A residents’ group in the east Cork harbour village of Ballycotton has launched a petition seeking Irish Water and Cork County Council to hold a public meeting to deal with concerns about a proposed wastewater treatment plant.
A petition set up by Ballycotton Development Company (BDC) Ltd collected over 200 signatures outside an Irish Water-organised public information session on Thursday night.
The estimated €4m scheme envisages two pumping stations and a kilometre of piping from cliffs overlooking the village, through the main street to the harbour.
BDC representative Gail Matson said villagers are unhappy with Irish Water’s approach. “They are coming here with Plan A but no Plan B. We want to talk to them as one village.”
Irish Water, aiming for a late 2019 commencement, intends applying for planning this year. Much depends on negotiations with some local landowners being successful, to avoid a lengthy CPO process.
Completion time will depend on the utility company adopting an “all at once” or alternative approach on an extremely narrow main street, according to Irish Water’s Michael Tinsley.
Implications for school runs, business closures, noise, contingency plans, lifeboat access and traffic management are an issue.
Resident Geoff Fisher, who may lose part of his garden, wants “a meeting where everyone in the village can publicly ask questions. They don’t discuss things. They just knock on your door and say they are taking your land”.
Maurice Whelan, another local, was unhappy with the route being chosen while others said local knowledge was being ignored.
Irish Water did not dismiss the possibility of a public meeting but felt the information meeting was sufficient.
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