Irish Water blamed over housing projects
Potential private and public housing projects in East Cork are being jeopardised by the utility company Irish Water, county councillors have claimed.
Several councillors have blamed Irish Water for failing to provide “definitive timelines” on when the company will address serious infrastructure difficulties in the region.
It has been claimed the region is lacking adequate water and sewerage services.
The claims were made at a meeting of the East Cork Municipal District Council last week. The councillors said they cannot solve any housing crises in the region without the utility addressing serious issues.
A debate was prompted on the back of a recent refusal by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for a large housing project in Castlemartyr.
An Bord Pleanála had refused planning permission for the development of 30 units on the outskirts of Castlemartyr due to the “existing wastewater constraints” in the area.
The board said the Environmental Protection Agency had found the wastewater treatment plant serving Castlemartyr was significantly in breach of emission limit values which affected water quality.
Councillors Susan McCarthy and Danielle Twomey both requested senior Irish Water officials engage directly with the municipal district council to help solve the issue in Castlemartyr and also to tackle capacity issues with the Midleton sewerage treatment scheme and similar difficulties in Garryvoe.
“With such increased demand for housing, both private and public, and multiple large developments planned, this matter is of the utmost urgency,” Cllr McCarthy said.
She said a lot of planning permissions were in the pipeline at the moment and more were to come.
Cl lr Michael He gar ty declared: “How in the name of hell are we going to address the housing crisis before us. It’s going to impinge on growth if we don’t get a definitive timeline in place from Irish Water.”
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley pointed out the municipal district council had written on numerous occasions to Irish Water seeking meetings with senior members of their staff. But the appeals had fallen on deaf ears.
Cllr Twomey said the issue was so serious in Castlemartyr that the system was spewing sewerage into Coillte owned land there.
“There’s a wastewater treatment plant in Mogeely which is nowhere near capacity. Is there any way they can pump it to there?” she asked.