Poolbeg housing site ‘would incur costs’

Plans to fast-track the building of thousands of homes on Dublin’s Poolbeg West peninsula will likely entail significant costs in making good the high-risk contaminated lands, one of the country’s leading environmental experts has said.

The Government, Nama, and Dublin City Council have hailed the potential economies of scale in developing the lands as key to solving the national housing crisis.

Much of the 84 acres has been earmarked for housing, under a strategic development zone.

However, Paul Johnston, adjunct professor of environmental engineering at TCD, said identifying potential risks by drilling boreholes and making good the contaminated lands will likely be far more complex and entail more costs than cleaning up contaminated sites at Haulbowline in Cork and the remediated extensive Lagan gas works site in Belfast.

“The costs of the investigation and remediation of this site [Poolbeg West] have not been factored in and it doesn’t appear to be well understood what level of remediation is going to be required,” said Prof Johnston.

It will likely be costly to investigate the large range of industrial and municipal waste dumped on Poolbeg.

“The problem we have in Ireland is we have no mechanism for dealing with hazardous waste materials, so nearly all has to be exported or somehow isolated,” said Prof Johnson.

A report under a strategic environmental assessment by Dublin City Council published earlier this year says it had provided a review “of available documentation on contamination, a conceptual site model for the area of the planning scheme and a highlevel qualitative risk assessment to establish low, medium and high-risk areas”.


Sating the festive appetite is what Christmas is all about, here Joe McNamee takes us through the best culinary delights that are produced right here on our doorstep.Want to give local this Christmas? Joe McNamee rounds up the the country's very best food produce

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

More From The Irish Examiner