Waste water treatment schemes should be funded for growth centres in County Galway to provide affordable new homes, according to the Minister for Rural Affairs, Seán Canney.
Minister Canney believes a major cause of the lack of development, and building of homes in the county is due to the lack of waste water treatment plants. He said potential growth centres such as Craughwell, Corofin, Monivea, Kilconnell, Abbeyknockmoy, Kiltullagh, Corrandulla, Ballinderreen, Ardrahan, Kiltormer, Carrabane, Menlough, Aughrim, Tynagh, Lackagh, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan and Clonberne are “unable to accommodate any new housing developments” for this reason.
The National Development Plan envisages people to building homes in settlement centres instead of rural areas, but, the Minister said, “this cannot be done because of the lack of services”.
He noted that east Galway was “particularly affected” by this, as developers “cannot obtain planning permission” for housing estates owing to the lack of treatment plants.
As a result, Minister Canney, along with Independent county councillor Tim Broderick, is proposing that private developers provide the sewerage schemes. If the sewerage plant is up to standard and allows for future expansion, it can then be taken in charge by Irish Water, which will then take responsibility for the future operation and maintenance of the waste water plants.
At present the county has a large number of private waste water schemes. Minister Canney is calling on the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to begin the process of taking these schemes in charge. “I am confident a developer-provided infrastructure scheme would free up sites in growth centres around the county,” he said, “and provide affordable homes, for which there is enormous demand.”