29 May 2022

Big boost for Bennettsbridge as water treatment and supply capacity to get upgrade

Will cater for the existing development and projected growth

A Kilkenny wastewater treatment scheme has been selected for upgrade as part of the Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme.

The project, in Bennettsbridge, will amalgamate and consolidate existing wastewater treatment infrastructure in the Bennettsbridge area to cater for the existing development and projected growth. Water supply capacity, which has also been an issue in the area in previous years will also be upgraded where necessary to augment the works that have been carried out in the past number few of years. The plans will now progress to the next phase of the project.

Irish Water has announced these projects now to enable Local Authorities to make plans on housing and development into the short and medium term supporting their regional and local development plans.

Cllr Patrick O’Neill has welcomed the inclusion of Bennettsbridge in Irish Water small towns and villages growth programme, and says the water supply capacity upgrade will also be a huge bonus for the area.

"This is something I have been raising with Irish Water since my election in 2014 and looking forward to this project progressing to the early stages of design, planning and approval," he said.

"In recent years there has been huge pressure on housing in Bennettsbridge and this news todays offers hope towards possible future developments around the Village to cater for the housing needs of the local community. I will be in regular contact with Irish Water to ensure that funding is allocated to this project as soon as possible to ensure the future growth of Bennettsbridge and surrounding areas."

Working in partnership with local authorities, this investment in the local wastewater infrastructure will provide additional capacity for the development of new homes, while ensuring that wastewater continues to be treated to an appropriate standard.

It follows the announcement of 15 projects earlier in the summer and forms part of Irish Water’s commitment to supporting growth and development in local towns and villages throughout the country, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.

Irish Water’s Regional Operations Manager, Jim Fitzgerald, said: “The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien recently announced the Housing for All plan and this is one of Irish Water’s key initiatives in supporting the delivery of this plan. Irish Water can confirm that the green light has been given for this project which will improve treatment capacity in Bennettsbridge and water supply where necessary. This will unlock growth and development in this area by ensuring the treatment infrastructure is in place to meet the needs of the area.

“Irish Water put this unique programme in place and allocated funding having identified the need to support growth in smaller towns and villages. The projects were selected following detailed consultation with Local Authorities to identify and prioritise areas for investment. We would also like to thank local councillors across the country of their engagement with us on highlighting the area’s most in need.” 

The announcement today was made possible after Irish Water’s planning team finalised their reviews of all submissions with a focus on the right sized projects for the right town or village at the right cost. The project will now continue through the next stages including design, detailed planning, procurement and approvals. Further updates on the budget and timelines for delivery will be provided in due course. Looking forward, Irish Water anticipates that this programme will continue in the next capital investment programme delivering further upgrades to cater for growth.

Irish Water is responsible for public water and wastewater infrastructure and is committed to providing a safe and reliable water supply, protecting the environment and supporting the growth of homes and businesses. The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer network will require a multi-billion-euro investment programme over many years. Irish Water is investing €5.2 billion in the period from 2020-2024 in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure.

Details of the current Capital Investment Plan and planned investments in each county will be published in the coming weeks.

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