An Taisce claims Wicklow County Council is being irresponsible by proposing to place the drinking water reservoir for Blessington in the middle of an uninvestigated illegal dump site on Roadstone’s land, which is also subject to a High Court Order requiring Roadstone to reinstate an area which they have quarried without planning permission

The necessary provision of clean drinking water for Blessington should be on an alternative clean site which is not subject to High Court restrictions rather than this contaminated site which is subject to a High Court Order restricting development.

An Taisce considers that any development of water infrastructure for the Blessington area must fully meet EU Directive standards and demonstrate security of supply and obviation of any contamination risk. In this regard it is important that the site for a supply reservoir should be carefully chosen so that there are no obstacles to the implementation of the provision of water supply.

On this vital test, the current application fails fundamentally as Wicklow County Council has chosen a site which is the subject of a High Court order against Roadstone requiring them to rehabilitate this precise site within six months of a plan for Blessington being adopted. No plan for Blessington has yet been adopted, so therefore neither Roadstone nor any other authority is in a position to allow a development on this site. Wicklow County Council is not in a position to commit contempt of a court order. This High Court order, Wicklow County Council vs Roadstone and Blessington Heritage Trust Ltd vs Roadstone was obtained in 1994 because the present site was the subject of unauthorised quarrying by Roadstone Dublin Ltd.

Access to the proposed development is through Roadstone’s land at Deerpark. Wicklow County Council has already stated that the entire Roadstone land is to be considered an illegal dump site. The area of the proposed access has not yet been investigated by Wicklow County Council or Roadstone for removal of illegal waste. The access route is unsuitable as it would interfere with the proper investigation of and removal of illegal waste from on top of the existing Blessington aquifer which is a regionally important aquifer.

The planning application has not demonstrated that Wicklow County Council is the landowner or has permission to construct a development on this particular site which is the subject of a High Court order.