Irish Water is to submit an application to An Bord Pleanála for permission to build a major new wastewater treatment facility for up to half a million people in north county Dublin and parts of Kildare.

The Greater Dublin Drainage Project is being proposed in order to protect health, safeguard the environment and facilitate the social and economic growth of the Greater Dublin area out to 2050.

The planning application for this strategic infrastructure follows Irish Water's recent application for permission to proceed with major upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment facility at Ringsend in Dublin.

The Greater Dublin Drainage project proposes that the new regional waste water treatment facility will be built in Clonshaugh.

It also proposes a new underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to Clonshaugh that will intercept the existing wastewater flow from north Dublin that currently currently goes to Ringsend.

There will also be a new wastewater pumping station at Abbotstown and a marine outflow pipeline from Clonshaugh that will channel treated water out into the Irish Sea.

The project includes a regional sludge treatment centre and an associated biosolids storage facility at Newtown near Kilshane Cross in north Dublin.

In addition, Irish Water has made a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of the land, permanent wayleaves, temporary working areas and rights of way required to facilitate the project.

It said that the Compulsory Purchase Order will also be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for confirmation. 

It is envisaged that the regional wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure will become operational from 2026. 

Irish Water said that the population of the Greater Dublin area is forecast to grow by almost half a million people by 2040.

It said the new Greater Dublin Drainage project and the upgrades to the existing Ringsend wastewater treatment facility are both needed to meet the needs of the Greater Dublin area for the next 30 years. 

Irish Water said the new project would help to ensure that the wastewater generated every day in homes, schools and workplaces would continue to be treated safely in compliance with EU and national wastewater treatment regulations.

An Bord Pleanála will now commence a statutory seven-week public consultation on the planning application starting on 28 June.