Site chosen for sewage plant draws controversy

by Gazette Reporter

A €500 million sewage treatment plant set to be built in the local Dublin north area, has been slammed as an “outrageous decision” by local representatives in Fingal.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Clonshaugh had been chosen as the site for a large wastewater treatment plant which will serve up to 700,000 people in north Dublin.

Three sites had been considered for the 50-acre facility; Annsbrook and Newtowncorduff near Lusk, and Clonshaugh near Dublin Airport.

The proposed sites provoked a total of over 10,000 objections from locals but according to Fingal County Council (FCC), the site at Clonshaugh proved most suitable. The local authority said Clonshaugh was €80 million cheaper than alternative sites, and required the shortest amount of underground piping. Waste will be dispersed 6km off the Portmarnock coastline.

“Over 13 different experts across different disciplines studied the three shortlisted sites, and we reached the conclusion that Clonshaugh is the most environmentally beneficial and technically advantageous solution and it is the best value for money too,” said Peter O’Reilly, project engineer at FCC. 

Reacting to the news of the chosen location, Fianna Fail spokesperson, Senator Darragh O’Brien, has called on the Environment Minister Phil Hogan to put a stop to the plans saying it is “totally unacceptable” that the Minister ignored the written objections of local residents. 

“It is appalling that these plans have got to such an advanced stage with so much money already spent, while the Minister refuses to listen to any of the genuine concerns of local residents,” Senator O’Brien said. 

“Approximately €18 million has already been spent on planning and design of the controversial facility and the overall final bill is expected to reach closer to €1 billion. The Department of the Environment would be far better investing in the existing infrastructure and upgrading Dublin’s existing sewage plants.”

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said the project was developed by Fingal County Council and is a matter for them to advance the further planning of the project. “You would imagine that the Senator who is a representative for the area should be well aware that the Minister has had no role in the development of these proposals,” he said. 

A public consultation will be held over the next eight weeks with open days being held in County Hall, Swords, on June 26, 29 and July 3. For more information, call 1890 44 55 67 or email info@greaterdublindrainage.ie.

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