Monday, 26 February 2007

Permission sought to build new sewage facility at Ballyraine Lower Plans lodged for e35m sewage treatment plant

Mystery still surrounds a shock new plan to build Arklow's long-awaited e35 million sewage treatment plant on a new site in Ballyraine Lower.

A council-built facility has been earmarked for Seabank, but objections have delayed the project in the courts for the past 10 years.

But now a private developer has applied for planning permission to build a sewage treatment facility big enough to cater for a population equivalent of 45,000 on a new site.

The facility could then be leased back to the council, saving them the set-up costs of their own plant.

But Wicklow County Council officials say they know nothing about the development and are still committed to their own Seabank scheme, which comes up before the courts again on March 20.


'Our scheme has been in the pipeline for a long time and we have no intention of abandoning it,' said council spokesperson Phillip Duffy.

Mr Duffy said the planning permission documents and environmental impact statement had not arrived at the council by yesterday, and he did not know who was behind the application.

The planning permission application is in the name of a Dublin solicitor, but the Wicklow People has learned that the development team includes local man Greg Kavanagh.

He was keeping tight-lipped this week, though.

'I won't be commenting at all, it's just too sensitive at the moment,' he said.

The location of the intended sewage plant is the marsh behind the new St Anne's Halting Site on the Vale Road.

This land was recently sold to the developers and workers were busy on the site on Tuesday.

News of the facility took almost everyone in Arklow by surprise this week, with Arklow council officials and councillors saying they were in the dark beforehand.

One theory suggests that if the treatment plant is not intended to be used for the town's sewage needs, it could signal the arrival of a major new industry in the town with heavy wastewater treatment requirements.

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