Alliance calls for Blue Flag Plan for Newcastle’s Beaches

Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has called on Down District Council to develop a plan to enable Newcastle to move towards Blue Flag status following the upgrade of the Water Treatment Works at the Harbour.

The implementation of such a plan would enable Newcastle to regain Blue Flag status in the near future once the bathing water quality improves at Newcastle’s beaches. The multi-million pound investment project to upgrade the Water treatment works at Newcastle harbour is now moving forward and tenders are with NI Water. It is expected that the contract will be awarded around November, with contractors moving onto site almost immediately. Completion date for this part of the project is July 2013.

Speaking after a meeting held in Newcastle Centre on Friday 16th September attended by all Newcastle Councillors, members of Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Northern Ireland Water and Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA), Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke urged Down District Council to work collectively with all relevant statutory bodies, Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and local businesses towards improving the water quality in Newcastle.

Councillor Patrick Clarke stated:”I fully support the urgent need for improving the water quality at Newcastle’s beaches and would like Down District Council to lead the way in formulating a plan to enable Newcastle to regain its Blue Flag status.”

“The major upgrade works to the water treatment works at Newcastle harbour scheduled to start before the end of the year and the near completion of the 1500 cubic metre storm water attenuation holding tank at Castle Park will help to seriously address and improve water quality at Newcastle beach.”

“But there is now a very strong onus on Down District Council to implement and formulate a project plan to move towards eventual Blue Flag status for Newcastle. This will require Down District Council playing their part in keeping Newcastle’s beaches clean as well as providing improved toilet facilities.”

“With such a major capital investment into the sewerage and water treatment works in Newcastle by Northern Ireland Water it is important that Down District Council works and plans ahead to restore Newcastle’s beaches and bathing waters to the once highly regarding standard and clean tourist attractions they once were in times gone by.”

“Newcastle has benefited in recent years from the major upgrading and modernising of Newcastle Promenade and Main Street and has seen an upsurge in tourism as a direct result. It is now therefore time that the natural assets such as Newcastle’s beaches and bathing waters were finally addressed and I hope that Down District Council can invest to achieve this goal.”

Councillor Patrick Clarke also strongly urged that fast food carry outs in Newcastle also had a responsibility to properly dispose of cooking oil which was one of the worst things that can be disposed of in drains which clogs up sewers.

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