Cork County Council’s ability to deliver much-needed housing in Midleton has been dealt a severe blow.
Nearly 100 new social houses with Planning approved, cannot be developed because of capacity issues with the Wastewater Treatment facility in the area.
There are similar capacity issues at Castlemartyr treatment works, as no new homes can be connected to the wastewater network in the village.
Raising serious concerns for the future development of housing in the region, Councillor Danielle Twomey has urged the Water Utility to upgrade east Cork’s wastewater and public drinking systems as soon as possible.
The Sinn Fein Cllr made her comments as the development of new homes at Abbeywood Baneshane, Midleton have stalled because the sewage infrastructure is considered inadequate.
Ms Twomey said Cork County Council and Irish Water must stop gaslighting and press forward in delivering housing for those on modest incomes.
“There will be nothing happening in Midleton for years unless Irish Water invests in new wastewater infrastructure, which enables new housing developments,” she said.
Permission was granted almost 2 years ago for the problem-plagued Abbeywood development, close to Gaelscoil Mainistir na Corann.
It was the second time Cllrs had given permission to develop 70 Council homes on the site located just off the N25, but no progress has been made.
In 2016 the Department of Housing and Local Government gave the Local Authority €13million to develop the site through a public-private partnership, but the plans were appealed to An Bórd Pleanála following traffic and flood concerns locally.
When Planning was eventually agreed to the rapid build project NAMA, who owned the land, decided they were no longer developing turnkey sites outside of Dublin. The Department of Housing subsequently gave the Local Authority permission to purchase the acreage from NAMA.
The development was to include a new culvert to divert the existing stream to allow for the development, improve flows through the site, and avoid flooding. The new channel was to bypass an undersized culvert that runs under the Baneshane Road towards the back of the Gaelscoil.
It is understood that a portion of low lying lands adjoining the site, which are in the ownership of Cork County Council, were to be left to flood in extreme weather conditions.
A new Pumping Station was to be provided for further drainage, which is already said to have been agreed with Irish Water.
Irish Water was asked when they plan to upgrade the Treatment Plants in both Midleton and Castlemartyr, but no comment was made prior to going to print.