Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (661)

Joe Carey


661. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress made to date in relation to the introduction of a new scheme to provide funding supports to local authorities for the development of small sewage schemes in rural towns and villages; if consideration has been given to introducing a pilot scheme as part of the process to introduce a new scheme; when a new scheme will be operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37020/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 1939 of 6 September 2019.

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. Irish Water, as a single publically owned national water services authority, is taking a strategic, nationwide national utility approach to asset planning and investment, and meeting customer requirements.

Irish Water will take account of developing subsidiary programmes within its investment plan to assist in implementing the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan, including the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies, as well as ongoing reviews of local authority statutory land use plans.

I understand that Irish Water has brought forward proposals, within its investment plan submitted to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities as part of the next regulatory control period 2020-2024, for a Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme which will support a number of the National Policy Objectives and National Strategic Outcomes under the National Planning Framework. The Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme is intended to provide water and wastewater growth capacity in smaller settlements which would not otherwise be provided for in Irish Water’s Investment Plan. Irish Water will work with local authorities across the country in ensuring that investment is made where it is needed most, aligned to local authority core strategies. It is in that context that investment decisions in relation to individual projects will be made.

Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.