Cllr Susan McCarthy is urging Irish Water to upgrade Midleton and Castlemartyr’s wastewater and public drinking systems as soon as possible. The Fine Gael Cllr made her comments after plans for hundreds of homes in Castlemartyr were refused by An Bord Pleanála as the public water supply and sewage infrastructure in the village is considered inadequate.
In recent weeks the planning authority refused an application for the construction of 30 units on the outskirts of Castlemartyr Village because of “existing wastewater constraints.”
Last April an application for 209 homes comprising of 2, 3 and 4bedroom properties linking to the existing Gorthnahomna Estate lodged by Solas Partnership was also refused, because of capacity issues. 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 McCarthy told the September sitting of the East Cork Municipality development in parts of East Cork are 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. “Irish Water are just giving us these nebulous timelines that don’t mean anything. They need to get their act together. We need proper infrastructure to deal with the amount of planning that’s coming down the line” commented the Midleton based Cllr.
Cllr Michael Hegarty who backed Cllr McCarthy’s call said low spending on infrastructure is effecting the ability to adequately respond to the housing crisis. He said the lack of proper water treatment will “impinge on growth in the whole area if Irish Water necessary infrastructure is not put in place.” Independent Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said Irish Water should be invited to attend the next sitting of the Municipal district to give definitive time lines. She said “every second day we are all getting calls about Castlemartyr and every second day we are calling Irish Water and we’re getting a reference number.”
Last June the Castlemartyr facility located in Mitchell Woods spilt raw sewage into the popular walking amenity after 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 a conceptual design stage with the reticulated sewage system not expected before 2021.