Scheme unveiled to help prevent flash flooding in Newcastle

Scheme unveiled to help prevent flash flooding in Newcastle

6 June 2018

THE detail of a major flood alleviation scheme to protect hundreds of homes in Newcastle has been unveiled.

The Department for Infrastructure has revealed its blueprint to prevent the Shimna River from bursting its banks and flooding homes in the resort, with the works extending upstream into Tipperary Wood and downstream into Islands Park.

Government officials say that given the characteristics of the work proposed, it is likely to have “significant environmental effects” and intends to prepare an environmental statement which will clearly spell this out.

Design consultants were commissioned to come up with the scheme following a major flooding incident in the resort almost a decade ago.

Properties at Bryansford Avenue, Shimna Road, Elmgrove Park, Larchfield Park and Marguerite areas were flooded and a number suffered major damage.

Confirmation the design of the flood alleviation scheme is now complete has been welcomed by a number of politicians, with the Department for Infrastructure confirming the extensive scheme will result in the demolition of a number of property boundary walls and fences.

A number of mature trees are also to be felled, while sections of the river bank are to be reinforced with what are being described as concrete clad sheet piles.

A new pathway along the river forms part of the scheme, the cost of which has not yet been confirmed by government officials. Part of an existing river path will also be realigned and one new floodgate erected.

Mournes councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed confirmation that public consultation into the proposed flood alleviation scheme is now underway.

“This week, consultants will be distributing copies of the proposed plan in specific locations and yesterday also held a -in event at the Newcastle Centre yesterday. The proposals will see the reconfiguration of a number of paths at the Islands Park area,” he said.

“The scheme has been drawn up following a series of flooding incidents in the town and it is hoped construction work can start in the current financial year.”

Cllr Clarke added: “It is hoped this scheme will protect hundreds of homes from potential flooding and it is vital members of the public and user groups in the area get involved in the consultation process. This is a scheme that will be welcomed by many people in various parts of Newcastle whose homes are prone to flooding.”

Copies of the proposed scheme can be viewed at the Newcastle Centre and people have until June 28 to submit their views on the proposed flood alleviation scheme. 

Representations should be sent to Ian Coulter, Department for Infrastructure Rivers, 49 Tullywiggan Road, Loughry, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, BT80 8SG.

The Department for Infrastructure has confirmed an environmental statement is expected to be published later in the year.