Residents appeal to An Bord Pleanála over plant’s outfall


Residents appeal to An Bord Pleanála over plant’s outfall

Protest in Portmarnock against giant regional sewage plant
Protest in Portmarnock against giant regional sewage plant

Local action group of residents in Portmarnock has recently submitted a presentation to An Bord Pleanala, detailing its objections to plans for the highly contentious Greater Dublin Drainage project in Clonshaugh.

In a strongly worded submission, the group lambasted proposals for the controversial waste water plant as ‘shortsighted, reckless and irresponsible.’

The proposed sewage plant would see outfall piped off Portmarnock Beach into the sea close to Ireland’s Eye, presenting substantial environmental risk for marine life, as well as a negative impact on tourism and the local economy, according to the residents..

In a wide range of points presented to An Bord Pleanala, who recently held oral hearings on the project, the local group disclosed the serious concerns of the Portmarnock community, who virulently oppose construction of the sewage facility.

As well as holding environmental concerns, local residents fear an adverse impact to local tourism and to Portmarnock Beach’s Blue Flag status.

Over 34,000 public submissions have been made to An Bord Pleanala to date in relation to details contained in the plans for the plant, largely with regard to the fact that sewage will only be treated to the minimum secondary level.

Speaking as part of the presentation put forward by residents to An Bord Pleanala, Ralph Brady of Feelgood Activities and Scuba Diving said:’This has to impact the ecosystem there, it has to impact the wildlife, the fish life, the sea life and the porpoises.

‘Any life that’s in the water is going to absorb this, and that’ll have a knock-on effect between seals, porpoises…, and obviously it’ll get into the bird colony, because the fish will be eating it.’

The local action group also disputes claims from Irish Water regarding the movement of ‘an increased plume of suspended material’ flowing into the sea in the event of a malfunction at the facility, and asked if its assertions on such a scenario were down to ‘incompetence or ingenuity.’

Aside from any actual impact on the marine ecosystem, the group also stated there would be a ‘negative perception’ of treated sewage flowing into the water, which would have a ‘devastating effect’ on the local economy.

Ralph Brady said: ‘This will affect my business to no end. Nobody is going to come to me and go diving at the back of Ireland’s Eye anymore once this pipe is up and running and is in full use.’


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Protecting the sea area was ‘evermore crucial’ in a post-Brexit restricted fishing territory, Portmarnock Uncovered said, adding ‘we need legacy, not short-term solutions.’

A decision will be made on the project by An Bord Pleanála in June.

Fingal Independent


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