The Department of the Environment is to spend Euro 62m on the plant in Portrane which will serve the greater Dublin area, including the coastal communities of Portrane, Donabate, Rush and Lusk.

Fingal County Council has been given the go-ahead to seek tenders for the project, which is a combination of two earlier proposals – the Portrane/Donabate and the Rush/Lusk sewerage schemes.

Mr Gormley said the new project would provide “a single wastewater treatment plant at Portrane to cater for the local needs of these areas”.

He added: “This will greatly improve the wastewater infrastructure and should lead to these coastal towns enjoying the highest quality bathing waters possible.”

According to the Irish Times, the sewerage system will serve only local needs even though earlier plans envisaged a Euro 140m plant at Portrane to provide a regional plant.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment told the newspaper: “This plant will be for local needs only.

“If we had built the regional treatment plant, there would be no need for a new plant, but if it is decided that Portrane is the best location for that plant, there maybe a proposal to add it on.”

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