km	line	route	corridor	options.	This	report	
                                                                      12.1.3	
      assessed	four	1km	route	corridor	options	–	1,	2,	3A	and	        Assessment	Corridor	for	the	EIS
      3B.	
                                                                      In	the	absence	of	specific	guidelines	with	regard	to	
                                                                      the	assessment	of	corridors	for	transmission	line	
      12.1.2.2	                                                       proposals,	the	width	of	the	assessment	corridor	is	based	
      Response	to	Fáilte	Ireland	Report,	                             on	recommendations	for	similar	linear	developments	
                                                                      as	described	in	documents	by	the	Highways	Agency,	
      November	2008	                                                  UK,	conclusions	from	the	Constraints	Studies	and	a	
                                                                      professional	judgment	on	the	nature	of	views	over	long	
      Fáilte	Ireland	requested	a	general	review	of	constraints	       distances	in	the	types	of	landscapes	contained	within	the	
      within	an	extended	area	to	the	west	of	the	original	            general	study	area.	The	approach	to	the	study	area	width	
      (north-east	study	area)	study	area	and	in	relation	to	the	      is	as	follows:
      Loughcrew	Hills	area	in	particular.	This	report	referenced	
      the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	2007-2013,	                      •	 5km	either	side	of	alignment	for	general	
      Westmeath	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	and	                      assessment,	views	from	roads	and	in	relation	to	
      the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2003-2009.	This	                    the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	and	Meath	
      Response	to	Fáilte	Ireland	Report	was	predominantly	a	                Landscape	Character	Assessment	which	identifies	
      desktop	study	but	also	included	a	site	visit	to	Loughcrew.            Landscape	Character	Areas,	settlements,	tourist	
                                                                            attractions,	driving	routes,	landmarks,	key	and	
      The	conclusion	of	the	Response	to	Fáilte	Ireland	Report	              scenic	viewpoints;
      was	that	the	four	identified	route	corridors	(1,	2,	3A	and	
      3B)	did	not	impact	on	the	receptors	identified	within	             •	 1km	either	side	for	currently	used	public	sites;	and
      the	extended	study	area.	It	also	concluded	that	views	
      towards	the	identified	route	corridors	would	be	screened	          •	 Extension	to	10km	either	side	of	the	alignment	for	
      by	existing	topography	and	vegetation	and	none	of	the	                Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	and	Meath	
      route	corridor	options	would	block	views	from	the	wider	              County	Development	Plan	identified	Landmarks,	
      landscape	towards	the	Loughcrew	Hills.	                               Scenic	Viewpoints	and	Key	Viewpoints	that	are	at	a	
                                                                            higher	elevation	than	the	alignment	(100m+).
      12.1.2.3	
      Response	to	An	Bord	Pleanála;	Route	
      Comparison	Report,	December	2008
      Following	presentation	of	the	results	of	the	Constraints	
      Report,	July	2007,	An	Bord	Pleanála	advised	that	a	study	
      to	be	carried	out	in	the	eastern	part	of	County	Meath	
      to	determine	if	there	were	any	possible	route	corridor	




188
12.2	                                                       Landscape	Character	Areas	and	Types	as	defined	in	the	
                                                            Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	
EXISTING	ENVIRONMENT
                                                            Landscape Character Types
12.2.1	                                                     Landscape	Character	Types	(LCTs)	are	generic	areas	of	
Policies	and	Designations	within	                           distinctive	character,	which	may	occur	in	several	places	
                                                            across	the	County.	They	will	be	similar	in	terms	of	overall	
the	relevant	County	Development	                            characteristics	although	the	condition	and	quality	of	
Plans	and	Meath	Landscape	                                  their	individual	components	may	vary.	LCTs	are	used	to	
                                                            categorise	the	more	geographically	specific	Landscape	
Character	Assessment                                        Character	Areas	which	are	described	separately	below.	

Meath	County	Development	Plan	and	Meath	Landscape	          County	Meath	has	been	divided	into	four	Landscape	
Character	Assessment                                        Character	Types:

The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	was	adopted	in	              1.	   Hills	and	Upland;
March	2007.	Its	life	span	runs	from	2007-2013.	The	            2.	   Lowland;
MLCA	provides	supplementary	guidance	and	a	detailed	           3.	   River	Corridors	and	Estuaries;	and
understanding	of	the	landscapes	in	County	Meath.	              4.	   Coastal.
The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	states:	“The
LCA provides a planning tool to assist the Council in       The	alignment	passes	through	three	of	these	Landscape	
formulating their policies and objectives as they relate    Character	Types	as	seen	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	
to the preservation of the landscape.”	In	addition,	the	    12.1.2.	In	the	most	southerly	section,	the	alignment	
Development	Plan	contains	the	following	policies:           passes	through	Hills and Upland it	then	passes	through	
                                                            Lowland,	through	River Corridor and Estuaries (River
HER	POL	84	‘To	ensure	that	development,	particularly	       Boyne)	then	through	Lowland	again,	crossing	River
in	sensitive	landscapes,	adheres	to	tailored	design	        Corridor and Estuaries (River Blackwater).	The	alignment	
guidelines.	Sensitive	landscapes	include	demense	           then	continues	through	Lowland	and	finally	through	
villages	and	LCAs	identified	as	being	sensitive’.           Hills and Upland in	the	most	northerly	section.	In	total,	
                                                            the	alignment	passes	through	three	different	landscape	
HER	POL	85	‘To	provide	adequate	protection	of	views	and	    character	types	for	the	following	lengths:
vistas	that	contribute	to	the	appreciation	of	landscape	
character’.                                                    •	 Hills	and	Upland	–	approximately	15.2km

HER	POL	86	‘To	maintain	scenic	vistas	and	panoramic	           •	 Lowland	–	approximately	34.0km
views	from	key	vantage	points	and	towards	key	landmarks	
and	features	within	the	landscape’.                            •	 River	Corridors	and	Estuaries	–	approximately	
                                                                  6.5km
HER	POL	88	‘To	encourage	the	continued	sustainable	
development	of	rural	communities	without	compromising	         •	 Approximately	1.3km	of	this	section	of	the	
the	physical,	environmental,	natural	and	heritage	                alignment	will	run	through	County	Cavan.	No	
resources	of	the	county’.                                         County	Landscape	Character	Type	analysis	
                                                                  has	been	carried	out	for	County	Cavan	but	the	
HER	POL	89	‘To	protect	and	enhance	the	visual	qualities	          Landscape	Character	Type	for	this	part	of	Cavan	
of	rural	areas	through	the	sensitive	design	of	necessary	         has	been	assessed	to	be	equivalent	to	the	Hills	and	
development’.                                                     Upland	categorisation	in	the	MLCA.

HER	POL	103	‘To	protect	areas	of	recognised	landscape	      While	there	are	no	direct	references	made	to	a	
importance	and	significant	views	from	construction	of	      transmission	line	in	the	recommendations	for	each	
such	large	scale	visually	intrusive	energy	transmission	    of	these	Landscape	Character	Types	in	the	MLCA,	the	
infrastructure’.                                            following	recommendations	from	the	MLCA	are	considered	
                                                            relevant	in	the	assessment	of	landscape	and	visual	
HER	POL	113	‘To	protect	from	inappropriate	development	     effects.
the	views	identified	on	the	Landscape	Character	Map	05:	
Visual	Amenity,	and	the	views	and	prospects	as	indicated	
on	Map	8.6’.




                                                                                                                           189
      12 Landscape


      Hills	and	Upland	                                                                           7.		 Coastal	Plain	
                                                                                                  8.		 Nanny	Valley	
          •	 To	have	due	regard	to	the	positive	contribution	                                     9.		 Bellewstown	Hills	(East	Meath	Farmland)
             that	views	across	adjacent	lowland	areas	and	                                        10.		 The	Ward	Lowlands	(Ashbourne-Dunboyne		
             landmarks	within	the	landscape	make	to	the	overall	                                  	     Farmland)
             landscape	character;                                                                 11.		 South	East	Lowlands	(Dunboyne	Farmland)
                                                                                                  12.		 Tara	Skryne	Hills	(Tara-Skreen	Area)	Towers	1-7
          •	 To	respect	the	remote	character	and	existing	low-                                    13.		 Rathmoylan	Lowlands	(Rathmoylan	Farmland)
             density	development	in	these	LCTs;	and                                               14.		 Royal	Canal	
                                                                                                  15.		 South	West	Lowlands	(Hill	of	Down)	
          •	 To	maximise	the	potential	amenity	value	of	water	                                    16.		 West	Navan	Lowlands	(Athboy	Farmland)		
             bodies	within	this	LCT.                                                              	     Towers	50-87	
                                                                                                  17.		 South	West	Kells	Lowlands	(West	Kells	Farmland)
      Lowland	                                                                                    18.		 Lough	Sheelin	Uplands	(Westmeath	Borders)
                                                                                                  19.		 Loughcrew	and	Slieve	na	Calliagh	Hills		
          •	 Maintain	and	enhance	the	18th	century	estate	                                        	     (Loughcrew	Hills)	
             landscapes	and	associated	parkland	and	woodland	                                     20.		Blackwater	Valley	(River	Blackwater)	Towers	88-97
             to	develop	them	as	a	tourism	resource;	and
                                                                                                  The	Landscape	Character	Areas	are	categorised	under	the	
          •	 Preserve	views	of	upland	areas	that	contain	the	                                     following	headings
             lowlands	e.g.	Loughcrew,	Tara,	Skyrne.
                                                                                                       •	 Landscape	Value;
      River	Corridors	and	Estuaries	
                                                                                                       •	 Landscape	Sensitivity;	and
          •	 To	recognise	the	importance	of	river	corridors	
             for	scenic	value,	recreation,	ecology,	history	and	                                       •	 Landscape	Importance.
             culture;
                                                                                                  Each	Landscape	Character	Area	is	then	discussed	in	terms	
          •	 To	preserve	historic	features	and	their	landscape	                                   of	Forces	for	Change	and	Capacity.	Recommendations	
             settings;	and                                                                        are	also	made	for	each	Landscape	Character	Area	in	the	
                                                                                                  MLCA.	
          •	 To	maintain	attractive	and	unspoilt	open	views.
                                                                                                  It	is	stated	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	
                                                                                                  (section	8.4.3),	that	it	is	only	possible	to	define	actual	
      12.2.2	                                                                                     Capacity	on	a	case	by	case	basis	because	it	will	vary	
      Landscape	Character	Areas                                                                   according	to	the	type	and	form	of	development,	its	
                                                                                                  location	in	relation	to	the	Landscape	Character	Area	
      There	are	20	Landscape	Character	Areas	defined	in	the	                                      and	its	visibility	from	it.	Landscape	Value,	Sensitivity,	
      Meath	County	Landscape	Character	Assessment	(MLCA).	                                        Importance	and	Capacity	for	transmission	line	
      Some	of	the	titles	have	been	amended	in	the	Meath	                                          development	(overhead	cables25)	in	each	area	as	broadly	
      County	Development	Plan,	these	secondary	titles	are	in	                                     described	in	the	MLCA	is	summarised	in	detail	herein.	The	
      brackets.	Areas	through	which	the	proposed	development	                                     more	detailed	assessment	of	these	factors	in	relation	to	
      travels	are	highlighted	in	bold,	along	with	the	relevant	                                   the	proposed	development	is	described	in	section	12.2.6	
      tower	numbers	and	are	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	                                        of	this	chapter.
      Figure	12.1.1.	Refer	to	Table	12.7,	which	details	the	MCLA	
      areas	and	recommendations.

      1.		   Teervurcher	Uplands	(North	West	Uplands)		
      	      Tower	167
      2.		   North	Meath	Lakelands	(Cavan-Louth	Border)	Towers		
      	      128-160,	Tower	166
      3.		   North	Navan	Lowlands	(North	Navan	Farmland)		
      	      Towers	98-127
      4.		   Rathkenny	Hills	(North	Slane	Hills)
      5.		   Boyne	Valley	Towers	40-49
      6.		   Central	Lowlands	Towers	8-39




      25	 In	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	the	term	“overhead	cables”	is	used.	It	is	assumed	that	this	refers	to	the	type	of	development	generally	referred	to	in	this	chapter	
          as	a	“transmission	line.”	
190
            Landscape	
  Sec-                                                                    Potential	Capacity	for	Overhead	cables,	substa-
            Character	        Value        Sensitivity    Importance
  tion                                                                           tions	and	communications	masts
               Area

                                                                           Low	capacity	due	to	their	visual	prominence	and	
                                                            National	
                                                                          the	high	sensitivity	of	this	LCA.	The	Meath	County	
           Tara	Skryne	                                  (described	as	
                                                                            Development	Plan	(pg	350)	states	that	“design	
               Hills                                     International	
    A                       Exceptional       High                         and	siting	will	be	instrumental	in	the	determina-
           (Towers	1	to	                                  in	the	Meath	
                                                                          tion	of	the	nature	and	scale	of	development	which	
              7	incl.)                                   County	Devel-
                                                                           can	be	absorbed	within	this	Landscape	Character	
                                                         opment	Plan)
                                                                                                  Area.”	

              Central	
                                                                          Medium	potential	capacity	due	to	the	complexity	
             Lowlands
    B                          High	        Medium         Regional       of	the	area,	which	has	a	variety	of	landuses	and	a	
           (Towers	8	to	
                                                                                     robust	landscape	structure.
              39	incl,)

           Boyne	Valley	                                                  Low	potential	capacity	due	to	their	visual	promi-
    C       (Towers	40	     Exceptional	      High       International      nence	within	the	valley	and	in	relation	to	the	
            to	49	incl.)                                                            setting	of	the	river	corridor.

                                                                           In	parts	of	this	LCA	that	have	a	strong	landscape	
                                                                             structure,	the	potential	capacity	would	be	me-
           West	Navan	
                                                                          dium	provided	such	development	was	not	located	
            Lowlands
    D                       Moderate        Medium           Local          in	visually	prominent	areas.	Elsewhere,	particu-
           (Towers	50	
                                                                             larly	in	the	degraded	area	around	Navan,	such	
           to	87	incl.)
                                                                          development	would	have	a	detrimental	impact	on	
                                                                              a	landscape	that	is	already	in	poor	condition.	

                                                                            Medium	potential	capacity	provided	that	the	
                                                                          potential	loss	of	boundary	walls	and	planting	and	
                                                                           damage	to	historic	features	and	their	setting	is	
           Blackwater	
                                                                           mitigated	against.	The	Meath	County	Develop-
             Valley
    E                       Very	High         High	        Regional       ment	Plan	(pg	349)	states	that	this	Character	area	
           Towers	(88	
                                                                           “is	capable	of	absorbing	some	development,	in	
           to	97	incl)
                                                                          particular	visitor	facilities,	conversion	of	existing	
                                                                            buildings,	overhead	and	underground	cables,	
                                                                                   windfarms,	roads	and	railways”.

                                                                          High	to	medium	potential	capacity	around	urban	
           North	Navan	
                                                                           fringes	where	built	development	is	more	com-
             Lowlands
    F                       Moderate        Medium         Regional         mon.	Low	potential	capacity	in	rural	area	and	
            (Towers	98	
                                                                            around	smaller	settlement,	where	landscape	
           to	127	incl.)
                                                                                    character	is	of	higher	value.

                                                                          Low	potential	capacity	to	accommodate	overhead	
                                                                           cables	or	masts	because	drumlin	tops	are	highly	
           North	Meath	
                                                                           visible	and	panoramic	views	to	wider	landscape	
            Lakelands
                                                                            are	an	important	characteristic	that	would	be	
    G      (Towers	128	     Moderate          Low	         Regional
                                                                          adversely	affected	by	such	development.	Medium	
            to	160	incl.	
                                                                          potential	capacity	to	accommodate	small	substa-
           &	Tower	166)
                                                                            tions	at	the	base	of	drumlins	provide	they	are	
                                                                                          visually	concealed.	

                                                                          Medium	Capacity	to	accommodate	development	
           Teervurcher	
                                                                           due	to	the	wooded	nature	of	the	area,	provided	
    H        Uplands	          High         Medium           Local
                                                                          the	positioning	is	sensitive	to	existing	views	and	
           (Tower	167)
                                                                                       landscape	constraints

Table 12.7: MLCA Landscape Character Areas and Recommendations




                                                                                                                                   191
      12 Landscape


      As	no	Landscape	Character	Assessment	has	yet	been	
      carried	out	for	County	Cavan,	the	value,	sensitivity	and	
                                                                   12.2.3.1	
      capacity	for	the	part	of	Cavan	through	which	the	proposed	   Candidate	Special	Areas	
      development	would	pass	has	been	assessed	by	field	
      survey	and	is	described	in	section	12.2.6.
                                                                   of	Conservation	and	Natural	
                                                                   Heritage	Areas	
      12.2.3	                                                      While	candidate	Special	Area	of	Conservation	(cSAC)	
      Designations	from	Meath	County	                              and	Natural	Heritage	Area	(NHA)	designations	relate	to	
                                                                   ecological	importance,	their	amenity	potential	is	a	factor	
      Development	Plan	and	Meath	                                  in	warranting	assessment	in	terms	of	visual	and	landscape	
      Landscape	Character	Assessment                               effects.

      The	following	Meath	County	Development	Plan	and	Meath	
      Landscape	Character	Assessment	designated	landscapes,	
      routes	and	viewpoints	lie	within	5km	either	side	of	the	
      alignment.	The	locations	are	illustrated	in	Volume	3	Part	
      A,	Figures	12.2.1	-12.2.7.



        SITECODE         DESIGNATION         COUNTY                                  SITE	NAME

          000006             cSAC             Meath                          Killyconny	Bog	(Cloghbally)

          002299             cSAC             Meath                       River	Boyne	And	River	Blackwater

          001398             cSAC             Meath                           Rye	Water	Valley/Carton

          001594             pNHA             Meath                                Ballyhoe	Lough

          000552             pNHA             Meath                               Corstown	Loughs

          001558             pNHA             Meath                               Breakey	Loughs

          000006             pNHA             Meath                          Killyconny	Bog	(Cloghbally)

          001862             pNHA             Meath                              Boyne	River	Islands

          001861             pNHA             Meath                                Dowth	Wetland

          001592             pNHA             Meath                                 Boyne	Woods

          001592             pNHA             Meath                                 Boyne	Woods

          001591             pNHA             Meath                               Slane	Riverbank

          000553             pNHA             Meath                               Crewbane	Marsh

          001589             pNHA             Meath                             Rossnaree	Riverbank

          001357             pNHA             Meath                                     Trim

      Table 12.8: Ecological Designations County Meath




192
    000557              pNHA             Meath                            Rathmoylan	Esker

    000557              pNHA             Meath                            Rathmoylan	Esker

    000557              pNHA             Meath                            Rathmoylan	Esker

    002103              pNHA             Meath                               Royal	Canal

    002103              pNHA             Meath                               Royal	Canal

    001398              pNHA             Meath                         Rye	Water	Valley/Carton

    001580              NHA              Meath                             Girley	Bog	NHA

    001324              NHA              Meath                           Jamestown	Bog	NHA

Table 12.8: Ecological Designations County Meath


12.2.3.2	                                                   12.2.3.3	
Tourist	Driving	Routes                                      Existing	and	Proposed	Way	
The	following	driving	routes	are	designated	as	scenic	in	
                                                            Marked	Paths	and	Cycle	Routes	
the	MLCA:
                                                            The	following	are	Existing	and	Proposed	Way	Marked	
                                                            Paths	and	Cycle	Routes	in	the	MLCA:
   •	 Section	of	N3	from	Dunshaughlin	to	Jordanstown;
                                                              •	 Route	from	N3	at	Jordanstown	via	Tara,	Kilmessan,	
   •	 County	roads	between	Jordanstown,	Tara,	Bective	
                                                                 R154	at	Pike	Corner,	Trim,	Athboy,	and		Kells;	
      and	Trim;
                                                              •	 Along	the	river	Blackwater	from	Navan	to	Kells;
   •	 The	R154	between	Trim	and	Athboy;
                                                              •	 A	stretch	of	the	R163	from	Kells	to	Horan’s	Cross	
   •	 The	R161	from	Trim	to	the	Hill	of	Tara,
                                                                 Roads	and	along	the	county	road	to	the	R162	at	
                                                                 Wilkinstown;
   •	 The	N51	and	R164	between	Athboy	and	Kells;	and
                                                              •	 A	stretch	of	the	N3	in	the	direction	of	Kells	from	
   •	 The	N3	between	Kells	and	Navan.
                                                                 Navan;	and	

                                                              •	 The	stretch	of	the	N3	between	Navan	and	
                                                                 Jordanstown	at	the	junction	to	Tara.




                                                                                                                       193
      12 Landscape


      12.2.3.4	
      Scenic	Viewpoints	
      The	following	are	designated	as	scenic	viewpoints	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan:

       Viewpoint     Description

       VP1           Hill	of	Tara	Jordanstown,	Castletown	Tara,	Castleboy,	Belpere,	Cabragh

       VP12          Dunmoe

       VP19          Heronstown,	Rathkenny,	Horistown,	Tankardstown	&	Creewood

       VP20          Lobinstown

       VP21          Mullaghmore,	Meath	Hill	&	Ballyhoe

       VP22          Ardagh	&	Barleyhill

       VP24a         Kilmessan,	Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	Killeen,	Warrenstown,	Clowanstown	&Leshemstown

       VP24b         Kilmessan,	Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	Killeen,	Warrenstown,	Clowanstown	&Leshemstown

       VP25          Dunsany,	Slane	River	&	Swainstown

       VP28a         (a)	Athlumney

       VP28b         (b)	Athlumney,	Kilcarn	&	Balreask	Old

       VP28c         (c)	Ardsallagh,	Ballinter	&	Dowdstown

       VP28d         (d)	Bective

       VP28e         (e)	Commons	&	Saint	Johns

       VP28f         (f	)	Friaryland

       VP2a          Boyne	(a)	Blackcastle	Demesne,	Donaghmore

       VP2b          Boyne	(b)	Donaghmore,	Dunmoe,	Harmonstown,

       VP30          Collegeland,	Arodstown	&	Moynalvy

       VP31          Fordrath,	Wardstown,	Mullaghstones	&	Eighty	Eight	Acres

       VP32a         a)	Tankardstown	&	Donaghpatrick

       VP32b         (b)	Bloomsberry

       VP32c         (c)	Headfort	Demesne	&	Sedanrath

       VP32d         (d)	Moyfin,	Cakestown	Glebe	&	Archdeaconry	Glebe

       VP32e         (e)	White	Commons

       VP39          Ervey

       VP40          Alexander	Reid,	Mooretown	&	Harristown

      Table 12.9: Scenic Viewpoints Within the Study Area

      Key	Viewpoints	as	designated	in	the	MLCA	are	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.1-12.2.7.




194
12.2.3.5	                                                   12.2.3.7	
Major	Tourist	Attractions,	                                 Green	Belt	Policy
Secondary	Tourist	Attractions,	                             The	following	policy	is	contained	within	the	Meath	County	
Areas/Features	with	potential	to	be	                        Development	Plan	in	relation	to	the	Green	Belt	concept.

developed	as	a	Tourist	Attraction                           HER	POL	98	–	‘To	have	regard	to	the	traditional	Green	
                                                            Belt	concept	of	ensuring	residents	of	urban	areas	have	
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	12.2.1-12.2.7	for	locations	of	   adequate	access	to	high	quality	green	open	space	that	
sites	of	Major	Tourist	Attractions,	Secondary	Tourist	      provides	recreational	opportunities,	retains	attractive	
Attractions	and	Areas/Features	with	potential	to	be	        landscapes	near	population	centres,	improves	degraded	
developed	as	a	Tourist	Attraction	as	designated	in	the	     land	and	secures	nature	conservation.’
MLCA.	

                                                            12.2.4	
12.2.3.6	
                                                            Policies	and	Designations	from	Cavan	
Landmarks	
                                                            County	Development	Plan	2008-2014
The	following	are	a	list	of	Landmarks	as	detailed	in	the	
MLCA:                                                       The	following	relevant	policies	are	contained	within	the	
                                                            Cavan	County	Development	Plan:
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.1-12.2.7	for	
locations	of	landmarks:                                        •	 With	regard	to	Scenic	Views	and	Viewing	points,	
                                                                  it	is	the	policy	of	the	Planning	Authority	in	the	
   •	 Dunsany	Castle;                                             current	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	
                                                                  to	restrict	development	that	would	obstruct	views	
   •	 Kilkeen	Castle;                                             and	to	minimise	visual	intrusion	by	only	permitting	
                                                                  compatible	uses.	
   •	 Hill	of	Tara;
                                                               •	 To	ensure	the	location,	design	and	visual	
   •	 Skryne	Church;                                              prominence	of	developments	are	examined,	
                                                                  including	possible	effects	on	views	from	the	public	
   •	 Trim	Castle;                                                realm	towards	sensitive	or	vulnerable	landscape	
                                                                  features	and	areas	using	the	following	criteria:
   •	 Talbot	Castle;
                                                                  •	 Important	value	of	the	view	in	question;
   •	 Yellowsteeple;
                                                                  •	 Whether	the	integrity	of	the	view	has	been	
   •	 People’s	Park	Lighthouse;                                      affected	to	date	by	existing	development;

   •	 Copse;                                                      •	 Whether	the	development	would	intrude	
                                                                     significantly	on	the	view;	and
   •	 Stone	bridge	over	river;
                                                                  •	 Whether	the	development	would	materially	alter	
   •	 Estate	House;                                                  the	view.

   •	 Beech	Copse;	and                                         •	 With	regard	to	Scenic	Routes	it	is	the	policy	of	the	
                                                                  Planning	Authority	to	regulate	development	that	
   •	 Tower.                                                      would	seriously	obstruct	and	detract	from	views	of	
                                                                  high	scenic	value	from	designated	scenic	routes.	
                                                                  Development	will	be	restricted	where	it	is	likely	
                                                                  to	cause	irreconcilable	damage	to	the	exceptional	
                                                                  scenic	value.




                                                                                                                          195
      12 Landscape


          •	 To	maintain	and	protect	the	natural	landscapes	
             visual	character	which	is	recognised	to	be	of	an	
                                                                                    12.2.4.2	
             exceptional	high	amenity	value.	These	upland	                          Walking	Routes
             landscapes	of	west	Cavan	are	open	and	exposed,	
             unenclosed	and	vulnerable	to	insensitive	                              The	following	is	a	list	of	walking	routes	as	detailed	in	the	
             development.	These	scenic	routes	are	considered	                       Cavan	County	Development	Plan	and	relevant	to	the	study	
             to	be	part	of	the	county’s	amenity	resources.                          area.

          •	 With	regard	to	Riverside	Amenity	Areas,	the	Cavan	                     Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	
             County	Development	Plan	2008-2014	identifies	                          these	walking	routes
             six	Riverside	Amenity	Areas.	“It is the policy of the
             Planning Authority to regulate all development                            •	 Lough	an	Leagh;
             on lands these rivers in order to maintain their
             amenity value”26.                                                         •	 Dun	a	Rí	Forest	Park;	and

          •	 With	regard	to	Forest	Parks	and	other	Parks	                              •	 Castle	Walk,	Bailieboro.
             the	Planning	Authority	policy	is	to	regulate	
             development	within	parks	to	maximise	
             recreational,	amenity	and	community	uses.	
                                                                                    12.2.4.3	
                                                                                    Scenic	viewing	points	
          •	 With	regard	to	Lakeside	Amenity	Areas	the	
             Planning	Authority	policy	is	to	regulate	
                                                                                    and	scenic	routes
             development	of	adjoining	lands	to	ensure	that	
                                                                                    The	following	walking	route	is	detailed	in	the	Cavan	
             public	use	is	not	prejudiced	by	incompatible	use	or	
                                                                                    County	Development	Plan	and	relevant	to	the	study	area.
             adverse	visual	impacts.
                                                                                    Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	this	
                                                                                    scenic	route.
          •	 With	regard	to	Major	Lakes	and	Lake	Environs	
             the	Planning	Authority	policy	is	to	maintain	their	
                                                                                       •	 Lough	an	Leagh	Gap
             amenity	value	within	a	landscape	recreational	and	
             ecological	context	by	restricting	and	regulating	
             development	that	would	prejudice	public	use	and	                       12.2.4.4	
             enjoyment	of	areas,	or	give	rise	to	adverse	visual	
             impacts	or	threaten	habitats	through	disposal	of	                      River/Lakeside	amenities	and	parks
             effluents.
                                                                                    The	following	is	a	list	of	river/lakeside	amenities	and	
                                                                                    parks	as	detailed	in	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	
      12.2.4.1	                                                                     and	relevant	to	the	study	area.
      Special	Protection	Areas,	Candidate	                                          Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	
      Special	Areas	of	Conservation,	                                               these	river/lakeside	amenities	and	parks:
      Natural	Heritage	Areas	                                                          •	 Dun	a	Ri	Forest	Park,	Kingscourt;	and
      While	these	are	designations	relating	to	ecological	                             •	 Annagh	Lake,	Butlersbridge.
      importance,	their	amenity	potential	is	a	factor	in	
      warranting	assessment	in	terms	of	visual	and	landscape	
      effects.


             SITECODE                   DESIGNATION                       COUNTY                             SITE	NAME

               000006                          cSAC                         Cavan                    Killyconny	bog	(Cloghbally)

               002299                          cSAC                         Cavan                   River	Boyne	and	Blackwater

               000006                          pNHA                         Cavan                    Killyconny	Bog	(Cloghbally)

      Table 12.10: Ecological Designations County Cavan




      26	 Sentence	is	a	direct	quote	from	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	2008-2014
196
12.2.4.5	                                                       12.2.5	
High	Landscape	Areas	                                           General	Description	
and	Major	Lakes                                                 of	the	Nature	of	the	Designations
The	following	high	landscape	area	is	detailed	in	the	Cavan	     In	general	it	will	be	assumed	that	any	designated	
County	Development	Plan	and	relevant	to	the	study	area:         route,	view,	ecological	habitat,	or	amenity	area	will	
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	this	   be	deemed	to	be	of	high	sensitivity	to	a	transmission	
High	Landscape	Area:                                            line	development	and	any	adverse	visual	impacts	will	
                                                                be	deemed	to	be	of	a	substantial	or	severe	nature.	
   •	 Lough	an	Leagh	Mountain                                   Adverse	impacts	on	landscape	character	resulting	from	a	
                                                                transmission	line	running	through	or	close	to	a	designated	
                                                                area	would	be	deemed	high	in	magnitude.	
12.2.4.6	
Areas	of	Special	Landscape	Interest                             12.2.6	
The	following	area	of	special	landscape	interest	is	            Description	of	Baseline	Conditions/
detailed	in	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	and	
relevant	to	the	study	area.
                                                                Receiving	Environment	for	Line	Route
                                                                As	described	herein,	County	Meath	is	divided	up	into	
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	this	
                                                                twenty	Landscape	Character	Areas.	The	alignment	runs	
Area	of	Special	Landscape	Interest:	
                                                                through	eight	of	these	Landscape	Character	Areas,	
                                                                the	line	route	is	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	
   •	 Kingscourt/	Dun	a	Ri
                                                                12.1.1.	The	general	Landscape	Character	of	each	area	is	
                                                                described	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment.	
12.2.4.7	                                                       This	section	will	describe	these	areas	in	more	detail	in	
                                                                relation	to	the	proposed	development.
County	Heritage	Sites
The	following	is	a	list	of	county	heritage	site	as	detailed	
                                                                12.2.6.1	
in	the	Cavan	County	Development	Plan	and	relevant	to	the	       Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	(Tara	
study	area.
                                                                Skreen	Area)	–	(Towers	1	to	7	incl.)
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	for	location	of	
                                                                Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.1	and	Photosheet	
these	County	Heritage	Sites:	
                                                                12.3.1
   •	 Moybologue	Church;	and

   •	 Dun	a	Ri	Forest	Park,	Kingscourt.




  Section	A                           Significance/Value              Sensitivity          Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

  Baseline	assessment                          Good                    Moderate                      Medium


Table 12.11: Section A – Baseline Assessment




                                                                                                                              197
      12 Landscape


      The	proposed	alignment	passes	through	the	Tara	Skryne	            Significance/Value of Area
      Hills	Character	Area	for	approximately	2km	consisting	of	
      7	towers	(1	to	7).	While	falling	within	the	Tara	Skryne	Hills	    The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	Tara	Skryne	Hills	
      Character	area,	the	alignment	does	not	pass	through	a	            is	classified	in	the	MLCA	as	being	of	Exceptional	
      hilly	area.	The	land	is	slightly	elevated	compared	with	the	      value	and	National	importance	and	is	classed	as	
      surrounding	areas,	affording	some	long	distance	views	            having	International	importance	in	the	Meath	County	
      (Plate	4),	but	the	topography	is	not	of	the	sort	that	is	         Development	Plan.	However,	this	part	of	the	Character	
      experienced	as	“hilly”	–	see	Plates	1-4.	The	top	of	the	Hill	     Area,	is	quite	different	in	character	from	the	more	upland	
      of	Tara	is	approximately	12km	from	the	alignment	in	this	         areas	to	the	north	east.	Exceptional	value	is	defined	in	
      location.	A	number	of	rivers	rise	in	this	location,	due	to	its	   the	MLCA	as	applying	to	“areas	which	are	of	outstanding	
      slightly	elevated	nature.	                                        value	by	nature	of	their	dramatic	scenic	quality,	unspoilt	
                                                                        beauty,	and	conservation	interests,	historic	cultural	or	
      The	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	describes	               other	associations	that	influence	landscape	value.”.	While	
      the	lower	lying	parts	of	this	Landscape	Character	Area	as	        this	is	applicable	to	the	areas	closer	to	the	Hill	of	Tara,	it	is	
      being	“enclosed,	particularly	the	rural	road	corridors.”	It	      considered	that	a	significance/value	classification	of	Good	
      also	states	that	this	LCA	is	“well	managed	and	has	high	          as	defined	in	this	report	is	more	applicable	to	this	section	
      scenic	value”,	although	the	hillier	areas	surrounding	the	        of	the	study	area.	This	is	due	to	the	good	hedgerow	
      Tara	Skryne	Valley	are	of	higher	scenic	value	than	the	           pattern	within	the	area,	the	open	views	of	the	landscape	
      more	low-lying	areas	though	which	the	alignment	passes.	          in	some	parts,	resulting	in	the	landscape	presenting	
                                                                        as	an	example	of	a	relatively	common	slightly	elevated	
      The	landscape	in	this	area	is	predominantly	pasture	with	         landscape	in	this	part	of	County	Meath.	The	significance	
      a	small	concentration	of	arable	land.	There	are	some	             of	the	area	is	detracted	from	to	some	degree	by	the	
      small	copses	within	the	area	but	larger	vegetation	in	the	        existence	of	three	electricity	lines	within	a	relatively	small	
      landscape	is	mostly	provided	by	the	strong	network	of	            area.
      predominantly	hawthorn	hedgerows	with	some	mature	
      trees	of	ash	beech	and	oak	(Plate	3).	Where	roadside	             Sensitivity of Area
      hedgerows	are	low	or	where	there	are	breaks	in	the	
      hedgerow,	open	views	across	the	landscape	are	possible	           Although	the	Landscape	Character	Area	of	Tara	Skryne	
      (Plates	1,	4).	                                                   Hills	is	classified	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	
                                                                        Assessment	as	being	of	high	sensitivity,	this	part	of	the	
      The	closest	settlements	to	this	section	of	the	proposed	          Character	Area,	is	quite	different	in	character	from	the	
      development	are	Dunshaughlin,	located	approximately	              more	upland	areas	to	the	north	east.	High	sensitivity	
      5km	to	the	north	east,	and	Summerhill	approximately	              is	defined	in	the	MLCA	as	applying	to	“a vulnerable
      7km	to	the	west.	Scattered	housing	is	evident	along	the	          landscape likely to be fragile and susceptible to change.
      minor	roads	in	the	area	with	clusters	at	Bogganstown,	            Frequency and sensitivity of users is likely to be high.
      Springvalley,	Kilcooly,	Warrenstown	and	between	                  The introduction of change is likely to significantly alter
      Jenkinstown	and	Pagestown.	Summerhill	Demesne	with	               the character to the extent that it would be difficult or
      associated	woodland	is	located	approximately	6km	to	the	          impossible to restore”.	While	this	is	applicable	to	the	
      south	west.	                                                      areas	closer	to	the	Hill	of	Tara,	it	is	considered	that	a	
                                                                        sensitivity	classification	of	moderate	as	defined	in	section	
      The	R156,	R125	and	R154	run	through	the	study	area	in	            12.1.1.3	in	this	chapter	is	more	applicable	to	this	section	of	
      this	location	and	are	linked	by	a	network	of	local	roads.		       the	study	area.	

      There	are	a	number	of	existing	electricity	lines	in	the	area	     Scenic	Viewpoint,	VP30	(Collegeland,	Arodstown	&	
      extending	west	and	east	from	Woodland	Substation,	also	           Moynalvy)	as	described	in	the	Meath	County	Development	
      travelling	in	a	north	south	direction	to	the	west	of	the	         Plan	is	located	in	the	townland	of	Woodstown.	The	current	
      proposed	development	and	travelling	east	west	to	the	             publicly	available	arc	of	view	from	this	viewpoint	is	to	
      south	of	the	alignment.                                           the	south	as	residential	development	and	vegetation	
                                                                        prevents	views	to	the	north	or	east.	VP24b	(Kilmessan,	
      Therefore,	while	falling	within	the	Tara	Skryne	Hills	            Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	Killeen,	Warrenstown,	
      Landscape	Character	Area,	this	part	of	the	study	area	            Clowanstown	&	Leshemstown)	is	located	in	Warrenstown.	
      bears	little	resemblance	to	the	more	highly	valued	areas	         A	number	of	public	sites	are	located	in	Moynalty,	
      around	the	Tara	Skryne	Valley,	as	it	is	gently	undulating	        Warrenstown	and	north	of	Stamulin	Cross	Roads.	
      rather	than	hilly	and	also	as	it	contains	a	relatively	large	
      number	of	transmission	lines.	




198
Landscape	capacity	of	area	for	absorbing	a	transmission	       Kilmessan,	located	approximately	3km	to	the	east	has	
line                                                           experienced	rapid	development	which	has	reduced	the	
                                                               visual	quality	of	the	settlement.	The	village	of	Dunsany	is	
The	MLCA	states	that	the	lowlands	in	this	area	are	visually	   located	approximately	5km	to	the	east	of	the	alignment.	
enclosed,	thus	limiting	open	views	to	where	there	are	         Grange	Research	centre	with	a	variety	of	buildings	is	
breaks	in	or	lowering	of	the	roadside	hedgerow.	Therefore,	    located	approximately	1km	north	of	the	alignment.	
while	the	sensitivity	of	this	Landscape	Character	Area	
to	a	transmission	line	is	considered	low	in	the	MLCA,	it	      The	alignment	would	cross	the	Derrypatrick	and	
is	considered	that	there	is	greater	capacity	to	absorb	        Boycetown	Rivers	and	cross	the	R154	at	Branganstown.
such	proposals	in	the	lower	lying	areas	of	this	LCA.	The	
landscape	capacity	for	this	section	of	the	study	area	         Significance/Value of Area
is	therefore	considered	medium,	as	many	views	of	the	
landscape	would	be	enclosed	by	roadside	hedgerows.	            The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	Central	Lowlands	is	
However,	where	views	are	possible,	these	would	take	           classified	in	the	MLCA	as	being	of	High	Value	and	Regional	
in	wide	panoramas	and	therefore	careful	positioning	of	        Importance.	This	corresponds	with	the	classification	of	
towers	is	critical	to	reduce	landscape	effects.			             Good	in	this	report	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3.	This	
                                                               value	is	determined	by	the	strong	hedgerow	pattern	
                                                               within	the	area,	and	the	quality	of	the	open	views	of	the	
12.2.6.2	                                                      landscape	in	some	areas	(Plates	6,	7	and	8).	The	quality	of	
Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	–	                                the	landscape	diminishes	as	one	approaches	some	of	the	
                                                               more	built	up	areas	within	the	study	area	(Plate	5).	
(Towers	8	to	39	incl.)
                                                               Sensitivity of Area
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2,	Photosheets	12.3.1	
to	12.3.2	                                                     The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	the	Central	Lowlands	is	
                                                               classified	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	
The	alignment	passes	through	the	Central	Lowlands	             as	being	of	moderate	sensitivity.	This	is	considered	
Character	Area	for	approximately	10km	consisting	of	32	        appropriate	for	the	areas	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	
towers	(8	to	39).	This	area	falls	into	an	area	described	      the	line	route.	The	relatively	flat	nature	of	the	landscape	
in	the	MLCA	as	consisting	of	a	“large	lowland	landscape	       results	in	open	visibility	from	many	of	the	minor	roads	
composed	of	rolling	drumlins”.	This	part	of	the	LCA	is	        in	the	area	as	shown	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2,	
quite	flat,	which	results	in	wide	views	of	the	surrounding	    particularly	to	the	west	of	the	line	route.	
landscape	from	any	slightly	elevated	areas	such	as	
that	indicated	in	Plates	6	and	7.	However,	many	of	the	        There	are	some	public	sites	in	the	townland	of	
roads	are	lined	with	hedgerows,	some	trimmed	to	eye	           Ballynamona,	which	will	not	experience	visibility	of	
level.	The	hedges	away	from	the	roads	are	generally	           the	line,	although	approaches	to	these	public	sites	
taller,	containing	more	mature	trees,	which	limits	long	       will	experience	landscape	effects.	Dunsany	church	is	
distance	views	in	most	areas	(see	Photomontages	7	             designated	as	a	landmark	in	the	MLCA	-	no	views	of	the	
and	8).	The	MLCA	recommends	that	the	visual	quality	of	        line	have	been	identified	from	this	area.	
the	landscape	be	maintained	by	avoiding	development	
that	would	adversely	affect	short-range	views	between	         There	are	allotments	at	the	townland	of	Finlaghstown	
drumlins.	Particular	regard	should	be	paid	to	the	retention	   which	would	experience	open	visibility	of	the	transmission	
of	high	quality	landscapes	on	the	tops	of	drumlins	which	      line	as	indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2.
are	intervisible	with	the	Hills	of	Tara	and	Skryne.	
                                                               Further	to	the	northeast,	the	viewshed	from	the	Hill	
Settlement	and	individual	houses	are	quite	scarce	in	          of	Tara	is	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2	
this	area	in	the	vicinity	of	the	alignment.	Trim	is	located	   and	illustrated	in	Photomontage	11.	Viewpoints	VP25	
approximately	4km	to	the	west	of	the	alignment,	and	           (Dunsany,	Slane	River	&	Swainstown),	VP24a	(Kilmessan,	
ribbon	development	housing	and	other	development	              Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	Killeen,	Warrenstown,	
radiates	out	from	the	town	along	the	main	routes.	

  Section	B                            Significance/Value             Sensitivity           Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

  Baseline	assessment                          Good                   Moderate                        Medium


Table 12.12: Section B – Baseline Assessment




                                                                                                                              199
      12 Landscape


      Clowanstown	&	Leshemstown)	and	VP24b	(Kilmessan,	                such	as	from	the	bridge	at	Bective.	The	MLCA	describes	
      Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	Killeen,	Warrenstown,	           Bective	as	“founded	in	1147	and	a	substantial	ruin	in	an	
      Clowanstown	&	Leshemstown)	are	also	listed	in	the	Meath	         attractive	landscape	setting”.	There	are	panoramic	views	
      County	Development	Plan	and	fall	within	the	viewshed	            out	from	Bective	Abbey	across	the	landscape	to	the	south	
      from	the	viewpoint	on	the	Hill	of	Tara.                          and	west	which	include	the	proposed	line	route	(Plate	16).

      The	N3	is	designated	as	a	Driving	route	in	the	MLCA.             Kilmessen	is	located	approximately	3km	to	the	east	of	the	
                                                                       alignment	in	this	location	and	is	described	in	the	MLCA	
      The	MLCA	shows	a	walking	and	cycle	route	travelling	             as	a	large	heritage	village	whose	built	fabric	has	become	
      from	Trim	to	Kilmessan	and	on	to	Tara.	The	line	route	           disjointed	in	both	style	and	scale.		
      would	cross	this	walking/cycling	route	perpendicularly	at	
      Crumpstown.	                                                     The	historic	town	of	Trim	is	located	approximately	4km	
                                                                       west	of	the	alignment	(Plate	9).	This	contains	a	number	of	
      Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission          important	sites	such	as	Trim	Castle	and	the	Yellow	Steeple.	
      line                                                             A	landmark	is	designated	at	Trubley	although	it	is	not	
                                                                       clear	what	exactly	is	demarcated	as	a	number	of	historic	
      The	MLCA	states	that	this	character	area	has	medium	             features	at	the	landmark	site	are	currently	contained	
      capacity	(moderate	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	of	this	       within	a	significant	development	of	modern	agricultural	
      chapter),	to	absorb	the	landscape	and	visual	effects	of	         buildings	on	private	land.	No	visible	landmark	is	apparent	
      a	transmission	line	due	to	the	complexity	of	the	area,	          although	the	entrance	to	the	private	lands	consists	of	an	
      which	has	a	variety	of	landuses	and	a	robust	landscape	          attractive	stone	wall	and	piers.
      structure.	This	is	effective	particularly	where	hedgerows	
      prevent	views	into	the	wider	landscape.	However,	the	            Settlement	and	individual	houses	are	relatively	scarce	in	
      number	of	protected	viewpoints	within	the	area,	the	             the	near	vicinity	of	the	alignment,	but	there	are	clusters	of	
      proximity	to	the	viewshed	of	views	from	the	Hill	of	Tara	        buildings	at	Finlaghtown	Great,	Grange,	Bective	and	along	
      and	the	presence	of	a	number	of	public	sites	require	            the	R161.	Settlement	density	increases	as	one	nears	Trim.	
      careful	siting	of	a	transmission	line	to	avoid	adverse	
      effects.	                                                        The	presence	of	the	busy	R161	and	associated	signage	
                                                                       reduces	the	landscape	quality	in	parts	of	this	area	(Plate	
                                                                       10).	A	large	new	sports	facility	with	standard	and	all	
      12.2.6.3	                                                        weather	pitches	has	been	constructed	along	the	R161	a	
      Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley–	                                       few	100	metres	to	the	west	of	the	line	route.	The	entrance	
                                                                       to	this	facility	is	shown	on	Plate	10.	The	line	route	crosses	
      (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)                                          two	local	roads,	the	R161,	the	river	Boyne	and	one	of	its	
                                                                       minor	tributaries.		
      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3,	Photosheets	12.3.3	
      and	12.3.4	                                                      Significance/Value of Area
      The	alignment	passes	through	the	Boyne	Valley	Character	         This	Landscape	Character	Area	is	classified	in	the	MLCA	as	
      Area	for	approximately	3.5km	consisting	of	10	towers	(40	        being	of	Exceptional	Value	and	International	importance.	
      to	49).	This	area	falls	into	an	area	described	in	the	MLCA	as	   This	classification	is	most	appropriate	for	the	areas	
      consisting	of	rolling	lowland	adjacent	to	the	River	Boyne	       around	the	Bend	of	the	River	Boyne	and	the	Brú	na	Bóinne	
      (Plates	12,	15,	16).	The	landscape	comprises	a	mix	of	large	     complex,	although	the	entire	river	has	strong	cultural	
      pasture/arable	fields	with	a	strong	network	of	hedgerows,	       significance.	The	views	out	from	the	bridge	at	Bective	and	
      and	trees	such	as	beech,	oak,	lime	in	the	wider	landscape,	      from	Bective	Abbey	are	important,	but	are	not	subject	
      birch,	larch	and	willow	associated	with	the	Boyne	river,	        to	designation	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan.	
      and	sycamore,	yew,	alder	and	beech	associated	with	              Scenic	Viewpoint,	VP28d	(Bective)	is	located	northwest	of	
      estate	landscapes.	The	river	meanders	at	Bective	and	the	        the	bridge,	refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3	but	is	
      banks	are	flatter	than	along	other	parts	of	the	valley	(Plate	   not	currently	publicly	accessible.	
      15).	This	allows	for	attractive	views	into	the	landscape	

        Section	C                           Significance/Value                Sensitivity           Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

        Baseline	assessment               High/High-Exceptional            High/Moderate                         Low


      Table 12.13: Section C – Baseline Assessment




200
The	R161	and	associated	signage	and	development	(Plate	          the	case	when	the	line	would	be	seen	in	the	context	of	the	
10)	reduce	the	landscape	quality	in	the	area	and	intrude	        river	valley	or	in	views	from	Bective	Abbey.	Further	away	
on	the	more	pastoral	qualities	of	the	landscape	in	the	          from	the	river	there	is	slightly	more	capacity	for	absorbing	
vicinity	of	the	river	(Plate	15).	                               the	visual	impact	of	towers	but	the	relatively	flat	nature	
                                                                 of	the	landscape	would	result	in	high	visibility	of	tall	
Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3	shows	the	extent	of	              structures.	Hedgerow	vegetation	and	areas	of	woodland	
the	viewshed	from	the	Hill	of	Tara.	In	fact	the	extent	          would	provide	some	screening	in	parts	of	the	character	
of	the	viewshed	extends	much	further,	as	indicated	in	           area.	The	landscape	capacity	for	this	part	of	the	study	
Photomontage	11.	However	the	effects	of	distance	and	            area	is	therefore	generally	low.
vegetation	become	factors	in	experiencing	visibility	
beyond	a	distance	of	6km.
                                                                 12.2.6.4	
The	river	area	is	designated	as	a	candidate	Special	Area	        Section	D	–	West	Navan	Lowlands	
of	Conservation.	There	are	two	designated	landmarks	
in	Trim;	Trim	Castle	and	the	Yellow	Steeple.	Protected	          (Athboy	Farmland)	–	
viewpoint,	VP28e	(White	Commons)	is	located	on	the	              (Towers	50	to	87	incl.)
south-eastern	outskirts	of	the	town.	The	R161	is	a	
designated	driving	route	in	the	MLCA	and	is	crossed	by	          Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.3	and	12.2.4,	
the	alignment	approximately	1km	west	of	Bective	(Plate	          Photosheets	12.3.4	to	12.3.8
10).	
                                                                 The	alignment	passes	through	the	West	Navan	Lowlands	
The	significance/value	of	this	part	of	the	Boyne	valley	         Character	Area	for	approximately	13km	consisting	of	
LCA	is	considered	to	be	generally	high	with	areas	of	high	       38	towers	(50	to	87).	This	is	the	longest	stretch	of	the	
exceptional	significance	associated	with	the	immediate	          alignment	through	any	one	landscape	character	type.	The	
vicinity	of	the	river	and	Bective	Abbey.	                        landscape	is	generally	flat	lowland	farmland	(Plates	19,	
                                                                 20,	21,)	interspersed	with	many	large	estate	landscapes	
Sensitivity of Area                                              (particularly	at	Dunderry	and	Ardbraccan)	with	associated	
                                                                 parkland.	Although	the	topography	is	flat,	the	extensive	
The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	the	Boyne	Valley	is	             hedgerow	network	and	well	wooded	nature	of	parts	of	
classified	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	          the	study	area	restrict	views	into	the	wider	landscape	in	
as	being	of	high	sensitivity,	and	this	is	the	case	for	the	      some	areas	(Plates	13,	26,	31).	Where	vegetation	is	low	
areas	immediately	adjacent	to	the	Boyne	River.	However	          or	the	viewpoint	is	even	slightly	elevated	it	is	possible	to	
as	one	moves	away	from	the	immediate	river	valley,	the	          experience	a	relatively	wide	viewshed.	There	are	a	number	
area	has	undergone	some	development	and	the	landscape	           of	young	mixed	species	plantations,	which	as	they	
is	less	sensitive	to	new	developments.	The	landscape	            mature,	will	increase	the	wooded	nature	of	the	landscape.	
sensitivity	is	therefore	categorised	as	high	in	the	vicinity	    The	MLCA	states	that	there	may	be	an	increase	in	forestry	
of	the	river	valley	and	Bective	and	moderate	in	other	parts	     in	this	area	as	livestock	farming	declines.	
of	the	character	area,	particularly	in	the	vicinity	of	the	
R161.	As	the	R161	is	a	designated	scenic	driving	route,	         The	main	transport	routes	are	the	N51	(Plate	25)	running	
care	would	be	required	in	the	siting	and	design	of	any	new	      west	from	Navan	and	the	N3	running	northwest	from	the	
structures.	                                                     town	and	forming	the	northern	boundary	to	this	character	
                                                                 area.	The	M3	is	under	construction	to	the	south	of	the	
Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission          existing	N3	(Plate	24).	Apart	from	these	main	roads,	this	
line                                                             area	is	crossed	by	a	dense	network	of	local	roads.	The	line	
                                                                 would	pass	over	the	N51,	M3	and	N3	and	nine	local	roads.		
The	MLCA	states	that	the	Boyne	Valley	area	has	a	low	
capacity	to	absorb	a	development	such	as	a	transmission	         Dunderry,	Robinstown	and	Bohermeen	are	the	main	
line	due	to	potential	visual	prominence	within	the	valley	       settlements	within	this	part	of	the	study	area.	Dunderry	is	
and	in	relation	to	the	setting	of	the	river	corridor.	This	is	   a	small	to	medium	sized	village,	the	centre	of	which	has	


  Section	D                            Significance/Value               Sensitivity          Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

  Baseline	assessment                          Good	                    Moderate                        Medium


Table 12.14: Section D – Baseline Assessment




                                                                                                                                 201
      12 Landscape


      retained	much	of	its	character	although	there	are	some	        The	MLCA	states	that	within	the	parts	of	this	LCA	that	
      terraces	from	the	1980s.	At	the	edges	of	the	town	there	is	    have	a	strong	landscape	structure,	the	potential	capacity	
      extensive	ribbon	development	of	larger	modern	detached	        to	accommodate	a	transmission	line	would	be	medium	
      buildings.	Robinstown	is	a	small	village	developed	            provided	such	development	was	not	located	in	visually	
      around	a	central	crossroads	and	the	built	environment	is	      prominent	areas.	The	strong	landscape	structure	of	much	
      very	disjointed.	Bohermeen	is	a	smaller	settlement.	The	       of	the	areas	in	the	vicinity	of	the	alignment	in	this	area,	
      western	outskirts	of	Navan	fall	into	the	5km	study	area	       result	in	a	medium	capacity	for	absorption	of	such	a	
      and	these	are	described	in	the	MLCA	as	being	generally	of	     development.	It	is	important	that	the	towers	make	use	
      a	degraded	nature.	Other	settlement	in	the	area	generally	     of	the	screening	potential	of	vegetation	in	such	a	flat					
      consists	of	scattered	residential	buildings	along	roads.		     landscape.	Where	landscape	is	degraded,	in	some	cases	
                                                                     at	the	edge	of	settlements,	there	would	be	less	capacity	
      The	line	route	would	cross	the	Clady	River	and	run	parallel	   for	absorption	of	such	a	new	visual	intervention.	
      to	it	for	approximately	2.5km.	The	nearest	tower	base	
      would	be	located	84m	from	the	Clady	River.
                                                                     12.2.6.5	
      Significance/Value of Area                                     Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	(River	
      This	Character	area	is	described	in	the	MLCA	as	having	        Blackwater)	–	(Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
      moderate	value	and	local	importance.	Considering	
      the	sparsely	populated	nature	of	the	study	area,	it	is	        Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.4	and	12.2.5	and	
      considered	that	the	significance/value	is	Good	as	defined	     Photosheets	12.3.8	to	12.3.13	
      in	section	12.1.1.3	of	this	chapter.	The	estate	landscapes,	
      such	as	that	at	Ardbraccan,	within	the	area	are	important	     The	alignment	passes	through	the	Blackwater	Valley	
      landscape	features.	The	more	degraded	parts	of	the	            Character	Area	for	approximately	3km	consisting	of	10	
      Landscape	Character	Area	in	the	vicinity	of	built	up	areas	    towers	(88	to	97).	The	River	Blackwater	is	an	important	
      not	generally	evident	in	the	vicinity	of	the	proposed	line	    river	in	the	county	and	is	designated	as	a	candidate	
      route.	                                                        Special	Area	of	Conservation.	The	line	route	crosses	the	
                                                                     river	west	of	Donaghpatrick.	The	landscape	character	is	
      This	area	would	be	distantly	visible	from	the	viewpoint	       defined	by	the	river	valley	landscape	which	is	generally	
      on	the	Hill	of	Tara,	but	the	alignment	lies	outside	the	       flat	with	land	falling	towards	the	river	and	a	large	number	
      6km	visual	buffer	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	            of	visible	heritage	features	in	the	form	of	churches,	
      Figure	12.2.3.	Viewpoint	VP28b	(Athlumney,	Kilcarn	&	          stone	bridges,	earthworks	and	demesne	landscapes.	
      Balreask	Old)	is	located	approximately	6km	to	the	east	        The	important	archaeological	landscape	of	Teltown	is	
      of	the	alignment.	The	N3	heading	northeast	from	Navan	         located	between	Donaghpatrick,	Gibstown	and	Oristown,	
      over	which	the	alignment	would	pass	in	the	north	of	this	      although	there	are	few	interpretive	elements	to	explain	
      character	area	is	a	designated	Driving	Route.		                the	significance	of	this	area	and	much	of	the	ancient	
                                                                     archaeological	heritage	is	concealed	within	the	landscape	
      Sensitivity of Area                                            (Plates	32-41).	

      The	MLCA	defines	the	sensitivity	of	this	area	as	medium	       The	farmland	is	quite	open	with	a	loss	of	hedgerows	as	
      (moderate	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	of	this	chapter),	    fields	grew	bigger	(Plate	32),	but	there	remains	a	good	
      which	is	also	appropriate	for	the	parts	of	the	study	area	     hedgerow	network	in	many	places	with	some	stands	of	
      falling	within	this	LCA.	The	flat	nature	of	the	landscape	     trees	(Plate	33).
      coupled	with	the	screening	potential	of	hedgerows	and	         					
      woodland	requires	a	careful	siting	of	towers	in	order	to	      The	main	settlements	in	the	area	are	Donaghpatrick,	
      minimise	impact.	                                              Oristown	and	Gibstown.	The	western	outskirts	of	
      Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission        Navan	fall	within	the	5km	study	area	and	consist	of	
      line                                                           suburban	housing	and	some	warehouse	development.	
                                                                     Donaghpatrick	is	a	particularly	attractive	settlement	with	



        Section	E                          Significance/Value               Sensitivity          Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

        Baseline	assessment                          High                      High                         Medium


      Table 12.15: Section E – Baseline Assessment




202
many	trees	and	attractive	stone	structures	(Plates	33,	
34).	It	has	an	important	visual	relationship	with	the	river.	   Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission
Oristown	is	a	small	settlement	focused	on	a	crossroads.	        line
Gibstown	is	a	medium	sized	village	with	a	long	ribbon	
of	buildings	along	the	road	in	a	wooded	setting.	Further	       The	MLCA	states	that	this	LCA	has	medium	potential	
scattered	residential	and	farm	buildings	occur	along	roads	     capacity	to	absorb	a	transmission	line	provided	that	the	
in	the	area.		                                                  potential	loss	of	boundary	walls	and	planting	and	damage	
                                                                to	historic	features	and	their	setting	is	mitigated	against.	
The	N3	forms	the	southern	boundary	of	this	LCA	and	the	         This	capacity	would	arise	from	the	screening	potential	
line	route	crosses	the	road	approximately	500m	north	of	        provided	by	hedges	and	trees.	A	detailed	report	has	been	
Finnegan’s	cross	roads	(Plate	32).	The	northern	boundary	       completed	for	the	Teltown	area	as	part	of	this	application,	
of	the	LCA	is	marked	by	the	R163	(Plate	38)	and	between	        refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	14.8.
these	the	alignment	would	cross	two	local	roads	one	of	
which	is	a	cul	de	sac.	                                         The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	(pg	349)	states	that	
                                                                this	LCA	“is capable of absorbing some development,
Significance/Value of Area                                      in particular visitor facilities, conversion of existing
                                                                buildings, overhead and underground cables, windfarms,
The	Blackwater	Valley	LCA	is	classified	in	the	MLCA	as	         roads and railways”.
being	of	very	high	value	and	regional	importance.	This	         	
corresponds	with	the	definition	of	high	significance/
value	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	in	this	chapter.	
                                                                12.2.6.6	
This	particular	section	of	the	Blackwater	is	of	high	           Section	F	–	North	Navan	Lowlands	
significance	given	its	aesthetic	qualities	and	cultural	
heritage	associated	with	Donaghpatrick	and	Teltown.	            (North	Navan	Farmland)	–	
The	Teltown	landscape	is	not	however	mentioned	in	              (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)
the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	directly	in	
relation	to	its	archaeological	landscape	significance,	but	     Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.5	and	12.2.6	and	
the	area	around	Donaghpatrick	is	designated	as	an	area	         Photosheets	12.3.12	to	12.3.17
of	tourism	potential.	There	are	viewpoints	at	Scallanstown	
(VP32a),	Bloomsbury	bridge	(VP32b)	and	further	west	            The	alignment	passes	through	the	North	Navan	Lowlands	
at	Sedenrath.	The	viewshed	of	some	views	mentioned	             Character	Area	for	approximately	11km	consisting	of	30	
in	the	MLCA	from	Kells	fall	within	the	5km	study	area	as	       towers	(98	to	127).	This	LCA	is	described	in	the	MLCA	
seen	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.4.	The	landmark	and	       as	being	in	a	degraded	condition	due	to	the	removal	of	
scenic	viewpoint	at	the	People’s	Park	lighthouse	just	west	     traditional	field	boundaries	(Plates	50,	52).	However	
of	Kells	is	shown	in	the	insert	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	     the	open	characteristic	of	the	landscape	resulting	from	
12.2.5.	A	walkway	and	cycle	way	is	proposed	along	the	          this	change	in	management	practice	can	be	attractive,	
River	Blackwater.                                               particularly	in	areas	where	there	are	cohesive	tree	lined	or	
                                                                bank	lined	road	boundaries	(Plates	44,	46).	
Sensitivity of Area
                                                                The	land	is	flat	in	the	lower	part	of	the	study	area	(Plate	
The	Blackwater	Valley	is	assigned	a	high	sensitivity	in	the	    43)	becoming	slightly	more	undulating	as	one	travels	
MLCA	and	this	would	apply	to	the	area	surrounding	the	          north	(Plates	58,	67).	Panoramic	views	of	the	surrounding	
alignment.	The	combination	of	landscape	and	heritage	           landscape	are	possible	in	the	very	flat	areas	where	there	
qualities	result	in	a	landscape	which	would	be	sensitive	to	    are	no	hedgerows	or	gaps	in	roadside	hedgerows	(Plates	
new	interventions.	                                             43,	53,	64)	or	from	slightly	elevated	areas	(Plate	65).	
                                                                However,	in	general,	long	distance	views	are	restricted	by	
                                                                hedgerows.	There	are	a	number	of	horse	paddocks	in	the	
                                                                area.



  Section	F                          Significance/Value                Sensitivity          Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

  Baseline	assessment                          Good	                   Moderate                        Medium


Table 12.16: Section F – Baseline Assessment




                                                                                                                                203
      12 Landscape


      West	of	Wilkinstown	are	flat	areas	of	regenerating	birch	      Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission
      and	ash	and	some	coniferous	plantations.	This	area	has	a	      line
      remote	character	that	is	different	from	most	areas	in	this	
      part	of	County	Meath	(Plates	42,	50,	53,).	                    The	MLCA	states	that	this	LCA	has	high	to	medium	
      	                                                              potential	capacity	to	absorb	a	transmission	line	around	
      The	line	route	passes	over	the	N52	(Plate	67)	and	runs	        urban	fringe	where	built	development	is	more	common	
      approximately	2km	to	the	west	of	and	almost	parallel	to	       and	low	potential	capacity	in	rural	area	and	around	
      the	R162	(Plate	43).	It	also	crosses	four	local	roads.	        smaller	settlement,	where	landscape	character	is	of	
                                                                     higher	value.	There	are	no	significant	urban	settlements	
      The	main	settlements	in	the	area	are	Wilkinstown,	             within	the	study	area	and	therefore	the	MLCA	would	
      Carlanstown	and	Castletown	with	more	scattered	houses	         indicate	that	capacity	for	absorption	of	a	transmission	line	
      along	roads.	Wilkinstown,	located	approximately	4km	to	        would	be	low	in	this	area.	However,	the	existence	of	areas	
      the	east	of	the	line	route	is	a	small	village	centred	on	a	    of	woodland	provide	screening	opportunities	and	the	
      busy	road	junction.	Carlanstown,	located	approximately	        remote	nature	of	much	of	the	landscape	in	this	location	
      5km	to	the	west	is	a	small	village	on	the	N52	junction.	       would	result	in	very	few	receptors	in	proximity	to	the	
      Castletown	is	a	small	village	on	a	crossroads	located	east	    line	route.	It	is	considered	therefore	that	the	landscape	
      of	the	R162	(Plate	66).                                        capacity	for	the	study	area	in	this	section	is	medium.	

      Significance/Value of Area
                                                                     12.2.6.7	
      The	North	Navan	Lowlands	LCA	is	classified	in	the	MLCA	        Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands	
      as	being	of	moderate	value	and	regional	importance.	This	
      corresponds	with	the	definition	of	ordinary	significance/      (Cavan	Louth	Border)	–	(Towers	128	
      value	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	in	this	chapter.	         to	160	incl.	&	Tower	166)
      However,	the	remote	quality	of	the	areas	through	which	
      the	line	route	passes	have	a	character	that	can	be	defined	    Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6	and	12.2.7,	
      as	Good	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3.	                       Photosheets	12.3.17	to	12.3.19

      A	walking	and	cycling	route	runs	along	the	road	between	       The	alignment	passes	through	the	North	Meath	Lakelands	
      Kells	and	Wilkinstown	(Táin	Trail),	the	line	route	would	      Character	Area	for	approximately	11km,	33	towers	(128	
      pass	over	this	road.	A	key	viewpoint	from	near	Kilbeg	         to	160)	and	then	again	briefly	for	approximately	170m,	
      Bridge,	located	approximately	4km	to	the	west	of	the	          1	tower	(166).	The	landscape	character	here	is	quite	
      alignment	falls	within	the	5km	study	area.	The	viewsheds	      different	from	the	previous	LCAs	as	the	topography	
      of	viewpoints	from	Kells	and	Moynalty	also	fall	into	the	      becomes	the	prominent	determinant	of	the	character.	The	
      study	area.	A	viewpoint	further	north	towards	a	tower	in	      drumlins	are	distinctive	and	influence	the	routes	of	roads,	
      the	townland	of	Cruicetown	which	is	designated	landmark	       drainage	patterns	and	design	of	settlements	(Plates	70,	
      in	the	MLCA	also	falls	within	the	5km	study	area.	The	         78).	Views	from	drumlins	are	important	as	these	offer	
      viewpoint	however,	looks	away	from	the	alignment	as	           wide	panoramas	of	the	surrounding	landscape	(Plates	75,	
      indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6.	                  77).	Views	from	lower	lying	parts	of	the	landscape	tend	to	
                                                                     be	more	enclosed	(Plates	69,	73).	Around	settlements,	the	
      Sensitivity of Area                                            landscape	character	is	a	well	tended	patchwork	of	small	
                                                                     fields,	dense	hedgerows	and	small	areas	of	broadleaved	
      The	North	Navan	lowlands	are	assigned	a	medium	                woodland.	In	the	more	remote	areas,	farmland	becomes	
      sensitivity	in	the	MLCA	(which	corresponds	with	moderate	      less	managed	with	overgrown	hedgerows.	The	area	
      as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	of	this	chapter)	and	this	      between	Nobber	and	Kilmainhamwood	is	noted	as	
      would	apply	to	the	area	surrounding	the	alignment.	The	        being	particularly	attractive	containing	stone	walls	and	
      open	character	of	the	landscape	in	places	would	make	          vernacular	buildings.						
      the	area	sensitive	to	large	interventions.	There	is	however	
      screening	potential	provided	by	the	areas	of	forestry	and	
      hedgerows	where	they	are	in	place.	


        Section	G                          Significance/Value              Sensitivity           Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

        Baseline	assessment                          Good                   Moderate                          Low


      Table 12.17: Section G – Baseline Assessment




204
There	are	several	steep	sided	narrow	river	corridors	            wider	landscape	are	an	important	characteristic	that	
including	the	Kilmainham	River	which	the	alignment	              would	be	adversely	affected	by	such	development.	There	
crosses	just	east	of	Kilmainhamwood.	                            is	higher	capacity	for	absorbing	a	transmission	line	if	sited	
                                                                 at	the	lower	lying	areas	within	the	landscape.	
The	main	settlements	in	the	area	are	Nobber	and	
Kilmainhamwood.	Nobber	is	an	attractive	town	with	
mostly	vernacular	buildings	and	an	attractive	landscape	
                                                                 12.2.6.8	
setting.	Kilmainhamwood	is	located	at	the	edge	of	a	             Section	H	–	Teervurcher	Uplands	
narrow	steep	river	valley	created	by	the	Kilmainham	river	
and	has	attractive	vernacular	buildings,	with	some	new	          (North	West	Uplands)	–	(Tower	167)
development	to	the	south.	There	is	also	a	small	cluster	
of	houses	at	Breaky	Cross	Roads	and	in	the	townlands	of	         Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7,	Photosheets	
Lisnagrow	and	Ballynaclose.	                                     12.3.20	to	12.3.21

The	line	route	runs	approximately	2km	to	the	west	and	           The	alignment	passes	through	this	landscape	area	for	
almost	parallel	to	the	R162	and	crosses	the	R164	at	Lislea.	     approximately	400m	consisting	of	one	tower	(167).	This	
It	also	crosses	six	local	roads	as	it	passes	through	this	       area	falls	into	an	area	described	in	the	MLCA	as	consisting	
section.	                                                        of	a	“remote	upland	character	rather	than	a	pastoral	
                                                                 character”	which	makes	it	unusual	within	the	County	
Significance/Value of Area                                       Meath	context.	The	topography	is	distinctive	with	small	
                                                                 drumlins	creating	an	extremely	undulating	landscape.	
The	North	Meath	Lakelands	LCA	is	classified	in	the	MLCA	         The	land	is	wet	in	places	with	associated	vegetation	such	
as	being	of	moderate	value	and	regional	importance.	             as	rush	filled	fields	and	birch	and	willow	carr.	Land	on	
This	corresponds	with	the	definition	of	ordinary	                upper	parts	of	drumlins	is	drier	and	the	area	contains	
significance/value	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	of	            many	mature	trees.	Fields	are	small	scale	with	square	
this	chapter.	However	given	the	attractiveness	of	the	           or	rectangular	fields	divided	by	bushy	hedgerows,	many	
landscape	between	Nobber	and	Kilmainhamwood	and	the	             containing	large	trees	(Plates	86,	88).	The	MLCA	states	
presence	of	steep	river	valleys	and	a	number	of	protected	       that	views	within	this	area	are	generally	limited	by	the	
viewpoints	within	the	study	area,	it	is	considered	that	the	     complex	topography	except	for	at	the	tops	or	sides	of	
value	is	Good	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3	of	this	chapter.	   drumlins	where	panoramic	views	are	a	defining	feature	of	
VP39	(Ervey)	is	located	approximately	1km	from	the	line	         the	landscape	(Plates	86,	87,	88).
route	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6.	A	
Beech	copse	west	of	Whitewood	Lough	and	an	Estate	               Settlement	and	individual	houses	are	quite	scarce	in	this	
House	immediately	east	of	the	Lough	are	designated	as	           area	in	the	vicinity	of	the	alignment,	but	there	are	small	
landmarks	in	the	MLCA.	                                          clusters	of	houses	around	road	junctions	and	particularly	
                                                                 at	Ballynamona	and	Breaky	Cross	Roads.	There	are	
Sensitivity of Area                                              also	individual	houses	and	small	farms	in	the	open	
                                                                 countryside.	Teervurcher	is	a	small	graig	approximately	
The	North	Meath	Lakelands	LCA	is	assigned	a	low	                 3km	to	the	west	of	the	alignment.	This	settlement	is	
sensitivity	in	the	MLCA.	However,	considering	the	               relatively	unspoilt	by	modern	development	and	comprises	
significance	and	value	of	the	area	as	described	herein,	         a	coherent	group	of	18th	century	buildings.		
the	immediate	study	area	relating	to	the	line	route	is	
considered	to	be	moderate.	                                      The	alignment	would	enter	the	north	eastern	tip	of	this	
                                                                 Character	Area	and	the	part	of	the	transmission	line	
Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission          subject	to	this	assessment	would	terminate	at	Moyhill	
line                                                             close	to	and	just	south	of	a	county	road.	The	line	would	
                                                                 continue	for	a	short	distance	to	meet	with	the	proposed	
The	MLCA	states	that	this	LCA	has	low	potential	capacity	        substation	at	Moyhill.	Some	additional	transmission	
to	accommodate	a	transmission	line	or	towers	because	            lines	will	lead	from	the	Moyhill	Substation	and	form	part	
drumlin	tops	are	highly	visible	and	panoramic	views	to	          of	the	assessment	of	the	Cavan	section	(Part	B	of	EIS),	


  Section	H                           Significance/Value                Sensitivity           Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

  Baseline	assessment                        Good	                      Moderate                        Medium


Table 12.18: Section H – Baseline Assessment




                                                                                                                                  205
      12 Landscape


      of	the	overall	proposed	development.	The	nature	of	the	
      topography	would	result	in	visibility	of	the	transmission	
                                                                     12.2.6.9	
      line	occurring	mainly	from	the	higher	ground	to	the	north	     Section	I	–	County	Cavan	-	
      in	County	Cavan	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	
      12.2.7.			
                                                                     (Towers	161	to	165)
                                                                     Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7,	Photosheets	
      Significance/Value of Area
                                                                     12.3.19	to	12.3.21
      The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	the	Teervurcher	Uplands	
                                                                     There	is	no	County	Landscape	Character	Assessment	
      is	classified	in	the	MLCA	as	being	of	High	Value	and	Local	
                                                                     for	County	Cavan	at	the	present	time.	Therefore	the	
      Importance.	This	corresponds	with	the	classification	of	
                                                                     assessment	of	significance,	sensitivity	and	capacity	of	
      Good	in	this	report	as	defined	in	section	12.1.1.3.	This	
                                                                     the	landscape	is	based	on	field	survey	and	also	draws	on	
      value	is	determined	by	the	complex	topography	of	the	
                                                                     the	Meath	County	Landscape	Character	Assessments	for	
      landscape	and	its	relatively	unspoilt	character.	The	
                                                                     North	Meath	Lakelands	and	Teervurcher	Uplands	which	
      removal	of	some	hedgerows	and	replacement	with	post	
                                                                     contain	similar	landscapes	to	that	found	within	this	part	
      and	wire	fences	is	diminishing	the	value	of	the	landscape	
                                                                     of	County	Cavan
      character	in	some	areas	as	seen	in	Plate	89.	A	protected	
      viewpoint	is	located	to	the	north	from	a	high	point	in	
                                                                     The	alignment	passes	through	a	short	stretch	of	County	
      the	landscape	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	
                                                                     Cavan	for	approximately	1km	consisting	of	5	towers	
      12.2.7.	There	would	be	some	long	distance	visibility	of	
                                                                     (towers	161-165).	Some	additional	transmission	lines	will	
      the	transmission	line	from	the	viewshed	of	this	viewpoint	
                                                                     lead	from	the	proposed	substation	at	Moyhill	and	form	
      (Plates	87,	88).		
                                                                     part	of	the	assessment	of	the	Cavan	section	(Part	B	of	
                                                                     EIS),	of	the	overall	proposed	development	(the	cumulative	
      Sensitivity of Area
                                                                     landscape	impacts	are	assessed	in	section	12.3.3).	The	
                                                                     vicinity	of	the	alignment	consists	of	undulating	drumlins	
      The	Landscape	Character	Area	of	the	Teervurcher	uplands	
                                                                     and	the	lower	parts	of	the	land	are	wet	with	associated	
      is	classified	in	the	MLCA	as	being	of	medium	sensitivity	
                                                                     vegetation	such	as	rush	filled	fields	and	birch	and	willow	
      which	corresponds	with	moderate	as	defined	in	section	
                                                                     carr.	Land	on	upper	parts	of	drumlins	is	drier	and	the	
      12.1.1.3	of	this	chapter.	This	is	considered	appropriate	
                                                                     area	contains	many	mature	trees	along	hedgerows	
      for	the	areas	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	proposed	
                                                                     and	roadsides.	Fields	are	small	scale	with	square	or	
      development.	The	topography	and	hedgerow	network	
                                                                     rectangular	fields	divided	by	bushy	hedgerows	(Plates	86,	
      limit	the	possibilities	for	open	views.	Views	from	the	tops	
                                                                     88).	Views	within	this	area	are	generally	limited	by	the	
      of	drumlins,	such	as	indicated	on	Plates	86,	87,	88	and	in	
                                                                     complex	topography	except	at	the	tops	of	drumlins	where	
      particular	long	distance	ones	that	also	take	in	the	Cavan	
                                                                     panoramic	views	are	important	features	of	the	landscape	
      Hills	are	more	sensitive.	
                                                                     (Plates	83,	86,	87,	88).	The	land	rises	to	the	north	to	form	
                                                                     higher	hills	around	Cornasaus.
      Landscape capacity of area for absorbing overhead lines
                                                                     Settlement	and	individual	houses	are	quite	scarce	in	this	
      The	MLCA	states	that	this	character	area	has	medium	
                                                                     area	in	the	vicinity	of	the	alignment,	but	there	are	small	
      potential	capacity	to	absorb	the	landscape	and	visual	
                                                                     clusters	of	houses	around	road	junctions	and	particularly	
      effects	of	a	transmission	line	due	to	the	wooded	nature	
                                                                     at	Gallonboy,	Ballynamona	and	Breaky	Cross	Roads.	There	
      of	the	area,	provided	that	the	positioning	is	sensitive	to	
                                                                     are	also	individual	houses	and	small	farms	in	the	open	
      existing	views	and	landscape	constraints.	The	drumlin	
                                                                     countryside.	Kingscourt	is	located	approximately	5km	to	
      landscape	limits	the	possibility	for	long	distance	
                                                                     the	northeast.		
      views	except	for	from	the	high	points	of	the	drumlins	
      themselves.
                                                                     A	High	Landscape	Area	as	designated	in	the	Cavan	County	
                                                                     Development	Plan	is	located	at	Lough	an	Leagh	Gap	and	
                                                                     indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	There	are	also	



        Section	I                           Significance/Value              Sensitivity          Capacity	to	absorb	proposal

        Baseline	assessment                     Good/High                   Moderate                        Medium


      Table 12.19: Section I – Baseline Assessment




206
a	number	of	walking	routes	within	this	area.	There	is	also	
a	scenic	viewing	point	at	Lough	and	Leagh	Gap.	Dún	na	Rí	
                                                                                             12.2.7	
is	designated	as	a	High	Landscape	Area,	County	Heritage	                                     General	Sensitivity	of	the	Proposed	
Site	and	Park	as	in	the	Cavan	County	Development	and	
also	contains	a	walking	route.	Maybologue	Church	is	a	
                                                                                             Development
County	Heritage	Site.	The	proposed	line	is	not	visible	from	
                                                                                             The	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	defines	
any	of	these	areas.		
                                                                                             sensitivity	of	a	landscape	as	its	overall	resilience	to	
                                                                                             sustain	its	character	in	the	face	of	change	and	its	ability	
The	nature	of	the	topography	would	result	in	visibility	of	
                                                                                             to	recuperate	from	loss	or	damage	to	its	components.	
the	transmission	line	occurring	mainly	from	the	higher	
                                                                                             Sensitivity	is	evaluated	using	criteria	ranging	from	High	
ground	to	the	north	as	indicated	on	Figure	12.2.7.		
                                                                                             to	Low	and	is	based	on	the	interaction	of	individual	
                                                                                             components	such	as	landform,	amount	of	evident	
Significance/Value of Area
                                                                                             historical	features	(time	depth)	and	distribution	of	views.	
                                                                                             A	highly	sensitive	landscape	is	likely	to	be	vulnerable,	
The	part	of	the	study	area	which	includes	County	
                                                                                             fragile	and	susceptible	to	change	whereas	a	landscape	
Cavan	is	generally	of	High	significance	as	defined	in	
                                                                                             with	low	sensitivity	is	likely	to	be	more	robust	and	tolerant	
section	12.1.1.3,	considering	the	amount	of	designated	
                                                                                             of	change.	
landscapes	it	contains.	The	part	of	the	Cavan	landscape	
in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	proposed	development	
                                                                                             In	general	the	sensitivity	of	the	landscape	to	a	
is	considered	to	be	of	Good	significance.	This	value	is	
                                                                                             transmission	line	ranges	from	moderate	to	high	within	
determined	by	the	complex	topography	of	the	landscape	
                                                                                             this	study	area.	The	most	sensitive	areas	are	located	in	
and	the	relatively	unspoilt	character	and	also	the	
                                                                                             Sections	C	(Boyne	Valley)	and	E	(Blackwater	Valley),	while	
consideration	that	the	designated	sites	are	all	located	at	
                                                                                             Sections	A,	B,	D,	F,	G	and	I	are	of	moderate	sensitivity	
least	3km	from	the	line	and	that	no	views	would	occur	of	
                                                                                             (refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.1.1).	The	most	sensitive	
the	line	from	these	significant	areas.	
                                                                                             areas	of	Sections	C	and	E	are	where	the	alignment	would	
                                                                                             cross	the	rivers	Boyne	and	Blackwater.	These	highly	
A	protected	viewpoint	is	located	to	the	north	from	a	
                                                                                             sensitive	areas	form	a	relatively	small	part	of	the	overall	
high	point	in	the	landscape	at	Cornasaus	as	indicated	
                                                                                             line	and	the	majority	of	the	line	would	pass	through	areas	
on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	There	would	be	some	
                                                                                             of	moderate	sensitivity.	
long	distance	visibility	of	the	transmission	line	from	the	
viewshed	of	this	viewpoint	(Plates	87,	88).		
                                                                                             12.2.8	
Sensitivity of Area
                                                                                             General	Landscape	Capacity	of	
The	parts	of	the	study	area	within	County	Cavan	are	of	                                      Proposed	Development	for	Absorbing	
moderate	sensitivity.	The	topography	and	hedgerow	
network	limit	the	possibilities	for	open	views.	Views	from	                                  Proposals
the	tops	of	drumlins,	such	as	indicated	on	Plates	86,	87,	
88	and	in	particular	long	distance	ones	that	also	take	in	                                   The	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	defines	
the	Cavan	Hills	are	more	sensitive.		                                                        capacity	as	“the ability that the landscape has to absorb
                                                                                             specific types of development.”	In	Chapter	5	of	this	
Landscape capacity of area for absorbing a transmission                                      Assessment,	“Landscape	Trends”,	the	general	landscape	
line                                                                                         capacity	to	accommodate	overhead	cables27	is	stated:

This	part	of	County	Cavan	has	medium	potential	                                              “Overhead cables, substations and communications
capacity	to	absorb	the	landscape	and	visual	effects	of	a	                                    masts are generally large and prominent features. Their
transmission	line	due	to	the	wooded	nature	of	the	area,	                                     impact on landscape character will be determined by their
provided	that	the	positioning	is	sensitive	to	existing	views	                                visual prominence and size as well as their location in
and	landscape	constraints.	The	drumlin	landscape	limits	                                     sensitive landscape such as archaeology rich landscapes
the	possibility	for	long	distance	views	except	from	the	                                     or areas within scenic views. The convergence of a number
high	points	of	the	drumlins	themselves.                                                      of overhead cables or the massing of a large substation
	                                                                                            or number of towers will adversely affect landscape
                                                                                             character to some extent, depending on the sensitivity of
                                                                                             the landscape in question.”

                                                                                             The	Constraints	Studies	described	in	section	12.1.2	
                                                                                             assessed	the	capacity	of	the	landscape	in	a	wider	context.	




27	 	In	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	the	term	“overhead	cables”	is	used.	It	is	assumed	that	this	refers	to	the	type	of	development	generally	referred	to	in	this	chapter	
    as	a	“transmission	line.”
                                                                                                                                                                                        207
      12 Landscape


      The	preferred	line	route	that	emerged	from	these	studies	       crosses	one	secondary	road	as	it	progresses	through	
      and	that	is	the	subject	of	this	assessment,	traverses	areas	    Churchtown	and	Halltown	where	it	crosses	the	N51	into	
      which	generally	have	the	highest	landscape	capacity	to	         Irishtown.
      absorb	the	transmission	line	within	County	Meath.	The	
      capacity	for	visual	absorption	of	a	transmission	line	is	       From	Irishtown	the	line	progresses	through	agricultural	
      strongest	in	Sections	A,	B,	D,	E,	F	and	I,	where	capacity	is	   land	in	a	north	easterly	direction	towards	Betaghstown	
      defined	as	medium	in	this	chapter	(refer	to	Volume	3	Part	      where	it	changes	direction	to	head	northwest	crossing	a	
      A,	Figure	12.1.1).	Sections	C	and	G	have	lower	capacity	to	     secondary	road	and	entering	Neillstown.	From	Neillstown	
      accommodate	a	transmission	line.	In	Section	C	this	is	due	      the	line	progresses	north	for	approximately	1km	crossing	
      to	the	crossing	point	over	the	river	Boyne	and	in	Section	      a	secondary	road	and	entering	Ardbraccan	where	it	
      G	due	to	the	drumlin	topography	providing	potential	            changes	direction	north	westerly	towards	Durhamstown.	
      panoramic	views	over	the	landscape	from	the	tops	of	            Turning	north	in	Durhamstown	towards	Grange,	the	line	
      drumlins.                                                       crosses	perpendicular	to	the	M3	and	continues	north	for	
                                                                      2km	towards	Castlemartin	where	it	intersects	the	N3	and	
                                                                      changes	direction	northerly	for	2km	towards	Teltown.	
      12.2.9	
      Description	of	Line	Route	Alignment                             At	Teltown	the	line	veers	north	easterly	crossing	the	
                                                                      Oristown/	Donaghpatrick	secondary	road	and	proceeding	
      The	proposed	development	consists	of	the	existing	400kV	        north,	crossing	the	R163	between	Oristown	and	Gibstown	
      transmission	line,	located	within	the	80m	wide	corridor,	       Demesne.	As	the	line	proceeds	north	cross	country	
      running	westwards	from	Woodland	Substation	to	which	            it	crosses	three	secondary	roads	over	a	stretch	of	
      the	proposed	transmission	line	will	connect.	At	present	        approximately	3km	entering	Mountainstown	and	heading	
      only	the	southern	side	of	the	towers	has	been	strung	           north	to	Drakerath	and	Clooney	crossing	the	N52	near	
      with	the	transmission	cable.	It	is	proposed	to	add	three	       Raffin	cross.	The	line	then	proceeds	through	Raffin	and	
      conductors	to	each	of	the	towers	which	the	new	cable	           entering	Rahood,	crossing	a	secondary	road	at	Rahood	
      will	run	through.	A	new	gantry	will	be	built	inside	the	        Cross	Roads	and	continuing	through	Moynagh	and	
      Woodland	Substation	compound	and	a	slight	modification	         Brittas	following	the	secondary	road	linking	Rahood	to	
      to	the	pallisade	fence	will	be	required.		                      Kilmainhamwood	in	a	north	westerly	direction	through	
                                                                      Boynagh	and	Towas	for	approximately	1km.	At	Shancor	the	
      The	line	starts	at	its	southernmost	in	the	townland	of	         line	turns	north,	crossing	the	Kilmainham	River	entering	
      Bogganstown	connecting	with	the	existing	transmission	          Aghamore	where	it	crosses	a	secondary	road	and	veers	
      line	and	heads	north	crossing	the	R125	continuing	north	        north	west	into	Lislea,	crossing	the	R164	in	a	westerly	
      west	across	agricultural	land	crossing	the	Derrypatrick	        direction	entering	Moorlagh.	Progressing	westwards	the	
      River	after	approximately	a	further	2.5km.	                     line	crosses	three	secondary	roads	over	a	distance	of	
                                                                      approximately	2.5km	as	it	progresses	through	Mootlagh,	
      The	line	continues	towards	Derrypatrick	crossing	a	             Clonturkan	and	Moyhill,	where	it	feeds	into	the	proposed	
      secondary	road	and	continues	for	approximately	2km	in	          Moyhill	Substation.
      north	easterly	direction	towards	Galtrim.	At	Galtrim	the	
      line	changes	direction	for	approximately	6km	in	a	more	
      northerly	direction	and	crosses	the	Boycetown	River.	After	
                                                                      12.3	
      approximately	1km	the	line	route	then	crosses	the	R154	         POTENTIAL	IMPACTS
      at	Braganstown.	The	line	progresses	to	Crumpstown	and	
      crosses	a	secondary	road	into	Wrighton	and	across	open	         During	the	preparation	of	the	EIS,	there	were	a	
      fields	to	Crerogo,	it	continues	north	into	Knockstown	and	      number	of	constraints	in	terms	of	site	access,	however	
      turns	northwest	towards	Trubley.	After	approximately	           notwithstanding	these	constraints,	an	adequate	
      1km	it	crosses	a	secondary	road	at	Trubley.	Continuing	         evaluation	of	the	likely	significant	effects	of	all	aspects	of	
      in	a	northwest	direction	the	line	crosses	the	River	Boyne	      the	proposed	development,	both	in	respect	of	the	line	and	
      approximately	1km	west	of	Bective.	Continuing	northwest	        the	80m	wide	corridor	within	which	it	will	be	located,	has	
      the	alignment	crosses	the	R161	at	Balbrigh	and	continues	       been	undertaken	for	the	purpose	of	the	EIA.	
      towards	Robinstown	in	an	easterly	direction.
                                                                      The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	contains	the	
      From	Robinstown	the	line	route	follows	the	Clady	River	for	     following	policies	relevant	to	this	chapter:
      approximately	2.5km	in	a	north	easterly	direction	towards	
      Philpotstown	where	it	changes	to	a	more	northerly	              Strategic	Policy:	Heritage	SP1	-	‘To	protect	the	physical	
      direction.	From	Philpotstown,	the	line	turns	directly	north	    landscape	and	visual	character	of	the	County.’
      for	approximately	2km	through	agricultural	land	and	




208
HER	POL	84	–	‘To	ensure	that	development,	particularly	          The	first	2.7km	(eight	towers)	from	Woodland	Substation	
in	sensitive	landscapes,	adheres	to	tailored	guidelines.	        are	existing	double	circuit	towers,	which	will	be	strung	
Sensitive	landscapes	include	demesne	villages	and	LCAs	          using	the	currently	unused	side	of	the	400kV	double	
identified	as	being	sensitive.’                                  circuit	towers.	The	other	side	of	these	double	circuit	
                                                                 towers	is	currently	in	use	and	forms	part	of	the	Oldstreet	
HER	POL	103	–	‘To	protect	areas	of	recognised	landscape	         -	Woodland	400kV	Transmission	Line.		The	visual	effects	
importance	and	significant	views	from	construction	              resulting	from	these	additions	will	be	negligible	to	slight	
of	large-scale	visually	intrusive	energy	transmission	           neutral	and	confined	to	a	localised	area.
infrastructure’.
                                                                 A	new	gantry	will	be	built	inside	the	Woodland	Substation	
This	section	of	the	chapter	assesses	the	potential	              compound	and	a	slight	modification	in	the	substation	
landscape	and	visual	impacts	resulting	from	the	                 fence	would	be	required.	The	size	of	this	new	gantry	in	
proposed	development,	its	potential	impacts	on	the	              relation	to	the	existing	structures	within	the	Woodland	
general	physical	and	landscape	character	as	well	as	the	         Substation	would	result	in	slight	neutral	adverse	
impacts	on	sensitive	LCAs,	areas	of	recognised	landscape	        additional	visual	effects.
importance	and	significant	views.	
                                                                 Photomontage	4	illustrates	a	typical	view	along	a	county	
                                                                 road	just	over	1km	from	the	line.	The	wireframe	indicates	
12.3.1	                                                          that	four	towers	are	potentially	visible	crossing	over	the	
General	Landscape	and	Visual	                                    landscape.		However,	the	roadside	hedgerow	and	mature	
                                                                 trees	provide	screening	so	that	the	towers	are	not	seen	
Impacts                                                          in	their	entirety.	The	overhead	cable	is	visible	as	the	
                                                                 hedgerow	is	relatively	low	in	this	location.	A	number	of	
12.3.1.1	                                                        public	sites	are	nearby	but	are	located	outside	of	the	1km	
                                                                 corridor.	The	visual	effects	on	this	view	and	on	similar	
Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	-	                                 viewpoints	approximately	1km	from	the	line	in	this	area	
(Towers	1	to	7	incl.)                                            would	be	slight	to	moderate	adverse.

Refer	to:	Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.1,	              Views	from	the	R154	would	be	a	further	1km	from	the	
Photosheet	12.3.1	and	Photomontages	1,	4	and	7                   viewpoint	illustrated	in	Photomontage	4.	Due	to	the	
                                                                 effects	of	distance,	and	the	fact	that	the	road	runs	parallel	
Section	A	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.11	as	      to	the	line,	thus	avoiding	direct	views	as	one	travels	along	
having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	a	transmission	           the	road,	the	visual	effects	on	this	road	would	be	slight	
line.	There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	          adverse.
development	openly	and	intermittently	from	an	
approximate	3km	stretch	of	the	R125	from	Baltrasna	              The	line	crosses	the	R125	in	a	perpendicular	manner	at	
to	Stamullin	cross	roads	and	from	some	minor	roads	              Bogganstown	(between	Towers	2	and	3).	Photomontage	7	
particularly	around	Bogganstown.	Photomontages	1	and	            is	located	in	Section	B	at	Derrypartrick,	but	also	illustrates	
4	illustrate	the	nature	of	visibility	from	these	areas.	The	     the	nature	of	viewpoints	immediately	adjacent	to	the	line	
nature	of	visibility	at	points	along	these	roads	closer	to	      which	would	be	possible	along	the	roads	at	Bogganstown.	
the	line	route	is	illustrated	in	Photomontage	7.	                In	this	photomontage	the	wireframe	indicates	that	ten	
                                                                 towers	would	be	visible	travelling	away	from	the	viewer.	
The	line	would	also	be	visible	openly	and	intermittently	        In	reality,	the	complex	pattern	of	hedgerows	prevents	
at	greater	distance	of	2-3km	from	along	parts	of	the	R154	       medium	or	long	distance	views	into	the	landscape.	
from	Pelletstown	Crossroads	to	Cross	Keys	and	from	              This	situation	would	also	occur	within	Section	A	with	
the	townland	of	Warrenstown	to	the	south.	Volume	3	              hedgerow	vegetation	screening	all	or	part	of	the	line	in	
Part	A,	Figure	12.2.1	indicates	the	areas	from	which	the	        many	areas.	Where	views	do	open	up,	for	example,	where	
transmission	line	would	be	visible.		                            the	viewpoint	is	slightly	elevated	or	where	there	are	
                                                                 areas	where	hedgerows	have	been	removed	or	clipped	
The	proposed	development	connects	with	an	existing	              low,	close	distance	views	such	as	this	within	200m	of	
transmission	line	west	of	Woodand	Substation	at	                 the	transmission	line	at	Bogganstown	would	experience	
Bogganstown.	There	are	already	a	number	of	transmission	         substantial	adverse	effects.	However,	these	visual	effects	
lines	in	the	area	as	seen	in	Plate	1.	It	can	be	seen	in	Plate	   would	be	localised	and	limited	to	the	parts	of	the	roads	in	
1	and	Photomontage	1	that	the	nature	of	the	hedgerow	            the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line.	
pattern	provides	screening	and	reduces	the	potentially	
higher	visual	effects	of	these	existing	lines.




                                                                                                                                   209
      12 Landscape


      Photomontage	11                                                  12.3.1.2	
      Photomontage	11	illustrates	the	nature	of	the	views	from	        Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	–	
      Rath	Righ	at	the	Hill	of	Tara.		This	image	(and	plate	11	on	
      Photosheet	12.2.3)	illustrates	the	wide	view	available	of	
                                                                       (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)
      a	low	lying	landscape,	made	up	of	fields	of	various	scales	
                                                                       Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2,	Photosheets	12.3.1	
      bordered	by	hedgerows,	some	of	which	contain	mature	
                                                                       to	12.3.2	and	Photomontages	7,	8	and	11	
      trees.		A	small	number	of	residential	properties	and	
      other	buildings	are	visible,	but	the	trees	and	hedgerows	
                                                                       Section	B	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.12	as	
      in	the	view	screen	many	buildings	and	roads	that	would	
                                                                       having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	a	transmission	
      otherwise	be	visible.	The	view	is	of	great	significance	
                                                                       line.	There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
      due	to	its	cultural	and	historic	associations	as	well	as	
                                                                       development	openly	and	intermittently	from	along	the	
      its	landscape	importance	as	a	panoramic	view	taking	in	
                                                                       county	roads	between	Collegeland	and	Batterjohn	Big	
      a	great	distance.	The	view	from	the	Hill	of	Tara	is	listed	
                                                                       (Plate/Photomontage	7)	and	between	Collegeland	and	
      for	protection	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	
                                                                       Michelstown	(Plate	6	and	Plate/Photomontage	8).	The	
      (VP1),	the	Hill	of	Tara	itself	is	designated	as	a	landmark	in	
                                                                       line	route	would	also	be	visible	for	an	approximate	2km	
      the	MLCA	where	it	is	also	designated	as	a	Major	Tourist	
                                                                       stretch	of	the	R154	east	of	Batterjohn	and	a	500m	stretch	
      Attraction.	The	Tara	area	is	also	subject	of	a	pilot	project	
                                                                       where	the	line	crosses	the	road	west	of	Branganstown.	
      to	develop	a	Landscape	Conservation	Area.	
                                                                       Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2	indicates	the	areas	
                                                                       from	which	the	line	would	be	visible.	Photomontage	
      The	towers	will	not	be	visible	above	the	horizon	line	
                                                                       7	illustrates	the	nature	of	visibility	from	the	county	
      and	the	sense	of	openness	and	the	pastoral	quality	of	
                                                                       roads	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line	
      the	landscape	will	not	be	significantly	affected.	While	
                                                                       and	Photomontage	8	the	nature	of	the	views	from	an	
      a	proposed	section	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	
                                                                       approximate	1km	distance.	
      potentially	visible	from	this	viewpoint,	the	effects	of	
      distance	and	screening	provided	by	existing	vegetation	
                                                                       Photomontage	7	shows	a	viewpoint	at	Derrypartrick.	
      will	result	in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	and	
                                                                       In	this	photomontage	the	wireframe	indicates	that	ten	
      visual	effects	which	will	largely	depend	on	weather	
                                                                       towers	would	be	visible	travelling	away	from	the	viewer.	
      conditions.
                                                                       In	reality,	the	complex	pattern	of	hedgerows	prevents	
                                                                       medium	or	long	distance	views	into	the	landscape.	Close	
      Photomontage	1	shows	the	potential	visual	effects	on	
                                                                       distance	views	such	as	that	illustrated	in	Photomontage	7,	
      views	from	the	south	of	the	proposed	development.	This	
                                                                       within	approximately	200m	of	the	line,	would	experience	
      view	looks	north	east	from	Leonardstown	towards	the	
                                                                       substantial	adverse	visual	effects.	However,	these	
      line,	and	the	existing	transmission	line	is	visible	in	the	
                                                                       effects	would	be	limited	to	the	parts	of	the	roads	in	the	
      foreground.	The	top	of	one	of	the	proposed	towers	is	
                                                                       immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line.	The	allotments	
      partly	visible	above	the	trees	but	the	other	two	visible	
                                                                       at	Finaghtown	would	experience	similar	visibility	with	
      in	the	wireframe	are	concealed	behind	intervening	
                                                                       the	visual	effects	dependant	on	the	nature	of	vegetation	
      vegetation.	The	addition	of	a	new	transmission	line	would	
                                                                       at	any	particular	location.	The	nature	of	visual	effects	
      have	a	slight	adverse	impact	on	views	such	as	this	one	
                                                                       would	be	moderate	to	substantial	adverse	depending	on	
      within	1-1.5km	of	the	proposed	development.	
                                                                       proximity.
      The	landscape	effects	on	this	section	of	the	study	
                                                                       The	panoramic	Plate	7	shows	the	wider	nature	of	the	
      area	would	be	low	to	medium	adverse	considering	the	
                                                                       viewpoint	in	Photomontage	7,	which	is	available	due	
      screening	ability	of	the	landscape	and	the	existence	
                                                                       to	its	slight	elevation	in	relation	to	the	surrounding	
      of	transmission	lines	already	within	the	landscape.	
                                                                       flat	landscape.	The	MLCA	points	out	that	within	this	
      The	effects	would	be	medium	adverse	in	the	areas	
                                                                       Landscape	Character	Area,	short	range	views	between	
      experiencing	greatest	visibility	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	
                                                                       drumlins	should	be	protected.	While	the	localised	
      Part	A,	Figure	12.2.1.
                                                                       impact	on	this	viewpoint	is	substantial	adverse,	the	
                                                                       screening	effects	of	hedgerows	in	the	landscape	prevents	
                                                                       substantial	effects	in	most	other	areas.			

                                                                       Photomontage	8	illustrates	the	nature	of	views	from	
                                                                       a	distance	of	1km.	It	can	be	seen	that	the	screening	
                                                                       effects	of	vegetation	are	more	apparent	at	this	distance	
                                                                       and	reduce	the	number	of	towers	visible	from	any	one	
                                                                       location.	The	visual	effects	on	views	such	as	this	would	be	
                                                                       slight	to	moderate	adverse.	




210
The	line	would	also	cross	the	walking	and	cycling	route	
from	Trim	to	Kilmessan	at	Crumpstown	(between	towers	
                                                                 12.3.1.3	
32	and	33).	The	nature	of	roadside	vegetation	in	this	           Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	–	
location	would	only	allow	for	views	in	the	immediate	
proximity	of	the	transmission	line	with	effects	similar	to	
                                                                 (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)
that	described	herein	in	relation	to	Photomontage	7.
                                                                 Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.3,	Photosheets	
                                                                 12.3.3	to	12.3.4	and	Photomontages	10,11,15	and	16
A	number	of	public	sites	are	located	in	Batterjohn,	slightly	
                                                                 Section	C	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.13	
outside	of	the	1km	study	area.	The	line	would	be	visible	
                                                                 as	generally	having	a	low	capacity	for	absorbing	a	
from	a	stretch	of	the	R154	approaching	from	the	west,	
                                                                 transmission	line,	however	the	assessment	of	landscape	
with	slight	adverse	visual	effects.	
                                                                 sensitivity	identified	areas	away	from	the	river	Boyne	
                                                                 where	capacity	could	be	higher.	
There	were	no	other	open	views	identified	from	the	areas	
to	the	east	of	the	line	that	fall	within	the	viewshed	of	the	
                                                                 There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
Hill	of	Tara	protected	viewpoint.
                                                                 development	openly	and	intermittently	from	the	R161	
                                                                 which	is	a	scenic	route	as	identified	in	the	Meath	County	
Photomontage	11
                                                                 Development	Plan	and	from	the	county	road	which	runs	
                                                                 parallel	and	south	of	the	River	Boyne.	Refer	to	Volume	
Photomontage	11	illustrates	the	nature	of	the	views	from	
                                                                 3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3	for	the	extent	of	visibility	from	
Rath	Righ	at	the	Hill	of	Tara.	This	image	(and	plate	11	on	
                                                                 these	roads	and	Photomontage	10	for	the	nature	of	
Photosheet	12.2.3)	illustrates	the	wide	view	available	of	
                                                                 this	visibility.	The	line	would	cross	both	these	roads	
a	low	lying	landscape,	made	up	of	fields	of	various	scales	
                                                                 perpendicularly	(between	towers	47	and	48,	and	between	
bordered	by	hedgerows,	some	of	which	contain	mature	
                                                                 towers	44	and	45	respectively)	and	also	cross	the	river	
trees.	A	small	number	of	residential	properties	and	other	
                                                                 Boyne	at	a	location	approximately	1km	west	of	Bective	
buildings	are	visible,	but	the	trees	and	hedgerows	in	
                                                                 Abbey	(between	towers	46	and	47).	
the	view	screen	many	buildings	and	roads	that	would	
otherwise	be	visible.	The	view	is	of	great	significance	
                                                                 Photomontage	15	shows	the	nature	of	the	visual	effects	
due	to	its	cultural	and	historic	associations	as	well	as	
                                                                 on	the	view	from	the	bridge	at	Bective	Abbey	which	is	
its	landscape	importance	as	a	panoramic	view	taking	in	
                                                                 also	located	on	the	scenic	drive	from	Trim	to	Tara.	The	
a	great	distance.	The	view	from	the	Hill	of	Tara	is	listed	
                                                                 wireframe	suggests	that	three	towers	would	be	visible,	
for	protection	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	
                                                                 but	the	riverside	and	hedgerow	vegetation	screens	two	
(VP1),	the	Hill	of	Tara	itself	is	designated	as	a	landmark	in	
                                                                 of	these.	The	tower	that	is	visible	is	located	directly	in	
the	MLCA	where	it	is	also	designated	as	a	Major	Tourist	
                                                                 the	line	of	view	and	therefore	would	have	substantial	
Attraction.	The	Tara	area	is	also	subject	of	a	pilot	project	
                                                                 adverse	landscape	effects	on	this	viewpoint.	There	are	
to	develop	a	Landscape	Conservation	Area.	
                                                                 opportunities	for	screening	this	tower	with	carefully	
                                                                 positioned	tree	planting	which	would	retain	the	existing	
The	towers	will	not	be	visible	above	the	horizon	line	
                                                                 character	of	the	view.	As	the	tower	is	viewed	against	
and	the	sense	of	openness	and	the	pastoral	quality	of	
                                                                 the	sky,	visibility	of	it	and	the	cables	would	be	greatly	
the	landscape	will	not	be	significantly	affected.	While	
                                                                 dependant	on	weather	conditions.
a	proposed	section	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	
potentially	visible	from	this	viewpoint,	the	effects	of	
                                                                 Open	views	would	also	be	available	from	Bective	Abbey	
distance	and	screening	provided	by	existing	vegetation	
                                                                 and	the	proposed	development	would	be	seen	traversing	
will	result	in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	and	
                                                                 the	skyline	from	this	sensitive	but	undesignated	viewpoint	
negligible	or	slight	visual	effects	which	will	largely	depend	
                                                                 as	seen	in	Photomontage	16.	Intervening	vegetation	
on	weather	conditions.
                                                                 would	provide	some	screening,	and	there	is	potential	for	
                                                                 adding	to	this	screening	though	additional	planting.	The	
There	would	be	no	views	of	the	proposed	development	
                                                                 visual	effects	on	the	view	west	from	Bective	Abbey	would	
from	Kilmessan	or	Dunsany.
                                                                 be	substantial	adverse.	As	the	towers	would	be	seen	
                                                                 against	the	sky,	visibility	would	be	dependant	on	weather	
The	landscape	effects	on	this	area	would	be	generally	
                                                                 conditions.		
low	to	medium	adverse,	with	high	effects	occurring	in	the	
areas	in	immediate	proximity	of	the	alignment	(within	
                                                                 Open	views	would	also	be	available	from	the	county	
500m).	In	areas	beyond	1km	from	the	transmission	line,	
                                                                 road	to	the	south	of	the	river	Boyne	(Plate	12).	The	
where	visibility	is	possible,	the	landscape	effects	would	
                                                                 visual	effects	on	this	area	would	be	substantial	adverse	
be	low	adverse.	
                                                                 considering	the	flat	nature	of	the	landscape,	the	proximity	
                                                                 of	the	viewer	to	the	transmission	line	and	the	low	
                                                                 hedgerows	in	this	area.	




                                                                                                                                211
      12 Landscape


      Outside	of	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	Boyne	river,	           Plate	9
      the	landscape	becomes	less	sensitive.	Photomontage	
      10	illustrates	the	nature	of	visual	effects	on	views	from	       Plate	9	is	a	view	from	the	eastern	side	of	the	grounds	
      the	R161	north	of	the	river.	This	construction	of	the	road	      around	Trim	Castle,	approximately	5km	from	the	
      has	contributed	to	the	degradation	of	the	landscape	             proposed	development.	The	view	looks	over	the	Porch	
      character	as	roadside	hedgerows	have	been	removed.	              Field	and	illustrates	the	screening	effects	of	mature	
      A	new	sports	facility	has	been	constructed	as	is	visible	        vegetation	in	the	wider	landscape.	The	photoplate	
      in	Photomontage	10.	The	lighting,	signage	and	entrance	          indicates	a	landscape	which	is	flat	with	mature	vegetation	
      gates	associated	with	this	development	have	bought	a	            forming	hedge	boundaries.	The	effects	of	distance	and	
      more	built	up	character	to	this	location.	The	line	would	        intervening	vegetation	will	prevent	views	of	the	proposed	
      be	visible	crossing	the	R161	at	this	point,	between	towers	      development	from	this	location.	There	may	be	long	
      47	and	48,	and	these	two	towers	would	be	visible	either	         distance	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	upper	parts	
      side	of	the	road.	The	visual	effects	on	this	viewpoint	and	      of	the	Castle,	but	these	would	be	have	negligible	to	low	
      similar	ones	along	this	road	would	be	moderate	adverse	          adverse	effects	on	the	view	and	be	largely	dependant	on	
      considering	the	visual	effects	of	the	existing	infrastructure	   weather	conditions	
      already	in	place.
                                                                       There	are	no	known	views	of	the	alignment	from	within	
      Plate	14	indicates	an	open	view	from	further	north	east	         the	town	of	Trim.	Generally	the	landscape	effects	in	this	
      along	the	R161.	The	elevated	nature	of	this	viewpoint	           landscape	character	area	would	be	high	adverse	in	the	
      would	result	in	moderate	visual	effects	on	this	viewpoint	       vicinity	of	the	river	Boyne	and	Bective	Abbey,	where	
      and	similar	ones	in	the	areas	indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	     visibility	is	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3.	
      Figure	12.2.3	with	visibility	of	the	line.	                      There	is	some	potential	for	reducing	these	impacts	
                                                                       through	off	site	planting	as	described	in	section	12.4.7.	
      Plate	17	shows	the	nature	of	an	intermittent	view	from	          The	landscape	effects	are	lower,	reducing	to	moderate	
      further	east	along	the	scenic	route	from	Trim	to	Tara.	The	      adverse	in	areas	further	away	from	the	river	landscape.
      line	would	be	visible	at	an	approximate	3km	distance.	
      The	visual	effects	on	this	view	which	is	available	for	
      approximately	300m	would	be	moderate	adverse.	
                                                                       12.3.1.4	
                                                                       Section	D	–	West	Navan	Lowlands	–	
      Photomontage	11
                                                                       (Towers	50	to	87	incl.)
      Photomontage	11	illustrates	the	nature	of	the	views	from	
      Rath	Righ	at	the	Hill	of	Tara.	This	image	(and	plate	11	on	      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3	and	12.2.4,	
      Photosheet	12.2.3)	illustrates	the	wide	view	available	of	       Photosheets	12.3.4	to	12.3.8	and	Photomontages	22	and	
      a	low	lying	landscape,	made	up	of	fields	of	various	scales	      24
      bordered	by	hedgerows,	some	of	which	contain	mature	
      trees.		A	small	number	of	residential	properties	and	            Section	D	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.14	
      other	buildings	are	visible,	but	the	trees	and	hedgerows	        as	generally	having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	a	
      in	the	view	screen	many	buildings	and	roads	that	would	          transmission	line.	This	Landscape	Character	Area	contains	
      otherwise	be	visible.	The	view	is	of	great	significance	         the	longest	stretch	of	the	transmission	line,	for	a	total	
      due	to	its	cultural	and	historic	associations	as	well	as	        length	of	approximately	13km.		
      its	landscape	importance	as	a	panoramic	view	taking	in	
      a	great	distance.	The	view	from	the	Hill	of	Tara	is	listed	      There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
      for	protection	in	the	Meath	County	Development	Plan	             development	openly	and	intermittently	from	along	most	
      (VP1),	the	Hill	of	Tara	itself	is	designated	as	a	landmark	in	   of	the	county	roads	within	the	1km	corridor	(1km	each	
      the	MLCA	where	it	is	also	designated	as	a	Major	Tourist	         side	of	the	line).	This	is	due	to	the	generally	low	lying	
      Attraction.	The	Tara	area	is	also	subject	of	a	pilot	project	    nature	of	the	topography	and	low	roadside	vegetation	in	
      to	develop	a	Landscape	Conservation	Area.	                       many	areas	as	seen	in	Plates	21	and	25.	Where	roadside	
                                                                       vegetation	is	higher	as	seen	in	Plate	23,	visibility	reduces.	
      The	towers	will	not	be	visible	above	the	horizon	line	           Photomontage	22	shows	the	nature	of	this	visibility	within	
      and	the	sense	of	openness	and	the	pastoral	quality	of	           the	1km	corridor.	The	proximity	of	the	viewpoint	results	in	
      the	landscape	will	not	be	significantly	affected.	While	         landscape	effects	which	are	substantial	adverse.	Volume	
      a	proposed	section	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	             3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.3	shows	the	extent	of	open	views	in	
      potentially	visible	from	this	viewpoint,	the	effects	of	         parts	of	Section	D.	Increases	in	forestry	would	decrease	
      distance	and	screening	provided	by	existing	vegetation	          the	opportunities	for	open	views.
      will	result	in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	and	
      negligible	or	slight	visual	effects	which	will	largely	depend	
      on	weather	conditions.	




212
The	transmission	line	would	be	visible	from	the	N51	for	a	     substantial	adverse	where	the	arrangement	of	nearby	
stretch	of	approximately	2km.	The	impact	on	views	from	        vegetation	or	buildings	allowed	for	open	views	such	as	
this	road	is	moderate	adverse	increasing	to	substantial	       indicated	in	Photomontage	22	from	the	graveyard	at	
adverse	in	the	immediate	proximity	of	the	transmission	        Dunderry.	
line.	There	are	no	views	identified	from	the	N3	south	
of	Navan.	The	M3	under	construction	may	experience	            The	landscape	effects	on	areas	within	1km	of	the	line	
some	visibility	resulting	from	the	proposed	development,	      experiencing	visibility	would	be	high	adverse,	as	the	
but	this	would	be	dependant	on	proposals	for	roadside	         landscape	is	flat	allowing	for	open	views	where	vegetation	
planting.	The	flyovers	would	allow	for	open	views	of	the	      does	not	intervene.	Moving	away	from	the	immediate	
landscape	which	would	take	in	the	transmission	line.	          vicinity	of	the	transmission	line,	the	landscape	effects	
Those	closest	to	the	line	would	experience	substantial	        would	reduce	to	low	adverse	as	visibility	decreases.
adverse	visual	effects,	but	the	effects	of	distance	and	
intervening	vegetation	would	result	in	negligible	to	slight	
adverse	visual	effects	on	ones	at	a	further	distance	such	
                                                               12.3.1.5	
as	seen	in	Photomontage	22.	                                   Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	–	
Plate	29	shows	a	view	from	a	road	immediately	to	the	          (Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
west	of	the	demesne	at	Ardbraccan,	designated	in	the	
Meath	County	Development	Plan	as	an	Architectural	             Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.4	and	12.2.5	and	
Conservation	Area.	The	proposed	development	will	              Photosheets	12.3.8	to	12.3.13	and	Photomontages	32,	33,	
run	north	south	approximately	1km	to	the	west	of	the	          34,	35,	36,	37,	38,	39,	40,	41	
demesne.	The	new	M3	will	run	less	than	500m	to	the	west	
of	the	demesne,	between	the	demesne	and	the	proposed	          Section	C	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.15	
development.	It	was	not	possible	to	enter	the	demesne	         as	generally	having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	
but	it	is	unlikely	that	the	transmission	line	would	be	        a	transmission	line,	provided	that	the	potential	loss	of	
visible	from	within	the	site	as	there	are	a	number	of	built	   boundary	walls	and	planting	and	damage	to	historic	
structures	and	some	woodland	in	the	western	section	           features	and	their	setting	is	mitigated	against.	This	
of	the	site.	Plate	29	indicates	that	there	would	be	some	      capacity	would	arise	from	the	screening	potential	
views	from	the	road	immediately	to	the	west	of	the	            provided	by	hedges	and	trees.	
demesne	with	resulting	slight	adverse	visual	effects.
                                                               There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
Dunderry,	Robinstown	and	Bohermeen	are	the	main	               development	openly	and	intermittently	from	the	N3	which	
settlements	in	this	section,	but	apart	from	these	small	       is	a	designated	driving	route	in	the	MLCA.	The	line	would	
settlements,	residential	and	other	buildings	are	quite	        pass	this	road	perpendicularly	(between	towers	88	and	
sparsely	spread	throughout	the	landscape.	There	would	         89)	but	run	almost	parallel	for	approximately	700m	to	the	
be	open	and	intermittent	views	from	each	of	these	             west	of	Finnegan’s	Cross	Roads.	The	nature	of	the	visual	
settlements,	as	indicated	in	Photomontage	22	which	            effect	in	this	area	is	illustrated	in	Photomontage	32.	As	
looks	out	from	the	graveyard	at	Dunderry.	There	would	         this	photo	was	taken	before	summer	growth	appeared	on	
also	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	line	from	the	      the	hedgerows,	it	represents	the	visual	effects	without	
approaches	to	these	settlements.	The	visual	effects	would	     the	screening	offered	by	the	summer	growth.	The	visual	
be	substantial	adverse	on	available	views	from	Dunderry	       effects	on	this	part	of	the	N3	would	be	moderate	adverse.	
and	Robinstown	due	to	their	proximity	to	the	line.		Visual	    The	nature	of	visibility	from	other	roads	in	the	area	is	
effects	would	be	less	on	available	views	from	Bohermeen	       indicated	on	Figure	12.2.5.		
(Plate	26),	which	is	beyond	the	1km	corridor.		
                                                               The	main	settlements	in	the	area	are	Donaghpatrick,	
No	views	were	identified	from	the	western	outskirts	of	        Oristown	and	Gibstown.	The	proposed	development	
Navan	to	the	east	or	from	the	protected	viewpoints,	VP28b	     would	not	be	visible	from	either	Oristown	or	Gibstown.	
and	VP28c	south	of	Navan.		                                    Photomontage	33	indicates	the	nature	of	visibility	from	
                                                               the	bridge	at	Donaghpatrick.	There	would	be	no	landscape	
A	number	of	public	sites	are	located	within	1km	of	the	        effects	on	the	western	outskirts	of	Navan.	
line	in	Robinstown,	Dunderry,	Ardbraccan,	north	of	
Clarke’s	Cross	Roads	and	just	outside	the	1km	boundary	        The	line	would	cross	the	river	Blackwater	(between	towers	
at	Bohermeen.	The	visual	effects	on	these	sites	would	         89	and	90)	and	pass	through	the	Teltown	area	which	is	
be	generally	moderate	adverse,	as	vegetation	and	built	        an	important	archaeological	landscape.	Photomontages	
features	would	partially	screen	the	transmission	line	         35	and	33	illustrate	the	nature	of	visual	effects	at	the	
within	built	up	areas.	Visual	effects	would	increase	to	       river	crossing.	The	visual	effects	on	views	towards	the	
                                                               river	from	public	roads	would	be	moderate	adverse	




                                                                                                                             213
      12 Landscape


      due	to	the	screening	effects	of	the	vegetation	in	this	          Photomontage	34	
      area.	Views	similar	to	this	would	be	available	from	the	
      proposed	walkway	and	cycle	path	along	the	river.	The	            This	view	looks	west	from	the	corner	of	the	graveyard	at	
      impact	on	these	views	would	generally	be	moderate	               Donaghpatrick	Church.	The	valley	of	the	river	Blackwater	
      adverse,	as	vegetation	and	topography	would	screen	              is	in	view,	and	a	ringfort	is	located	on	the	far	side	of	the	
      much	of	the	transmission	line	from	riverside	views.	Visual	      river.	The	land	rises	steeply	to	the	right	of	this	photo,	
      effects	would	be	substantial	adverse	where	the	proposed	         preventing	views	of	the	proposed	development	and	
      pathway	would	run	in	close	proximity	to	a	tower	as	the	          this	corner	of	the	graveyard	is	the	only	location	from	
      traveller	is	moving	more	slowly	than	on	a	public	road	and	       which	this	view	of	the	proposed	development	is	visible.	
      in	a	designated	recreational	area.	                              One	tower	is	visible	on	the	skyline,	and	a	further	three	
                                                                       are	fully	screened	by	vegetation	and	topography.	Part	
      There	are	no	views	of	the	proposed	development	from	             of	the	wirescape	is	also	visible.	The	visual	impacts	on	
      the	protected	viewpoints	VP32a	(Tankardstown	&	                  this	location	would	be	substantial	adverse	considering	
      Donaghpatrick),	VP32b	(Bloomsberry),	VP32c	(Headfort	            that	the	eye	is	drawn	along	the	river	valley	to	the	tower.	
      Demesne	&	Sedanrath)	VP32d	(Moyfin,	Cakestown	Glebe	             However,	this	viewpoint	is	only	possible	from	one	
      &	Archdeaconry	Glebe)	or	VP32e	(White	Commons).	                 corner	of	the	graveyard	and	the	transmission	line	would	
      There	are	no	views	of	the	proposed	development	from	the	         not	generally	be	visible	from	this	area	or	from	within	
      designated	landmarks	at	Kells,	and	the	transmission	line	        Donaghpatrick.		
      would	not	be	visible	in	views	towards	these	landmarks.
                                                                       Photomontage	35
      Photomontages	32	to	41	illustrate	various	views	from	
      within	the	Teltown	archaeological	area	(towers	89	–	98).	        This	view	looks	southeast	over	the	Blackwater	river	
      The	locations	for	these	photomontages	were	selected	             valley	towards	the	location	of	a	ringfort	in	the	centre	of	
      in	conjunction	with	the	Archaeologist	authoring	Volume	          the	image.	A	Motte	and	Bailey	is	located	to	the	rear	of	
      2	Part	A,	Chapter	14	-	Cultural	Heritage	of	this	EIS	and	        this	viewpoint.	The	low	vegetation	in	this	location	allows	
      represent	views	from	sensitive	archaeological	sites.             for	a	wide	view	over	the	landscape,	however,	all	but	
                                                                       one	of	the	towers	are	partly	screened	or	fully	screened	
      Photomontage	32                                                  by	vegetation.	The	hedges	have	been	recently	trimmed	
                                                                       and	this	view	will	be	further	screened	as	they	grow	
      This	view	looks	north	east	from	the	Top	station	on	the	          back.	Travelling	along	the	Donaghpatrick-Oristown	third	
      N3.	The	N3	is	a	very	busy	road	and	any	views	to	the	wider	       class	road	in	a	north	westerly	direction	the	view	along	
      landscape	would	be	experienced	at	speed.	Four	of	the	            the	Blackwater	Valley	is	visible	for	approximately	100m	
      proposed	towers	are	visible	in	this	view,	with	the	closest	      before	it	is	screened	by	topography	and	higher	hedges.	
      in	the	centre	of	the	viewpoint.	The	wires	would	cross	the	       The	screening	continues	for	a	couple	of	hundred	metres	
      road	close	to	this	viewpoint.	Summer	growth	and	foliage	         before	giving	way	to	the	view	in	Photomontage	36	for	
      on	the	roadside	hedge	in	view	would	greatly	reduce	the	          approximately	30m.	The	tower	(tower	92)	in	the	far	right	
      visibility	of	the	towers	and	wirescape.	This	view	would	         of	this	image	is	visible	throughout	most	of	this	journey	
      be	available	for	approximately	1km	of	this	road,	the	            however	the	eye	is	naturally	drawn	to	the	picturesque	
      transmission	line	would	also	be	visible	to	the	right	of	the	     valley.	The	visual	impacts	on	this	location	would	be	
      road	and	the	visual	effects	would	be	moderate	adverse.	          moderate	adverse.			

      Photomontage	33                                                  Photomontage	36

      This	view	northwest	is	taken	from	the	north	side	of	             This	view	south	west	is	available	from	an	approximately	
      Donaghpatrick	bridge	which	is	a	protected	structure.	The	        30m	of	this	stretch	of	road.	The	signpost	points	towards	
      walls	on	either	side	of	the	bridge	are	high	and	prevent	         Cill	Tailteann.	There	is	a	tower	directly	behind	the	
      views	from	eye	level	in	a	car.	The	wall	reduces	in	height	for	   signposts	(tower	92),	partly	screened	by	trees.	The	
      a	short	stretch	but	the	visibility	of	this	view	would	greatly	   summer	growth	of	the	trees	would	screen	this	tower	fully	
      depend	on	speed	of	travel.	A	pedestrian	walking	along	the	       from	this	viewpoint.	A	further	four	towers	and	associated	
      bridge	would	have	this	view	for	the	length	of	the	bridge,	       wirescape	are	partly	visible	in	the	distance	and	the	visual	
      but	the	high	hedgerows	on	either	side	of	the	bridge	             effects	are	moderate	adverse.	New	tree	planting	and	
      prevent	views	out	into	the	wider	landscape.	The	bridge	          additional	planting	to	the	existing	hedgerows	would	
      is	narrow	and	therefore	not	particularly	appealing	to	or	        reduce	the	visual	impact	on	views	from	this	location.
      safe	for	pedestrians.	Two	of	the	towers	are	partially	visible	
      along	with	some	of	the	wirescape.	The	vast	majority	of	
      the	proposed	development	is	screened	by	vegetation	and	
      topography	and	the	visual	effects	are	slight	adverse.




214
Photomontage	37                                                 Photomontage	40

This	view	looks	east	from	a	third	class	link	road	running	      This	view	is	from	a	similar	location	to	Photomontage	37.	
south	from	St	Catherine’s	Church	to	a	T-Junction	with	          The	Teltown	earthwork	is	to	the	rear	of	the	viewer.	A	new	
the	Oristown/Donaghpatrick	road.	The	site	of	a	henge	           house	has	been	built	on	the	road	in	front	of	the	linear	
is	located	to	the	rear	of	the	viewer,	but	there	are	no	         earthwork	between	the	earthwork	and	the	proposed	
above	ground	features.	There	are	a	number	of	new	               development.	One	tower	is	partially	visible	along	with	the	
one	off	houses	nearby,	just	outside	the	extents	of	this	        wirescape.	The	other	potentially	visible	towers	are	mostly	
photograph.	This	viewpoint	is	within	the	confines	of	           screened	by	existing	trees.	The	screening	capabilities	of	
the	Teltown	archaeological	landscape.	One	tower	is	             the	trees	would	increase	with	summer	foliage.	There	is	a	
predominantly	visible	against	the	skyline	but	the	three	        wider	panoramic	view	to	the	right	of	the	picture,	no	parts	
other	potentially	visible	towers	are	screened	by	vegetation	    of	the	line	are	visible	in	this	part	of	the	view	due	to	the	
and	the	topography.	There	are	existing	electricity	poles	       screening	effects	of	vegetation	and	the	effects	of	distance.	
and	wires	in	the	field	in	the	foreground	and	telephone	         The	visual	effects	on	this	area	would	be	moderate	
poles	and	cable	along	the	road,	circumambient	to	the	           adverse.
view,	with	the	proposed	development	being	cumulative	
to	these.	The	visual	effects	on	this	viewpoint	would	be	        Photomontage	41
moderate	adverse	primarily	due	to	the	view	of	the	tower	in	
the	centre	of	the	photomontage.                                 This	view	is	taken	from	the	decorative	gate	of	the	former	
                                                                Gibstown	Demesne.	The	circular	feature	and	entrance	gate	
Photomontage	38                                                 are	listed	in	the	record	of	protected	structures	for	County	
                                                                Meath.	Gibstown	house	has	been	demolished,	however	
This	view	looks	southwest	from	a	location	on	the	R163	          it	is	survived	by	its	associated	outbuildings	which	are	
west	of	the	cemetery	at	Crasulthan	Cross	roads.	There	          approximately	1km	from	the	gates.	The	road	linking	the	
are	no	designated	cultural	heritage	sites	in	the	vicinity.	     gate	to	the	house	has	been	reclaimed	by	fields	leaving	
The	roadside	hedgerows	in	view	have	been	recently	cut	          the	gate	as	an	independent	feature	within	the	landscape.	
and	it	can	be	assumed	that	they	attain	higher	heights	at	       The	graveyard	and	GAA	pitch	with	associated	lighting	
other	times	of	the	year.		There	are	already	existing	poles	     currently	detract	from	the	structure’s	setting.	The	line	
and	wirescape	within	view.	The	two	towers	seen	in	this	         would	be	visible	from	this	location,	three	towers	would	
viewpoint	will	have	a	moderate	adverse	visual	impact,	          be	partially	visible	and	the	wirescape	would	be	almost	
reducing	in	magnitude	as	the	roadside	hedges	increase	          fully	visible	with	some	screening	provided	by	existing	
in	height.	The	remainder	of	the	line	will	be	screened	by	       trees.	The	proposed	development	is	seen	in	the	context	
the	roadside	vegetation	and	topography	as	seen	in	the	          of	existing	poles	and	wires.	The	visual	impact	of	the	line	
wireframe	model.	Although	the	towers	have	a	visual	             on	the	setting	of	the	Gibstown	Gate	is	assessed	in	the	
impact	upon	this	viewpoint,	travelling	along	the	R163	(the	     context	of	the	cumulative	visual	impact	of	all	the	other	
northern	boundary	of	the	Teltown	Landscape)	the	Teltown	        elements	in	view	and	is	moderate	adverse.	The	visual	
landscape	is	not	easily	identifiable	due	to	the	height	         impact	could	be	reduced	by	the	planting	of	trees	at	the	
of	hedgerows,	flat	nature	of	the	landscape	and	lack	of	         rear	of	the	GAA	pitch	and	graveyard.
opportunities	for	panoramic	views.
                                                                The	landscape	effects	on	the	Blackwater	river	landscape	
Refer	to	Volume	4	Part	A,	Appendix	14.8	“Teltown	Impact	        character	area	would	be	medium	to	high	adverse	
Assessment”.	                                                   depending	on	proximity	to	the	transmission	line	and	
                                                                visibility	from	any	particular	location.	Despite	the	flat	
Photomontage	39                                                 nature	of	the	landscape,	the	slight	undulations	and	
                                                                hedgerow	pattern	provide	screening	opportunities	
This	view	looks	over	the	Teltown	archaeological	                which	reduce	potentially	higher	widespread	landscape	
landscape.	Rath	Dhú,	an	enclosure	and	national	                 effects.		Where	the	transmission	line	would	be	seen	
monument	is	located	to	the	rear	of	the	viewer.	The	             in	conjunction	with	views	into	the	Blackwater	valley,	
wireframe	model	indicates	that	six	towers	are	potentially	      the	landscape	effects	would	be	high	adverse.	If	the	
partially	visible,	however,	the	vegetation	and	other	           Teltown	archaeological	landscape	were	opened	up	more	
structures	within	the	field	of	vision	screen	the	towers	from	   publicly	with	walking	routes	over	public	lands	and/or	
view	from	this	location	and	therefore	the	visual	effects	are	   interpretation	of	archaeological	features,	the	landscape	
slight	adverse.	                                                effects	could	be	high	where	the	transmission	line	would	
                                                                be	experienced	as	a	feature	within	the	landscape.	The	
                                                                Donaghpatrick	area	is	proposed	as	a	potential	Tourist	
                                                                Area	in	the	MLCA.




                                                                                                                                215
      12 Landscape


      12.3.1.6	                                                      provided	by	roadside	vegetation	along	this	line.	The	visual	
                                                                     effects	would	be	moderate	adverse	in	the	approach	to	
      Section	F	–	North	Navan	Lowlands	–	                            the	crossing,	substantial	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	
                                                                     transmission	line	crossing	(between	towers	101	and	102)	
      (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)                                       but	reducing	to	none	as	one	passes	the	crossing	in	either	
                                                                     direction.	
      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.5	and	12.2.6	and	
      Photosheets	12.3.12	to	12.3.17	and	Photomontages	50,	
                                                                     Some	open	and	intermittent	views	were	also	identified	
      64,	67
                                                                     from	areas	to	the	west	of	the	line,	east	of	Carlanstown	
                                                                     and	north	of	Oristown	(Plate	52).	The	visual	effects	on	
      Section	F	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.16	
                                                                     such	viewpoints	would	be	slight	to	moderate	adverse	
      as	generally	having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	
                                                                     considering	the	distance	to	the	alignment	and	the	
      a	transmission	line.	This	Landscape	Character	Area	
                                                                     intermittent	screening	effects	of	woodland.	
      contains	a	length	of	approximately	11km	of	the	proposed	
      transmission	line.	The	removal	of	field	boundaries	has	
                                                                     Wilkinstown,	Carlanstown	and	Castletown	are	the	main	
      created	open	panoramas	in	places	(Plates	43,	50)	but	
                                                                     settlements	in	this	section,	but	apart	from	these	small	
      other	parts	of	the	area	contain	tree	lined	road	boundaries	
                                                                     settlements,	residential	and	other	buildings	are	quite	
      which	limit	visibility	into	the	wider	landscape	(Plates	45,	
                                                                     sparsely	spread	through	the	landscape.	No	views	have	
      51,	60).	
                                                                     been	identified	from	either	of	these	settlements.		
      As	there	are	only	small	number	of	roads	in	the	immediate	
                                                                     Parts	of	the	line	in	this	section	fall	within	the	viewshed	
      vicinity	of	the	line	route,	opportunities	for	viewing	the	
                                                                     of	protected	viewpoints	from	Moynalty	and	Kells.	The	
      proposed	development	at	close	distance	are	few.	Visibility	
                                                                     transmission	line	would	not	be	visible	from	either	of	
      would	be	possible	for	a	short	stretch	of	a	county	road	
                                                                     these	viewpoints.	A	key	viewpoint	from	near	Kilbeg	
      at	Red	Island	and	from	St	John’s	Rath	to	the	N52.	The	
                                                                     Bridge,	located	approximately	4km	to	the	west	of	the	
      extent	of	this	visibility	is	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	
                                                                     line	falls	within	the	5km	study	area.	There	would	be	no	
      Figure	12.2.5	and	the	nature	of	the	visibility	is	indicated	
                                                                     visual	effects	on	this	viewpoint.	A	viewpoint	further	north	
      on	Photomontages	50	and	64.	The	visual	effects	resulting	
                                                                     towards	a	designated	landmark	(copse)	also	falls	within	
      from	visibility	of	the	transmission	line	from	these	flat	
                                                                     the	10km	study	area	for	landmarks	at	an	elevation	higher	
      and	open	remote	areas	would	be	substantial	adverse,	as	
                                                                     than	100m	AoD.	The	viewpoint	however,	looks	away	from	
      there	is	little	other	evidence	of	development	in	this	area,	
                                                                     the	proposed	development	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	
      and	the	transmission	line	is	close	to	these	viewpoints.	
                                                                     A,	Figure	12.2.6	and	therefore	would	not	experience	any	
      However,	the	amount	of	receptors	would	be	few	
                                                                     visual	effects.
      considering	the	remoteness	of	the	location.	
                                                                     There	are	no	public	sites	within	1km	of	the	proposed	
      The	proposed	development	would	be	openly	and	
                                                                     development.
      intermittently	visible	from	the	N52	for	approximately	1km,	
      (the	nature	of	visibility	is	indicated	on	Photomontage	67).	
                                                                     The	landscape	effects	in	this	area	would	be	severe	
      The	line	would	run	approximately	2km	to	the	west	of	and	
                                                                     adverse	within	the	1km	corridor	as	the	flat	and	remote	
      almost	parallel	to	the	R162.	The	visual	effects	would	be	
                                                                     character	would	be	altered	by	the	inclusion	of	a	
      substantial	adverse	at	the	crossing	point	of	the	N52	but	
                                                                     transmission	line.	However,	the	remote	nature	of	the	
      localised,	as	the	hedgerows	and	topography	in	this	area	
                                                                     landscape	and	sparse	road	network	would	result	in	a	
      would	prevent	long	distance	views.	The	transmission	line	
                                                                     small	number	of	potential	receptors.	Further	from	the	line	
      would	be	visible	openly	and	intermittently	in	views	to	
                                                                     route,	the	landscape	effects	would	be	moderate	adverse,	
      the	west	from	stretches	of	the	R162	from	Wilkinstown	to	
                                                                     as	any	visibility	of	the	transmission	line	would	be	within	
      Nobber	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.5	
                                                                     the	context	of	views	towards	remote	landscapes	and	the	
      and	12.2.6	and	Plate	43.	The	distance	between	the	road	
                                                                     perception	of	remoteness	would	be	reduced	to	a	certain	
      and	the	transmission	line	would	result	in	moderate	
                                                                     degree.	
      adverse	visual	effects	on	views	from	this	road,	reducing	
      to	negligible	where	the	viewer	would	be	travelling	in	a	
      direction	facing	away	from	the	line	route.	

      A	walking	and	cycling	route	runs	along	the	road	between	
      Kells	and	Wilkinstown	(Táin	Trail).	The	transmission	
      line	would	be	openly	or	intermittently	visible	from	this	
      walking	and	cycling	route	for	a	length	of	approximately	
      3km.	Plates	44	and	45	show	the	nature	of	screening	




216
12.3.1.7	                                                       Kilmainhamwood	as	indicated	on	Photomontage	79.	
                                                                The	impact	on	this	view	would	be	slight	adverse	as	the	
Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands–	                             roadside	vegetation	screens	views	of	the	towers.	Further	
                                                                along	the	road	the	towers	may	become	intermittently	
(Towers	128	to	160	incl.	&	Tower	166)                           visible	with	moderate	adverse	visual	effects.	
Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6	and	12.2.7,	
                                                                Three	key	viewpoints	are	located	within	this	section	
Photosheets	12.3.17	to	12.3.19	and	Photomontages	72,	
                                                                and	are	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6.	Two	
79,	85
                                                                of	these	viewpoints	face	away	from	the	location	of	the	
                                                                proposed	development	and	would	therefore	experience	
Section	G	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.17	
                                                                no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	transmission	line.	
as	generally	having	a	low	capacity	for	absorbing	a	
                                                                VP39	(Ervey)	would	experience	some	visibility	due	to	its	
transmission	line	because	development	located	on	
                                                                elevated	location,	and	would	experience	moderate	visual	
drumlin	tops	is	highly	visible	and	panoramic	views	to	
                                                                effects	similar	to	that	indicated	in	Photomontage	85.	It	is	
wider	landscape	from	these	drumlin	tops	are	an	important	
                                                                assumed	that	the	angle	of	this	viewpoint	is	towards	Ervey	
characteristic.
                                                                to	the	northwest,	which	is	not	in	the	direction	of	the	view	
                                                                to	the	transmission	line.	
The	line	route	passes	through	this	landscape	area	for	
approximately	11km	in	two	sections	and	the	line	passes	
                                                                The	setting	of	a	designated	landmark,	the	Estate	House	
in	and	out	of	County	Cavan	for	a	short	stretch.	Generally,	
                                                                at	Whitewood	Lough,	would	be	affected	by	the	proposed	
the	nature	of	the	landscape	limits	visibility	over	long	
                                                                development.	The	views	from	the	county	road	east	across	
distances,	and	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6	indicates	
                                                                the	Lough	towards	the	house	would	remain	unaffected	
that	the	proposed	development	would	be	most	visible	
                                                                and	continue	to	take	in	the	lake,	the	house	and	the	
within	the	1km	corridor	(1km	either	side	of	the	line	route).	
                                                                remnants	of	a	demesne	landscape.	However,	a	view	in	the	
The	highest	visibility	would	occur	along	the	county	road	
                                                                opposite	direction	westwards	from	the	road	would	include	
which	runs	almost	parallel	to	the	route	from	Rahood	Cross	
                                                                the	transmission	line	as	it	crosses	the	slightly	higher	
Roads	to	Kilmainhamwood.	Views	from	this	road	would	
                                                                ground	to	the	west.	The	nature	of	this	view	is	indicated	
experience	moderate	to	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	
                                                                on	Photomontage	72.	A	new	house	has	been	built	in	the	
depending	on	whether	the	viewer	was	facing	towards	or	
                                                                foreground	and	there	are	already	electricity	poles	in	view.	
away	from	the	transmission	line.	
                                                                One	tower	would	be	in	view	and	one	would	be	mostly	
                                                                obscured	by	trees	on	the	drumlin.	The	transmission	line	
The	county	road	west	of	Kilmainhamwood	would	also	
                                                                would	have	a	high	adverse	landscape	effect	on	the	setting	
experience	moderate	to	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	
                                                                of	the	Estate	House	and	on	views	out	from	this	landmark.	
for	an	approximate	2km	stretch,	but	visibility	would	be	
                                                                However,	the	view	towards	the	house	remains	intact,	
intermittent	due	to	roadside	vegetation	and	topography.	
                                                                while	the	wider	setting	undergoes	change,	as	it	has	to	a	
Similar	effects	would	be	experienced	on	the	R164	north	of	
                                                                certain	degree	already.	
Carnacally	Cross	Roads	and	the	county	road	heading	from	
the	R164	to	Ervey	Lough.	The	nature	of	visibility	from	the	
                                                                Nobber	and	Kilmainhamwood	are	the	main	settlements	
R164	is	indicated	on	Photomontage	79	with	substantial	
                                                                in	this	section,	but	apart	from	these	small	settlements,	
but	localised	visual	effects.	The	nature	of	visibility	from	
                                                                residential	and	other	building	is	quite	sparsely	spread	
the	county	road	heading	to	Ervey	Lough	is	indicated	on	
                                                                through	the	landscape.	No	views	have	been	identified	
Photomontage	85	showing	potential	moderate	visual	
                                                                from	either	of	these	settlements	due	the	screening	effects	
adverse	effects	due	to	the	screening	effects	of	topography	
                                                                of	vegetation.	There	is	also	a	small	cluster	of	houses	at	
and	vegetation.
                                                                Breaky	Cross	Roads	and	in	the	townlands	of	Lisnagrow	
                                                                and	Ballynaclose	(Plate	78).	There	would	be	some	long	
There	would	be	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	where	
                                                                distance	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	the	county	
the	transmission	line	crosses	the	county	roads	north	of	
                                                                road	north	of	Lisnagrow	for	a	stretch	of	approximately	
Kilmainham	River	(between	towers	159	and	150,	between	
                                                                0.5km	which	would	experience	moderate	adverse	visual	
towers	155	and	156)	and	at	Moorlagh	(between	towers	159	
                                                                effects.	The	county	road	leading	north	from	Breaky	Cross	
and	160)	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6.	
                                                                Roads	would	experience	some	intermittent	and	open	
These	effects	would	occur	for	an	approximate	1km	stretch	
                                                                visibility	of	the	transmission	line	as	it	passes	through	
of	each	of	these	roads	with	some	screening	provided	
                                                                County	Cavan,	with	moderate	to	substantial	adverse	
intermittingly	by	vegetation.		
                                                                visual	effects	(Plate	82).		
			
The	area	where	the	transmission	line	would	cross	the	
                                                                Some	long	distance	views	of	the	transmission	line	would	
Kilmainham	River	(between	towers	148	and	149)	is	
                                                                also	be	possible	from	elevated	areas	to	the	east	at	
only	visible	from	a	short	stretch	of	county	road	west	of	




                                                                                                                               217
      12 Landscape


      Carrickleck	(Plates	75,	77).	There	would	be	slight	adverse	      Teervurcher	is	the	main	settlement	in	the	area,	but	there	
      visual	effects	on	these	views	considering	the	distance	          would	be	no	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	this	
      involved.	Plate	76	shows	the	screening	effects	of	roadside	      location.	There	is	a	public	site	a	Breakey	Cross	Roads,	but	
      vegetation	in	much	of	this	elevated	area.		                      there	would	be	no	visibility	of	the	transmission	line	from	
                                                                       this	location.
      There	are	a	number	of	public	sites	within	1km	of	the	
      proposed	development	at	Kilmainhamwood	and	Breaky	               The	transmission	line	would	not	cross	any	roads	in	this	
      Cross	Roads.	The	transmission	line	would	not	be	visible	         section	but	would	terminate	just	south	of	the	county	road	
      from	these	sites.	                                               north	of	Moyhill.	Some	views	are	available	from	this	road	
                                                                       and	the	immediately	surrounding	area	as	indicated	on	
      The	landscape	effects	on	this	area	would	be	high	adverse	        Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	and	Plates	81,	84.	Due	to	
      in	the	areas	of	open	visibility	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	        their	proximity,	the	visual	effect	on	views	from	the	roads	
      Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6.	Where	views	occur	of	the	proposed	        would	be	substantial	adverse	but	extremely	localised	as	
      towers	at	slightly	elevated	positions,	the	visibility	would	     the	drumlin	topography	and	vegetation	prevents	views	
      affect	the	character	of	the	drumlin	tops.	In	the	parts	of	the	   over	longer	distances.	
      study	area	where	the	line	passes	through	wooded	areas	or	
      lower	lying	parts	of	the	landscape,	the	landscape	effects	       The	landscape	effects	on	this	area	would	be	high	adverse	
      would	be	low	to	moderate	adverse,	as	the	transmission	           in	the	areas	of	open	visibility	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	
      line	would	be	less	visible.	                                     Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	Where	views	occur	of	the	proposed	
                                                                       towers	at	slightly	elevated	positions,	the	visibility	would	
                                                                       affect	the	character	of	the	drumlin	tops.	
      12.3.1.8	
      Section	H	–	Teervurcher	                                         The	cumulative	landscape	effects	in	this	area	resulting	
                                                                       from	the	construction	of	additional	transmission	lines	as	
      Uplands–	(Tower	167)                                             part	of	the	County	Cavan	section	of	the	overall	proposed	
                                                                       development	and	the	construction	of	the	proposed	
      Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7,	Photosheets	            substation	at	Moyhill	are	discussed	in	section	12.3.3.	
      12.3.20	to	12.3.21	and	Photomontage	85

      Section	I	of	the	study	area	is	defined	in	Table	12.18	as	        12.3.1.9	
      generally	having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	a	
      transmission	line	due	to	the	wooded	nature	of	the	area,	
                                                                       Section	I	–	County	Cavan–	
      provided	the	positioning	is	sensitive	to	existing	views	and	     (Towers	161	to	165	incl.)
      landscape	constraints.
                                                                       Refer	to	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7,	Photosheets	
      Generally,	the	nature	of	the	landscape	limits	visibility	        12.3.19	to	12.3.21	and	Photomontage	85
      over	long	distances,	and	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	
      indicates	that	the	proposed	development	would	be	most	           Section	I	of	the	study	area	is	described	in	Table	12.19	
      visible	from	areas	of	higher	ground	to	the	north	of	the	         as	generally	having	a	medium	capacity	for	absorbing	a	
      line.	The	extent	of	visibility	is	indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	    transmission	line.	There	is	no	County	Landscape	Character	
      A,	Figure	12.2.7	and	is	largely	determined	by	topography.	       Assessment	for	County	Cavan	at	the	present	time.	
      The	nature	of	visibility	would	be	similar	to	that	illustrated	   Therefore	the	assessment	of	capacity	of	the	landscape	
      in	Photomontage	85,	with	the	transmission	line	closer	in	        is	based	on	field	survey	and	also	draws	on	the	Meath	
      some	cases	such	as	at	Drumbar,	north	of	Breakey	Cross	           Landscape	Character	Assessments	for	North	Meath	
      Roads	and	at	Moyhill.	The	visual	effects	on	these	areas	         Lakelands	and	Teervurcher	Uplands	which	contain	similar	
      would	be	substantial	adverse	where	there	are	open	views	         landscapes	to	that	found	within	this	part	of	County	Cavan.
      of	the	transmission	line	as	indicated	on	Figure	12.2.7.		
                                                                       Generally,	the	nature	of	the	landscape	limits	visibility	
      A	protected	view	looks	east	from	the	highpoint	at	               over	long	distances,	and	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	
      Cornasaus,	and	there	would	be	some	visibility	of	the	            indicates	that	the	proposed	development	would	be	
      transmission	line	from	within	the	viewshed	of	this	              most	visible	from	areas	of	higher	ground	to	the	north	of	
      viewpoint	(Plates	87,	88).	The	transmission	line	would	          the	line.	The	extent	of	visibility	from	this	upland	area	is	
      have	slight	to	moderate	adverse	visual	effects	on	this	          indicated	on	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7	and	is	largely	
      area.	There	would	be	very	few	opportunities	for	viewing	         determined	by	topography.	The	nature	of	visibility	would	
      the	transmission	line	to	a	backdrop	of	the	Cavan	Hills.	         be	similar	to	that	illustrated	in	Photomontage	85,	with	
      Such	viewpoints	may	be	possible	for	a	short	stretch	             the	transmission	line	closer	in	some	cases	such	as	at	
      of	the	county	road	north	of	Breakey	Cross	Roads,	with	           Drumbar,	Balloughly	and	Clonturkan	and	at	a	further	
      substantial	visual	effect	on	these	viewpoints.	                  distance	at	Edenagully	and	Drumcrin.	




218
Plate	83	indicates	a	localised	open	view	from	a	drumlin	
top	at	Balloughly.	This	location	would	experience	
                                                               12.3.2	
substantial	visual	effects	as	the	transmission	line	would	     Landscape	Impacts	on	Landmarks	
be	viewed	crossing	a	currently	open	panorama.	The	
location	of	the	transmission	line	in	the	lower	lying	parts	
                                                               (Meath),	High	Landscape	Areas	
of	this	viewpoint	would	however,	allow	for	screening	          (Cavan)	and	Landscapes	of	Special	
of	the	lower	parts	of	the	towers	to	occur.	This	effect	of	
topography	along	with	the	wooded	nature	of	the	area	           Interest	(Cavan)	
would	result	in	only	the	tops	of	towers	and	the	cable	
being	visible.	This	plate	represents	viewpoints	with	open	     The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	contains	the	
visibility	from	the	tops	or	the	southern	slopes	of	drumlins	   follow	policies	in	relation	to	the	protection	of	landscape	
within	1km	of	the	line	such	as	at	Drumbar.	                    character	and	areas	of	landscape	significance.

Kingscourt	is	the	main	settlement	in	the	area,	but	there	      HER	POL	86	–	‘To	provide	adequate	protection	of	views	
would	be	no	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	this	          and	vistas	that	contribute	to	the	appreciation	of	landscape	
location.	The	transmission	line	would	not	cross	any	roads	     character.’
in	this	section,	but	passes	just	to	the	south	of	a	group	of	
buildings	on	a	cul	de	sac	south	of	Drumbar	(towers	164-        HER	POL	92	–	‘To	preserve	the	integrity	of	the	landscape	
165).	There	would	be	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	on	    setting	of	important	historic	landscape	features	for	the	
these	buildings	due	to	their	proximity	to	the	line.            purposes	of	maintaining	unique	and	unspoilt	areas	of	
                                                               landscape	character,	visual	amenity	and	integrity”
A	Key	Viewpoint	looks	east	from	the	highpoint	at	
Cornasaus,	and	there	would	be	some	visibility	of	the	          Only	the	sections	containing	Landmarks,	High	Landscape	
transmission	line	from	within	the	viewshed	of	this	            Areas	and	Landscapes	of	Special	Interest	as	designated	
viewpoint	(Plates	87,	88).	The	transmission	line	would	        in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	and	Cavan	
have	slight	to	moderate	adverse	visual	effects	on	this	        County	Development	Plan	are	listed	herein.	
area.	
                                                               12.3.2.1	
A	High	Landscape	Area	as	designated	in	the	Cavan	County	
Development	Plan	is	located	at	Lough	an	Leagh	Gap	and	         Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	
indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	There	are	also	   (Towers	1	to	7	incl.)
a	number	of	walking	routes	within	this	area.	There	is	also	
a	scenic	viewing	point	at	Lough	an	Leagh	Gap.	Dún	na	Rí	       Landmark – Hill of Tara
is	designated	as	a	High	Landscape	Area,	County	Heritage	
Site	and	Park	as	in	the	Cavan	County	Development	and	          While	the	proposed	development	is	potentially	
also	contains	a	walking	route.	Maybologue	Church	is	a	         visible	from	this	landmark,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	
County	Heritage	Site.	The	proposed	line	is	not	visible	from	   for	Photomontage	11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	
any	of	these	areas.		                                          screening	provided	by	intervening	vegetation	would	result	
                                                               in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	effects	depending	
The	landscape	effects	on	this	area	would	be	high	adverse	      on	weather	conditions.	No	views	towards	the	Hill	of	Tara	
in	the	areas	of	open	visibility	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	      have	been	identified	that	would	be	intruded	on	by	the	
Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	Where	views	occur	of	the	proposed	      proposed	development.
towers	at	slightly	elevated	positions,	the	visibility	would	
affect	the	character	of	the	drumlin	tops.	
                                                               12.3.2.2	
The	cumulative	landscape	effects	in	this	area	resulting	
from	the	construction	of	additional	transmission	lines	as	
                                                               Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	
part	of	the	County	Cavan	section	of	the	overall	proposed	      (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)
development	and	the	construction	of	the	proposed	
substation	at	Moyhill	are	discussed	in	section	12.3.3.	        Landmark - Dunsany Church

                                                               There	would	be	no	views	of	the	proposed	development	
                                                               from	this	location	and	no	identified	views	of	the	Church	
                                                               would	be	affected	by	the	transmission	line.	This	along	
                                                               with	the	effects	of	distance	would	result	in	no	landscape	
                                                               impacts	on	this	landmark.




                                                                                                                              219
      12 Landscape


      Landmark – Hill of Tara                                        12.3.2.4	
      While	the	proposed	development	is	potentially	                 Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	
      visible	from	this	landmark,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	
      for	Photomontage	11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	
                                                                     (Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
      screening	provided	by	intervening	vegetation	would	result	
                                                                     Landmark - Stone bridge over River, Kells
      in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	effects	depending	
      on	weather	conditions.	No	views	towards	the	Hill	of	Tara	
                                                                     There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	
      have	been	identified	that	would	be	intruded	on	by	the	
                                                                     proposed	development.
      proposed	development.


      12.3.2.3	                                                      12.3.2.5	
      Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	                                      Section	F	–	North	Navan	Lowlands	
      (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)                                        (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)
                                                                     Landmark - Tower at Cruicetown Lough
      Landmark	-	Site	at	Trubley
                                                                     The	viewpoint	identified	in	the	MLCA	looks	away	from	the	
      A	landmark	site	is	designated	at	Trubley	although	it	is	not	
                                                                     proposed	development,	however,	views	of	the	line	would	
      clear	what	exactly	is	demarcated	as	the	landmark,	as	a	
                                                                     be	possible	on	the	approach	road	to	this	landmark,	and	
      number	of	historic	features	in	this	location	are	currently	
                                                                     therefore	there	would	be	some	landscape	effects	resulting	
      contained	within	a	significant	development	of	agricultural	
                                                                     from	the	transmission	line.	These	would	be	medium	
      buildings.	The	existence	of	the	new	buildings	has	
                                                                     adverse	in	nature.
      obscured	the	current	landmark	and	therefore	any	further	
      development	in	the	area	would	have	little	additional	
      landscape	impact	on	the	already	obscured	landmark.             12.3.2.6	
      Landmark - Yellowsteeple                                       Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands	
                                                                     (Towers	128	to	160	incl.	&	Tower	166)
      There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	
      proposed	development.                                          Estate House east of Whitewood Lough

      Landmark - Trim Castle                                         The	setting	of	the	Estate	House	and	Whitewood	Lough	
                                                                     would	be	affected	by	the	proposed	development.	The	
      There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        views	from	the	county	road	east	across	the	Lough	towards	
      proposed	development.	                                         the	house	would	remain	unaffected	and	continue	to	take	
                                                                     in	the	lake,	the	house	and	the	remnants	of	a	demesne	
      Landmark - Talbot Castle                                       landscape.	A	view	in	the	opposite	direction	westwards	
                                                                     from	the	road	would	include	the	transmission	line	as	
      There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        it	crosses	the	slightly	higher	ground	to	the	west.	The	
      proposed	development.                                          nature	of	this	view	is	indicated	on	Photomontage	72.	A	
                                                                     new	house	has	been	built	in	the	foreground	and	there	are	
      Landmark – Hill of Tara                                        already	electricity	poles	in	view.	One	tower	would	be	in	
                                                                     view	and	one	would	be	mostly	obscured	by	trees	on	the	
      While	the	proposed	development	is	potentially	                 drumlin.	The	transmission	line	would	have	a	high	adverse	
      visible	from	this	landmark,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	          landscape	effect	on	the	setting	of	the	Estate	House	and	
      for	Photomontage	11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	          on	views	out	from	this	landmark.	However,	the	view	
      screening	provided	by	intervening	vegetation	would	result	     towards	the	house	remains	intact,	while	the	wider	setting	
      in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	effects	depending	      undergoes	change,	as	it	has	to	a	certain	degree	already.	
      on	weather	conditions.	No	views	towards	the	Hill	of	Tara	
      have	been	identified	that	would	be	intruded	on	by	the	
      proposed	development.




220
12.3.2.7	                                                      would	experience	simultaneous	visibility	of	two	or	more	
                                                               transmission	lines	as	indicated	in	Photomontage	1.	It	
Section	I	–	County	Cavan	                                      can	be	seen	in	this	photomontage	that	the	existence	of	
                                                               hedgerows	in	the	landscape	prevents	cumulative	effects	
(Towers	161	to	165	incl.)                                      from	significantly	damaging	landscape	character.	The	
                                                               cumulative	landscape	effects	in	this	area	are	therefore	
River/Lakeside Amenity and Park - Annagh Lake,
                                                               medium	adverse.	
Butlersbridge

There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        12.3.3.2	
proposed	development.
                                                               Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	
High Value Landscape - Lough an Leagh Mountain                 (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)
There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        Figure	12.2.2	indicates	two	existing	transmission	lines	
proposed	development.                                          in	the	vicinity	of	the	proposed	line.	They	travel	in	north	
                                                               eastern	and	western	direction	away	from	the	proposed	
Area of Special Landscape Interest - Kingscourt/ Dun a Ri      transmission	line.	Generally,	the	distance	between	the	
                                                               transmission	lines	would	result	in	low	adverse	cumulative	
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	           landscape	effects,	increasing	to	medium	adverse	
proposed	development.                                          landscape	effects	where	two	of	the	transmission	lines	
                                                               would	cross	east	of	Derrypatrick	Bridge.	
County Heritage Site - Moybologue Church

There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        12.3.3.3	
proposed	development.                                          Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	
County Heritage Site - Dun a Ri Forest Park, Kingscourt        (Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
There	would	be	no	landscape	effects	resulting	from	the	        A	transmission	line	already	crosses	the	Blackwater	Valley	
proposed	development.                                          Character	Area	as	indicated	on	12.2.4	and	Figure	12.2.3.	
                                                               This	existing	transmission	line	is	not	simultaneously	
                                                               visible	in	any	of	the	sensitive	viewpoints	indicated	in	
12.3.3	                                                        Photomontages	32-41.	The	cumulative	landscape	effects	
Cumulative	Landscape	Effects                                   would	therefore	be	low	adverse.

Only	sections	where	cumulative	landscape	effects	will	         12.3.3.4	
occur	are	listed	herein.
                                                               Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands	
12.3.3.1	                                                      (Towers	128	to	160	incl.	&	166)
Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	                                 Two	existing	transmission	lines	cross	this	area	as	
(Towers	1	to	7	incl.)                                          indicated	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.6	and	12.2.7.	
                                                               The	nature	of	the	topography	and	the	screening	effects	of	
Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.1	indicates	a	number	of	          vegetation	would	minimise	the	potential	for	cumulative	
existing	transmission	lines	in	the	vicinity	of	the	proposed	   landscape	effects.	The	greatest	landscape	effects	would	
development.	The	proposed	line	would	join	these	and	           occur	on	the	R164	where	two	transmission	line	crossings	
cumulative	landscape	effects	would	result	from	the	            would	be	experienced	1km	apart.	
existence	of	several	transmission	lines	in	a	relatively	
small	area.	The	site	survey	revealed	that	many	of	the	
roads	within	this	area	are	bound	by	hedgerows	which	
limit	views	into	the	wider	landscape.	Where	these	views	
do	open	up,	long	distance	views	are	limited	by	the	pattern	
of	hedgerows	and	mature	trees.	The	area	where	the	
proposed	line	would	cross	an	existing	line	is	located	in	
a	remote	area	east	of	Derrypatrick	Bridge.	Some	areas	




                                                                                                                             221
      12 Landscape


      12.3.3.5	                                                        amount	of	transmission	lines	and	associated	structures	
                                                                       within	a	relatively	small	area,	with	resulting	high	adverse	
      Section	H	–	Teervurcher	Uplands	                                 cumulative	landscape	effects.	The	construction	of	the	
                                                                       proposed	substation	at	Moyhill	is	dealt	with	in	detail	in	
      (Tower	167)                                                      Volume	2	Part	B.
      Two	existing	transmission	lines	are	visible	as	indicated	
                                                                       The	nature	of	the	topography	would	prevent	high	and	
      in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.7.	A	further	two	short	
                                                                       adverse	landscape	effects	occurring	over	a	wide	area,	as	
      stretches	of	transmission	line	will	be	constructed,	details	
                                                                       screening	is	provided	by	hills	and	vegetation.	The	views	
      of	which	are	contained	in	Volume	2	Part	B.	The	result	
                                                                       from	tops	or	sides	of	drumlins	in	the	immediate	vicinity	
      will	be	a	landscape	that	contains	a	significant	amount	
                                                                       of	the	transmission	lines	would	experience	simultaneous	
      of	transmission	lines	and	associated	structures	within	
                                                                       visibility	arising	from	the	transmission	lines	and	therefore	
      a	relatively	small	area,	with	resulting	high	adverse	
                                                                       the	landscape	effects	on	these	landscape	features	in	
      cumulative	landscape	effects.	The	construction	of	the	
                                                                       the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line	would	be	
      proposed	substation	at	Moyhill	is	dealt	with	in	detail	in	
                                                                       high	adverse.	The	effects	on	the	lower	lying	parts	of	the	
      Volume	2	Part	B.	
                                                                       landscape	would	be	medium	adverse.		
      The	nature	of	the	topography	would	prevent	high	
                                                                       The	highest	cumulative	landscape	effects	would	occur	
      landscape	effects	occurring	over	a	wide	area,	as	screening	
                                                                       from	the	tops	of	drumlins	where	two	or	more	of	the	
      is	provided	by	hills	and	vegetation.	The	views	from	
                                                                       transmission	lines	may	be	visible,	for	example	at	
      tops	or	sides	of	drumlins	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	
                                                                       Drumcrin,	Balloughly,	Clonturkan,	Carrowreagh,	Birragh,	
      the	transmission	lines	would	experience	simultaneous	
                                                                       Edenagully,	and	Mullanacross.	The	cumulative	landscape	
      visibility	arising	from	the	transmission	lines	and	therefore	
                                                                       effect	would	be	medium	to	high	adverse	in	these	locations	
      the	landscape	effects	on	these	landscape	features	in	
                                                                       varying	in	relation	to	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	
      the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line	would	be	
                                                                       screening	effects	of	vegetation.	
      high.	The	effects	on	the	lower	lying	parts	of	the	landscape	
      would	be	medium	adverse.		
                                                                       12.3.4	
      The	highest	cumulative	landscape	effects	would	occur	
      from	the	tops	of	drumlins	where	two	or	more	of	the	              Visual	Impacts	on	Tourist	routes	
      transmission	lines	may	be	visible,	for	example	at	               and	places	as	identified	in	County	
      Agheragh,	Lisnaboy,	Moyhill	and	Letachmentgallon.	The	
      cumulative	landscape	effect	would	be	medium	to	high	             Development	Plans
      adverse	in	these	locations	varying	in	relation	to	the	effects	
      of	distance	and	the	screening	effects	of	vegetation.	            The	Meath	County	Development	Plan	contains	the	
                                                                       following	relevant	policy	in	relation	to	landscape	and	
                                                                       Tourist	routes/places.
      12.3.3.6	
      Section	I	–	County	Cavan	                                        HER	POL	109	–	‘To	protect	and	enhance	the	character	of	
                                                                       existing	landscape	features,	whether	man-made	or	natural	
      (Towers	161	to	165	incl.)                                        which	provide	viable	tourist	attractions.’

      Two	existing	transmission	lines	converge	east	of	                Only	the	sections	containing	Tourist	routes	and	places	as	
      Carrowreagh	approximately	1km	north	of	the	proposed	             designated	in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	
      development.	These	transmission	lines	cross	through	the	         are	listed	herein.	
      viewshed	of	the	protected	viewpoint	at	Cornasaus.	The	
      addition	of	the	short	stretch	of	the	proposed	transmission	
      line	which	will	pass	through	County	Cavan	will	not	
      significantly	add	to	the	cumulative	landscape	effects	of	
      the	existing	transmission	lines	as	the	drumlin	topography	
      generally	prevents	long	distance	views,	except	for	from	
      locations	on	the	tops	of	hills.	

      A	further	two	short	stretches	of	transmission	line	will	
      be	constructed	as	detailed	in	Volume	2	Part	B	of	the	
      project	along	with	the	proposed	substation	at	Moyhill.	
      The	result	will	be	a	landscape	that	contains	a	significant	




222
12.3.4.1	                                                        12.3.4.3	
Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	                                   Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	
(Towers	1	to	7	incl.)                                            (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)
Hill of Tara                                                     Scenic Driving Route - R161 and county road at Bective

The	Hill	of	Tara	is	designated	as	a	Major	Tourist	Attraction.	   There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
Photomontage	11	illustrates	the	nature	of	the	views	from	        development	openly	and	intermittently	from	the	R161	and	
Rath	Righ	at	the	Hill	of	Tara.	This	image	(and	plate	11	on	      the	country	road	leading	from	Bective	to	Tara,	which	is	a	
Photosheet	12.3.3)	illustrates	the	wide	view	available	of	       scenic	route	as	identified	in	the	MLCA.	See	Volume	3	Part	
a	low	lying	landscape,	made	up	of	fields	of	various	scales	      A,	Figure	12.2.3	for	extent	of	visibility	from	the	roads.	The	
bordered	by	hedgerows,	some	of	which	contain	mature	             transmission	line	would	cross	the	road	perpendicularly	
trees.	A	small	number	of	residential	properties	and	other	       and	also	cross	the	river	Boyne	at	a	location	approximately	
buildings	are	visible,	but	the	trees	and	hedgerows	in	           1km	west	of	Bective	Abbey.	
the	view,	screen	many	buildings	and	roads	that	would	
otherwise	be	visible.	The	view	is	of	great	significance	         Photomontage	15	shows	the	nature	of	the	visual	effects	
due	to	its	cultural	and	historic	associations	as	well	as	its	    on	the	view	from	the	bridge	at	Bective	Abbey	which	is	also	
landscape	importance	as	a	panoramic	view	taking	in	a	            located	on	the	scenic	drive.	The	visual	impact	on	this	view	
great	distance.	                                                 would	be	substantial	adverse.	The	wireframe	suggests	
                                                                 that	three	towers	would	be	visible,	but	the	riverside	and	
The	towers	will	not	be	visible	above	the	horizon	line	           hedgerow	vegetation	screens	two	of	these.	The	tower	
and	the	sense	of	openness	and	the	pastoral	quality	of	           that	is	visible	is	directly	in	the	line	of	view	and	therefore	
the	landscape	will	not	be	significantly	affected.	While	         would	have	substantial	effects	on	this	viewpoint.	There	
a	proposed	section	of	the	transmission	line	will	be	             are	opportunities	for	screening	this	tower	with	carefully	
potentially	visible	from	this	viewpoint,	the	effects	of	         positioned	tree	planting	which	would	retain	the	existing	
distance	and	screening	provided	by	existing	vegetation	          character	of	the	view.	As	the	tower	is	viewed	against	the	
will	result	in	negligible	or	low	adverse	landscape	and	          sky,	visibility	of	it	and	its	conductors	would	be	greatly	
negligible	or	slight	adverse	visual	effects	which	will	          dependant	on	weather	conditions.	Photomontage	16	
largely	depend	on	weather	conditions.	                           illustrates	a	view	from	Bective	Abbey	itself	which	shows	
                                                                 that	the	transmission	line	would	be	visible	on	the	horizon	
Summerhill                                                       with	resulting	substantial	adverse	visual	effects.	

The	settlement	of	Summerhill	is	located	approximately	           Photomontage	10	illustrates	the	nature	of	visual	effects	on	
6km	to	the	west	of	the	proposed	line	and	is	designated	          views	from	the	R161	north	of	the	river.	This	construction	
as	a	potential	tourist	attraction	in	the	MLCA.	There	would	      of	the	road	has	contributed	to	some	degradation	of	the	
be	no	impact	on	this	potential	tourist	attraction	resulting	     landscape	character	as	roadside	hedgerows	have	been	
from	the	proposed	development.	                                  removed.	A	new	sports	facility	has	been	constructed	as	
                                                                 is	visible	in	Photomontage	10.	The	lighting,	signage	and	
                                                                 entrance	gates	associated	with	this	development	have	
12.3.4.2	                                                        bought	a	more	built	up	character	to	this	location.	The	
Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	                                    transmission	line	would	be	visible	crossing	the	R161	at	
                                                                 this	point	and	two	of	the	towers	are	visible	either	side	
(Towers	8	to	39	incl.)                                           of	the	road.	The	visual	effects	on	this	viewpoint	and	
                                                                 similar	ones	along	this	road	would	be	moderate	adverse	
A	cross	at	Dunsany	is	designated	as	a	secondary	tourist	         considering	the	existing	infrastructure	already	in	place.	
attraction	and	the	Dunsany	area	as	a	potential	tourist	area	
in	the	MLCA.	The	proposed	development	would	not	affect	          Plate	17	shows	the	nature	of	an	intermittent	view	from	
this	designation.	A	further	secondary	tourist	attraction	is	     further	east	along	this	scenic	route.	The	location	is	at	a	
located	south	west	of	Dunsany	as	indicated	on	Volume	3	          slightly	higher	elevation	and	therefore	the	transmission	
Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2.	This	would	also	not	experience	any	       line	would	be	visible	at	an	approximate	3km	distance.	
landscape	or	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	proposed	         The	visual	effects	on	this	view	which	is	available	for	
development.                                                     approximately	300m	would	be	moderate	adverse.	




                                                                                                                                  223
      12 Landscape


      Trim Castle                                                   Potential Tourist Area - Donaghpatrick

      Plate	9	is	a	view	from	the	eastern	side	of	the	grounds	       The	potential	visual	effects	on	this	area	are	illustrated	
      around	Trim	Castle,	approximately	5km	from	the	               in	Photomontages	32-41.	The	impacts	generally	range	
      proposed	development.	The	view	looks	over	the	Porch	          from	slight	to	moderate	adverse	and	there	are	no	
      Field	and	illustrates	the	screening	effects	of	mature	        open	public	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	within	
      vegetation	in	the	wider	landscape.	The	photoplate	            Donaghpatrick	(apart	from	one	view	identified	from	the	
      indicates	a	landscape	which	is	flat	with	mature	vegetation	   corner	of	the	graveyard	as	illustrated	in	Photomontage	
      forming	hedge	boundaries.	The	effects	of	distance	and	        34).	The	potential	visual	effects	on	this	area	are	therefore	
      intervening	vegetation	will	prevent	views	of	the	proposed	    moderate	adverse	and	if	new	areas	were	made	accessible	
      development	from	this	location.	There	may	be	long	            though	walking	routes	etc.,	carefully	sited	native	planting	
      distance	views	of	the	transmission	line	from	upper	parts	     could	reduce	any	higher	visual	effects	on	new	public	
      of	the	Castle,	but	these	would	be	have	negligible	to	low	     views.
      adverse	effects	on	the	view	and	be	largely	dependant	on	
      weather	conditions	
                                                                    12.3.4.6	
      12.3.4.4	                                                     Section	H	–	Teervurcher	Uplands	
      Section	D	–	West	Navan	Lowlands	                              (Tower	167)
      (Towers	50	to	87	incl.)                                       Potential Tourist Area - Area around Corboggy

      Scenic Driving Route - N3 Driving Route from Kells to         There	would	be	no	visual	effects	on	this	proposed	Tourist	
      Navan                                                         Area	resulting	from	the	development.	

      There	are	opportunities	for	viewing	the	proposed	
      development	openly	and	intermittently	from	the	N3	
                                                                    12.3.5	
      which	is	a	designated	driving	route	in	the	MLCA.	The	         Visual	Impacts	on	existing	and	
      transmission	line	would	pass	this	road	perpendicularly	
      and	run	almost	parallel	for	approximately	700m	to	the	        proposed	way	marked	paths	and	
      west	of	Finnegan’s	Cross	Roads.	The	nature	of	the	visual	     cycle	routes
      effect	in	this	area	is	illustrated	in	Photomontage	32.	As	
      this	photo	was	taken	before	summer	growth	appeared	on	        The	Meath	County	Development	plan	states	that	
      the	hedgerows,	it	represents	the	visual	effects	without	      existing	walking	and	cycling	routes	will	be	“protected	
      the	screening	offered	by	the	summer	growth.	The	visual	       and	maintained”	(section	3.3.11).	It	also	states	that	
      effects	on	this	part	of	the	N3	are	moderate	adverse.          cycling	routes	such	as	the	Táin	Trail	will	be	“pursued	and	
                                                                    developed”.	
      12.3.4.5	
                                                                    One	potential	route	for	a	footpath	and	cycle	route,	
      Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	                                located	within	the	study	area,	is	indicated	on	the	Tourist	
                                                                    Attractions	Map	of	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	
      (Towers	88	to	97	incl.)                                       Assessment.	This	potential	route	would	leave	Navan	
                                                                    in	a	north-western	direction	along	the	river	Blackwater	
      Scenic Driving route - N3 south of Donaghpatrick
                                                                    towards	Kells	and	continue	further	northwest	from	there.	
                                                                    The	policy	relating	to	this	proposed	route	is	as	follows:
      Photomontage	32	looks	north	east	from	the	Top	station	
      on	the	N3.	The	N3	is	a	very	busy	road	and	any	views	to	
                                                                    ED POL 66	of	the	Meath	Development	Plan	(Economic	
      the	wider	landscape	would	be	experienced	at	speed.	Four	
                                                                    Development,	Chapter	3.3.11)	-	‘To	facilitate	the	
      of	the	proposed	towers	are	visible	in	this	view,	with	the	
                                                                    development	of	a	series	of	walkways	and	cycleways	
      closest	in	the	centre	of	the	viewpoint.	The	wires	would	
                                                                    including	signposting.’
      cross	the	road	close	to	this	viewpoint.	Summer	growth	
      and	foliage	on	the	roadside	hedge	in	view	would	greatly	
                                                                    Only	the	sections	containing	existing	and	proposed	way	
      reduce	the	visibility	of	the	towers	and	wirescape.	This	
                                                                    marked	paths	and	cycle	routes	as	designated	in	the	Meath	
      view	would	be	available	for	approximately	1km	of	this	
                                                                    Landscape	Character	Assessment	and	Cavan	County	
      road,	the	transmission	line	would	also	be	visible	to	the	
                                                                    Development	Plan	are	listed	herein.
      right	of	the	road	and	the	visual	effects	would	be	moderate	
      adverse.	




224
12.3.5.1	                                                      route	is	constructed,	carefully	placed	native	vegetation	
                                                               could	reduce	these	visual	effects.	
Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	
                                                               Way marked and cycle route from Kells to Wilkinstown
(Towers	8	to	39	incl.)
                                                               A	walking	and	cycling	route	runs	along	the	road	between	
Way marked path and cycle route from Trim to Tara via
                                                               Kells	and	Wilkinstown	(Táin	Trail),	the	transmission	line	
Kilmessan
                                                               would	be	visible	from	this	route	openly	and	intermittently	
                                                               for	approximately	3km.	Plates	44	and	45	show	the	nature	
The	line	would	cross	the	walking	and	cycling	route	from	
                                                               of	screening	provided	by	roadside	vegetation	along	this	
Trim	to	Kilmessan	at	Crumpstown	(between	towers	
                                                               route.	The	visual	effects	would	be	moderate	adverse	in	
32	and	33).	The	nature	of	roadside	vegetation	in	this	
                                                               the	approach	to	the	crossing,	substantial	adverse	in	the	
location	would	only	allow	for	views	in	the	proximity	of	
                                                               immediate	vicinity	of	the	line	crossing	(between	towers	
the	transmission	line	for	a	distance	of	approximately	
                                                               101	and	102)	but	reducing	to	none	as	one	passes	the	
500m	each	side	of	the	line.	The	complex	pattern	of	
                                                               crossing	in	either	direction.	
hedgerows	prevents	medium	or	long	distance	views	into	
the	landscape.	Close	distance	views	of	the	line	would	
experience	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	resulting	       12.3.5.4	
from	the	proximity	to	a	tower	similar	to	those	indicated	
in	Photomontage	7.	However,	these	would	be	localised	          Section	F	–	North	Navan	Lowlands	
and	limited	to	the	road	in	the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	      (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)
proposed	development.	
                                                               Way marked and cycle route from Kells to Wilkinstown
12.3.5.2	                                                      A	walking	and	cycling	route	runs	along	the	road	between	
Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	                                      Kells	and	Wilkinstown	(Táin	Trail),	the	transmission	line	
                                                               would	be	visible	from	this	route	openly	and	intermittently	
(Towers	40	to	49	incl.)                                        for	approximately	3km.	Plate	44	and	45	show	the	nature	
                                                               of	screening	provided	by	roadside	vegetation	along	this	
Way marked path and cycle route from Trim to Tara via
                                                               route.	The	visual	effects	would	be	moderate	adverse	
Kilmessan
                                                               in	the	approach	to	the	crossing,	substantial	adverse	in	
                                                               the	immediate	vicinity	of	the	transmission	line	crossing	
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                               (between	towers	101	and	102)	but	reducing	to	none	as	one	
proposed	development	within	this	section.
                                                               passes	the	crossing	in	either	direction.	

12.3.5.3	                                                      Section	I	–	County	Cavan	(Towers	161	to	165	incl.)
Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	                                 Lough an Leagh walking route
(Towers	88	to	97	incl.)
                                                               There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
Proposed way marked path and cycle route along the             proposed	development.
Blackwater
                                                               Dun a Ri Forest Park walking route
Photomontages	35	and	33	illustrate	the	nature	of	visual	
effects	on	views	from	public	roads	where	the	transmission	     There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
line	would	cross	the	River	Blackwater	(between	towers	89	      proposed	development.
and	90).	The	visual	effects	on	views	towards	the	river	from	
these	public	roads	would	be	moderate	adverse	due	to	           Castle Walk Bailieborough
the	screening	effects	of	the	vegetation	in	this	area.	Views	
similar	to	this	would	be	available	from	the	proposed	          There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
walkway	and	cycle	path	proposed	along	the	river.	The	          proposed	development.
visual	impact	on	these	views	would	generally	be	moderate	
adverse,	as	vegetation	and	topography	would	screen	
much	of	the	transmission	line	from	riverside	views.	Visual	
effects	would	be	substantial	adverse	where	the	proposed	
pathway	would	run	in	close	proximity	to	a	tower	as	the	
traveller	is	moving	more	slowly	than	on	a	public	road	and	
in	a	designated	recreational	area.	If	the	path	and	cycle	




                                                                                                                             225
      12 Landscape


      12.3.6	                                                       12.3.6.4	
      Visual	Impacts	on	Settlements                                 Section	D	–	West	Navan	Lowlands	
                                                                    (Towers	50	to	87	incl.)
      12.3.6.1	
                                                                    Robinstown
      Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	
      (Towers	1	to	7	incl.)                                         There	would	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	
                                                                    transmission	line	from	Robinstown,	represented	by	plate	
      Summerhill                                                    19	which	looks	south	west	over	the	line	from	a	position	
                                                                    on	the	north	eastern	side	of	the	settlement.	There	would	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	          also	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	line	from	the	
      proposed	development.                                         approach	to	the	settlement.	The	visual	effects	would	be	
                                                                    substantial	adverse	on	available	views	from	Robinstown	
                                                                    due	to	its	proximity	to	the	line.	
      12.3.6.2	
      Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	                                 Dunderry

      (Towers	8-39)                                                 There	would	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	
                                                                    transmission	line	from	Dunderry,	as	indicated	in	
      Batterjohn                                                    Photomontage	22	which	looks	out	from	the	graveyard.	
                                                                    There	would	also	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	
      Some	views	of	the	transmission	line	would	be	possible	        line	from	the	approach	to	the	settlement.	The	visual	
      from	the	R154	approaching	Batterjohn	from	the	east	as	        effects	would	be	substantial	adverse	on	available	views,	
      seen	in	Volume	3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.2,	but	there	would	be	   due	to	its	proximity	to	the	line.	
      no	views	from	within	the	settlement	itself.
                                                                    Navan
      Dunsany
                                                                    There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	          proposed	development.
      proposed	development.
                                                                    Bohermeen
      Kilmessan
                                                                    Visual	effects	would	be	moderate	on	available	views	from	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	          Bohermeen	(Plate	26),	which	is	beyond	the	1km	corridor.	
      proposed	development.                                         	
                                                                    Ardbraccan
      12.3.6.3	
                                                                    Plate	29	shows	a	view	from	a	road	immediately	to	the	
      Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	                                     west	of	the	demesne	at	Ardbraccan.	The	transmission	
                                                                    line	will	run	north	south	approximately	1km	to	the	west	
      (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)                                       of	this	settlement.	The	new	M3	will	run	less	than	500m	
                                                                    to	the	west	of	Ardbraccan,	between	the	demesne	and	
      Trim
                                                                    the	proposed	development.	Plate	29	indicates	that	there	
                                                                    would	be	some	views	from	the	road	immediately	to	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                    the	west	of	the	demesne	with	resulting	slight	adverse	
      proposed	development.
                                                                    visual	effects,	there	would	be	no	views	from	the	road	
                                                                    immediately	to	the	north	of	the	demesne.	
      Kilmessan

      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
      proposed	development.




226
12.3.6.5	                                                      Gibstown
                                                               There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	                                 proposed	development.
(Towers	88	to	97	incl.)                                        Kells
Navan
                                                               There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                               proposed	development.
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
proposed	development.
                                                               12.3.6.6	
Donaghpatrick
                                                               Section	F	–	North	Navan	Lowlands	
The	nature	of	views	from	the	bridge	at	Donaghpatrick	is	       (Towers	98	to	127	incl.)
indicated	on	Photomontage	33.	This	view	northwest	is	
taken	from	the	north	side	of	Donaghpatrick	bridge.	The	        Wilkinstown
walls	on	either	side	of	the	bridge	are	high	and	prevent	
views	from	eye	level	in	a	car.	The	wall	reduces	in	height	     There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
for	a	short	stretch	but	the	visibility	of	this	view	would	     proposed	development.
greatly	depend	on	speed	of	travel.		A	pedestrian	walking	
along	the	bridge	would	have	this	view	for	the	length	of	       Carlanstown
the	bridge,	but	the	high	hedgerows	on	either	side	of	the	
bridge	prevent	views	out	into	the	wider	landscape.	The	        There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
bridge	is	narrow	and	therefore	not	particularly	appealing	     proposed	development.
to	or	safe	for	pedestrians.	Two	of	the	towers	are	partially	
visible	along	with	some	of	the	wirescape.	The	vast	            Castletown
majority	of	the	proposed	line	is	screened	by	vegetation	
and	topography.	The	impact	on	this	viewpoint	would	be	         There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
slight	adverse.	                                               proposed	development.

Photomontage	34	looks	west	from	the	corner	of	the	
graveyard	at	Donaghpatrick	Church.	The	valley	of	the	          12.3.6.7	
river	Blackwater	is	in	view,	and	a	ringfort	is	located	on	     Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands	
the	far	side	of	the	river.	The	land	rises	steeply	to	the	
right	of	this	photo,	preventing	views	of	the	transmission	     (Towers	128	to	160	incl.	&	Tower	166)
line	and	this	corner	of	the	graveyard	is	the	only	location	
from	which	this	view	of	the	transmission	line	is	visible.	     Kilmainhamwood
One	tower	is	visible	on	the	skyline,	and	a	further	three	
are	fully	screened	by	vegetation	and	topography.	Part	         There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
of	the	wirescape	is	also	visible.	The	visual	impacts	on	       proposed	development.
this	location	would	be	substantial	adverse	considering	
that	the	eye	is	drawn	along	the	river	valley	to	the	tower.	    Nobber
However,	this	viewpoint	is	only	possible	from	one	
corner	of	the	graveyard	and	the	transmission	line	would	       There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
not	generally	be	visible	from	this	area	or	from	within	        proposed	development.
Donaghpatrick.		

There	are	no	views	from	public	areas	within	
                                                               12.3.6.8	
Donaghpatrick	due	to	the	wooded	nature	of	the	                 Section	H	–	Teervurcher	Uplands	
settlement.	
                                                               (Tower	167)	
Oristown
                                                               Teervurcher
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                               There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
proposed	development.
                                                               proposed	development.




                                                                                                                      227
      12 Landscape


      12.3.6.9	                                                       indicated	in	Photomontage	8	and	are	slight	to	moderate	
                                                                      adverse	considering	the	distance	to	the	line	route	and	the	
      Section	I	–	County	Cavan	                                       screening	effects	of	intervening	vegetation.
      (Towers	161	to	165	incl.)
                                                                      12.3.7.3	
      Kingscourt
                                                                      Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	            (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)
      proposed	development.
                                                                      The	impact	on	the	public	sports	site	indicated	on	Volume	
      12.3.7	                                                         3	Part	A,	Figure	12.2.4	would	be	similar	to	that	indicated	
                                                                      on	Photomontage	10	with	moderate	adverse	visual	effects.	
      Visual	Impacts	on	public	sites	within	
                                                                      Section	D	–	West	Navan	Lowlands	(Towers	50	to	87	incl.)
      1km	either	side	of	the	alignment	
                                                                      Robinstown
      Only	the	sections	containing	public	sites	within	1km	
      either	side	of	the	alignment	are	listed	herein.	Public	sites	
                                                                      There	would	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	
      include	schools,	churches	and	sports	pitches.
                                                                      transmission	line	from	public	sites	at	Robinstown,	
                                                                      represented	by	Photomontage	22	which	looks	out	from	
      12.3.7.1	                                                       the	graveyard	at	Dunderry.	The	visual	effects	would	be	
                                                                      substantial	adverse	on	available	views	from	Robinstown	
      Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	                                  due	to	its	proximity	to	the	line	route.	
      (Towers	1	to	7	incl.)
                                                                      Dunderry

      Junction north of Stamullin cross roads (slightly outside       There	would	be	open	and	intermittent	views	of	the	
      the 1km corridor)                                               transmission	line	from	Dunderry,	as	indicated	in	
                                                                      Photomontage	22,	which	looks	out	from	the	graveyard.	
      Photomontage	4	illustrates	the	nature	of	visibility	of	         The	visual	effects	would	be	substantial	adverse	on	
      the	transmission	line	from	this	location.	The	wireframe	        available	views	from	due	to	its	proximity	to	the	alignment.	
      indicates	that	four	towers	are	potentially	visible	crossing	
      over	the	landscape.	However,	the	roadside	hedge	and	            North of Clarkes Crossroads
      mature	trees	provide	screening	so	that	the	towers	are	
      not	seen	in	their	entirety.	The	conductor	is	visible	as	        There	would	be	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	on	
      the	hedgerow	is	relatively	low	in	this	location.	The	           views	from	the	public	sites	north	of	Clarke’s	Crossroads	
      visual	effects	on	this	view	and	on	similar	viewpoints	          due	to	its	proximity	to	the	line	route.
      approximately	1km	from	the	line	route	in	this	area	would	
      be	slight	to	moderate	adverse.	                                 Churchtown

      12.3.7.2	                                                       There	would	be	substantial	adverse	visual	effects	on	
                                                                      views	from	the	public	site	at	Chuchtown	due	to	its	
      Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	                                   proximity	to	the	line	route.
      (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)                                          Ardbraccan
      Batterjohn
                                                                      Plate	29	shows	a	view	from	a	road	immediately	to	the	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	            west	of	the	demesne	at	Ardbraccan.	The	transmission	
      proposed	development.                                           line	will	run	north	south	approximately	1km	to	the	west	
                                                                      of	this	settlement.	The	new	M3	will	run	less	than	500m	
      Ballynamona                                                     to	the	west	of	Ardbraccan,	between	the	demesne	and	the	
                                                                      transmission	line.	Plate	29	indicates	that	there	would	be	
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	                some	views	from	the	road	immediately	to	the	west	of	the	
      the	proposed	development	on	views	from	the	sites	               demesne	with	resulting	slight	adverse	visual	effects,	there	
      themselves.	There	would	be	some	visibility	on	the	              would	be	no	views	from	the	road	immediately	to	the	north	
      approach	to	the	sites	-	the	nature	of	these	effects	is	         of	the	demesne.	




228
12.3.7.4	                                                         12.3.7.6	
Section	E	–	Blackwater	Valley	                                    Section	H	-	Teervurcher	Uplands	
(Towers	88	to	97	incl.)                                           (Tower	167)
Donaghpatrick                                                     Breakey Cross Roads
                                                                  There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
Photomontage	34	looks	west	from	the	corner	of	the	                proposed	development.
graveyard	at	Donaghpatrick	Church.	The	valley	of	the	river	
Blackwater	is	in	view,	and	a	ringfort	is	located	on	the	far	
side	of	the	river.	The	land	rises	steeply	to	the	right	of	this	
                                                                  12.3.8	
photo,	preventing	views	of	the	line	route	and	this	corner	of	     Visual	Impacts	on	Key	Viewpoints,	
the	graveyard	is	the	only	location	from	which	this	view	of	
the	proposed	development		is	visible.	One	tower	is	visible	       Scenic	Viewpoints	and	views	to/from	
on	the	skyline,	and	a	further	three	are	fully	screened	           Landmarks
by	vegetation	and	topography.	Part	of	the	wirescape	is	
also	visible.	The	visual	impacts	on	this	location	would	          A	number	of	Key	Viewpoints	and	landmarks	that	fall	within	
be	substantial	adverse	considering	that	the	eye	is	drawn	         the	study	area	are	indicated	on	the	Maps	accompanying	
along	the	river	valley	to	the	tower.	However,	this	viewpoint	     the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment.	A	list	of	
is	only	possible	from	one	corner	of	the	graveyard	and	the	        Scenic	Viewpoints	is	contained	within	the	Meath	County	
transmission	line	would	not	generally	be	visible	from	this	       Development	Plan.
area	or	from	within	Donaghpatrick.		There	are	no	further	
views	from	public	areas	within	Donaghpatrick	due	to	the	
wooded	nature	of	the	settlement.                                  The	direction	and	arc	of	the	Key	Viewpoints,	and	location	
	                                                                 of	landmarks	and	scenic	viewpoints	are	indicated	on	
Gibstown                                                          Volume	3	Part	A,	Figures	12.2.1-12.2.7.	The	areas	covered	
                                                                  by	the	scenic	viewpoints	are	listed	in	section	12.2.3.4.
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
proposed	development.                                             There	are	a	number	of	policies	with	regard	to	the	
                                                                  visual	character	of	County	Meath	in	the	Meath	County	
Oristown                                                          Development	Plan	(Chapter	8.4.2):

There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	              HER	POL	86	–	‘To	maintain	scenic	vistas	and	panoramic	
proposed	development.                                             views	from	key	vantage	points	and	towards	key	landmarks	
                                                                  and	features	within	the	landscape.’
12.3.7.5	
                                                                  HER	POL	87	–	‘To	maintain	the	visual	integrity	of	sensitive	
Section	G	–	North	Meath	Lakelands	                                and	exceptional	value	areas.’
(Towers	128	to	160	incl	&	Tower	166)                              HER	POL	89	–	‘To	protect	and	enhance	the	visual	qualities	
                                                                  of	rural	areas	through	the	sensitive	design	of	necessary	
Kilmainhamwood
                                                                  development.’
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                  HER	POL	113	–	To	protect	from	inappropriate	development	
proposed	development.
                                                                  the	views	identified	on	the	Landscape	Character	Map	05:	
                                                                  Visual	Amenity	and	the	views	and	prospects	as	indicated	
Breaky Cross Roads
                                                                  on	Map	8.6.
There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                  Only	the	sections	containing	Key	Viewpoints,	Scenic	
proposed	development.
                                                                  Viewpoints	and	views	to/from	Landmarks	as	designated	
                                                                  in	the	Meath	Landscape	Character	Assessment	and	Cavan	
                                                                  County	Development	Plan	are	listed	herein.




                                                                                                                                 229
      12 Landscape


      12.3.8.1	                                                       VP25	(Dunsany,	Slane	River	&	Swainstown)

      Section	A	–	Tara	Skryne	Hills	                                  There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                      proposed	development.
      (Towers	1	to	7	incl.)
                                                                      Landmark - Dunsany Church
      VP1	(Hill	of	Tara	Jordanstown,	Castletown	Tara,	Castleboy,	
      Belpere,	Cabragh)
                                                                      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                      proposed	development.
      While	the	transmission	line	is	potentially	visible	from	this	
      viewpoint,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	for	Photomontage	
      11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	screening	provided	by	      12.3.8.3	
      intervening	vegetation	would	result	in	negligible	or	slight	
      adverse	visual	effects	depending	on	weather	conditions.	        Section	C	–	Boyne	Valley	
                                                                      (Towers	40	to	49	incl.)
      VP30	(Collegeland,	Arodstown	&	Moynalvy)
      The	view	for	which	this	viewpoint	is	designated	is	to	          VP1	(Hill	of	Tara	Jordanstown,	Castletown	Tara,	Castleboy,	
      the	northwest	taking	in	the	townlands	of	Collegeland,	          Belpere,	Cabragh)
      Arodstown	and	Moynalvy.	There	would	be	open	views	
      of	the	existing	transmission	lines	to	the	south	and	            While	the	transmission	line	is	potentially	visible	from	this	
      immediately	to	the	east	of	this	viewpoint.	Residential	         viewpoint,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	for	Photomontage	
      development	and	the	nature	of	vegetation	in	the	                11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	screening	provided	by	
      immediate	vicinity	of	this	location	only	allows	for	public	     intervening	vegetation	would	result	in	negligible	or	slight	
      views	in	a	southerly	direction.	It	may	be	possible	to	see	      adverse	visual	effects	depending	on	weather	conditions.	
      some	of	the	proposed	development	obliquely	to	the	south	
      west	with	resulting	slight	adverse	visual	effects.	This	        Landmark - Site at Trubley
      viewpoint	is	located	in	a	relatively	remote	location	at	the	
      end	of	a	cul	de	sac.	                                           A	landmark	is	designated	at	Trubley	although	it	is	
                                                                      not	clear	what	exactly	is	demarcated	as	the	landmark	
      12.3.8.2	                                                       as	a	number	of	historic	features	in	this	location	are	
                                                                      currently	contained	within	a	significant	development	of	
      Section	B	–	Central	Lowlands	                                   agricultural	buildings	on	private	land.	The	existence	of	
                                                                      the	new	buildings	has	obscured	the	current	landmark	
      (Towers	8	to	39	incl.)                                          and	therefore	any	further	development	in	the	area	would	
                                                                      not	have	additional	visual	impact	on	views	towards	
      VP1	(Hill	of	Tara	Jordanstown,	Castletown	Tara,	Castleboy,	
                                                                      the	landmark.	Views	from	this	area	would	experience	
      Belpere,	Cabragh)
                                                                      substantial	adverse	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                      proposed	development.
      While	the	transmission	line	is	potentially	visible	from	this	
      viewpoint,	as	seen	in	the	wireframe	for	Photomontage	
                                                                      VP28d	(Bective)
      11,	the	effects	of	distance	and	the	screening	provided	by	
      intervening	vegetation	would	result	in	negligible	or	slight	
                                                                      This	viewpoint	is	currently	publicly	inaccessible,	however	
      adverse	visual	effects	depending	on	weather	conditions.	
                                                                      the	transmission	line	would	be	visible	from	the	bridge	at	
                                                                      Bective	and	Bective	Abbey	with	substantial	adverse	visual	
      VP24a	(Kilmessan,	Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	
                                                                      effects	as	described	in	section	12.3.4.
      Killeen,	Warrenstown,	Clowanstown	&	Leshemstown)
                                                                      VP28c	(Ardsallagh,	Ballinter	&	Dowdstown)
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
      proposed	development.
                                                                      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                      proposed	development.
      VP24b	(Kilmessan,	Tullykane,	Swainstown,	Dunsany,	
      Killeen,	Warrenstown,	Clowanstown	&	Leshemstown)
                                                                      VP28e	(Commons	&	Saint	Johns)
      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
                                                                      There	would	be	no	visual	effects	resulting	from	the	
      proposed	develop