Irish Water infrastructure gap could hamper future development of Graignamanagh
The lack of water infrastructure in Graignamanagh could jeopardise plans to expand housing in the town.
A new local area plan (LAP) for Graignamanagh and Tinnahinch is currently being prepared but the town is not included in Irish Water’s capital programme for the coming years.
There is a problem with the current water supply in Graignamanagh - not just capacity but also quality.
The draft LAP makes a provision for an additional 103 residential units in Graignamanagh while Tinnahinch will need 34. Almost nine hectares in Graignamanagh and 3.45 hectares in Tinnahinch will be zoned for this purpose - a proposal welcomed by local area councillors.
However, the provision of water will have to be discussed before any development takes place, Senior Executive Planner Nicolaas Louw said.
“Even though we have zoned 8 hectares for residential use this will have to be addressed at the development stage. It will have to be discussed between the Kilkenny County Council, Irish Water and the developer before any development can take place,” he said.
Mr Louw said unfortunately upgrading the water supply is not in Irish Water’s infrastructure projects before 2024
Problems already exist with water provision in Graignamanagh, particularly in the summer. At issue is the amount of freshwater available. In 2018 a well was sunk to increase capacity, but the water quality was not up to standard, this is something the council hope to address in the near future.
Cllr Deirdre Cullen said extra residential units will be very positive. “To expand the town people have to move in and live in the town,” she said, but water is an issue.
Cllr Michael Doyle agreed water supply was a concern, and said the Irish Water investment issue affected rural villages as well. He said it was “vitally important” to get development in Graignamanagh and rural areas.
Mr Louw said Kilkenny County Council is liaising with Irish Water and focusing on settlements with existing water supplies for development. They have to be realistic about what can be achieved.
Director of Services Mary Mulholland said there will be an issue with water supplies in a number of places in the county.
“The sooner we identify them the better case we will have to be included in Irish Water’s investment plan. It’s right we identify the problem, quantify it and present it as clearly as we can and show it’s impact so we can make a case to be included in Irsih Water’s future plans,” she said.
“It’s an ongoing discussion with Irish Water, they do take on board the information we provide.”