Wednesday, 20 June 2018: Irish Water will today submit a planning application for strategic infrastructure development to An Bord Pleanála for the Greater Dublin Drainage (GDD) project.
The new regional wastewater treatment facility is being proposed in order to protect public health, safeguard the environment and facilitate the social and economic growth of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) to 2050.
The population of the GDA is projected to increase by almost half a million people by 2040. Continued population growth and increased commercial activity means the volume of wastewater generated in greater Dublin is projected to increase by more than 50% over the next 30 years.
If approved, GDD will provide capacity to treat wastewater for up to half a million people in north county Dublin and parts of Kildare and Meath.
The GDD planning application proposes a new regional wastewater treatment facility to be located in the townland of Clonshaugh, an underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to Clonshaugh (to intercept existing flows to Ringsend), a new pumping station at Abbotsown, and an outfall pipeline to return the treated water to the Irish Sea. The project also includes a regional sludge treatment centre at the new GDD facility and an associated biosolids storage facility at Newtown near Kilshane Cross.
Irish Water recently submitted a separate application for strategic infrastructure to An Bord Pleanála to further progress the upgrade to the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant to meet the immediate needs of the region. GDD represents the next major step in the development of the wastewater treatment network in greater Dublin, recognising its continued growth and in particular the limitations of the arterial network which currently drains to Ringsend. GDD will provide the network and additional treatment capacity required to supplement the Ringsend system from the mid-2020’s. Both projects are needed to provide adequate wastewater infrastructure to support the sustainable growth of the GDA up to 2050.
Jane Chambers, GDD Project Manager, Irish Water said,
“GDD is a strategic investment priority for Irish Water and today is an important milestone in the development of the drainage network for the Greater Dublin Area. The GDD project will help to ensure that the wastewater generated every day in our homes, schools and workplaces will continue to be treated safely in compliance with the EU and national wastewater treatment regulations.
I wish to acknowledge the previous work of Fingal County Council in bringing the GDD project through the site assessment process and to thank all of the individuals and organisations who have participated in the extensive consultations that have taken place on this project to date.
The GDD project will form a key part of the wastewater network that is necessary to safeguard public health, protect the environment and support the sustainable growth of the greater Dublin area.”
The planning application and the associated environmental reports may be viewed or downloaded from: www.gddapplication.ie
An Bord Pleanála will commence a seven week statutory public consultation on Thursday, 28 June 2018. All documents may be inspected free of charge at the below locations during public opening hours or purchased from the appropriate Local Authorities on payment of a specified fee (which shall not exceed the reasonable cost of making such copy):
- The Offices of An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 from Thursday 28 June 2018 for a period of 7 weeks until Friday 17 August 2018
- The Offices of Fingal County Council, County Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 from 2pm Wednesday 20 June until Friday 17 August 2018
- The Offices of Fingal County Council, Fingal County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin from 2pm Wednesday 20 June until Friday 17 August 2018
- The Offices of Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 from 2pm Wednesday 20 June until Friday 17 August 2018.
Members of the public and interested parties can make observations and submissions on the planning application directly to An Bord Pleanála up until 5:30pm on Friday 17 August 2018.
Extensive environmental studies have been undertaken for the GDD project. The planning application, made under Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006, includes an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS).
The published application includes a public and stakeholder participation report which documents how consultation feedback has informed the development of the GDD project. A community benefits scheme is also proposed as part of the project.
Irish Water has also made a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in respect of the land, permanent wayleaves, temporary working areas and rights of way required to facilitate the Greater Dublin Drainage Project. The CPO will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for confirmation.
Affected parties will receive individual written notice. A copy of the CPO documentation may be viewed from Wednesday 20 June until Friday 17 August 2018 at the following locations:
- The Offices of Fingal County Council, County Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
- The Offices of Fingal County Council, Fingal County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin
- The Offices Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8
Subject to planning consent, the new regional wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure serving the population of greater Dublin will become operational from 2026.
Members of the public with questions on the GDD project can continue to contact the project information service at: email@example.com or by phone 0818 44 55 67. For more information on the project please visit the project video on our YouTube Channel wtr.ie/GDDexplained
For media enquires please contact the Irish Water Press Office at:
Email: Press@water.ie or Call: 087 145 8896
Notes to the Editor
The delivery of the GDD project is a key strategic investment priority under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and is an objective of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023. The GDD project will support residential and commercial development in north Dublin and south and west Fingal including the Dublin Enterprise Zone and Dublin Airport Central which will facilitate employment. GDD will also alleviate pressure within the existing wastewater network in greater Dublin, increasing development potential of the area.
Subject to planning consent, construction will begin with the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility in 2020, followed by construction of the GDD wastewater treatment plant, orbital sewer, pumping station and marine outfall which will begin in 2022 at the earliest.
Note on Population Growth
The population of the Greater Dublin Area (Dublin, Meath, Kildare & Wicklow) is projected by the ESRI to increase by approximately 450,000 in the period to 2040 to 2.35 million. This is based on a ‘business as usual’ scenario with current inward migration patterns continuing.
For further information see:
Background to the GDD Project
An in-depth study was commissioned by the Dublin Region Local Authorities in 2005 to evaluate all wastewater treatment infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA).
The aim was to implement a strategy that would meet future wastewater treatment and network requirements and which would allow for growth in both population and industry. The report established that the treatment capacity likely to be available at Ringsend would be in the medium term, with the network constraints limiting the development in the north-west area (Blanchardstown, Mulhuddart, Dunboyne) in the near term.
The key recommendations from the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study were:
- To expand all wastewater treatment plants in the GDA to their maximum capacities to ensure wastewater infrastructure in the Dublin region could support future development.
- To build a new regional wastewater treatment facility in North Dublin that would intercept and treat wastewater from the GDA to a high standard, meeting National and EU Directives and Regulations for water quality.
A strategic environmental assessment undertaken on the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study in 2008 recommended that the site for the new regional plant should be identified following a comprehensive Alternative Sites Assessment process.
The Alternative Sites Assessment process, led by Fingal County Council on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, was undertaken between 2011 and 2013 to identify a suitable solution for a new regional wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure to meet the longer term needs of the population in north Dublin and its surrounding counties. This sites assessment stage included a four-phase public consultation process. It identified a preferred site for the new regional wastewater plant at Clonshaugh, an orbital sewer, and marine outfall to the Irish Sea as the preferred project solution. The sites assessment process found this to be the most environmentally, socially and technically advantageous solution while also being the most cost effective option.
Protecting our Environment
GDD is being developed to safeguard public health and to protect and improve the environment.
We must treat our wastewater before it can be safely returned to our rivers, lakes or seas.
Discharges from wastewater treatment plants must comply with the standards set by the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (S.I. 254 of 2001) and other national and European water quality regulations.
A comprehensive range of environmental studies and assessments have been carried out including both land-based and marine-based surveys. An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) have been prepared for the GDD project. The EIAR and NIS, including the associated environmental studies and assessments, have been submitted as part of the planning application
The An Bord Pleanála reference no. for the GDD planning application is: PL06F.301908