No drains means no cranes… plan to build social homes in Northern Ireland hit by sewage fiasco

PLANS to construct more than 1,000 social homes have been put on hold because Northern Ireland’s outdated water system needs a £2.5billion overhaul.

According to Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with developments in more than 100 areas in danger because they cannot be linked to the existing sewage network, which is at full capacity.

Communities Minister and Sinn Fein MLA Deirdre Hargey has also expressed major concerns that the perilous situation could result in some of society’s most vulnerable people being left homeless.

Eight proposed schemes, totalling more than 1,000 properties, are affected by the sewage fiasco, along with several planned private developments, including the £500million Tribeca project in Belfast city centre.

The Housing Executive told Sunday Life the delay had hit planned social housing schemes at the Gasworks, Hannahstown, Hope Street and Shore Road in Belfast, Sean Dolan GAA in Derry, Clonavon and St Patrick’s in Ballymena, and Dunluce Street in Larne.

Mr Beggs, whose Assembly questions uncovered the setback, said: “What it basically comes down to is, no drains, no cranes. Northern Ireland Water has advised that additional sewage from new developments in over 100 areas cannot be linked to the existing sewage network for treatment as systems are at full capacity. This has been curtailing new private developments.

“Now the Communities Minister has advised that over 1,000 urgently needed social houses are also at risk. Clearly we need to re-prioritise spending.”

Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey
Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey



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