Ballyroan village where the planning process is underway for a sewage treatment plant upgrade
An upgrade of a sewage treatment plant is in planning for a Laois village, to enable it to grow and develop.
Ballyroan is 10km outside of Portlaoise, and its outdated treatment plant had previously been in breach of EPA guidelines, forcing the transport of waste in trucks to the Portlaoise plant for treatment.
With several new housing developments underway, an update was sought this month from Irish Water and Laois County Council on the service upgrade.
Cllr Barry Walsh said that "there are a good few developments at the moment" in the village where he lives on the Main Street.
He tabled a motion to the April meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District asking on the update for the promised upgrade, and asked if the project is in the planning stage.
Town manager Simon Walton confirmed that the upgrade is approved for funding by Irish Water, and planning is underway to build it.
It will include: a third SBR tank, a stormwater storage tank, a sludge storage tank, a flow splitter chamber, two air lowers, two sludge wastage pumps and power supply.
"It is planned to start upgrade works in Q4 (October to December) 2022, subject to planning approval" his answer stated.
"It it 12 months ago since Ballyroan was selected by Irish Water under its Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme. There have been significant enhancements to the quality of the discharge, to meet compliance with the EPA licence. The second phase is to enhance the development as outlined here.
"They do required planning approval, it has to go through the statutory process, but there are unlikely to be any planning issues," Mr Walton said.
The Cathaoirleach of Portlaoise Municipal District is John Joe Fennelly.
"This is good news for Ballyroan, there is a bit of hindrance to developments at the moment," he said.
Among those developments are ten houses being constructed by Laois County Council itself in Gleann na Glaise housing estate, due to be completed this June, well ahead of the new wastewater improvements.
A private developer, Solus Developments Ltd is also seeking permission for 11 houses on Main Street, with that application currently on hold.
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