Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Failure to Invest in Sewage Plants Holding Back Housing Development in Fermanagh

Published: 30 June, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that the underinvestment in the public sewage system in Co Fermanagh is holding back the development of houses by individuals, developers and social housing providers.

Speaking during a debate in Stormont on the Water and Sewerage Services Bill, Mr Flanagan said:

"New houses in built up areas should be connected to the public sewage system instead of having septic tanks as is the case in most rural areas.

"However, many of our towns and villages cannot have new housing provided due to the capacity issues with the existing Waste Water Treatment Works, which cleans the waste water coming from the public network so that pollutants can be removed to allow the save disposal of the water.

"Thirty of the Waste Water Treatment Works in Fermanagh are operating above 80% capacity and six of these are over capacity and closed to new connections.

"This is a particular problem in Blaney, Churchill, Cornagrade, Ederney, Garrison and Tempo, where no new houses can be built until significant investment takes place to upgrade the existing facility.

"There is considerable demand for additional housing in many of these areas, but those wanting to build these private and social houses are being held back as a result of this problem.

"This is causing considerable societal problems, such as an increased number of young people moving elsewhere to live and find work, no new jobs being created in the construction sector and the long term impact on schools and other public services as a result of the population changes.

"I am calling for NI Water to prioritise investment in these areas where people want to build much needed homes to allow our communities to leave near their home place and to create much needed economic stimulus in our rural communities, which are being decimated as a result of the continuing jobs crisis facing them."