Developments ‘held to ransom’ by reservoir laws – Anderson

Major building developments in Derry could be ‘held to ransom’ by overly-restrictive legislation relating to reservoirs, Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has warned. 

Urging the Infrastructure Minister to resolve the difficulty by seeking amendments to the law or funding the upgrade of the Creggan Reservoir, the Foyle MLA said: 

“The current legislation has already stalled the development of a major social housing and community facility in the Glen area of the city. 

“This is because the legislation compels the planning authorities to make decisions based on the worst-case scenario, no matter how unlikely that may be. This also means that major potential developments at Fort George will be stalled because of the miniscule risk of the Creggan reservoir failing and flooding the surrounding area. 

“This flawed legislation is holding vitally needed social and economic developments in Derry to ransom and entrenches regional inequalities.

“The solution is for the Infrastructure Nichola Mallon to seek amendments to the legislation in order to reduce its restrictive impact on potential planning decisions and I have written to her on that basis. 

“If the minister is not prepared to pursue such a course of action at this stage, I have also urged her to, at the very least, fund the necessary remedial works at Creggan reservoir so that much-needed projects can finally get the go-ahead.”