Full planning permission for the 400kv overhead electricity line, known as the North South Interconnector has been granted. The proposed development will create a cross border electricity line with the Republic of Ireland.
The Department has published the independent report prepared by the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) following a public inquiry into the proposal held in February 2017.
During the four day hearing the Commission heard submissions and considered evidence from all parties before presenting its findings to the Department. The PAC report includes full consideration of the planning issues and recommends that planning permission is granted. Importantly, the report endorses the significant strategic importance of the development for Northern Ireland at an international, national and regional level and its compliance with planning policy.
In arriving at the final decision the Department says it carefully considered and agreed with the independent report and recommendations of the PAC, which states there is an urgent and compelling need for the proposed development.
The Department considered that it is in the public interest to take this decision, without further delay, given the strategic importance of the project for the region.