Housing developments in NI under threat

Housing developments in NI under threat
26 October 2018

Under-capacity in sewerage network seen as the primary cause

New home building projects in Northern Ireland (NI) could be severely impacted by under-capacity at more than 70 sewage treatment works across NI. NI Water said that it only had enough funding to develop 19 out of the 70 waste water treatment works and networks which require upgrading. Ballycastle is one of the 19 sites where Northern Ireland Water was able to develop and open a new £7 million sewage works recently. Building the infrastructure for such developments would cost NI Water an additional £140 million. Also, nearly £55 million worth of infrastructure projects like upgraded wastewater treatment works and new water mains are not being delivered due to the spending squeeze. And this spending squeeze is in turn putting pressure on developers to fill the gap by funding private sewerage works.

Several areas of Northern Ireland now face the prospect of curbs on development as the result of capacity issues in the sewerage networks. New housing developments are being banned in areas such as Saintfield, Larne, Lurgan, Dungannon and Limavady over the issue. NI Water has advised that no new homes be connected to the waste water network in affected areas. New housing developments have been banned in Saintfield and Larne after its sewage systems have reached capacity. NI Water has warned housing developers that it will not be taking any new connections to its network in these areas.

NI Water currently requires all developers to put in approved pipe work and drainage systems. Now they are also required to add an independent treatment works, which could cost between £3,000 and £5,000 per property. These areas have developed rapidly over the years but the upgrade of the sewerage network has not kept pace with it. Developers are keen to build new houses in these areas. But as a result of NI Water’s ruling, this is clearly not going to be possible. This also means that new development is going to be stifled.

So, if any new developments are to come to, they will need a sewage connection that will not be possible which means developers have to install an expensive sewage treatment plant themselves. This will discourage them from developing new projects in the affected areas. NI Water is also concerned that there would be a greater risk to the environment if developers started installing their own sewage treatment plants.
While it is hoped that the issue gets sorted out quickly and the ban on housing projects is lifted, it might be a good idea to keep your options open. As a developer, you might have to invest in independent treatment works.
There are quite a few good sewage treatment plants on offer in the market especially for smaller housing projects and projects where no connection to the public sewerage system is required.
Sources of information:

Harlequin MFGs Sewage Treatment Solutions

We at Harlequin MFG offer a range of Sewage Treatment Systems called Harlequin HydroClear which are suitable even for housing projects. Contemporary design engineering and analysis software and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities combine to create this unique product which dominates sewage treatment plant market with a class-leading pollutant removal level of 97%. We offer a range of sizes, including large custom-built systems from Clenviro.

To find out more about sewage treatment plant options available for housing projects, contact our team on 028 9261 1077, visit our product website www.harlequinwater.com or send us an e-mail @ info@harlequin-mfg.com.

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