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NI Water outline future infrastructure plans for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council

15 December 2020 12:00

NI Water outline future infrastructure plans enabling Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to progress their vision for the Borough.

NI Water attended Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council on Monday 14 December, to update representatives on infrastructure plans going forward and the level of investment needed for the Council area.

In its future growth plans, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has anticipated that by 2030, it will need around 10,000 new housing units and wants to generate  new jobs. Large towns such as Newtownabbey, Antrim and Ballyclare, followed by Crumlin and Randalstown will be the main Hubs for growth, with predictions that 9,000 new jobs will be created. 

NI Water is looking at how to accommodate these plans, and in the short term will help where we can, to find solutions and to look at all available options to work with Councils and developers to progress the Borough’s ambitions for the people in their area. NI Water’s Head of Investment Management, Stephen Blockwell, says:

“NI Water’s goal is to ensure we have a modern, efficient service today and in the future. While Investment is needed urgently, NI Water has a plan in place and we are ready and capable to deliver.”

NI Water is here to help progress and facilitate future economic development. The Sustainable Water 4th Annual Report [i] points to the necessity of funding NI Water appropriately, to allow the Executive to meet its medium and long term objectives for economic growth.  

Dr Blockwell continues “The message is clear. NI Water is ready to provide engineering solutions to short term constraints where possible. However, the full funding identified by the Utility Regulator in its Draft Determination (PC21) is required, to fulfil the vision of economic expansion for the people in our towns and cities.  

“This is not a ‘wish list’ or a ‘nice to have.’ This is the blueprint that will help us ensure NI Water can deliver in a strong, modern regional economy.

“Our infrastructure plans over the 2021 – 2027 period (known as PC21) for the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area requires ca £23 million pounds of investment to upgrade wastewater assets. This is over and above essential base maintenance investment associated with our assets during PC21. This investment will make significant inroads into addressing the sewer and wastewater capacity issues and will help new housing and business development to go ahead.”

Dr Blockwell concluded:   

“Significant and sustained investment is needed for wastewater and water infrastructure across Northern Ireland. NI Water knows all of the Councils’ growth ambitions, we know what needs done in each Council area and we have the plan and the skills to deliver it.”

A number of slides and maps showing current sewer and wastewater issues and proposed investment in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council were presented at the meeting.

Further information can be found on our website


Notes to Editors:

  • The Utility Regulator has published its draft determination of what it believes Northern Ireland Water should deliver in both levels of service and capital programmes during the next six years from 2021 to 2027. The Regulator’s draft determination also stipulates the level of costs and finance required to be invested by Northern Ireland Water’s shareholder, the Department for Infrastructure, on behalf of the Assembly Executive over the next six years, beginning in April 2021  
  • PC21 Business Plan Fast Read is available to view: click here
  • Examples of risks to people’s health includes: risks associated with overflows from manholes into public highways or gardens, driveways; high frequency of discharges from sewers reaching the sea. This could affect blue flag status and potentially lead to increased infections such as ear infections for surfers and swimmers.

For further information, please contact NI Water’s Press Office email

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