Development In Castlemartyr Hamstrung

By Seamus Whelehan

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Councillor Danielle Twomey is urging Irish Water to upgrade Castlemartyr’s wastewater and public drinking systems as soon as possible.
The Sinn Féin Cllr made her comments after plans for hundreds of homes in Castlemartyr were refused by Cork County Council, as the public water supply and sewage infrastructure in the village is considered inadequate.
An application for 209 homes comprising of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties linking to the existing Gortnahomna Estate was lodged last April by Solas Partnership.
The outline planning included pedestrian links into the existing Gortnahomna More estate, a kick about pitch, crèche, and a multi-use games area including four local play areas.
Cllr Twomey told this week’s Southern Committee meeting in Cork County Hall that development in the village is on hold until new efficiencies in the wastewater treatment system are installed.
She said both Irish Water and Cork County Council have a duty to work together to “deliver much needed housing” for the region.
Ms Twomey added “Residents have been waiting a very long time for upgrades of the wastewater plant. It’s at a state where it’s maxed to capacity, and is becoming a health and safety issue for the surrounding Coillte area, which is a public walkway.”
Last June the Castlemartyr facility located in Mitchell Woods spilt raw sewage into the popular walking amenity when an aeration tank overflowed following heavy rain, leading to fears for public health and safety.
Irish Water subsequently carried out some works to mitigate against flooding at the site.
Under Irish Water’s 2017 -2021 Programme of Capital Investment, Castlemartyr features alongside eight other facilities across the county that are in line for upgrade.
It’s understood works at the Castlemartyr site are at conceptual design stage, with the reticulated sewage system not expected before 2021.
Deputy CEO of Cork County Council, Declan Daly said the Local Authority is engaging with Irish Water where it identifies opportunities for housing.
He said it was “a pity” that Planning was refused, as East Cork features heavily in the Local Authority development plans.

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