Significant funding has been allocated under my Department's water services investment programme 2004-06 to facilitate new house building in Monaghan. The Monaghan town sewerage scheme has been approved to begin construction in 2005 at an estimated cost of €13.2 million. Monaghan County Council's preliminary report for the scheme is under examination in my Department and will be dealt with as quickly as possible. The scheme will eliminate constraints in existing collection system and pumping capacity and will allow additional loads from the town to take up the spare capacity currently available in the town's wastewater treatment plant.
The water services investment programme 2004-06 is also funding two wastewater schemes with a combined estimated value of €5 million, under the serviced land initiative which is designed to open up additional areas for housing development. The Old Armagh Road-Castleblayney project, which is already in progress, will provide services for up to 1,000 new residential sites. The second scheme will service a further 600 residential sites in the north eastern collection area and I understand that Monaghan County Council is currently preparing detailed proposals for submission to my Department for approval. These proposals will be given early attention on receipt. Both serviced land initiative projects can be implemented independently of the Monaghan town sewerage scheme and neither is dependent on the increased collection system or pumping capacity being provided under that scheme.