Intel get approval for largest private investment in Ireland’s history

by Padraig Conlon

Intel have gotten the green light for its planned €3.53bn fabrication facility at their Leixlip plant.

Kildare County Council have given the US tech giant permission to proceed with their plan despite some objections.

Once the proposed “fab” is completed, (which will take four years to build) Intel will have to add up to 1,600 staff extra staff to the Leixlip campus which already employs 4,500.

An extra 6,000 construction roles will also be needed to be filled at the peak of building.

The granting of the 10-year permission to Intel is set to net Kildare County Council €9.72 million in development contributions towards public infrastructure.

This is due to the size of Intel’s proposal and is one of 34 conditions attached to the permission.

The planning permission comes three years after Intel secured planning permission for another expansion.

The project will be the largest private investment in Ireland’s history if it goes ahead.

Kildare County Council say it is following the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework by granting permission however their decision is almost certain to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála by at least two objectors well known to Intel.

Local farmer Thomas Reid, who has already submitted six objections to Intel plans since 2012, unsuccessfully objected to the first phase of the expansion plans in 2017.

In 2015 however he was successful in his fight with the IDA when the Supreme Court found that the IDA making a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for Reid’s 72-acre farm beside the Intel campus had been in excess of their powers.

Another objector is likely to be high profile planning activist Peter Sweetman who has argued that it is not possible to give the go-ahead to the new fab without specific details of the grid connection to serve the new facility.

He wrote to the council last month to say that he would be appealing any decision to grant planning to the appeals board or to the High Court.

Mr Sweetman also said he would be appealing after claiming the council excluded him from participating in the Environmental Impact and Habitats Assessment process.

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