Naomi Long MLA said: “Over the course of the last 2 to 3 years I have been in repeated contact with the Department for Regional Development, the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of the Environment in relation to extensive flooding throughout East Belfast in the wake of heavy rainfall. Despite this, in many of the areas little practical work has been undertaken to address the underlying causes of the problem or to control the extent of new development in those neighbourhoods in the meantime.
“Whilst I have been reassured by the Department of Regional Development that the East Belfast Drainage Area Study is underway and that this may address some of these concerns when its recommendations are implemented, this could however take some considerable time. In the interim, many of my constituents are living with the constant threat of their homes flooding and the serious risk that because these incidents are of a repeat nature that their insurers may either refuse to pay out or refuse to renew their cover.
“This is an intolerable situation for those in Landas Drive, Wynchurch and Hillsborough Drive, the latter of which has experienced flooding twice in the last six weeks.
“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Regional Development Connor Murphy in order to press home the need for urgent action. I will also be raising with him my concerns that it took well over 20 minutes to get through to the Flood hotline to report some of these incidents and that again, with the exception of the Fire Service, residents were largely left to deal with the situation on their own.”