Dublin North East Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Local Politicians Unite against Sewage Treatment Plant

Published: 2 July, 2012

United all-party opposition to sewage plan at Clonshaugh

Public representatives from all political parties have backed communities in their united opposition to the proposed development of a massive sewage plant at Clonshaugh. This is one of the sites included as an option for the Greater Dublin Drainage Scheme with public consultation on the scheme due to close on 6 July.

This week a submission opposing the plant was given to Fingal County Council on behalf of 15 elected representatives. This followed a meeting in Leinster House convened by Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O'Toole. Based on the discussion and on the views of local residents expressed at recent meetings, the submission was drawn up by Councillors Mícheál Mac Donncha (Sinn Féin) and Declan Flanagan (Fine Gael).

In their submission the elected representatives are critical of the process by which the Clonshaugh plan was raised. They say:

"We wish to place on record our protest at the manner in which this matter has been dealt with from the point of view of information and consultation with the general public and with public representatives.

"While the Scheme has been presented as a project for the Greater Dublin area, and support is sought for it by its promoters on that Dublin-wide basis, public information and consultation has been confined to the Fingal County Council area, as a planning authority. The news of the inclusion of the Clonshaugh site, on the boundary with Dublin City Council and adjacent to huge residential districts in the City Council area, came as a 'bolt from the blue' to residents in the latter area.

"We fully recognise and accept that sewage from the Greater Dublin Area has to be properly treated and the treated waste water disposed of safely and that all local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area have a responsibility in this."

Setting out their opposition to the Clonshaugh plant, the submission states:

"The siting of such a large sewage treatment plant in close proximity to the densely populated residential areas of Clonshaugh, Priorswood, Belcamp, Darndale, Newtown Court and Clare Hall is totally unacceptable.

"Residents in these areas are not prepared to accept the potential problems with such a large plant, both in terms of its on-going operation if constructed and the disruption that would be caused to residents during construction.

"It is equally unacceptable that this plant and its pipeline to the sea would be constructed parallel to the N32, the main east-west axis of the City's Northern Fringe (Belmayne-Clongriffin), a newly developed area that has experienced huge problems with unfinished estates, promised developments undelivered, and planning and development disasters (including Priory Hall).

"The community in the Northern Fringe area has a right to expect major improvements in their environment and living conditions, given the many positives in the area and the potential for enhanced development in the future. The construction and operation of a sewage plant on their doorstep runs contrary to those legitimate expectations, as expressed in Dublin City Council's Clongriffin-Belmayne Local Area Plan, currently in process of public consultation.

"The proposed plant is sited not only close to large residential areas but also in an important economic zone related to Dublin Airport that includes the M1 motorway and two major hotels (Bewley's and the Hilton)."

Major environmental concerns have also been raised about the pipeline from the plant which will enter the sea off the Velvet Strand in Portmarnock with the submission stating:

"A threat would be posed to the Velvet Strand, Baldoyle Bay and Malahide Estuary, incorporating conservation areas - recognised at national and EU levels - and some of the most important amenities on Ireland's East coast. With regard to Baldoyle Bay, for example, it is noted that Fingal County Council, on environmental grounds, has refused permission for the development of a footpath along the adjacent Coast Road - yet the development of a major pipeline though this highly sensitive area is contemplated."

The submission concludes by affirming the public representatives' "united opposition to the development of the proposed plant at Clonshaugh and urge that this proposal should not proceed any further".

The submission is signed by: Cllr. Paddy Bourke (Labour), Cllr. Tomás Brabazon (Fianna Fáil), Tommy Broughan TD (Labour), Cllr. Julia Carmichael (Fianna Fáil), Cllr. Peter Coyle (Labour), Cllr. Pat Crimmins (Fine Gael), Clare Daly TD (Socialist Party), Cllr. Declan Flanagan (Fine Gael), Terence Flanagan TD (Fine Gael), Sean Kenny TD (Labour), Cllr. Mícheál Mac Donncha (Sinn Féin), Cllr. Brian McDowell (Labour), Cllr. Andrew Montague (Labour), Cllr. Larry O'Toole (Sinn Féin), Senator Averil Power (Fianna Fáil).