Irish Water wants no public access to Stillorgan reservoir site

Councillor accuses utility firm of showing poor judgment by opposing access to site

One of the reservoirs in Stillorgan. Photograph: Raymond Okonski/Geograph.ie

One of the reservoirs in Stillorgan. Photograph: Raymond Okonski/Geograph.ie

 

Irish Water has lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanála seeking to remove a planning condition granting public access to its reservoir in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, after a proposed €80 million upgrade.

The utility company said the condition to provide a publicly accessible open space within the reservoir site was incompatible with its core function to “secure a sustainable supply of drinking water to 200,000 people and to facilitate growth in the Dublin region into the future.”

The condition was imposed by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council when it approved plans to construct a new, covered reservoir on the site.

The cover would protect the water from pollution by birds and detritus blown in by wind, the company said, adding that drinking water was currently exposed to the environment, which presents “an unacceptable contamination risk”.

Once the new covered reservoir is operational, two other open reservoirs are to be decommissioned and landscaping of the site will include a meadow on the roof of the reservoir.

Irish Water said the site had been in use for more then 150 years as a critically important part of Dublin’s water infrastructure and would remain so, as services are to be expanded over the coming decade.

Locals, including members of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, had hoped the two decommissioned reservoirs would be made available to the local community to provide playing pitches.

Cllr Barry Saul of Fine Gael, who is currently running a campaign for a new public park to be created in the area, said up to four sports clubs had hoped to get pitches in on the site.

He accused Irish Water of showing poor judgment by opposing public access to the reservoir.