Council shortlists three sites for giant sewage plant


THREE SITES in north Co Dublin are in the running to be the location of a new Dublin regional sewage treatment plant, which would be second in size only to the Ringsend sewage works.

Two sites near Lusk and one near Dublin airport have been shortlisted as preferred sites for the plant, which would have the capacity to process the sewage of up to 700,000 people in Dublin city and county, as well as parts of Meath and Kildare.

Portrane, which was originally chosen as the best location for the plant almost seven years ago, is not now one of the potential locations. The new sites are at Newtowncorduff, 1km west of Lusk; Annsbrook, 2.7km west of Lusk; and Clonshaugh, 2.2km east of Dublin airport.

The removal of Portrane from the mix ended one long-running battle between Fingal County Council on one side and its councillors and residents in the Portrane area on the other.

However, the selection of the three preferred sites has the potential to spark new opposition movements, particularly in the Lusk area, where residents spent years battling the creation of a “super dump”, a plan abandoned six months ago by the Dublin local authorities.

There may be greater resistance still to the potential “outfall location” – the site where the treated effluent would be discharged into the sea. The Lusk sites would discharge into the sea near Loughshinny, while the outfall of the southern site would be to the northeast of Ireland’s Eye.

Reclaim Fingal Alliance, a group opposed to the construction of a large-scale sewage plant anywhere in Fingal, said the community was outraged that the local authorities were going ahead with the construction of a “monster sewage” plant in the county.

“We call again for this matter to be dealt with in a sustainable, environmentally friendly and financially viable manner that will allow for modular development and expansion when and where the need arises,” campaign chairman Brian Hosford said.

The alliance had more than 10,000 supporters, Mr Hosford said, and would step up its campaign against the siting of the plant in any of the three locations.

“Angry residents, farmers and fishermen across the region fear a super-plant that size will have a detrimental effect on farming and horticulture in what is the heart of Ireland’s market garden and destroy the local fishing industry and north Dublin’s environmentally sensitive coastline, which has several areas of special protection.”

Project engineer with Fingal County Council Peter O’Reilly said further technical studies would be carried out to determine which of the three locations would be the best. “We’re looking for the option that is best for the project, the one that will have the least impact on people and the environment.”

Fingal will be accepting submissions on the sites until July 6th and will hold information meetings at its Swords headquarters on May 30th and June 14th, 2pm-8pm, and on June 2nd and June 16th, 11am-4pm.