FEARS about the impact of moving highly invasive Japanese knotweed from one area of a site to another on a proposed new social housing site in Clonakilty have been allayed after councillors were told it will be entombed in a sealed receptor cell below ground to rot and die.
At a meeting of the local authority this week, councillors were discussing the development which will see 51 social houses being built in Beechgrove and the conversion of Lower Tawnies Cottage & Outhouses into six social houses. Councillors were told that 11 submissions were made by residents in the nearby Woodview Estate over the development.
Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said while he was delighted to see social housing being built in the town, he had concerns about moving the invasive species close to another private housing estate.
‘Why are we moving this to the corner of the site which is close to another estate? If anything goes wrong it could have implications for those living there when it comes to mortgages and insurance,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
‘I’m fully in support of social housing but I have to question the thought process of moving it on site. I have no issue with putting a receptor underground.’
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the scheme is going ahead and that the knotweed will be entombed in a sealed receptor cell below ground and will be located in the public open space area to the south of the manor house.
‘We’re satisfied it is being appropriately dealt with and it is being dealt with on site and is not being moved,’ said Mr Lucey.
Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) said he was in favour of destroying the invasive species where it was, while Cllr Kevin Conway (Ind) also agreed with him.
However, Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said that as councillors they are all aware of the issue of Japanese knotweed but said the Council has come up with a measure to solve it.
‘It will be entombed and will not be moving out of the site. We saw plans for this housing development back in 2014 and we’re only at Part 8 now and we should proceed with it,’ said Cllr Hayes.