Plant is 'key to unlocking town's potential'
Fianna Fáil TD Pat Casey said 'the process to get this plant has taken 30 years and I am delighted to have reached this stage. This means that the planning permission can proceed to commencement and the beginning of a massive growth potential for Arklow.
'As we all know Arklow has been discharging waste into the Avoca river in breach of EPA and EU regulations. The new high-tech wastewater treatment plant will provide the very latest in treatment technologies that will bring much needed relief to the people of Arklow and will help to transform the town in positive ways.'
Sinn Féin TD John Brady said it was 'absolutely fantastic news.'
'Arklow has waited decades for a waste water treatment plant. The town has been let down time and again over the years by previous governments who turned a blind eye to the crying need for such vital infrastructure in Arklow. The news that the go-ahead has been given is a massive boost for the town and once constructed will be able to cater for a planned population equivalent of 36,000.'
'I have consistently said that the treatment plant is the key to unlocking Arklow's potential. Arklow is one of seven large towns identified by the EPA as having no wastewater treatment. The practice of discharging untreated wastewater to the Avoca River is no longer acceptable and it's had a detrimental effect on Arklow for far too long,' Deputy Brady added.
Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald said: 'We have had many false dawns and while there will be disruption for some, I hope there is nothing to prevent the project going ahead. We have been trying to attract industry into the area, but more homes are also required. The plant is badly needed in the town.'
Cllr Pat Kennedy said: 'Arklow can now move forward in a positive way economically and start to build housing. All of the local councillors have been raising this at every opportunity in recent years. We now need to engage with stakeholders including the IDA to move the project forward.'
Cllr Sylvester Bourke said: 'Hopefully, it will move along quickly. We must look to Irish Water for the signing of contracts and push for this to start as soon as possible. The town can start to attract industry again bringing a period of economic expansion hoped for for two decades that will reverse the commute to Dublin and attract more jobs to the town.'
Cllr Miriam Murphy said: 'This is news that the community of Arklow has been waiting for. This situation has a long history and now we can move to a new era. We have to hope this will bring a great future for Arklow.'
Cllr Peir Leonard said she was 'delighted' with the news but also raised concerns that local people who had made submissions were not among the first to hear of the decision. 'But, saying that this is a very happy day for Arklow and there are only good things to come for our beautiful town.'