Friday, January 20, 2023

Fiachra Gallagher

The g0-ahead has been given for a long-awaited waste water treatment plant for Kenmare.

The application by Irish Water — now Uisce Éireann — had been approved by Kerry County Council, but was appealed on a number of grounds and a decision had also been delayed.

All development had “been stymied” over a decade and if a judicial review is not sought, the new plant will lead to much-needed housing, local councillor Patrick Connor-Scarteen said.

He has welcomed the decision saying it will pave the way for public and private development of houses as well as much needed community facilities.

“There has been a big increase in population in Kenmare. This is very positive news,” Mr Connor-Scarteen said.

Last upgraded in the 1990s by Kerry County Council prior to the advent of Irish Water, the Kenmare Treatment plant is now so overloaded during the summer tourist season the storage tanks have to be emptied.

The contents are removed and taken to Killarney for treatment.

Irish Water applied for and were granted permission by Kerry County Council in early 2022 for a complete upgrade of storage, as well as treatment facilities and a new pumping station.

This was appealed to An Bord Pleanála in an issue over land ownership and title, as well as access and the status of a quarry which is set to supply material for the new plant. The erection of the site notice is also in dispute.

A decision was due in August, and An Bord Pleanála again deferred until November 11th. However, the decision has been put back again because of the backlog of cases the board has to deal with.

The grant of permission comes with five conditions.

There is an eight-week period in which a judicial review may be taken. If there is no legal action, construction will start later this year, Mr Connor-Scarteen expects.

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