Monday 2 February 2009

Rural campaigners and council engineers at loggerheads over septic tanks

A RURAL dwellers’ campaign group is in dispute with council engineers over septic tanks.

The Kerry branch of the Irish Rural Dwellers’ Association (IRDA) insist there is an engineering solution to most problems with percolation from septic tanks.

But planning officials strongly dispute the claim.

Problems with percolation are often cited by Kerry County Council for refusing planning permission for one-off rural houses.

In a submission to a new draft county development plan, Kerry IRDA secretary Brigid O’Connor maintained there were solutions to fit “nearly all scenarios” relating to percolation.

But senior planning engineer Tom Sheehy said that was not the case, adding: “In many situations, it is not possible to dispose of treated effluent.”

The IRDA also claimed the council was citing dangerous entrances onto roads as a reason for refusing planning for houses. It called on the council to provide statistics to prove its point.

But Mr Sheehy argued such statistics would be meaningless.

The IRDA also strongly criticised what it described as the council policy of promoting the “virtual urbanisation” of Kerry, rather than strengthening and preserving rural communities.

However, council planners disputed that argument, saying the promotion of town and village development did not mean they were anti-rural planning.

Irish Examiner

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