A solicitor's guide to the new cross-border pylon plans

The state company hopes to begin construction of the North-South interconnector will run from Meath to Co Tyrone.
A solicitor's guide to the new cross-border pylon plans

The state company hopes to begin construction of the North-South interconnector will run from Meath to Co Tyrone.

Dear Stephen, 

I've read the reports that Eirgrid has written to landowners in Meath Cavan and Monaghan offering them €50,000 for pylons built on their land as it wishes to complete a high-powered electricity line linking the Republic and the North. What's involved in this, and what are the terms landowners should know about?

Dear Reader,

The state company hopes to begin construction of the North-South interconnector, which will run from Meath to Tyrone, shortly as the project must be completed by 2026.

The legal basis for this is Section 53 of the Electricity (Supply) Act 1927. Under this provision the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has powers to be granted a wayleave over non state land. 

This typically entails placing an electric line above or below ground level. The notice to wayleave has to be served on the landowner by post and under the ESB’s Code of Practice in relation to access to land and/or premises.

Work can proceed after the seven-day notice has expired and no objections have been received or earlier by agreement with the landowner.

Before placing an electric line across any land or attaching any fixture to any building under this section the Board or the authorised undertaker has to serve on the owner and on the occupier of such land or building a notice in writing stating its or his intention so to place the line or attach the fixture and give a description of the nature of the line or fixture and of the position and manner in which it is intended to be placed or attached.

The landowner then has seven days after the service of the notice to give their consent to the placing of a line or the attaching of fixtures and after the seven days, the board or agent authorised by the board can exercise the right and potentially place the line or fixtures.

Under the code of practice before works are carried out:

  • A representative from ESB will discuss the entry routes for construction and as far as possible give the landowner the proposed programme of work and the date of commencement of work.
  • An ESB representatives shall leave with the owner of land or premises, the name and address of the person to be contacted in the event of any queries arising out of ESB’s activities on the land or premises.
  • Where construction work is to take place and the entry routes have been agreed, if the landowner requires, the agreed route shall be outlined by posts placed at suitable intervals.
  • Fences shall be provided by ESB as necessary for the protection of persons, animals or crops and to prevent trespass.
  • If a fenced off area crosses existing farm pathways or roadways, or other access routes required by the landowner, ESB shall provide a means of crossing them to the reasonable requirements of the landowner, for passage of persons, machinery and livestock.
  • All permanent pathways and roadways affected by the construction shall be restored to their original condition before construction started or alternative arrangements agreed.

Under the Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Act, 1985, Section 53 of the 1927 act was amended to state that the wayleave can be subject to the landowner being paid compensation. 

This is typically once-off compensation rather than continuing compensation. There has been case law over the last number of years dealing with the validity of S53 Notices and in respect of delegation of notices, and there was a case where a wayleave was deemed to have been served unlawfully and set aside, but this was overturned by the Supreme Court in that the work was within the current regulatory framework and was not an unlawful delegation of its’ statutory power by the ESB.

Stephen Coppinger, is a solicitor practising at Walsh & Partners Solicitors, 17 South Mall, Cork, and 88 Main Street, Midleton, Co Cork. Walsh & Partners also specialises in personal injury claims, conveyancing, probate, and family law.



  • While every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, Walsh & Partners does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions howsoever arising. Readers should seek legal advice in relation to their particular circumstances at the earliest opportunity.

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Karen Walsh

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