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NI Water to hold public information event on plans for Kinnegar Wastewater Treatment Works

20 February 2024 13:06

NI Water is proposing to carry out an extensive upgrade to Kinnegar Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) within its existing site on the edge of Holywood and is due to submit a planning application for the project later this year.

As part of the Pre-Application Community Consultation (PACC) process, NI Water will be holding a public information event on Thursday 29th February 2024 from 3pm-8pm in Queen’s Leisure Complex, Sullivan Close, Holywood, BT18 9HL where members of the public can call in to learn more about the proposals.

The existing treatment works at Kinnegar was originally constructed in 1963 with a second level of treatment and other upgrades provided in 1999. The facility treats wastewater from the majority of east Belfast, the industrial area of Airport Road West and the town of Holywood.

The much-needed upgrade – which is being developed as part of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan – will fully modernise this key NI Water asset, providing greater environmental protection and supporting growth and prosperity in the Holywood area.

An integrated team - comprising Farrans Construction, TES-CAW and AECOM - has been working collaboratively with NI Water and their project management team from RPS, under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) appointment, to progress the designs for the Kinnegar site.

Paddy Brow, NI Water Project Sponsor for the upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW, said: “We are delighted to have a local team of wastewater specialists support NI Water as we progress proposals for the Kinnegar project. The integrated team has been working through an optioneering exercise to develop the most efficient solution for the upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW, which will see the sympathetic modernisation of the 60-year-old facility within the confines of the existing site. An environmental statement for the project is being prepared and a planning application will be submitted this year following community consultation.”

The Living With Water in Belfast Plan includes major upgrades to a total of five wastewater treatment works – Belfast WwTW, Kinnegar WwTW, Whitehouse WwTW, Carrickfergus WwTW and Greenisland WwTW – all within the vicinity of Belfast Lough. Extensive network improvements, including the upgrade of Sydenham Wastewater Pumping Station, which pumps flows to Kinnegar WwTW for treatment, are also planned. If fully funded, these upgrades will safeguard the future operation of the treatment plants and facilitate a range of improvements to NI Water’s other key wastewater and drainage infrastructure within Greater Belfast. These projects combined will reduce the risk of out-of-sewer flooding, lead to improved water quality in the River Lagan and Belfast Lough, and facilitate the construction of new housing and business through the increased wastewater drainage and treatment capacity provided.

Commenting on the importance of the upgrades, Mr Brow added: “The Kinnegar and Sydenham projects are inextricably linked and for this reason NI Water has appointed the same ECI team for both schemes to maximise efficiencies and foster innovations in delivery. Working collaboratively with NI Water and our local project management consultants, RPS and AtkinsRéalis, as ‘One Team’, the ECI team is working hard to develop forward-thinking, sustainable and robust solutions that will ensure the Kinnegar and Sydenham assets can support a flourishing environment and growing economy for decades to come. As part of the important ECI phase, the One Team will progress the projects through the relevant planning processes and liaise with stakeholders on our proposals going forward.”

Provided planning for the Kinnegar WwTW scheme is approved and the project fully funded, construction work could get underway at the site around summer 2025. The Sydenham project is being progressed under a separate planning application with Belfast City Council. It is hoped that work can commence on site in early 2025.


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Notes to editors:

“Living With Water in Belfast – An Integrated Plan for Drainage and Wastewater Management in Greater Belfast” was published by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in November 2021, following Executive endorsement. The Plan aims to address the increasing demands on the city’s wastewater and drainage network caused by population growth and increase in commerce, as well as the more frequent extreme weather events resulting from climate change.

At the time of publication, the funding required for implementation of the Plan was estimated at approximately £1.4bn of capital investment over 12 years (2021-2033).

Inflationary costs in the construction industry since November 2021, along with some changes to project scope, have impacted programme costs.

The core objectives of the plan are to provide the drainage and wastewater treatment infrastructure needed to help protect Belfast against flooding, enhance the environment, and enable the city to grow.

A planning application for the new Sydenham WwPS – due to be constructed on a new site – was submitted in autumn 2023. Subject to approvals and funding, works will commence on site early in 2025. The existing pumping station will be demolished and the area landscaped following construction of the new facility.

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