An image showing the proposed site layout for the regional biosolids facility to be built at Kilshane.

Relief in Clonee as Kilshane site chosen for biosolids facility

A site at Newtown/Kilshane, Dublin 11 has been announced by Irish Water as the preferred site for the construction of its new biosolids facility to serve the greater Dublin area.

The news comes as huge relief to residents around the Bracetown area of Clonee, where two sites of the five sites shortlisted by Irish Water for the massive sludge storage facility were located.

A 12.5 hectares site at Bracetown/Gunnocks beside Bracetown Business Park and a 14.5 hectares site next to it at Gunnocks were both being considered by Irish Water after 150 potential sites were shortlisted to just five.

Laurence Ward, who owns the lands at Bracetown and Gunnocks, has expressed his relief that his land was not chosen by Irish Water. When the five sites were announced, he expressed outrage that the land farmed by generations of his family had been shortlisted without his knowledge, and he had huge concerns for the future of his farming business if the facility went ahead there.

"We are very relieved. It was a collective effort. I put in a long submission myself and so did the businesses and residents in the area and county councillors Damien O'Reilly and Maria Murphy and DeputyThomas Byrne. All of these did their piece. A big concern for me was my qualify assurance status on the farm and also fears for water contamination," said Mr Ward.

News that the Bracetown sites were not selected has also been welcomed by Cllr Maria Murphy. She said: "That site didn't make sense, given the vision Meath County Council has for that area in terms of economic development. Of all the sites that Irish Water were looking at, in my opinion Kilshane seemed to tick all the boxes."

Cllr Damien O'Reilly added: "I welcome Irish Water's decision to locate its biosolids facility at the more suitable site at Kilshane. Any location in Bracetown/Gunnocks area would have severely damaged the economic development strategy of the county. There were also fears over the potential health effects for the growing residential areas of Dunboyne."

The new facility will store 48,000m3 of biosolids produced at the upgraded Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and at the Greater Dublin Drainage project once operational.