*Photograph: John Mangan

AN BORD PLEANÁLA’s decision on additional wastewater treatment in the village of Newmarket-on-Fergus will not be announced until June.

A decision was due to be made on March 21st by the planning authority. The Clare Echo has learned that An Bord Pleanála are now hoping to make an announcement in June.

An appeal was made to An Bord Pleanála in November 2023, one month after Clare County gave the green light to Uisce Éireann to carry out upgrade works to the wastewater treatment plant at Boheroran in Newmarket-on-Fergus, subject to seven conditions. A decision on the appeal is due to be made next month.

Chartered civil engineer, Michael Duffy in his appeal claimed that the upgrades cannot proceed due to a “blatant” circumvention of planning and environmental legislation.

Since 2017, 54 social housing units have been built in Newmarket-on-Fergus, 31 of which were provided in 2020 and 18 in 2022.

David Griffin (FF) who is contesting the upcoming local elections in the Shannon Municipal District has written to the planning authority seeking clarity as to why a delay has occurred in their decision.

Newmarket-on-Fergus is one of over fifty towns and villages in Co Clare without adequate wastewater treatment infrastructure prohibiting the amount of housing development in the locality.

In a statement to The Clare Echo, Griffin commented, “Newmarket-on-Fergus is a wonderful village, and is a great community, but the development of the area has been restricted in recent years by a lack of adequate waste water treatment capacity”.

He praised the work of outgoing Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) from Newmarket-on-Fergus in “pushing this issue hard for a number of years and was successful in having an expansion project added to Irish Water’s capital programme and in receiving planning approval from Clare County Council in 2023. It was a huge step forward for the area. However, this was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála”.

Griffin said, “The future development of the area hinges on our ability to grow and until such time as we can provide adequate waste water we are being held back. Irish Water expects the project to take about eighteen months from start to finish, so time is of the essence and we need to see progress”.

Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien (FF) during a visit to the county in February had been confident a decision would be announced in March. “We’ve a situation just down the road in Newmarket-on-Fergus where we’ve planning approval for the extension to the wastewater treatment plant, we’ve an open planning process in this country and it is very difficult to be able to proceed with a scheme if someone objects to it and takes it on, that scheme would have been underway already”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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