Chapter 7 Infrastructure
Strategic Policy for Infrastructure
Policy IN 01: It is the policy of the Council in co-operation with Irish Water to provide adequate water and sewerage facilities in Croom and raise awareness of energy efficiency, and waste management including the minimisation, re-use, recycling/recovery of waste.
Policy IN 02: It is the policy of the Council to ensure all proposals shall comply with the policies, objectives and development management standards of the Limerick County Development Plan 2010 – 2016 (as extended) in relation to infrastructure and the objectives outlined below.
A key consideration for the development of this area is the availability and quality of infrastructure. Infrastructure and land use should be managed and developed together, while protecting the environment for future generations. The responsibility for water service provision now rests with Irish Water. However, the Local Authority remains closely involved in the sector acting as an agent of Irish Water in relation to the operation and maintenance of services.
Water supply in Croom is limited, there are two sites currently supplying water to the town Croom. One at the Croom Bypass site, which is on the EPA’s Remedial Action List with new borehole been recently constructed and is awaiting testing. The project is due for completion by the end of 2019 and while the capacity of the borehole is not confirmed it will provide some additional capacity. The second site is located at Skagh Well, and a second well recently drilled borehole found some water. Irish Water continue to examine proposals to enhance the supply to the town. Any proposal for development would require investigation in consultation with Irish Water of the water infrastructure.
7.2 Water Supply
7.3 Foul Sewerage
The provision of adequate water supply and wastewater treatment utilities is crucial to the continued expansion of Croom. The plant is operating effectively and currently compliant and has treatment capacity to cater for a further population equivalent of 500. It has been included on a programme for the installation of a storm tank by Irish Water.
7.4 Surface Water Drainage
The Plan area is covered in parts by a storm water network. Any proposal for significant development would require investigation in consultation with the planning authority of the surface water infrastructure.
7.5 Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
The extent of paved and other hard surface areas reduces the capacity of the soil to absorb run off and may increase the risk of flash flooding. A sustainable approach to urban drainage encompasses a whole range of approaches to surface water drainage including:
- Promoting the use of green infrastructure within new and existing developments;
- Source control measures including recycling or re-use of grey water;
- Infiltration devices to allow water to soak into the ground including individual soak aways and communal facilities;
- Permeable surface treatments that in suitable locations allow rainwater and run off to infiltrate into permeable material below ground and provide storage if needed; and
- Water attenuation designs that can hold excess water and that can be emptied gradually and in a controlled manner in drier periods.
The Planning Authority will normally be able to advise of sensitivities on particular sites, that will demand some SUDS measures to be adopted. From the initial design phases to subsequent consideration of planning issues and construction, consideration should be given to the incorporation of the principles of sustainable urban drainage into the new development.
The use of SUDS mechanisms will be one of the responses to climate change issues in that it is through such measures that flooding, currently seen as one of the major effects of climate change, can be alleviated. There will be a need for further adaptation of strategies in the future and the Council will, where necessary and appropriate, put these measures in place.
7.6 Flood Risk Managment
The Council is committed to managing flood risk in accordance with the principles set out in Government guidance ‘The Planning System and Flood Risk Management’ (DEHLG and OPW, Nov, 2009). A site specific flood risk assessment has been prepared for land identified as being at risk of flooding in Croom. Flood risk maps (FRA) are available for Croom under the Office of Public Work’s CFRAM study. These indicate areas of land along the Skagh Road are in the Flood Zone. Limerick City and County Council commissioned a specific flood study on the lands in question and determined the extent of flooding. These extent of the flood is demonstrated on the flood map in Appendix 1. In this zone all development is considered vulnerable to flooding. The precautionary approach has been adopted in this instance and these lands have been identified as
The Planning Authority will require applications in areas at risk of flooding to be supported by a comprehensive flood risk assessment. All flood risk assessment should have regard to national flood hazard mapping, predicted changes in flood events resulting from climate change and the River Shannon Catchment Flood Risk and Management Plan Studies (CFRAM) when completed by the OPW.
7.7 Waste Managment
Limerick City and County Council in collaboration with adjoining local authorities prepared the Southern Regional Waste Management Plan 2014-2020. The plan incorporates policies and objectives for waste management in the region. In Croom there is a public waste recycling facility located in the grounds of St Marys Church. The nearest civic recycling centre is located in Limerick City providing recycling facilities for a comprehensive range of waste materials.
7.8 Energy and Electricity
Croom is served by the ESB distribution networks and the areas itself is served by 110KV overhead electricity lines. The Council will work with Limerick-Clare Energy Agency to improve energy conservation and renewable energy use.
7.9 Broadband, Smart Homes and Smart Buildings
Smart Homes and Smart Buildings have high speed connections to the Internet, while sensors and data will be used for a better, more sustainable use of energy and increased use of clean, renewable energy sources. Smart Homes will also facilitate people to live longer, more fulfilling and secure lives in their homes, will enable new services, new channels of communications and entertainment, while mundane tasks will be automated and decisions will be made using artificial intelligence. Collective data generated by sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices will lead to better energy use in each of the homes and buildings. District heating or energy storage solutions connected with new forms of transport such as e-mobility solutions and electric car sharing will be encouraged to create a smart energy settlement and a digital economy. The Council will be guided by national policy in relation to facilitation of improved internet and broadband infrastructure.
The Planning Authority’s goal is to achieve balance between facilitating the provision of mobile telecommunications services in the interest of social and economic progress, and sustaining residential amenities, environmental quality and public health. When considering proposals for telecommunication masts, antennae and ancillary equipment, the Council will have regards to the DEHLG document ‘Telecommunication, Antennae and Supports Structures’ (DEHLG 1996).
7.11 Electric Vehicles
It is important that significant new developments schemes provide the infrastructure for the move towards the use of electric cars. The Council will support the provision and delivery of charging points in new developments, as appropriate.