Foyle SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin is calling on the Department for Communities to step up to the plate on addressing the problem of possible flooding from the Creggan Reservoirs.
“I became aware of the risk assessment of the Creggan reservoirs in June of this year. In response, I instigated a series of urgent actions, involving Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Department for Instructure and the Department for Communities. I was particularly concerned that councillors had not been given a briefing on the risk assessment, which I understand was updated in December last year. Working with SDLP councillors I ensured that a report was presented to a committee of the council, so that all councillors could address and respond to the risk.
“That committee paper led to discussions and negotiations taking place between the statutory bodies, with regard to remediation action at the reservoirs. My understanding is that an urgent review is now being undertaken to assess the nature of the remediation required and its cost.
“I have called on the statutory bodies to urgently decide which of them shall meet the costs. I have suggested that the Department for Communities should accept all or part of the costs, given that the flooding risk is an impediment to that department’s projects moving forward.
“It is important to stress that the assessment by expert officials is that there is what might be termed a low risk of flooding, but it is not what I would regard as ‘miniscule’, as was described by another political representative. It is essential that the flooding risk is not ignored, but instead remedied with the maximum possible speed.
“That is essential for the safety of the public and their property. It is also essential to enable progress to made on one of the city’s signature development sites, Fort George.”