Overview of NI Water’s Planned Infrastructure Investment in Ards and North Down Borough Council
10 March 2022 15:03
NI Water updated Ards and North Down Borough Council representatives in a virtual meeting, on 8 March, about infrastructure plans going forward and the level of investment planned for the Council area.
In its future growth plans, Ards and North Down Borough Council has anticipated that by 2030, it will need more than 8,190 new homes. The towns of Newtownards and Bangor will be the main Hubs for growth, with predictions that 7,500 new jobs will be created.
NI Water is looking at how to accommodate these plans, and in the short term we will help where we can, to find solutions and to look at all available options to work with Councils and developers to progress the Council’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 5th 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 “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 Final 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 Ards and North Down Borough Council area requires ca £126.6 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 begin to address the sewer and wastewater capacity issues. However, we recognise that significant further investment will be required within the Council area during future Price Control periods to allow new housing and business development to proceed in some areas.”
Dr Blockwell concluded:
“NI Water has highlighted the impact underfunding has had on our Economy and the Environment for many years and that this will take approximately 2-3 price controls to rectify. The message is clear. NI Water has an ambitious plan and significant and sustained investment is needed for wastewater and water infrastructure across Northern Ireland. NI Water understands Council growth ambitions, we know what needs done in each Council area and we have the plan and the skills to deliver it. We just need funding certainty for this and future Price Control Periods.”
A number of slides with information on current sewer and wastewater issues and proposed investment in Ards and North Down Borough Council were presented at the meeting.
Further information can be found on our website https://www.niwater.com/capacity-information/
Notes to Editors:
- The Utility Regulator published its Final Determination of what it believes Northern Ireland Water should deliver in both levels of service and capital programmes during the six years from 2021 to 2027. The Regulator’s Determination also determines 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org