In her submission, Cllr Elaine McGinty outlined the lack of road infrastructure to accommodate the development.

‘Health and safety’ of community raised in 170MW Duleek power plant objections

The proximity of a proposed new power plant at Platin to schools and homes are among the concerns of local residents, which have been outlined in an objection to the planning application.

SSE Thermal has submitted a planning application to Meath Co Council for a proposed 170MW plant – consisting of three separate units – which would operate on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) at Carranstown and Caulstown, Platin, Duleek.

“The proposed location is in very close proximity to Mount Hanover National School and there are houses right beside it," says Cllr Elaine McGinty.

"This raises serious concerns about the impact on the health and safety of the local community, particularly children.”

Cllr McGinty has outlined her concerns about the proposed plant, in a submission on the planning application.

"I am echoing the concerns of many residents that have been in contact with me in recent days. They will all be submitting objections to the proposals, as they have serious concerns.

“While I understand and appreciate the urgent need for progress on energy generation, it is essential that such projects are undertaken with a responsible and sustainable approach that considers the wellbeing of the local community and the environment. I do not believe this is happening, in this case," she said.

In her submission, Cllr McGinty outlined the lack of road infrastructure to accommodate the development.

“One of the glaring issues with this development is the absence of new roads to accommodate the increased traffic and congestion in the area.

“The area is well-known and documented as a traffic and accident black spot by Gardai, residents and public representatives. The council have upgraded some parts of the road, but the fundamental issue of the current road network being already strained has yet to be addressed, and this proposed project is likely to exacerbate the situation.”

Cllr McGinty questioned the location of the project, saying: “It is worth considering the rationale behind locating the power plant in proximity to residential areas when its primary purpose is to serve the greater Dublin area. A more sensible approach would be to establish the plant closer to the urban area it is intended to serve and minimising the impact on East Meath."

The growing concentration of these kind of developments in this area of East Meath is also a concern for the Labour councillor, who said: “This industrial area in East Meath is unique in the country, to have such a concentration of high emission industries in one area is questionable.”

She expressed concern about the transparency around environmental impact of the plant from C02 emissions to air quality impact.

“The lack of transparency surrounding CO2 emissions and environmental impact is concerning. The concept of greenwashing is a serious concern, as there appears to be a disconnect between the proposed development and its claimed environmental benefits.”

“I would respectfully urge the Planning Authority to carefully consider these concerns and objections. It is imperative that the wellbeing of the community and the environment take precedence, in any decision that is made.”

A spokesperson for SSE Thermal said: “Our proposed Platin power station would help meet growing electricity demand at a local, regional and national level by providing flexible power when the system needs it. The plant would run on sustainable biofuels which provide a lower carbon option than traditional fossil fuels with the potential to convert to hydrogen in the future.

"We are committed to working constructively with the local community and earlier this year held an in-person consultation event, and will continue to proactively engage as planning progresses. Should the project progress to construction, as a responsible company we would do everything possible to minimise disruption to the community.”

He said an Air Dispersion Modelling Report is included with the planning application to assess the impact of the proposed development on local ambient air quality.

"On traffic, an assessment of the potential traffic impact of the proposed development during both the construction and operational phases is included in our planning application. This shows that the impact on the road network is not considered significant."