Dublin City Council want the High Court to halt a challenge to €270m Ringsend works

Dublin City Council want the High Court to halt a challenge to €270m works extending the capacity of the Ringsend waste water treatment plant, the Independent reports this morning.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton has reserved judgment on the council’s pre-trial application. The Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association (SAMRA) initiated the challenge last month due to concerns about the environmental impact of the project which will include a 9km underground tunnel under the sea to discharge treated effluent into Dublin Bay.

The residents want orders overturning the An Bord Pleanala (ABP) permission last November for the works. That permission was granted just weeks before the Minister for Arts & Heritage proposed on December 3 to designate a 40km coastal stretch from Rockabil, Howth, to Dalkey Island as a special area of conservation (SAC).

In affidavits for SAMRA, local resident Lorna Kelly claimed the underground tunnel will discharge treated effluent into an area directly within, or adjacent to, a SAC.

The Council said the Ringsend plant was built in 2003 to cater for a population of 1.64m in the greater Dublin region but is now trying to cope with average daily influent of 1.8m. The planned extension will provide capacity for 2.1m.

James Connolly SC, for the Council, supported by counsel for the State, Brian Kennedy, applied for the challenge to be struck out on grounds SAMRA, as an unincorporated entity, is not entitled to bring it. An unincorporated body is a “legal nonentity” not answerable to the court for costs or other matters such as contempt, he said. Source: The Independent.