Longford Town Council is to write to the Department of the Environment to clarify if Irish Water will be objecting to all planning applications in urban areas that will cross the existing water supply network.
The letter is in response to the fact that Irish Water lodged an objection to an application for planning permission to build a two-storey extension to a home in Bannon Terrace.
The planning department of the local authority denied the planning application and members asked if the decision was based on the objection by Irish Water.
One of the councillors said that there was speculation that the objection was because the proposed extension was over the water supply network.
Cllr Mae Sexton said that if Irish Water can object for this reason then it does not bode well for many householders who may consider extensions in the future: “If this is the case then there will be no more building in urban areas.”
Town Clerk, Dan Rooney confirmed to councillors that Irish Water did recommend that the building not go ahead.
Cllr Michael Connellan said: “I have grave concerns that this will cause havoc and hardship to everyone in Longford.”
In the planning file, the reason for the objection from Irish Water read, “It is intended to construct the proposed extension over a 75mm (asbestos cement) water main and a foul sewer. This is not acceptable to Irish Water.”
It is beleived to be the first occasion Irish Water intervened in the planning process and the decision could have implications for homeowners in urban areas, not only in Longford, but across the country.
Water charging is due to begin for 1.35 million households in October with the first bills due in January next year.