Interim order stops work on Dublin Bay waste tunnel

Sat, Jan 19, 2013, 00:00

A residents’ group in south Dublin has been granted an interim High Court order preventing Dublin City Council moving to carry out works extending capacity at the Ringsend waste water treatment plant, including building a 9km tunnel under the sea to discharge treated effluent into Dublin Bay.

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents’ Association also secured leave for judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision last November granting permission for the works.

That permission was granted just weeks before the Minister for Arts and Heritage made a proposal on December 3rd last to designate as a special area of conservation a 40km coastal stretch from Rockabil, Howth, to Dalkey Island.

Among the grounds for judicial review, the residents claim, is that an underground tunnel would discharge treated effluent from the greater Dublin area into an area directly within, or adjacent to, a special area of conservation.

The council had argued the proposed works were necessary to treat effluent from a maximum 2.1m, up from the existing 1.7m served by the existing works.

The 9km tunnel underneath Dublin Bay has raised concerns over related plans to dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of limestone waste at sea.

Yesterday, the High Court granted Niall Handy, for the residents, leave to challenge the planned works in judicial review proceedings.

Mr Justice Micheal Peart also granted an interim injunction to January 29th restraining any works on foot of the permission.