Water supply project submissions request ‘minor’ reroutes

Many submissions to the fourth public consultation on the proposed East and Midlands Water Supply Project contained requests for minor pipeline reroutes, according to a water utilities spokesperson.

These are all being fully considered before responding, the spokesperson said. The consultation process for the water supply project closed on February 14 last.

Approximately 500 landowners are impacted by the proposed draft pipeline route corridor between Parteen Basin on the Lower Shannon, and Peamount in south Co. Dublin.

A report on the consultation is expected to be published in the coming months.

“In some instances, ecological surveys and fieldwork investigations are necessary before a definitive response can be provided,” the spokesperson said.

We are in constant contact with affected landowners through our dedicated landowner liaison officers, and this will continue as the project evolves.

“We are also undertaking many activities and surveys necessary for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), which will accompany the planning application to An Bord Pleanala, currently planned for the first half of 2018.

“A small number of updates to our previously published documentation, including an update to the 2015 Project Need Report  – available at www.watersupplyproject.ie – are being prepared, and will be published prior to submission of the planning application,” the spokesperson said.

The IFA’s (Irish Farmers’ Association’s) Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman, Thomas Cooney, said there is a huge level of concern among farmers, their families, and wider communities in the hinterlands of the River Shannon, and in the footprint of the proposed project.

These concerns are genuine and real. The landowner is the most important stakeholder in this project. After the engineers, planners and consultants are long gone, farmers are the ones who will be left with this pipe on their lands.

“Therefore, their voices are the most important, and they must be heard,” he added.

“It is important that the level of disruption and the impact on land productivity, access, planning permission, and other restrictions are taken into consideration.”

Concluding, Cooney said: “A package of measures must be delivered to compensate affected farmers for any future income and yield losses, if the project goes ahead.”