Ballyclare flooding: MLA calls for urgent meeting with Minister Nichola Mallon

South Antrim UUP MLA Steve Aiken OBE is seeking an urgent meeting with the Infrastructure Minister to discuss how to prevent flooding issues in Ballyclare.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:41 am

Dr Aiken was speaking after torrential rain caused flooding across the town on Tuesday.

He said: “I, along with councillors Vera McWilliam and Norrie Ramsay met with residents, shop owners and school staff clearing up after the recent downpours and flooding. On many previous occasions the UUP team have raised concerns about inadequate infrastructure with the Department for Infrastructure, to Northern Ireland Water, and to our council directly.

“What is clear, is that the drainage under the town, is insufficient to deal with the new housing developments and we are now calling on the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to meet with us as a matter of urgency and look at how the waste water and drainage of our town can be improved.

Flooding at the Asda store in Ballyclare on July 27. (Pic by Love Ballyclare).

“The number of so-called 100-year flooding events that are now happening on an annual basis just underlines how inadequate our systems are.”

Home owners impacted by the flooding can receive financial support from a Department for Communities scheme.

Commenting on the programme, a spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “The Scheme of Financial Assistance (SEFA), provided by the Department for Communities through local councils, helps householders who have suffered severe inconvenience as a result of internal flooding to their properties.

“Eligible householders can claim for £1,000 as an offer of practical assistance to ensure their homes are made habitable as quickly as possible during this difficult time.

“Following the severe rainfall on Tuesday, Environmental Health Officers have already visited affected properties to assess in line with the scheme, and will continue to respond to calls from residents. Once an inspection has been carried out, and officers have confirmed eligibility, payments will be processed immediately.”

Meanwhile, the Ballyclare Asda store reopened to the public on Wednesday after flooding at the Park Street site.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Asda said: “The recent heavy rainfall caused flooding in areas of our Ballyclare car park and in store which meant that we closed at around 3.30pm on Tuesday afternoon.

“The store was open as normal on Wednesday morning and we would like to thank our colleagues for their quick reaction to help customers, but we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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Click here to read Ballyclare gym reopens after flooding

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