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“Major infrastructural deficits” will prevent future housing projects in Newmarket-on-Fergus, a Clare developer who has a housing development before An Bord Pleanála has warned.

COVID-19 has delayed the construction of social housing in Co Clare, officials within Clare County Council confirmed.

Larry Brennan who is the construction representative on the Social Development SPC in the local authority requested that Irish Water be invited to brief the SPC on their treatments plants and supplies within Clare at their last meeting before COVID-19 disrupted their schedule. “Irish Water do not tend to line out at public meetings, we do have a section in Clare County Council,” Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) who Chairs the SPC responded.

Brennan flagged that they attend briefings of the Construction Industry Federation. “You can’t build in Newmarket-on-Fergus because of the treatment plant there,” he stated. “There are major problems in Newmarket-on-Fergus,” Larry said.

Woodhaven Developments which is owned by Mr Brennan lodged plans last February to construct a 51 housing development in Ballynacragga in Newmarket. Residents have objected to the plans and cited that the proposed land as per the County Development Plan is zoned as low density residential. Subject to the an interpretation of the area as woodland, the site has the potential for 13 dwellings yet the plans from Woodhaven are for almost four times that amount. Concerns on sewerage and the pressure the existing water infrastructure is under have also been flagged.

Plans for the delivery of 18 social housing units in a separate area of Newmarket-on-Fergus are on track, senior executive officer Siobhan Mulcahy told the meeting while senior executive engineer Adrian Headd told the meeting Irish Water “have an agreement to bring the Newmarket-on-Fergus infrastructure up to standard”.

“They haven’t a clue when they will upgrade Newmarket-on-Fergus,” Larry replied as he called for a timeline to know water and sewerage capacity in the county. “It would concern me if there are places with infrastructural deficits in the county,” Cllr Flynn commented and stressed, “Irish Water will not come to a public meeting”.

It was then suggested by Mr Brennan that the media could be asked not to attend a meeting to encourage Irish Water to brief the SPC. “They either refuse or they come,” trade union representative Tommy Guilfoyle said as he rubbished Brennan’s request for the media to be removed to accommodate Irish Water.

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