Plans for water treatment plant in Co Cork on hold after two locals object

Plans For Water Treatment Plant In Co Cork On Hold After Two Locals Object
Uisce Éireann has claimed that the proposed multi-million euro facility will end the frequent boil water notices that have affected communities in parts of east Cork. File photo: PA
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Seán McCárthaigh

Plans for a major new regional water treatment plant to serve communities near the Co Cork village of Whitegate have been put on hold following objections by two local residents.

Appeals have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála against the recent decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission for the new plant at a site at Knocknamadderree, Kilva, Co Cork – around 1.5km northwest of the village of Cloyne.


Uisce Éireann – formerly known as Irish Water – has claimed that the proposed multi-million euro facility will end the frequent boil water notices that have affected communities in parts of east Cork in recent years.

The company, which is working in partnership with Cork County Council on the project, has stated that the new state-of-the-art water treatment facility will serve approximately 10,300 people living in east Cork.

It blamed the problems affecting the water supply in the area on “various complex issues” and noted that the source of the supply was highly vulnerable to infection with cryptosporidium.

'Traffic hazard'

One of the appellants, Margaret Glavin, claimed the proposed facility is being constructed on the highest point in east Cork which meant it could be seen from “as far away as the Galtee Mountains.”


Ms Glavin also expressed concern that there is no provision for parking for construction staff and associated machinery and warned the development could create “a major traffic hazard.”

“I can’t see how a safety officer can sign off on this,” she remarked.

Another appellant, Richard Glavin, claimed that Uisce Éireann was incorrectly claiming to own a party boundary ditch in planning files submitted to the council.

Mr Glavin also cited concerns about traffic levels and the location of the plant which he warned would be “a prominent feature on the highest point in east Cork for hundreds of years to come.”


“You can’t hide this plant but it can be designed right and blended in,” he added.

Mr Glavin argued that the facility could be located anywhere adjacent to the pipeline that runs between the reservoir at Knocknamadderree and the water source near Ladysbridge, Co Cork.

He also warned that the case could end up in court if An Bord Pleanála upholds the council’s grant of planning permission and it interfered with the party boundary ditch or his property.

Mr Glavin acknowledged that the project was “a vital plant for east Cork” and that he would look favourably on it if Uisce Éireann withdrew its current application and submitted a revised proposal which included secure legal boundaries and embankments around the site.


Boil water notices

A boil water notice for the area is ongoing.

The utility had expressed hope to start construction on the development in early 2024 with a completion time expected in late 2025.

Uisce Éireann highlighted how projects of such a scale would traditionally take around seven years from concept design to completion but the timeframe had been shortened for the new plant in Whitegate.

It said the project would address the problem of cryptosporidium which would significantly reduce the risk to public health and remove the site from the Environmental Protection Agency’s remedial action list.

The development provides for the decommissioning of the existing water treatment plant and the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility.

It will contain a new coagulation, flocculation and clarification system as well as new filtration and disinfection systems.

Glan Agua has been appointed to deliver the Design, Planning, Construction and Commissioning works on behalf of Uisce Éireann. The project will address risks to water quality by providing enhanced treatment facilities at a brand new Water Treatment Plant (WTP) adjacent to the existing plant.

A ruling on the case by An Bord Pleanála is due in mid-October.

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