by Gordon Deegan

The Kildare farmer who has unsuccessfully opposed plans by Intel for a new $4 billion (€3.63 billion) facility at the chip giant’s Leixlip plant has lodged a fresh objection against another Intel planning application for the site.

An Bord Pleanála yesterday gave Intel the green light for its planned new manufacturing fabrication (FAB) facility at its Leixlip plant.

The planning permission follows three years on after Intel secured planning permission for the first phase of the ‘fab’ facility valued at $4 billion.

In total, the two planning permissions represent a $8 billion (€7.26 billion) investment which will employ 6,000 construction workers at peak and 1,600 full time jobs on completion.

Intel’s Leixlip campus currently employs 4,500 full time posts where Intel has already invested $12.5 billion on the site.

The FAB proposal represents the largest single private investment in the history of the state on one project if given the go-ahead by Intel globally.

Thomas Reid of Hedsor House, Blakestown, Carton, Maynooth opposed both $4 billion plans and brought both applications before An Bord Pleanala where he has been unsuccessful on each occasion.

Reid has has long been a thorn in the side of the US multinational in the planning arena and has lodged his most recent objection against plans lodged by Intel on September 23 for a site systems facilitation application at Leixlip.

In a hand-written objection lodged on October 22, Reid claims that the new application is contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.

The site systems application is the eight Intel Leixlip application Reid has objected to since 2012 with six previous Intel applications brought before An Bord Pleanála by Reid.

The appeals board gave the plan the go-ahead to the $4 billion FAB plan after concluding that the proposal accords with national, regional and local planning policy and would not be injurious to amenities of the area or property in the vicinity.

The board order upheld the recommendation to grant by senior planning inspector Paul Caprani at the end of his 83-page report.

A spokeswoman for Intel stated that the company welcomed the board’s decision.

Last December, Intel stated it was in the early planning phase for manufacturing site expansion at Oregon, Ireland and Israel with multi-year construction activities expected to begin in 2019.

The spokeswoman stated: “Following on from this update, in Ireland, we are progressing with the early phases of a multiyear construction activity.

As always, site expansion and the related investment will be taken in stages and are subject to change based on business, economic and other factors.

Last year, Reid was subject of an award-winning documentary over his successful Supreme Court battle with the IDA concerning the use of compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers.

In 2015, Reid emerged victorious in his battle with the IDA where a unanimous Supreme Court found that the IDA making of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for Reid’s 72ac farm adjacent to the Intel campus had been in excess of the IDA’s powers.