Sinn Féin Welcome Flood Protection Grants But Caution On Further Flooding In Annsborough

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South Down MLA Chris Hazzard (Sinn Féin) has welcomed the announcement of a £1Million Home Flood Protection Grant Scheme, but was cautious in the expectation of more flooding in the weeks to come.

South Down MLA Chris Hazzard with local Mournes Councillor Willie Clarke.
South Down MLA Chris Hazzard with local Mournes Councillor Willie Clarke in Newcastle.

Mr Hazzard said: “This will be particularly welcome to homeowners in Newcastle and Annsborough who can avail of grants up to £10,000 to protect their homes from flooding.

“The announcement by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill demonstrates commitment to ensure people under the threat of flooding are protected.

 “The scheme, which will cover up to 90% of the cost of fitting flood doors to homes under threat of repeated flooding, will help bring peace of mind to those residents as well as protecting their property and processions.

 “It is important that home owners are not living on their nerves every time there is a period of heavy rain and I would appeal to those residents who homes are under threat to contact the Department of Agriculture for full details.

Sinn FéŽin Councillor Stephen Burns and South Down MLA Chris Hazzard at the flood wall in Annsborough.
Sinn FéŽin Councillor Stephen Burns and South Down MLA Chris Hazzard at the flood wall in Annsborough.

“I am also pleased the Minister is to raise the issue with the Executive of extending the flooding hardship grant to non-domestic properties.

“Many small businesses have been hit hard over the past few weeks and these people must also be supported in getting their businesses back up and running.”

On Friday, Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard met with party colleague Councillor Stephen Burns in relation to the ongoing problem of flooding in Annsborough

Councillor Burns said: “The risk of flood water entering homes remains, given the weather forecast for the coming weeks. We must remain vigilant.

“The succession of storms is making life difficult and the NI Fire and Rescue Service, who deserve praise for all the great work in Annsborough keeping homes dry. As public representatives we must ensure that public infrastructure is fit for purpose.”

Chris Hazzard added: “I have made contact with the relevant departments to establish the effectiveness the flood wall scheme, which was carried out last year. It was built to address this recurring problem.

“We must also find out if the holding of water at Castlewellan Lake lessened the impact of this latest flooding problem.”