independent

Friday 1 August 2014

Sewerage scheme plans are back to square one

Kevin Hughes

Published 20/11/2013|05:36

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SIX years after the Kilcummin Sewerage Scheme was given the green light it's back to square one for the area's long suffering residents and business owners.

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SIX years after the Kilcummin Sewerage Scheme was given the green light it's back to square one for the area's long suffering residents and business owners.

Last week Kerry County Council's Water Services Department announced it intends to pursue plans for a treatment plant in the locality, a U-turn on proposals to connect a sewerage pipeline to the Killarney treatment plant.

The decision will have repercussions for residences and business owners located between Killarney and Kilcummin, as well as for those awaiting planning subject to a sewerage scheme. Road users will also feel hard done by as Kerry County Council had stalled vital road upgrades until the pipeline into Killarney had been installed.

The news follows a meeting between the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and Kerry County Council as a result of which council engineers made a recommendation that a stand-alone waste water treatment plant should be developed near Kilcummin village.

"Influential factors include the projected slower growth rate... Kilcummin didn't grow as much as they thought it would," Senior Engineer Colm Mangan said.

"Other issues include the cleansing velocity and separation of the pipeline into Killarney and the projected low usage would mean it would be difficult to keep it from blocking," he added.

Water Services say they have already identified a site for a new treatment plant on the area and this is currently being investigated. The site, though, is not owned by the council and is in a different location from land secured previously by the council for the initial scheme.

The news was met with anger from local councillors with several expressing their embarrassment at the current situation.

"I apologise to the people of Kilcummin for this and I hope we won't sorely regret this in years to come but I feel we will," Cllr Michael Gleeson said.

"It's a sad day for people in areas such as Inchycullane and Coolcorcoran and it's short sighted - there is going to be uproar when this filters out," Cllr Brendan Cronin said.

Cllr Danny Healy Rae said the decision was for a "small financial gain", expressing concerns over homes in low lying areas in connecting to the newly proposed plant while Cllr John Joe Culloty said the situation leaves residents in limbo.

"There are knock on effects from the Killarney Lakes but also from a development perspective as the town can only develop in one direction," Cllr Sean Counihan added.

The proposed Kilcummin scheme was given the green light in 2007 and funding was provided in conjunction with the Barraduff sewerage scheme. Tenders were issued and a contractor selected but work started on the Barraduff scheme first.

A problem developed with the contractor and so the Kilcummin scheme was eventually pulled with funding re-allocated.

Kerryman

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