I welcome news from NI Water that planned sale of Ballysallagh Reservoirs have been put on hold. I have been lobbying NI Water to halt their plans to sell Reservoirs across North Down and beyond and serve on the joint North Down and Ards Council committee to Save Portavo Reservoir near Groomsport. I am also involved in the newly formed Portavo Preservation Group.
Whilst the main focus is currently on Portavo Reservoir which is scheduled for sale during 2012/13 I am keen to ensure that remaining redundant Reservoirs across North Down are not sold to the highest bidder. It is vitally important that these beauty spots and wildlife havens are retained and protected for future generations not lost to private developers who may drain the Reservoirs, or worse.
Whilst not open to the general public for safety and other reasons Ballysallagh Upper and Lower Reservoirs are heavily used by local Anglers via lease between NI Water and Bangor Angling Club. I therefore contacted NI Water and have been reassured by a Senior Official that 'There is no proposal to sell Ballysallagh Reservoir in 2012/13. Any any sale is dependant on the market at the time or, potentially, any future agreement between, for example, the local Council and NI Water’.
I will continue to lobby NI Water and other bodies to seek a more sustainable future for Ballysallagh and other Reservoirs. Our environment needs to be protected and enhanced not sold and destroyed.