200 sign pe­ti­tion for meet­ing on wa­ter treat­ment plant

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

Over 200 peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion seek­ing a “proper public meet­ing” fol­low­ing an Ir­ish Wa­ter in­for­ma­tion evening about a planned new waste­water treat­ment plant for the har­bour vil­lage of Bal­ly­cot­ton.

Lo­cal knowl­edge, some vil­lagers in­sist, may hold the key to the smooth progress of the planned scheme.

The in­for­ma­tion ses­sion been held at the lo­cal school and, in the af­ter­math, Ir­ish Wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture port­fo­lio de­vel­op­ment man­ager Michael Tins­ley said there had been “some very con­struc­tive feed­back”.

A 1.7km pipe­line will be laid be­neath the vil­lage’s sole, nar­row, street pos­ing a ma­jor chal­lenge to en­gi­neers as it is tightly bor­dered by build­ings on both sides.

The pipe will carry the equiv­a­lent of 800 wheelie bins of treated waste into the bay ev­ery day.

Few, if any, among the Bal­ly­cot­ton pop­u­la­tion op­pose the plant, although some landown­ers are un­der­stand­ably un­happy about a loss of land along the route.

The in­for­ma­tion evening, it emerged later, had re­vealed a strong feel­ing of ex­clu­sion among some lo­cals

Seem­ingly un­com­fort­able with the con­sul­ta­tion process, over 200 peo­ple signed a peti­had or­gan­ised by the Bal­ly­cot­ton De­vel­op­ment Com­pany seek­ing a proper public meet­ing. “We might be able to give a bit of in­put into some­thing they haven’t thought of,” said one lo­cal.

Oth­ers were wary that Ir­ish Wa­ter and Cork County Coun­cil might not ap­pre­ci­ate the land­scape’s phys­i­ol­ogy or the con­se­quences of man­ag­ing it.

Ge­off Fisher, mean­while, fears Ir­ish Wa­ter may not re­alise that coastal ero­sion has claimed “a wall and a road­way” in the last 25 years on the cliff face where a pump­ing sta­tion is pro­posed.

Mau­rice Whe­lan, whose fa­ther helped in­stall the cur­rent sew­er­age sys­tem, has sim­i­lar fears and adds that a scenic play area pop­u­lar for wed­ding pho­tos might best be spared.

The busi­ness com­mu­nity, with years of trading ex­pe­ri­ence in the vil­lage, is also keen to ad­vise on peak trading peri­tion ods and the best plan to min­imise dis­rup­tion and clo­sures. Their in­put could de­cide whether main street pipes are laid in phases, or oth­er­wise.

As Ir­ish Wa­ter pre­pare a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, Mr Tins­ley said lo­cal con­sid­er­a­tions will be “taken into ac­count through the plant’s plan­ning and de­sign stages”.

Agree­ing to “work closely with the lo­cal com­mu­nity”, he says a public meet­ing has “not been dis­counted”.

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