Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long, Judith Cochrane MLA and Belfast City Council Group Leader Maire Hendron have welcomed the start of major works aimed at eliminating the threat of floods in East Belfast.
Agriculture Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has confirmed the £2.7 million flood alleviation works will begin this month, adding to similar work already carried out last year.
Naomi Long MP added: “I welcome this next step in flood alleviation works for East Belfast. This fresh injection of cash proves DARD is committed to solving the continuous problem of flooding in East Belfast and will provide a high level of comfort to local residents.
“Alliance has been working hard to ensure this much needed work becomes a reality. While this next phase of work will bring ease to many, other parts of East Belfast remain at risk from unexpected flooding. I hope the Minister will soon be in a position to address all areas of concern and advance these works further.”
Judith Cochrane MLA said: “It is an exciting time for East Belfast, with work on the Connswater Community Greenway Project advanced – providing local people with a key outdoor space to enjoy. However the threat of unexpected flood damage always casts a shadow over plans for the area. I am delighted these efforts to alleviate the flooding risk have been incorporated into this project.
“Flooding can often hit at the most unexpected times and residents should not have to fear the next outburst of severe rain will lead to raw sewage and severe damage to their homes. It is unacceptable to have to live like that and I hope all residents in East Belfast will soon see this risk removed.”
Councillor Maire Hendron added: “The Alliance group on Belfast City Council has worked tirelessly to help those affected by, or living in fear of flooding. The Council itself has a well-established plan in place to deal with any unexpected flooding incidents and has successful co-ordinated many serious incidents.
“Flood alleviation works are essential in East Belfast and I am pleased to see the latest round starting this month. However we cannot be complacent and I hope to see the work completed across all of East Belfast before another serious incident takes place.”