Coney Island typifies lost opportunities at new Ardglass sewerage plant

Councillor Cadogan Enright has encouraged residents from Killough, Coney Island, Chapel Town and Ballyhornan areas to go to the consultation on the new Ardglass sewerage works in Ardglass Golf Club this Friday morning 12th April at 11am.

Tom Conaty, Cllr Cadogan Enright and Declan Clarke in Coney Island

Tom Conaty, Cllr Cadogan Enright and Declan Clarke in Coney Island

Cllr Enright pointed out that “Whilst welcoming the new proposed new facility in Ardglass, the comprehensive scheme recently introduced in North Down and Ards area makes the new Ardglass scheme look feeble. Sewerage no longer flows to the sea from towns in in North Down. Our area is far more dependent on the Tourism industry than North Down, but we are left with a slew of Lecale towns and villages with no proper treatment works. This scheme can only be described as the short end of the stick.”

Following representations from residents in Ballyhornan and Coney Island, I contacted NIWater last month, and project manager Ciaran Grant finally came back to me last Tuesday to confirm that the new plant at Ardtole is being built to handle Ardglass only, with its related fishing industry. There will NOT be additional capacity to handle areas around Coney Island, Killough and the Ballyhornan, Bishops Court and Chapeltown. However It is being constructed in such a way as to allow the 5 other villages be added later – but there are no plans to do this anytime soon”.

Coney Island resident Declan Clarke pointed out that “for years past now, when it rains of the Killough / Ardglass road, our sewerage system overflows onto Coney Island Road. The Coney Island system should be added to the Ardglass scheme. We have every right to expect the same treatment as North Down.”

Ballyhornan resident Barry Mervyn said, “NI Water is constructing a new wastewater ‘preliminary’  screening plant at the bottom of Killard Drive in Ballyhornan. The solid waste will then be trucked to landfill.  While this is a small improvement, it is only a ‘preliminary screening’ facility – falling below even Primary treatment. This is only masking the problem, papering over the cracks. Raw sewerage is still effectively flowing into our waters. The proposal to pump waste to the Ardglass plant appears to have slipped off NIWater’s radar. We expect the same level of environmental protection as North Down.”

Cllr Cadogan Enright said “Local people have been expecting the waste from their villages to be piped to the new sewerage facility for some years, but this will not yet be the case. We need to make our dissatisfaction clear and demand to know when the other areas are to be covered. I will be representing residents in Coney Island as well as the Ballyhornan Task Force at the meeting, and would encourage others from Killough to Killard to come along and represent their areas, or contact me or other elected representatives with their concerns in this matter” concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright