Clare council claims Kilkee water treatment plant would have ‘adverse impacts’ in seaside town

Locals say the cliff walk in Kilkee is under threat from the planned waste water treatment plant. Photo: Google Maps.

CLARE County Council has told Uisce Éireann that its planned waste water treatment plant (WWTP) for the seaside town of Kilkee would have “adverse impacts” on the visual amenities and character of the area.

In a setback for Uisce Éireann’s contentious plans, Clare County Council (CCC) has questioned the water utility company’s location choice for the plant and the level of treatment it would provide.

Locals have campaigned for many years for proper waste water treatment facilities for Kilkee, but over 80 objections were lodged by angry locals against the proposed Dunlicky Road scheme.

As part of the wave of opposition against the proposal, Kilkee resident Sheila Lardner branded the plant as a “proposed monstrosity”.

Now, CCC has states that the proposal is in too close proximity to a “heritage landscape”, further claiming that the Dunlicky Road also forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the EuroVelo Cycle route, and is popular with walkers using the Kilkee Cliffs pedestrian path.

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As a result, CCC has asked Uisce Éireann to submit a detailed rationale for locating the proposed plant at the cliff-adjascent site, and the technical engineering wastewater treatment requirements for locating it there.

CCC also pointed out that Kilkee sees significant increases in population during the peak summer months to 15,000, and the maximum design capacity of 7,926PE.

The planning authority said that it is unclear how this loading for a population of 15,000 would be adequately accommodated within the current proposal.

CCC directed Uisce Éireann to outline how the development, as proposed, would meet the requirements, adding that if a redesign of the proposed WWTP is required to accommodate a population in excess of 10,000, it would exceed the threshold for the provision of a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The local authority said that in the event that the threshold of 10,000PE is exceeded, an EIAR should therefore be carried out and submitted to CCC.

The planning authority also expressed concerns for potential adverse impacts on a number of dwellings and mobile homes due to the close proximity of the planned pumping station and asked Uisce Éireann to address these concerns.

One written objector to the plan, Michael Duffy, on behalf of the Dunlicky Rd Residents Group in Kilkee, described the proposal as “a disgraceful waste of scarce public resources” and a prospective “open wound and eye-sore” on the local landscape.

Mr Duffy contends that “this application is an ill-considered, expensive, boxticking exercise by the applicant, which simply wants to be seen to be taking steps, no matter how inappropriate, to address its historic inability to provide a basic and fundamental requirement for planning and sustainable development in a long established important tourism town”.

The application will become ‘live’ once more after Uisce Éireann has lodged the further information requested.