‘Decision demonstrates right of the state and state agencies to use CPOs not unlimited’

Sligo News File Online

Patrick Kent, President. ICSA
Patrick Kent, President.

ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the Supreme Court decision to overturn a High Court order which upheld the power of the IDA to compulsorily purchase a home and farm in Kildare. The property  is located close to the Intel plant in Leixlip.

“This is an important decision which suggests that the right of the state and state agencies to use CPOs is not unlimited,” said Mr. Kent.

“ICSA believes that there is no reason for CPOs to be used to assist commercial ventures in rural areas and that there is no shortage of farmers who might be happy to sell land if a suitably attractive offer was made.”

He went on to say that CPOs “strike terror into the heart of most farmers and they should only ever be contemplated for essential national infrastructure.

“I cannot imagine why there would be any reason for the IDA to acquire a farm and home against the wishes of the owner when there is no shortage of undeveloped NAMA sites.

“There have been various examples of threats of CPOs being used against farmers over recent years to facilitate commercial ventures.   Farmers who opposed the Greenway in Galway were also given reason to fear CPOs for a tourism project.  This has to stop.

“CPOs should not be used to aid the profitability of any commercial body.  Where a project is proposed, the farmer is surely entitled to say no.  If a farmer wants to expand, he cannot CPO his neighbour; why should other commercial entities be treated any differently?

“In practice, commercial ventures should be required to compete for land on the same basis as every other commercial venture.  If the IDA wishes to assist specific commercial ventures, then it needs to look at other ways of acquiring farmland outside of the CPO process.  Given the amount of undeveloped, and underdeveloped sites, along with significant tracts of NAMA land, there should be no reason at all to resort to compulsory purchase of farmland,” he concluded.

– ICSA President welcomes Supreme Court Ruling –