Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says he’s deeply concerned about the decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse permission for essential upgrade works at Lough Salt.   Irish Water was due to carry out the improvements next year but the project has been halted as a result of a Bord Pleanála ruling.

Deputy Scanlon explained, “This decision by An Bord Pleanála is deeply disappointing and raises serious concerns about water treatment and quality in the south Sligo region.  Lough Talt provides the water supply for almost 10,000 people in Ballymote, Ballisodare and Tubbercurry.  Plans for a new water treatment plant, which would rectify a number of problems, had been lodged but have now been refused by An Bord Pleanála, which claims the lake is a Special Area of Conservation.

“We have had to deal with a series of water issues in south Sligo in recent years – in 2015 the water supply was found to have elevated levels of Thihalomethanes (THMs) and the EPA blamed inadequate Cryptosporidium treatment.  This was to be addressed through the construction of a new water treatment plant.  But this has now been stalled as a result of this Bord Pleanála ruling.

“Water is a precious and important resource and a safe and secure water system is essential to any functioning town, village or county.  South Sligo cannot be the exception.  While I appreciate the concerns of An Bord Pleanála with regard to the conservation of the lake, but it shouldn’t be allowed to take precedent over the health and safety of residents in south County Sligo.

“I will calling for a review of the decision and will look at what avenues are open to the County Council and Irish Water to ensure that this important treatment facility is built”.