Irish Water have given a green light to a planning application for houses in Tullow ahead of the anticipated upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant, a councillor has claimed.
The inadequate wastewater treatment system has stymied planning permission for housing developments as the treatment facility was at capacity and could not take any new connections.
However, at this month's meeting of Tullow Municipal District, Cllr Will Paton claimed that Irish Water had given the green light to a planning application for eighteen houses on the Castledermot Road.
"Irish Water gave permission to connect to the system in anticipation that the wastewater treatment plant upgrade will be in place by the time they're built," he added.
However, Cllr John Pender said he was aware of a developer who wanted to build houses in Tullow but was told not to apply for planning due to the lack of capacity at the wastewater treatment system.
The upgrade is to cater for a population of 9,200 people and Director of Services at the local authority, Michael Brennan, said the water utility are "looking to the future".
Upgrade works to the Tullow wastewater treatment plant are scheduled to begin in 2020 but this is subject to planning, land purchase and funding.
The project is at tender stage for a design and build contractor with the contractor to be appointed to be begin design in Quater 1 of 2019 with a view to construction in 2020-2021.
The Irish Water Capital Investment Plan driven upgrade is to be delivered by the new Regional Contractor appointment.
Carlow County Council Water Services have been advocating for "an earlier delivery date in order to facilitate development".
Meanwhile, Cllr Charlie Murphy called on Irish Water to upgrade the system in Clonegal as a matter of urgency.