Peel’s regional sewage treatment works looks set to be built on a site between Glenfaba Road and the River Neb.
The site’s location has been something of a closely-guarded secret, but has been identified as part of the Cabinet Office’s Area Plan for the North and West.
It comes before any official announcement about the location from the Manx Utilities Authority (MUA).
Reflecting the continuing issue of raw sewage being pumped into the sea at Peel, the draft plan says that resolving this and securing water supplies for Jurby were ‘identified as matters of concern in the early stages of the plan’.
The site identified to resolve Peel’s sewage problem is in a field which is currently overlooked by Castle View Nursing Home, at the far end of the town’s industrial estate. Access to the site would be via Glenfaba Road.
In the draft plan, the government says: ‘Sewage and wastewater treatment in Peel and the leachate from the Raggatt shall be dealt with by a new Regional Sewage Treatment Works (RSTW).
‘The preferred site for a Sewage Treatment Works is PE003 (Part B) identified on Map 6. Main vehicular access to the site must be via Glenfaba Road.
‘No other development will be permitted which would harm the ability of the preferred site to be used for these purposes.
‘As part of any application, all possible alternative sites in the local area shall be identified and an explanation provided as to why these sites are impracticable.’
While the site is in the draft plan, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be built there, indeed there is no planning application at this stage.
However, additional information in the draft plan, including the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment, traffic management plan and biodiversity plan suggests development of the site is likely.
Furthermore, the draft plan even notes that views from the heritage trail ‘must be sensitively screened should any part of the development be visible from a height of 1.6m’ and that existing hedgerows need to be protected.
The site would also be used to treat leachate coming from the disused Raggatt landfill site.
After the Courier discovered that the Cabinet Office had published the location of the sewage works, we approached the MUA for a comment
A spokesman said: ‘Manx Utilities is pleased that the siting of a sewage treatment works for Peel has been fully considered within the Draft Area Plan for the North and West published on June 24.
‘A number of potential sites for a treatment works were submitted during the ‘Call for Sites’ stage, and Manx Utilities are now in agreement with the plan’s preferred site.
‘It should be noted however that if the preferred site is not available there are a number of other potential sites identified that could be utilised, including the Manx Utilities owned Glenfaba site.
‘All of these alternate sites are listed within document EPD2 – All Sites List. Manx Utilities are now focussing on gaining approval for the funding required to complete Phase 2 of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy at the July sitting of Tynwald.’
Currently, raw sewage is still being discharged into the sea in both Laxey and Peel.
Manx Utilities originally favoured building at Glenfaba House, Glenfaba Road, Raggatt, but withdrew its application for this after an independent inspector recommended its refusal in December 2020.
It is the alternative site to which the MUA spokesman referred in the statement to the Courier.
A sewage works plan for Laxey in July 2020 at Breeze Hill near the village’s harbour was rejected in July 2020.
The potential location of a treatment centre for the Laxey and Baldrine area, near Glen Garwick, has not been revealed.