*Kilkee

PLANS by Uisce Éireann for a new wastewater treatment plant for Kilkee are facing strong local opposition with one objector branding the proposed WWTP ‘a monstrosity’.

In January, Uisce Éireann lodged plans for its new waste-water treatment plant aimed at eliminating “in so far as possible” the discharge of untreated waste-water into Intrinsic Bay at Kilkee.

However the plan for the town lands of Kilkee Lower and Foohagh, Kilkee is facing opposition with some objectors hitting out at the planned location of the waste water plant close to the Cliff Walk popular with tourists and locals alike and the treatment proposed for the waste water not going far enough.

To date, Clare County Council has received over 80 third party submissions on the scheme.

A planning report lodged with the application states that current Waste Water Discharge Licence (WWDL) requires secondary treatment “but following an assessment primary treatment has been concluded as appropriate treatment”.

In one objection, Gerard and Catriona Hennessy of Dough, Kilkee has told the Council that the proposed Waste Water Treatment Plant “will have a negative impact on such a scenic area. It is a local attraction on the Wild Atlantic Way and we believe this will have a negative effect on Kilkee’s popular ‘Cliff Walk’”.

Elaine Haugh Hayes and Robert Hayes of Naughton’s Bar and Restaurant has told the Council that they would like to strongly object to the location of the proposed WWTP. They state, “It is most unsuitable due to it being to it being adjacent to Kilkee’s most natural attraction – the Cliff Walk”.

Chris and Karen Kearns of Dough House, Kilkee have told the Council that they were delighted to hear that Kilkee was finally to secure its WWTP. They state that the proposed treatment plant is providing only primary treatment “and given the 30 year life span of the development, this is way below the full waste water treatment that we the permanent residents of Kilkee have been promised since the mid 1990s”.

The Kearns add that “the proposal does not meet the expectations of preventing any sewage from reaching the pristine Kilkee Bay Blue Flag beach…that in the event of plant failure/excessive rainfall, there would be an emergency discharge to the Victoria Stream.

Tom Byrne has told the Council that while it is commendable, though very late, of Uisce Éireann to now address the issue of the construction of a badly needed WWTP to serve Kilkee, “what has been submitted falls very far short of what is required”. The Kilkee man said that given the population density and the strictures of the European Wastewater Treatment Directive, the people of Kilkee deserve an overdue and proper consultation on an acceptable and viable state-of-the-art solution”.

Dr Tom Nolan has also lodged an objection against what is proposed. Dr Nolan has stated that it is a sad historical fact that the people of Kilkee and visitors have been treated disgracefully by the Council over many years in the matter of the maintenance and high quality bathing waters for which it was once famous. Dr Nolan said that tertiary treatment is required at any new WWTP for Kilkee.

On the Uisce Éireann proposal to provide primary treatment only, Dr Nolan says “it is unacceptable that a system so designed to fail is being offered”.

Kilkee resident, Sheila Lardner has branded the WWTP as a “proposed monstrosity”. Ms Lardner stated that “the area proposed is on the Atlantic Way which is very popular for walks and drives 12 months of the year”.

Ms Lardner contends that the scheme would not only be “a visual eye-sore” on a scenic route “but also the smells, sounds and light pollution would destroy the area”.

In a submission on behalf of Residents of Páirc na Blathanna from houses 3 to 10 contends that attempts are being made to railroad through “this ill-considered and flawed application”.

In a submission by Adrian Liston on behalf of himself and his neighbours, he states that “the application suggests to us “let’s get it done, and we’ll worry about the consequences down the road’. This is not acceptable”. Mr Liston states that as a result of the proposed WWTP “the value of our homes will also fall. This is inevitable”.

Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) has told the Council that while he welcomes the application he has significant concerns. Cllr Murphy states that the proposed site “is in a very sensitive location”. He says that it “is highly visible from a number of perspectives within the town and from the Cliff Walk and Dunlickey Rd, critical to the attraction of Kilkee as a tourist resort and consequently to the economic welfare and sustainability of the town”.

He said that “anything that impacts negatively on that is of huge concern to the community”. Cllr Murphy said that the use of the Victoria Stream and Kilkee Upper Stream as overflow sites for the Pump Station and WWTP is very concerning.

A spokesman for Uisce Éireann said on Wednesday that as the application is live, Uisce Éireann wouldn’t be commenting on the contents of submissions. He said that the project “will end the discharge of inadequately treated sewage into the bay”. He said, “The new sewerage infrastructure will bring significant benefits to the local community by improving water quality in the receiving waters at Intrinsic Bay”. He added that the scheme “will also enhance the environmental amenity of Kilkee, protecting recreational swimming, fishing, boating and sightseeing waters”.

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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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