An assessment is due to be carried out of the sewerage services in the Newrath area of South Kilkenny, following a debate by Kilkenny County Council on whether land zonings in the area should be changed.
Lands in the Ferrybank/ Belview area are being zoned on a phased basis to meet regional planning guidelines set out by the Department of the Environment, and a piece of land owned by one developer became a matter of contention among members. That land was due to be included in the second phase of development, but some members wanted it included in the first phase of development because the developer had said it would put in waste water infrastructure in the Cloone/ Mullinabro/ Newrath area.
At Monday’s council meeting, a majority of members voted in favour of the original proposal, with these lands not included in the first development phase. Sixteen members voted in favour, with two against and two abstentions. The decision had been deferred from last month’s meeting.
They made the decision after a commitment was made by county manager Joe Crockett that the council would carry out a technical assessment of sewerage services in the area and come up with an appropriate solution.
“It is clear that members have expressed strong concerns on the sewage treatment issue in various parts of South Kilkenny,” he said after the issue was raised by Cllr Anne-Maria Irish (FG) in relation to the Ferrybank/ Belview Local Area Plan.
Mr Crockett said the council would devise a technical solution to the issues, and that an assessment “would commence very early in the new year.” He said it would take about three months to complete and that the council would also “engage with residents and users of the schemes.” A report will then be brought back to the council with recommendations on how to proceed.
Councillors from South Kilkenny welcomed the manager’s proposal, although Cllr Eamon Aylward (FF) said in his case it was a “guarded welcome.”
“I would like to see some action being taken. We have had this problem for a long time,” he said.
Cllrs Pat Dunphy (FG) and Fidelis Doherty (FG) also welcomed the suggestion, which Cllr Doherty said was “a development in the right direction.”
“I would like to see that we will follow through on this and it won’t just be left on the top shelf again,” said Cllr Cora Long (FF).
“It behoves us as a council that once we have done the technical assessment we will engage with local people to progress this through the rural water programme,” said Cllr Tomas Breathnach (Lab). He urged “that the council would make every effort to prioritise it, given the length of time the issue has been there and the number of people affected.”