Cllr. Long said, “Over the past few years, there have been an ongoing series of flooding incidents which have affected residents in Castlereagh. Whilst the worst incidents occurred in June 2007 and last August, there have continued to be flooding problems in the past few weeks.
“Whilst Alliance has been in regular contact with NIW and relevant Government Departments over the past two years about our concerns, I feel that this is such a serious issue that it is important that there is a cross-party approach to tackling a problem which has affected the lives of so many people locally. We were therefore happy to support a meeting between all Council groupings and NIW to discuss our concerns about the speed of improvements to local drainage and the need for immediate action in areas where flooding is an ongoing problem.
“Unfortunately, every time there is heavy rainfall people are concerned that their homes may be flooded again; this is totally unsatisfactory and we need to see real improvements as soon as possible to the drainage system. We will also ask about the long awaited East Belfast Drainage Area Study and Plan and stress the importance of implementing interim measures required to reduce the risk of flooding in badly affected areas of Castlereagh until the Plan is finalised.
“Given financial pressures on all aspects of the Executive’s budget we want reassurances that adequate resources will be made available to implement the proposals of the Plan and in the meantime we believe that the Planning Department must take greater account of current drainage deficiencies when looking at applications where there is intensification of housing.”