High Court rules against Clonshaugh waste water plant permission

by Gazette Reporter

Planning permission for a €500 million waste water treatment plant is to be quashed, after a High Court ruling today.

Irish Water’s proposed plant at Clonshaugh was intended to supplement the Ringsend treatment plant. Local campaigners have actively advocated against the plans, saying that it would have a ‘catastrophic’ effect on Dublin Bay.

It is understood Irish Water applied to develop a second plant as the Ringsend plant is currently overcapacity.

Sabrina Joyce-Kemper, a Portmarnock resident and the founder of ‘Solution Not Pollution’, had established that ABP failed to comply with some of its obligations ahead of granting permission for the plant. .

Joyce-Kemper and other objectors to the plans said that the ‘outfall’ pipeline discharges into the Rockabill to Dalkey Island Special Area of Conservation, less than a kilometre from the Ireland’s Eye.

She was particularly concerned about the water quality in Portmarnock, as a regular sea swimmer, as well as the overall environmental impact.

The news comes as a huge win for locals, who fundraised to launch a judicial review into the planning permission in 2019. At the time, Joyce-Kemper spoke to Dublin Gazette about the potential impacts the Clonshaugh plant would have.

“It will affect hospitals, hospices, schools nearby, they’re all concerned about it.

“We can’t put the two biggest waste water treatment plants pumping into the Irish Sea 20km apart – particularly into a marine environment that is protected.

“It’s essentially like someone pouring buckets of poo into the bath while you’re in it.”

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay North Seán Haughey, who has also campaigned against the plant, has welcomed the High Court ruling.

Deputy Haughey said: “This is a victory for local democracy, but the battle continues.

“I have numerous concerns in relation to this proposed plant. Such concerns relate to its proximity to residential areas, the impact of wastewater discharges 1km east of Irelands Eye and the threat posed to the Dublin Bay Biosphere.

“In my view, sewage should be treated as close as possible to the source of its production and Irish Water should instead plan for a number of smaller treatment plants around the Greater Dublin Area which would be a more environmentally sustainable policy.”

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