Concerns raised over Rathfern disruption

MACEDON councillor Thomas Hogg has raised further concerns about disruption in the Rathfern estate as a result of ongoing water mains rehabilitation work in the area.

Councillor Hogg was speaking after convening a site meeting on Friday (March 30) between representatives of Northern Ireland Water, Lagan Construction, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and local residents.

“Concerns were first raised with me back in October 2011 regarding disruption in Rathfern as a result of this water mains work. Since then local MLA Paula Bradley and I have been liaising with the contractor Lagan Construction in an effort to resolve the concerns of residents in the area. Residents are annoyed at the slow pace of work in the estate and the disruption that the scheme is causing,” he commented.

“Lagan Construction have assured me that by the end of this week the footpath at Knockenagh Avenue will be reinstated and the large mounds of soil be will be removed. This area has been fenced off now for weeks, forcing pedestrians to walk out into the street to gain access to the O’Neill Road. The contractors will also be working with the Woodland Trust to remove soil that was dumped at the entrance to the Carnmoney Hill nature reserve.

“I will be monitoring this situation closely and will continue to press for the completion of this work with minimal disruption,” the DUP man added.

A spokesperson for NI Water confirmed that they and representatives from Lagan Construction met with Rathfern residents to discuss the essential water mains improvement work which is being carried out in the estate.

“Current works in the area are due to be completed by mid May. It is anticipated some of the areas of work will be completed by the end of this week,” she told the Times.

Meanwhile, NI Water is urging children and young people to ‘play safe’ during the Easter holidays.

Gary Curran, Head of the Water Mains Improvement Programme at NI Water, explained: “We are currently investing approximately £12 million upgrading the water mains in the North Belfast and Newtownabbey area which results in necessary construction sites.

“Understandably some children are drawn to construction sites as exciting places to explore, but they are not playgrounds and playing on them can have dangerous consequences.

“We want to spread this warning throughout the area and I would urge all parents to keep their children safe by explaining to them the dangers of playing in or around construction sites.”