New Sludge Treatment Plant, Dublin City Council

An Bord Pleanala were due to make a decision on our appeal against the decision of Kildare County Council granting planning permission to Dublin City Council for the construction of a new Sludge Treatment Plant at Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare in November 2008 and this decision was put back until the 5th January 2009.

However in a surprise move, An Bord Pleanala by letter dated 19th January 2009 have requested Dublin City Council to submit the following information.

"The Board has examined the appeal and is of the opinion that certain information is necessary for the purpose of enabling it to determine the appeal.

The Board considered that further, more detailed and comprehensive, information is required in respect of the physico-chemistry nature of the current process wastewater stream and, on completion of the proposed sludge treatment plant, in respect of any anticipated changes in the composition of the wastewater stream…

(a) entering the wastewater management plant, and (b) prior to discharge to the River Liffey.

In accordance with section 132 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and having regard to article 73 of the Planning and development Regulations 2001you are required to submit, on or before 2nd March, 2009, the following information:
1.       Submit a comprehensive report of water quality monitoring activities, including sample records, in relation to the composition of the current wastewater stream and of the receiving water after final discharge.

2.       Although the Board recognizes the functional advantages of the proposed siting of the new facility beside the existing sludge treatment plant, it considers that an alternative, more satisfactory location might be available within the substantial landholding of the applicant at this location.

In addressing this matter you are requested to examine possible alterative site locations and to provide a detailed evaluation of the alternatives considered, the submission should be accompanied by relevant site plans, section drawings and photomontages."

Also by letter dated 19th January 2009 An Bord Pleanala have invited the Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association to make a submission or observation on the following:

"The Board proposes to take into account the following:

1.    The Board noted that the proposed development is situated outside the existing treatment plant boundaries and at an elevated and visually prominent location within the River Liffey Valley. Having regard to the visual character and scenic/recreational value of this open, rural landscape the Board considered that the proposed structure and site boundary fencing, by reason of scale bulk, materials and design, would be visually obtrusive and incongruous in the landscape and thereby, might seriously injure the visual and recreational amenities of the area, particularly in views from the Golden Falls Reservoir and lands further to the south.

2       Furthermore, and having particular regard to the proximity of the site to a substantial bowl barrow archaeological feature – Recorded Monument (KD029:051) – the Board considered mat me proposed development might be unduly close to the monument and interfere with its setting and, thereby, detract from the archaeological interest of the area. The proposed development might, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

In accordance with section 137 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 you are invited to submit any submission or observation that you may have in relation to the matters raised on or before 16th February, 2009. Any submission or observation you make should be confined to the issues specified above as the Board cannot consider comments that are outside the scope of the matter(s) in question. Your submission in response to this notice must be received by the Board not later than 5.30 p.m. on the date specified above."

The Association has responded by letter dated 7th February as follows:

"Thank you for your correspondence dated 19th January 2009.

On behalf of the above Association I wish to make the following submission.

With regard to item No. 1 in your correspondence, the above Association is in agreement with the view expressed and that  “The proposed development is situated outside the existing treatment plant boundaries and at an elevated and visually prominent location within the River Liffey Valley.” In fact the proposed development is on the summit of the hill overlooking Golden Falls and can be clearly seen from Golden Falls Reservoir and from as far away as the Hollywood hills.

We believe that the proposed development would be visually obtrusive and would injure the visual and recreational amenities of Golden Falls Reservoir.  The proposed development would ‘stand out like a sore thumb’ as viewed from Golden Falls Reservoir.

With regard to item No. 2 in your correspondence we are of the opinion that a ‘safety first’ or ‘precautionary principle’ approach must be adopted.  If there is any chance of interfering with the setting of the bowl barrow archaeological feature (Recorded Monument KD 029:051) then an alternative location for the proposed development must be found."

We were very surprised to received further correspondence dated 24th February from An Bord Pleanala along with a copy of queries received by An Bord on the 28th January 2009 from Dublin City Council’s Consultants plus a copy of the statutory notice issued by An Bord Pleanala with An Bord’s responses to the queries dated 24th February 2009.

The Association on the 16th March 2009 made a submission and observation on this correspondence with photographs of the views of the proposed site from five locations south of the site and including a flow diagram of the present Sludge Treatment Plant.

An Bord Pleanala granted the following planning permission with conditions dated 28th August 2009.

"AN BORD PLEANALA

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACTS 2000 TO 2007

Kildare County
Planning Register Reference Number: 08/520

An Bord Pleanála Reference Number: PL 09.229575

APPEAL by Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers Association of Barrack Street, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare and by The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board of 15a Main Street, Blackrock, County Dublin against the decision made on the 21st day of May, 2008 by Kildare County Council to grant subject to conditions a permission to Dublin City Council care of Colum McGaughey of Room 412, Floor 4, 68-70 Marrowbone Lane, Dublin in accordance with plans and particulars lodged with
the said Council.

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The construction of a new sludge treatment plant comprising one number sludge treatment building, three number thickened sludge storage tanks, one number dried sludge storage silo and associated site infrastructure at Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.

DECISION

GRANT permission for the above proposed development in accordance with the said plans and particulars based on the reasons and considerations under and subject to the conditions set out below.

MATTERS CONSIDERED

In making its decision, the Board had regard to those matters to which, by virtue of the Planning and Development Acts and Regulations made thereunder, it was required to have regard. Such matters included any submissions and observations received by it in accordance with statutory provisions.

REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Having regard to:

(a) the provisions of the Strategic Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area and the objectives of the planning authority, as set out in the current Kildare County Development Plan, which seek to facilitate the upgrading of the water supply infrastructure within the county and the region,
(b) the close proximity of associated infrastructural facilities within the adjoining
water treatment plant, and
(c) the proposed measures for the treatment and discharge of water to the River
Liffey,
it is considered that the proposed development would contribute to the provision of an enhanced public water supply for the region and, subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, would be acceptable in terms of its impacts on the visual amenities and archaeological interest of the area and on the water quality of the River Liffey and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

CONDITIONS

1. The layout and design of the proposed development shall be modified as
follows:
(a) The proposed fenceline along the south-east boundary of the site (approximate length -55 metres) shall be relocated in a north-westerly direction and shall be aligned so that it does not encroach on the line of the existing ditch/bank which terminates at the ‘bowl barrow’ recorded monument.
(b) The layout of the south-east corner of the proposed sludge treatment building shall be redesigned to ensure that no part of the building lies within five metres of the re-aligned fenceline. The location/footprint of the western perimeter of the redesigned building shall not extend beyond that indicated on the Site Layout Plan (Drawing Number PL022-Revision P01) which was received by An Bord Pleanála on the 19th day of March, 2009.
Detailed drawings (to a scale of not less than 1:200) indicating the proposed method of compliance with these requirements shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the planning authority prior to the commencement of development.

Reason: In order to protect existing natural features within the site and the
visual amenities of the area.

2. Prior to commencement of construction, details of the materials, colours and textures of all the external finishes shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the planning authority. The colour of the elevations may not be altered at any time without the prior written agreement of the planning authority.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity and the protection of the rural character of the area.

3. Water supply and drainage arrangements, including the disposal of surface water, shall comply with the requirements of the planning authority for such works and services.
Reason: In the interest of public health and to ensure a proper standard of development.

4. Construction works at the site shall be carried out in accordance with the “Requirements for the Protection of Fisheries Habitat during Construction Works at Rivers Sites” (available at www.fishingireland.net).
Reason: In order to protect the watercourse from pollution and in the interest of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

5. Pre-development testing shall consist of the following:
(1) The developer shall engage the services of a suitably qualified archaeologist (licensed under the National Monuments Acts 19301994) to carry out pre-development testing at the site. No sub-surface work shall be undertaken in the absence of the archaeologist without his/her express consent.
(2) The archaeologist shall notify the National Monuments Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in writing at least four weeks prior to the commencement of site preparations. This will allow the archaeologist sufficient time to obtain a licence to carry out the work.
(3) The archaeologist shall carry out any relevant documentary research and may excavate test trenches at locations chosen by the archaeologist, having consulted the proposed development plans.
(4) Having completed the work, the archaeologist shall submit a written report to the planning authority and to the National Monuments Service for consideration.
(5) Where archaeological material is shown to be present, preservation in situ, preservation by record (excavation) and/or monitoring may be required and the National Monuments Service will advise the developer with regard to these matters.

(6) No site preparation or construction work shall be carried out until after the archaeologist’s report has been submitted and permission to proceed has been received in writing from the planning authority in consultation with the National Monuments Service.
Reason: To ensure the continued preservation (either in situ or by record) of features or other objects of archaeological interest which may lie within the site.

6. The site shall be landscaped in accordance with a tree survey and landscaping scheme which shall be submitted to the planning authority for agreement before development commences. This scheme shall include:
(a) A plan to scale of not less than 1:500 showing

(i) the trees to be removed and those to be retained, indicating species, heights, crown spread and condition,
(ii) the species, setting and height of all new planting which shall provide for deciduous trees within the site boundary fence and additional deciduous trees along the line of the existing ditch/bank which lies to the south-east of the realigned site boundary.
(iii) proposals for levelling, mounding and surface treatment of external areas including hard surfaced areas.
(iv) landscape management plan to include details of the measures to protect existing trees and shrubs during the construction phase; and
(v) a timescale for the implementation of this scheme.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity.

7. The proposed overground oil storage tank shall be adequately bunded to protect against spillage. Bunding shall be impermeable and capable of retaining a volume equal to 1.5 times the capacity of the tank. Filling and take off points shall be located within the bunded area.
Reason: In the interest of public health and safety.

8. (a) Comprehensive monitoring arrangements relating to the volume and quality of the treated filtrate and supernatant wastewater discharges to the River Liffey shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. In this regard, the process wastewater shall be treated to ensure compliance with the parameter limits which shall be specified by the planning authority having regard to the River Liffey Catchment Management Plan under the Water Framework Directive.
 

(b) The agreed monitoring regime shall provide for sampling, at regular, specified, intervals of the following:
(i) Supernatant from the sludge thickening tanks.
(ii) Spillway contents, including the combined filtrate, supernatant, washwater and surface water from the plant, prior to discharge.
(iii) Water in the Golden Falls Reservoir, upstream of the spillway discharge from the plant.
(iv) Water in the River Liffey, downstream of the spillway discharge from the plant.
(c) The physico/chemical parameters to be monitored shall include the following: Colour, Turbidity, Aluminium, Suspended Solids and PH.
(d) The data generated from this sampling/monitoring regime shall be forwarded to the planning authority at regular, specified, intervals and shall be made available for public inspection.
Reason: In order to protect the quality of the water in the River Liffey in the interest of public health and recreational amenity, including angling.

9. The developer shall pay to the planning authority a financial contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the planning authority that is provided or intended to be provided by or on behalf of the authority in accordance with the terms of the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000. The contribution shall be paid prior to the commencement of development or in such phased payments as the planning authority may
facilitate and shall be subject to any applicable indexation provisions of the Scheme at the time of payment. Details of the application of the terms of the Scheme shall be agreed between the planning authority and the developer or, in default of such agreement, the matter shall be referred to the Board to determine the proper application of the terms of the Scheme.
Reason: It is a requirement of the Planning and Development Act 2000 that a condition requiring a contribution in accordance with the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Act be applied to the permission.

Member of An Bord Pleanála Margaret Byrne duly authorised to authenticate the seal of the Board.

Dated this 28th day of August 2009.

The Association is delighted with An Bord Pleanala’s permission and looks forward to seeing the comprehensive monitoring arrangements which must be put in place.

The Association wrote to the Director of Services Kildare County Council asking that we be given an input into the monitoring arrangements that must now be drawn up and the Director replied inter alia by letter dated 16th September 2009 " Please be assured that they will be in contact with relevant officials from Dublin City Council in order to have an input into the plans and proposals relating to monitoring arrangements as envisaged in the parent planning permission.  I am also pleased to advise that Mr. Holligan will liase directly with you in this regard." 

So far so good?

The new Sludge Treatment Plant story to date.

The Association by letter dated 20th April 2008 made a submission to Kildare County Council on Dublin City Council’s planning application (Ref. No. 08520)  to construct a new alum sludge treatment plant at the Waterworks, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace.

Extract "We know that the present alum sludge treatment plant is capable of producing an effluent with an Al3+ concentration of 1.92 mg/l and we were promised that the new plant would be an improvement on the present plant.  The Association requests Kildare County Council to specify a maximum Al3+ concentration in the alum sludge treatment plant effluent that will ensure the quality of the water in the Liffey complies with the Environmental Quality Standard of 0.2 mg/l Al3+.  Also, that the Council specifies where and how often the Liffey at Ballymore Eustace is sampled and analysed for total aluminium.  We also request Kildare County Council to put in place monitoring arrangements to ensure that the planning conditions are observed."

Kildare County Council granted planning permission for the new sludge treatment plant with out any conditions as to the quantity or quality of the discharge from the sludge treatment process

The Association appealed the decision of Kildare County Council  to An Bord Pleanala by letter dated 9th June 2008.

Extract "On behalf of the above Association I wish to Appeal the decision of Kildare County Council (Ref. No. 08/520) to grant planning permission with conditions to Dublin City Council for the construction of a new sludge treatment plant comprising 1 no. sludge treatment building, 3 no. thickened sludge storage tanks, 1 no. dried sludge storage silo and associated site infrastructure, at the Water Treatment Plant, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace.  The Association’s appeal is based on the grounds that the permission granted reduces the protection against pollution of the Liffey afforded by the planning permission that currently exists for the present alum sludge treatment plant and also some of the planning permission conditions imposed by Kildare County Council need clarification."

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board also appealed Kildare County Council’s decision.

The Association dated 30th July 2008, at the request of An Bord Pleanala, responded to Dublin City Council’s submission to An Bord Pleanala concerning our appeal.

Extract "The Association respectfully requests An Bord Pleanala to take account of our concerns and comments when considering this appeal and to impose conditions and monitoring arrangements on the proposed new sludge treatment plant process to ensure that the Liffey at Ballymore Eustace is never again polluted by aluminium hydroxide sludge."

The Association received a latter dated 14th October 2008 stating that An Bord intended to determine the appeal before the 25th November 2008 but we received another letter dated 25th November from An Bord stating that due to the high volume of appeals a new target date of the 5th January had been set.

The Association received correspondence dated 19th January 2009 from An Bord Pleanala expressing some concern at the proposed location of the new Sludge Plant. We also received a copy of correspondence also dated 19th January which An Bord had sent to Dublin City Council looking for a physio- chemical analysis of the effluent from the propsed new Sludge Treatment Plant. The Association replied with a submission dated 7th February 2009. 

We were very surprised to received further correspondence dated 24th February from An Bord Pleanala along with a copy of queries received by An Bord on the 28th January 2009 from Dublin City Council’s Consultants plus a copy of the statutory notice issued by An Bord Pleanala with An Bord’s responses to the queries dated 24th February 2009.

The Association on the 16th March 2009 made a submission and observation on this correspondence with photographs of the views of the proposed site from five locations south of the site and including a flow diagram of the present Sludge Treatment Plant. 

An Bord Pleanala invited further submission/observations and the Association replied as follows

 "Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association 
                                                                   Barrack Street,
                                                                   Ballymore Eustace,
                                                                   Co. Kildare.
The Secretary,                                             25th June 2009
An Bord Pleanala,
64 Marlborough Street,
Dublin 1.

Appeal Re:  New Sludge Treatment Plant,
Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare.
Ref. No. PL 09.229575         P.A. Ref. No. 08/520

Dear Sir/Madam,

On behalf of the above Association I wish to make the following submission/observation on the submissions received by An Bord Pleanala on the 19th March 2009 and the 31st March 2009 from Dublin City Council and on the 4th February 2009 from Kildare County Council, which were forwarded to the above Association.

The Association will address the submissions in the sequence received by An Bord Pleanala.

The submission from Kildare County Council received on the 4th February 2009 will be included as part of addressing the Dublin City Council submissions.

The Association cannot agree with the statement in the 2nd last paragraph of page two of the submission dated 19th March 2009 from Dublin City Council that “Apart from the operational advantages, minimising the visual impact of the building was of primary concern in determining the proposed development location.” 

The view Fig1a, attached to the Archaeological Report (Appendix D) shows how exposed the proposed site is as viewed from a southerly direction.  The statement in the second last paragraph of page two of Dublin City Council’s submission dated and received 19th March 2009 “Of the options available (refer to Drawing No. PL021 in Appendix A), the proposed location was the only option that offered the advantage of partial screening on all aspects and this is particularly so to the South, Southwest and Southeast.” is patently not true.

Dublin City Council has compromised the views across the Liffey from the West by their Phase 3 Development and are now proposing to destroy the views from the South.  It is interesting to note the difference in the photomontages of the proposed site and those of the sites that were excluded.  In Appendix B Photomontages, the proposed new Sludge Treatment Plant is shown by the dimensions 16 x 4 mm as taken from the Water Ski Clubhouse at the edge of Golden Falls Lake while the dimensions of the Sludge Treatment Plant are shown as 52 x 15 mm in Appendix D Site No. 2 Photomontage in the submission dated 26th March 2009 i.e. three times the size even though it is taken from the R 413 road at Mountcashel, probably three times the distance away from the site of the previous photomontage.    

We are very concerned to read in the last paragraph of page two of the submission dated 19th March 2009 that excavations “(of up to 8 metres)” are to be carried out in this archaeological sensitive area close to the Bowl Barrow, a recorded monument (Ref KD 029:051).  Dublin City Council has already compromised two other recorded monuments (Ref KD029:012 and KD 029;039) in this area and must not be allowed compromise a third.  Again we stress that the Precautionary Principle must apply.

We are horrified after reading the following on page two of Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd. Archaeological Consultants & Project Managers Report (Appendix D) that Dublin City Council are still even contemplating going ahead with this proposed location for the New Sludge Treatment Plant.  “Geophysical survey carried out in the proposed development area has identified subsurface archaeological features thought to be indicative of multi-phase occupational activity, these will require licenced archaeological investigation prior to development, the results of which will be submitted to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government who will decide on further mitigation measures necessary.”  One would have thought that that was the end of the matter and that a new location would be urgently sought and found.

The Association believes that Dublin City Council has not made a good enough case why Site No. 2 (Drg. No. PL021) inside the existing boundary fence and adjacent to the present Sludge Treatment Plant was excluded.

The submission dated 26th March 2009 gives some reasons why Site No. 2 was rejected. 
As can be seen from Drawing No. PL021 (Appendix A Submission dated 19th March 2009) the proposed Sludge Treatment Plant occupies only a small area of the red coloured Site No. 2.  Very little of the existing coniferous woodland would need to be removed and this must be weighed up against the possibility of compromising the Bowl Barrow Archaeological Site (Recorded Monument Ref. KD 029:051) which can never be replaced.  The views from the West and North West are already compromised by the Phase 3 and previous developments and many residences have screened off the view of the Waterworks site by planting in their own gardens.  The area to the West of the Waterworks sloping towards the Liffey is contaminated by aluminium hydroxide sludge in the old Sludge Lagoons and in the woodland adjacent to the Liffey.  Apart from the coniferous trees in the immediate area of the new Sludge Plant on Site No. 2, most of the natural habitat is closer to the Liffey and there is no need to disturb it unless to remove the aluminium hydroxide contamination.  The amount of trees that would need removing to facilitate the new Sludge Treatment Plant would be insignificant with regard to the presence of the large number of deer in this area and the trees could be replaced by planting adjacent to the new Sludge Plant.  Dublin City Council could also replace the trees killed by the alum sludge closer to the Liffey.

We do not know how Dublin City Council arrived at a figure of €1.0M to prepare this site for the Sludge Treatment Plant but whatever the figure it must be set against the “further mitigation measures necessary” following the licenced archaeological investigation of the other site.  Dublin City Council is presently exporting thousands of tonnes of soil from the Phase 3 Development to landfill and some or all of this could be used as backfill material.  The Association believes that with a bit of engineering ingenuity the new Sludge Treatment Plant could be set into the hillside which would render it much less conspicuous from the West.  The existing boundary hedging, woodland and hillside ridge would conceal the Sludge Plant from the South.  Visiting this site on 21st June 2007 there appeared to be enough woodland immediately west of the Sludge Plant on Site No. 2 to lessen the impact on the already compromised views from the West.  In fact the new Sludge Treatment Plant might not be visible at all from the West.  The Association believes that Site No. 2 (Drawing No. PL021) for the proposed new Sludge Treatment Plant offers the better option for concealing the large structure and will save the views from Golden Falls Lake part of the Blessington Lakes, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  In our view Site No. 2 is by far the lesser of the two evils.

With regard to water quality monitoring, the analyses from any laboratory, even a laboratory accredited to the international standard ISO 17025, is only as good as the sampling procedure.  The need to clarify the labelling on the samples does not inspire confidence in the first instance.  The Association has in a previous submission expressed our concern about the sampling location on the Liffey downstream of the discharge from the Waterworks and how representative is such a sample. The water level in the Liffey, at the Ball Alley car park where this sample is taken is only around two inches (5 cm) deep.  We believe that the sample should be taken from the deeper, better flow water at the direct opposite bank.

In order to calculate the effect of any discharge on a receiving water at least three parameters must be known i.e. (a) The volume or flow rate of the discharge, (b) the concentration of the element/substance of interest and (c) the volume or flow rate of the receiving water.  Since the Liffey at Ballymore Eustace is a controlled flow river we know its flow rate.  We can also from chemical analysis establish the concentration (mg/l) of any element or substance and so if we know the flow rate of the discharge we can calculate its effect on the receiving water, the Liffey.  Dublin City Council by combining four discharges, Supernatent from various tanks, Treated Filtrate from the Sludge Treatment Plant, Surface water from the Water Treatment Plant and Run-off from some adjacent lands (old sludge holding lagoons) make it impossible to estimate the flow of the final discharge to the Liffey.  These four discharges should all be monitored individually and separated in the interest of clarity.

The Chemical analyses enclosed with the Dublin City Council submission dated 26th March 2009 does not mention any flow rates and so their impact on the Liffey cannot be calculated.  However the various analyses show good quality apart from some glitches.  The analysis shows that the aluminium concentration in the Sludge Press Filtrate (21 ug/l) is much lower than the aluminium content of the Supernatent (954 ug/l) and shows the importance of the Sludge Treatment Plant.  The Quality of the Supernatent is dependant on the amount of time the solids are allowed to settle and so can be a bit of a hit and miss depending on operating conditions.  The Suspended Solids of both samples is less than 10 mg/l.  However, the planning application for the new Sludge Treatment Plant informed us that the flow rate from the New Sludge Treatment Plant would be 94 litres per second made up as follows; 26 litres per second from the New Sludge Treatment Plant and 68 litres per second from the various Supernatents.  In light of the above analyses why is Dublin City Council seeking planning permission for a Suspended Solids concentration of 40 mg/l?  This is a retrograde step and as stated in our previous submissions this would add 2.3 tonnes of solids per week into the Liffey at Ballymore Eustace.  If the suspended solids are made up entirely of aluminium hydroxide this will add 0.77 tonnes of aluminium into the Liffey per week and raise the background level by 0.8 mg/l over four times the proposed Environmental Quality Standard of 0.2 mg/l aluminium. 
 
The present 1985 planning permission allows a max. discharge flow of 4120 m3/day (47.7 l/s) and a max. aluminium in the discharge of 10 mg/l.  This would raise the aluminium content by 0.31 mg/l exceeding the EQS by 155%.  This was a reasonable first time attempt condition in its day.  However we showed in a previous submission that the 1985 planning permission is being broken on a daily basis particularly with regard to the volume discharged.
We know that a previous report by MCOS to the EPA in connection with the old Sludge Holding Lagoons at the Dublin City Council Waterworks stated “Particular attention should be focussed on arsenic, barium, selenium, manganese and nickel levels given the preliminary results indicating potential contamination of the wetland soils and surface water.”  The Association is anxious to know what weight of these toxic elements will be present in the 2.3 tonnes of solids (i.e. a comprehensive analysis of the solids is required) which Dublin City Council wishes to discharge into the Liffey per week.  It is also important to know the concentration of these elements in the soluble portion of the discharges from the Sludge Treatment Plant.  We still find it incredible that Dublin City Council does not have these figures to hand given the above MCOS Report and after over sixty years operating the Waterworks.  Hiding behind the fact, as stated in the second last paragraph of page two of the Dublin City Council submission, that “the monitoring of the full suite of physico-chemical parameters set-out in the EPA’s Water Framework Directive Monitoring Programme, has never been a statutory requirement on Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant” does not create confidence in Dublin City Council and shows that they will only test for the minimum required or at least you will only be given the minimum of information and hence the need to apply conditions.  Given the toxic nature of some of these elements, the Association respectfully suggests that it is imperative that An Bord Pleanala seeks the full suite of physico-chemical parameters.

The Association is at a loss to understand the logic of the last paragraph on page 3 of the Submission dated 26th March 2009.  Are we to believe that the more sludge the Waterworks produces the better will be the quality of the Future Wastewater Filtrate?

The Association was surprised and concerned to learn on page 4 that a Phase 4 Development is planned for the Waterworks and that provisions are being made for this, as part of the Phase 3 Development.  We are always concerned that this will be used in future to obtain planning permission for extensions to the Waterworks i.e. part of the facilities are already constructed.  We are led to believe that the present Phase 3 will see the capacity of the Waterworks increase to 318,000 m3/day and that this is the ultimate safe yield from Poulaphouca Reservoir.  It is a condition of a past planning permission by Kildare County Council that the capacity of the Waterworks cannot exceed 70 million gallons of water per day.

The Association respectfully requests An Bord Pleanala to impose stringent quantity and quality conditions on discharges from the proposed new Sludge Treatment Plant process, to obtain a full suite of the physico-chemical parameters of both the solid and aqueous portions of the discharges and find a more suitable site for the proposed Sludge Treatment Plant.

Yours sincerely,

____________________________

An Bord Pleanala granted the following planning permission with conditions dated 28th August 2009.

"AN BORD PLEANALA

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACTS 2000 TO 2007

Kildare County
Planning Register Reference Number: 08/520

An Bord Pleanála Reference Number: PL 09.229575

APPEAL by Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers Association of Barrack Street, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare and by The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board of 15a Main Street, Blackrock, County Dublin against the decision made on the 21st day of May, 2008 by Kildare County Council to grant subject to conditions a permission to Dublin City Council care of Colum McGaughey of Room 412, Floor 4, 68-70 Marrowbone Lane, Dublin in accordance with plans and particulars lodged with the said Council.

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The construction of a new sludge treatment plant comprising one number sludge treatment building, three number thickened sludge storage tanks, one number dried sludge storage silo and associated site infrastructure at Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.

DECISION

GRANT permission for the above proposed development in accordance with the said plans and particulars based on the reasons and considerations under and subject to the conditions set out below.

MATTERS CONSIDERED

In making its decision, the Board had regard to those matters to which, by virtue of the Planning and Development Acts and Regulations made thereunder, it was required to have regard. Such matters included any submissions and observations received by it in accordance with statutory provisions.

REASONS AND CONSIDERATIONS

Having regard to:

(a) the provisions of the Strategic Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area and the objectives of the planning authority, as set out in the current Kildare County Development Plan, which seek to facilitate the upgrading of the water supply infrastructure within the county and the region,
(b) the close proximity of associated infrastructural facilities within the adjoining water treatment plant, and
(c) the proposed measures for the treatment and discharge of water to the River Liffey,
it is considered that the proposed development would contribute to the provision of an
enhanced public water supply for the region and, subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, would be acceptable in terms of its impacts on the visual amenities and archaeological interest of the area and on the water quality of the River Liffey and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

CONDITIONS

1. The layout and design of the proposed development shall be modified as follows:
(a) The proposed fenceline along the south-east boundary of the site (approximate length -55 metres) shall be relocated in a north-westerly direction and shall be aligned so that it does not encroach on the line of the existing ditch/bank which terminates at the ‘bowl barrow’ recorded monument.
(b) The layout of the south-east corner of the proposed sludge treatment building shall be redesigned to ensure that no part of the building lies within five metres of the re-aligned fenceline. The location/footprint of the western perimeter of the redesigned building shall not extend beyond that indicated on the Site Layout Plan (Drawing Number PL022-Revision P01) which was received by An Bord Pleanála on the 19th day of March, 2009.
Detailed drawings (to a scale of not less than 1:200) indicating the proposed
method of compliance with these requirements shall be submitted to and
agreed in writing with the planning authority prior to the commencement of
development.

Reason: In order to protect existing natural features within the site and the visual amenities of the area.

2. Prior to commencement of construction, details of the materials, colours and textures of all the external finishes shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the planning authority. The colour of the elevations may not be altered at any time without the prior written agreement of the planning authority.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity and the protection of the rural
character of the area.

3. Water supply and drainage arrangements, including the disposal of surface water, shall comply with the requirements of the planning authority for such works and services.
Reason: In the interest of public health and to ensure a proper standard of
development.

4. Construction works at the site shall be carried out in accordance with the “Requirements for the Protection of Fisheries Habitat during Construction Works at Rivers Sites” (available at www.fishingireland.net).
Reason: In order to protect the watercourse from pollution and in the interest of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

5. Pre-development testing shall consist of the following:
(1) The developer shall engage the services of a suitably qualified archaeologist (licensed under the National Monuments Acts 19301994) to carry out pre-development testing at the site. No sub-surface work shall be undertaken in the absence of the archaeologist without his/her express consent.
(2) The archaeologist shall notify the National Monuments Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in writing at least four weeks prior to the commencement of site preparations. This will allow the archaeologist sufficient time to obtain a licence to carry out the work.
(3) The archaeologist shall carry out any relevant documentary research and may excavate test trenches at locations chosen by the archaeologist, having consulted the proposed development plans.
(4) Having completed the work, the archaeologist shall submit a written report to the planning authority and to the National Monuments Service for consideration.
(5) Where archaeological material is shown to be present, preservation in situ, preservation by record (excavation) and/or monitoring may be required and the National Monuments Service will advise the developer with regard to these matters.

(6) No site preparation or construction work shall be carried out until after the archaeologist’s report has been submitted and permission to proceed has been received in writing from the planning authority in consultation with the National Monuments Service.
Reason: To ensure the continued preservation (either in situ or by record) of features or other objects of archaeological interest which may lie within the site.

6. The site shall be landscaped in accordance with a tree survey and landscaping scheme which shall be submitted to the planning authority for agreement before development commences. This scheme shall include:
(a) A plan to scale of not less than 1:500 showing

(i) the trees to be removed and those to be retained, indicating species, heights, crown spread and condition,
(ii) the species, setting and height of all new planting which shall provide for deciduous trees within the site boundary fence and additional deciduous trees along the line of the existing ditch/bank which lies to the south-east of the realigned site boundary.
(iii) proposals for levelling, mounding and surface treatment of external areas including hard surfaced areas.
(iv) landscape management plan to include details of the measures to protect existing trees and shrubs during the construction phase; and
(v) a timescale for the implementation of this scheme.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity.

7. The proposed overground oil storage tank shall be adequately bunded to protect against spillage. Bunding shall be impermeable and capable of retaining a volume equal to 1.5 times the capacity of the tank. Filling and take off points shall be located within the bunded area.
Reason: In the interest of public health and safety.

8. (a) Comprehensive monitoring arrangements relating to the volume and quality of the treated filtrate and supernatant wastewater discharges to the River Liffey shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. In this regard, the process wastewater shall be treated to ensure compliance with the parameter limits which shall be specified by the planning authority having regard to the River Liffey Catchment Management
Plan under the Water Framework Directive.
 

(b) The agreed monitoring regime shall provide for sampling, at regular, specified, intervals of the following:
(i) Supernatant from the sludge thickening tanks.
(ii) Spillway contents, including the combined filtrate, supernatant, washwater and surface water from the plant, prior to discharge.
(iii) Water in the Golden Falls Reservoir, upstream of the spillway discharge from the plant.
(iv) Water in the River Liffey, downstream of the spillway discharge from the plant.
(c) The physico/chemical parameters to be monitored shall include the following: Colour, Turbidity, Aluminium, Suspended Solids and PH.
(d) The data generated from this sampling/monitoring regime shall be forwarded to the planning authority at regular, specified, intervals and shall be made available for public inspection.
Reason: In order to protect the quality of the water in the River Liffey in the
interest of public health and recreational amenity, including angling.

9. The developer shall pay to the planning authority a financial contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the planning authority that is provided or intended to be provided by or on behalf of the authority in accordance with the terms of the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000. The contribution shall be paid prior to the commencement of development or in such phased payments as the planning authority may
facilitate and shall be subject to any applicable indexation provisions of the Scheme at the time of payment. Details of the application of the terms of the Scheme shall be agreed between the planning authority and the developer or, in default of such agreement, the matter shall be referred to the Board to determine the proper application of the terms of the Scheme.
Reason: It is a requirement of the Planning and Development Act 2000 that a condition requiring a contribution in accordance with the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Act be applied to the permission.

Member of An Bord Pleanála Margaret Byrne duly authorised to authenticate the seal of the Board.

Dated this 28th day of August 2009.

The Association is delighted with An Bord Pleanala’s permission and looks forward to seeing the comprehensive monitoring arrangements which must be put in place.

The Association wrote to the Director of Services Kildare County Council asking that we be given an input into the monitoring arrangements that must now be drawn up and the Director replied inter alia by letter dated 16th September 2009 " Please be assured that they will be in contact with relevant officials from Dublin City Council in order to have an input into the plans and proposals relating to monitoring arrangements as envisaged in the parent planning permission.  I am also pleased to advise that Mr. Holligan will liase directly with you in this regard." 

So far so good?

 

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Extention to Sludge Treatment Plant effluent discharge slipway to Liffey. Jan.2011

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