Dickson Concerned that Wastewater Capacity Issues in East Antrim will Frustrate Local Housebuilding
East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has voiced grave concerns regarding East Antrim’s ability to provide housing if the local water and wastewater network is not improved urgently.
Mr Dickson said: “It is no secret that East Antrim’s wastewater network has been struggling with capacity issues for months, if not years. However, I have recently discovered that to upgrade the wastewater assets in full, an investment of £100m from the Department for Infrastructure would be required. And this figure does not include base maintenance investment needed for the assets.
“Having asked the Minister what funding allocation she has made for essential water and sewerage services in 2021/22 NI-wide, I received a response explaining the total envelope is a mere £344.5m. Considering East Antrim needs £100m of that, I am left feeling very concerned that the capacity issues will not be resolved.
“This could amount to a snowballing problem for East Antrim, as how can we continue to build houses in the affected areas knowing that this will exacerbate the issue? However, the alternative may mean a shortage of housing for people in the local community.”
Mr Dickson concluded by saying: “Whilst the Minister for Infrastructure has said that NI Water will work with developers, and the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, to consider all available options, there has been no further reassurance as to when improvements to the network will be made”.
No drinking water capacity issues have been identified in the East Antrim area. However, wastewater capacity issues have been identified in parts of Larne, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Greenisland, Ballycarry, Portglenone, Tully Road, Whitehead, Ballystrudder, Ballycarry, Cushendall, and Cushendun areas.