Mourne’s Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke, speaking following receiving a response from Rivers Agency in regards to an update on progress on the Shimna River at Newcastle’s Flood Alleviation Scheme, said: “The Rivers Agency have informed me that the business case including an economic appraisal, which identifies a viable scheme, was forwarded in February 16 to DARD finance/DFP for approval.
“Rivers Agency are unable to give a definitive date for construction, subject to other competing schemes, available funding and approvals and completion of the detailed design. They expect that work would commence on site within the next 2 -3 years.
“This alleviation scheme is required because of the serious flooding which occurred on 16 August 2008 in the Bryansford Avenue area of Newcastle and because of commitments provided by the Rivers Agency to residents affected by that flood event.
“Given the increase in flooding incidents in the Newcastle area, it is essential that the funds are made available as quickly as possible and I will continue to lobby to ensure the scheme is installed as quickly as possible.”