TAXPAYERS have forked out nearly €33m on plans for a superdump in north Dublin which have been dramatically dropped by Fingal County Council.
The four Dublin local authorities have now decided not to go ahead with the Tooman Nevitt landfill -- leaving the councils owning more than 205 hectares of land.
Falling prices because of the privatisation of a number of waste services are being given as the excuse for not completing the development, which was expected to cost a total of €80m.
Objectors last night said they were delighted. Nevitt Lusk Action Group spokeswoman Gemma Larkin said: "We are very happy and very relieved to see that sanity has prevailed.
"There's no longer a need, and we have said that from the beginning. The financial situation was a factor as well. It's a good day. We didn't win many battles but the war is won."
The councils say they cannot afford to spend any more money on the project and say it is no longer needed because of the "substantial changes" to national waste policy.
The dump was to be built on 450 hectares, and would have processed 500,000 tonnes of waste a year for up to 20 years.
Fingal Council has spent more than €32.7m to date on land, consultancy fees and planning costs. Of this, €25m was paid for more than 205 hectares of land which were bought at the height of the boom between 2004 and 2008.
The site was originally selected in 1998 but a legal challenge delayed planning until 2003. Full planning permission was received last month.
The plan was to build a 57 acre landfill with 153 hectares as a "buffer" zone and most of that land had been purchased.
The project began in 1997 and the site at Tooman/Nevitt, about 12km north of Swords, was selected in 2004.
An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission in October 2009, and the Environment Protection Agency granted a waste licence last May.
But the project was marred by controversy from the start as the chosen site was located above an aquifer which supplies fresh water to vegetable growers in north Dublin.
A judicial review of the EPA decision to grant a licence was only withdrawn last month.