|Supervising the three westies to make sure they slept enough|
We got the impression that the inspection is as much about fencing, shade, wallows, concrete, buildings and cattle races as it actually is about checking that we looked competent, sensible and responsible. Joe presumably decided we had an adequate supply of the last three, gave us the green light and then agreed to come in for 'tay' and some of Liz's fresh baked scones. This even though he had another smallholding to visit and inspect before he headed up north to do some export inspections, cattle destined for the UK. Now we are approved we can give some serious thought to all this fencing, ark-building and piglet buying that we had, up to now, been putting off till May and the (pig keeper) training course. The scone-bashing came out again a bit later as we collected Vendor Anna and partner Paul from the airport at Knock. They'd left their car here for 2 weeks while they sunned themselves in Lanzarote, making use of our 'Park and Ride' offer. They were delighted with the scones after meagre Ryan Air victuals.
|Lamb Paté. Nothing to do with this story what so ever.|
Everyone is mad keen interested to see how close the pylons will come to them and whether there is compensation payable for blight or enforced changes of land use and how much Grid West will be paying in 'sweeteners' as environmental and community grants for projects near the wires. We went along to a display of maps etc and chatted happily to the young lady on stand, who answered all our questions and loaded us down with brochures and print outs as well as giving us the latest 'gen' on recent press statements. There is money to compensate you if you have just bought the property and were hoping to plant forestry, and if you were planning a build and have that through to signed off final planning permission. They will also compensate you if you already have forestry that needs felling in the path of pylons (a corridor as wide as two tree heights either side of the the wires). There is money if you are 'too near' the cable runs, quite generous if you are within 50 m (€30k) but falling away on a sliding scale till you are 200 m away. (Needless to say the pylon lines will not be running close to many houses).
But don't hold your breath if you have already spent your new found riches in your dreams - the latest 'gen' has it all back on the drawing board as the Ministry Man, Pat Rabbitte has now announced that it is all going back for a review of whether to do the cabling up in the pylons or underground. This one could run and run. It is called "Grid 25". I hope they didn't mean 2025. For our own part, all the existing routes pass more than 5 km from our back door, so no cash for us.