Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
Strategic Plan Framework: Public Service and Utilities
Government Departments, Agencies and statutory bodies, as well as the six Councils in the Plan Area are primarily responsible for the provision of public services and utilities. The private sector is however playing an increasingly important role. The main public services are water and sewerage provision, drainage, waste disposal, cemeteries, electricity, natural gas and telecommunications. The role of renewable energy is also likely to increase over the Plan period.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Startegy (RDS) provides the strategic environmental context for the delivery of public services and utilities and contains Strategic Planning Guidelines and measures for Northern Ireland as follows:
- to undertake or where appropriate, facilitate a program of infrastructure improvements essential to business needs (SPG-ECON 5);
- to respond to the implications of climate change and promote more prudent and efficient use of energy and resources, and effective waste management (SPG-ENV 5);
- to create healthier living environments and to support healthy lifestyles (SPG-ENV 6);and
- to develop a cohesive network of cross border and trans regional infrastructure (SRC 2.3).
The Planning Stragegy for Rural Northern Ireland contains current regional policies on new infrastructure, major projects, minerals and developments at risk from flooding or land instability. It also includes policies on overhead electricity cables, renewable energy and septic tanks. Policy SETT 6 of the Plan extends the application of the extant policies of Rural Strategy to the entire Plan Area. Regional planning policy for waste management is contained in PPS 11 Planning and Waste Management.
|BMA Public Services and Utilities Strategy|
The BMA Public Services and Utilities Strategy comprises the following elements:
to facilitate the delivery of the infrastructure requirements of the Plan Area throughout the Plan Period; and
to highlight infrastructure constraints and requirements as appropriate within Key Site Requirements.
Water and Sewerage
The abstraction, treatment and supply of drinking water and the conveyance and treatment of sewage are the responsibility of Water Service, the Department for Regional Development (DRD). Further improvements to this infrastructure are also the responsibility of Water Service.
Water supply within the Plan Area is drawn from several sources and delivered through the following impounding reservoirs inside the Belfast Metropolitan Area - Ballysallagh Upper and Lower, Conlig Lower and Upper, Leathemstown, Copeland, Killylane, Lough Mourne, North Woodburn, South Woodburn, Dorisland and Stoneyford.
Water supply is also delivered via a number of reservoirs outside the Plan Area. Water from Lough Neagh is delivered to the Plan Area via Dunore Water Treatment Works just outside Antrim and from the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs inthe Mourne Mountains. The water from the Silent Valley will be treated at the new Silent Valley Treatment Works at Drumaroad. The Lough Island Reavy Impounding Reservoir in Down District Council area also currently supplies water to the Plan Area in addition some water is drawn from groundwater sources via boreholes.
Throughout the Plan Area, Water Service, DRD has schemes programmed to upgrade the water and sewerage system, where required, and to comply with EU Directives regarding drinking water quality and discharge criteria and meet increasing demand. Schemes will be carried out on a prioritised basis as permitted by the constraints on the Water Service Capital Works Programme.
There are currently many appraisal studies ongoing within the Plan Area. The following are some of those of major significance:-
Water Main Zonal Studies - These studies will produce recommendations for rehabilitation of the watermain network to ensure compliance with water quality and hydraulic parameters to meet legislation and customer levels of service. The studies will identify which pipes are required to be rehabilitated or replaced.
Drainage Area Studies - The studies are at various stages and address the structural condition and hydraulic capacity of the sewerage network and provide recommendations to upgrade undersized or replace/reline defective sewers.
Waste Water Treatment Work Upgrading - Waste water treatment works upgrading will be carried out to ensure compliance with the EU Urban Waste Water Directive and to ensure sufficient capacity to cater for existing and proposed development.