Developer fined almost 40 thousand pounds at Craigavon Magistrate’s Court
21 October 2022 10:15
Northern Ireland Water (NI Water), has welcomed the outcome of a successful prosecution against a developer who had failed to install proper water connections to properties in a new housing development.
Lawson Contracts Ltd had failed to complete the application process for new connections and install legitimate connections for 26 properties in the Hunters Lodge development, Annsborough Road, Lurgan. The company were fined £7000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,700 and £30,000 compensation in lieu of avoided connection charges at Craigavon Magistrates’ court on 4 October. A decision which additionally enables NI Water Ltd to recovery of remedial costs should the company default and NI Water Ltd are forced to intervene.
Gary Little, Compliance Manager for NI Water said this is a welcome result and should be seen as a strong message to developers who choose to avoid the essential connection process and install illegal connections to properties:
“Done without any permission, training or qualifications this is utterly reckless behaviour that jeopardises the health and safety of the public who rely on a safe and secure public water supply. Illegal connections can invalidate insurance, affect future sales and above all the heath of your family. I would urge all homeowners and solicitors engaged in property sales of any current or recent development to confirm with the developer that the water connection for their property has been legitimately installed through the NI Water connections process. Connection confirmation is a service that NIW Ltd can additionally provide as part of the conveyancing process.”
Notes to Editor:
1. Northern Ireland Water’s Compliance Investigation Team was established on 1/1/2016. The team conducts investigations into cases of suspected unauthorised connections, meter tampering, interference with NI Water works and other offences as stipulated under the Water & Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
2. NI Water takes any interference with its network and meter tampering very seriously and will seek to bring the perpetrators to court when identified. It is an offence to interfere with apparatus without its consent. This is not a ‘victimless crime’. This reckless action has the potential to contaminate water supplies or lead to pollution incidents.
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