DRD Minister Danny Kennedy says an extensive programme of work and investigations currently underway in Ballymena to alleviate recurrent flooding is “evidence” of his commitment to helping to resolve such problems.
He said a detailed inspection and assessment of the sewerage infrastructure within the Antrim Road, Queen Street and Toome Road areas has already been completed by NI Water and that a major £214,000 scheme to repair structural sewer defects at Queen Street and Toome Road will be completed at the end of this month.
In addition, investigatory work to examine the root causes of the flooding and identify potential solutions commissioned by the Flooding Investment Planning Group is being taken forward by NI Water at a cost of £28,000.
Mr Kennedy said: “Flooding remains a serious issue which can have a hugely detrimental impact on householders whose homes are affected.
“Following flooding in the Antrim Road, Queen Street, Toome Road areas in June, which also experienced flooding in previous years, NI Water have undertaken a full inspection of their drainage systems in the Toome Road and Wakehurst areas to ensure that they are operating normally.
In addition, work by NI Water on a major refurbishment scheme in the area, including the repair of defects in the sewerage infrastructure, is almost finished. At Tullymore Park, where flooding also occurred in June, Transport NI plan to carry out some drainage improvements.”
The Minister added that the existing gullies and connections had been examined by Transport NI and are considered adequate to cope with road surface water.”
“This extensive programme of work and investigations is evidence of my commitment to helping to address flooding across Northern Ireland,” he said.
Welcoming the work, UUP MLA Robin Swann said: “I am more than hopeful that Minister Kennedy’s blueprint will ensure there is no repetition of the flooding crisis and I urge the Stormont Executive to ring-fence the necessary cash to ensure Minister Kennedy’s realistic blueprint can be fully implemented for the benefit and comfort of the citizens of this region.”
TUV MLA Jim Allister said: “While I am satisfied that this is being taken seriously, it is a must that after the work has been completed that the areas are monitored during times of heavy rainfall to ensure the work has been successful.”
TUV MEA Braid Councillor, Brian Collins added: “It must be remembered that the flooding issue was not a one off, it has happened numerous times over the years, and it is about time it has been recognised and addressed by the agencies involved.”