Friday 18 August 2017

Battle looms over €420m sewage plant

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

A NEW sewage treatment plant to serve up to 850,000 people will be built on a site near Dublin Airport.

Fingal County Council has announced that a 23-hectare site at Clonshaugh, just over 2km from the airport, will be the location of the new plant which is expected to be bitterly opposed during the planning process.

Three locations had been shortlisted for the plant: Annsbrook and Newtowncorduff near Lusk, with an outfall near Loughshinny; and Clonshaugh, which would pump the treated wastewater to a location near Ireland's Eye, south of Portmarnock.

The plan also includes a 26km orbital sewer to pump waste from across Dublin and parts of Kildare and Meath for treatment.

The total cost of the project is €420m, which the council said was the cheapest option available.

The council, which is developing the project on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, said the site was chosen because it was the most "environmentally beneficial" and technically advantageous.

Some 10,000 residents objected to the plant being located in north Dublin, citing concerns about the effect it will have on farming, horticulture and the fishing industry.

'OUTRAGEOUS'

But local TD Tommy Broughan said the decision was a "disaster" for the area, and that some families would be just one field away from the massive plant.

Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power said the decision to locate the plant in Clonshaugh was "outrageous", as the site was close to 2,500 homes and was "entirely inappropriate".

But the council defended its decision, saying the outfall location had a greater depth of water to help dilute the treated discharge.

"Wastewater treatment capacity is one of the key elements of infrastructure needed to facilitate jobs and other developments in the wider Dublin region and our current capacity will run out in 2020," project engineer Peter O'Reilly, from Fingal County Council, said.

The council is holding a public consultation over the next eight weeks and an application to An Bord Pleanala is expected to be made early next year.

Irish Independent

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