Thursday, 16 January 2014

Muir meets Minister over Kinnegar sewage stink

Kinnegar Lagoons from bing.com
I met with the Minister for Regional Development on Tuesday 7 January 2014 to resolve the on-going Kinnegar sewage pollution problem in Holywood. During the meeting Minister Danny Kennedy MLA confirmed that NI Water plan to have contractors on site in June 2014 to re-direct sewage and waste water away from the Kinnegar Lagoons and into a purpose built facility to stop on-going pollution. 

It was confirmed by Minister Kennedy and NI Water officials present that construction work will take approximately one year after which the focus will then turn to how to repair the badly polluted Kinnegar Lagoons which seem to cause most of the odour problems. NI Water officials present detailed that sewage, sea water, low tides and other factors in the lagoons are considered the cause of the on-going stink with any agitation likely to cause further sustained malodour.

I have been campaigning on the issue since becoming a Councillor in 2010 and glad to have secured significant progress with NI Water first acknowledging the problem after sustained lobbying, then spending thousands to investigate the source and finally committing over £3million to resolve the sewage pollution problem which has caused awful odours for years. After raising the issue directly with NI Water, via colleagues at the NI Assembly and via EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik progress now finally seems to be on the horizon with Ministerial commitment secured.

I am very grateful to Minister Kennedy for the opportunity to discuss concerns about the on-going sewage pollution problem in Kinnegar area, Holywood. People living, working or travelling nearby have had to ensure this awful malodour for far too long with the local lagoons now destroyed and devoid of wildlife as a result. I look forward to seeing construction work finally commencing and am assured by NI Water they will engage with local people to minimise any inconvenience caused.

More information is due soon on how to repair the Kinnegar Lagoons which will need to be carefully considered in conjunction with local people to gain their views on the options available and likely inconvenience and malodour arising as a result of Phase Two. Until this information is available my focus will be on getting Phase One construction work started, finally beginning to end the Kinnegar sewage stink.

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