Craigavon Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Utilities
The provision of utilities within Craigavon Borough is primarily the responsibility of a number of Government Departments and Agencies, the Borough Council and statutory bodies. However, the role of the private sector as service providers is gaining in importance. Over the plan period, the provision of utilities will be influenced by advances in technology and improving standards.
The provision of water and sewerage infrastructure in Craigavon Borough is the responsibility of the Department for Regional Development's Water Service. Water for the whole of the Borough is abstracted from Lough Neagh and treated at Castor Bay Water Treatment Works. This treatment works is currently being upgraded. Treated water from Castor Bay is pumped to two main service reservoirs, Ballydougan and Magheraliskmisk. Ballydougan service reservoir is the main source of supply to Craigavon Borough. Magheraliskmisk service reservoir, which is located within Lisburn Borough, serves an area to the east and northeast of Lurgan. Improvements to the distribution system in Portadown have been completed whilst improvements in the Lurgan area are currently ongoing. A network analysis of the water distribution system for the rest of the Borough is underway to identify necessary improvements to the year 2020.
Craigavon Borough is served by three major sewage treatment works at Bullay's Hill, Ballynacor and Seagoe. Increased loadings on the works and the introduction of new treatment standards have led the Water Service to review the sewerage strategy for Craigavon Borough. The review has concluded that sewage treatment should be centralised at an upgraded and enlarged Ballynacor works, with treated effluent being discharged to relatively deep water in Derryadd Bay via a new off shore pipeline. Ballynacor will be upgraded to comply with relevant water quality standards and to deal with predicted loadings for the greater Craigavon Area to 2032. Bullay's Hill and Seagoe treatment works will be downgraded to storm water centres and their current inflows transferred to an upgraded Ballynacor for final treatment. Some elements of these proposals are in place and the remainder are planned for a start date of 2007 within a Public Private Partnership initiative. The proposed upgrade works at Waringstown and Aghagallon are currently on site with expected completion dates of October and November 2004 respectively. Plans for Magheralin are currently scheduled for commencement in April 2005. The proposal for this has now changed from being an upgrade of the existing waste water treatment works to abandonment in favour of pumping sewage generated by the catchment into the adjacent Lurgan treatment system.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (DARD) Rivers Agency has responsibility for drainage and will be consulted in relation to the following aspects of planning applications for development:
- susceptibility of land to flooding;
- discharge of storm water to watercourses; and
- requirements with regard to designated watercourses.
The Plan identifies, in Part 3, land or sites which may be liable to flooding or marginal flooding and identifies, where appropriate, the necessary action to be taken by developers in association with development proposals. There is a specific location within the Borough, upstream of Portadown, where no development will be permitted within an identified area which constitutes the flood pondage area of the River Bann.
Many existing urban drainage systems are damaging the environment and are therefore not sustainable in the long term. The Government wishes to promote a move to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). These provide a number of options for draining an area and fall into three broad groups that aim to:
- reduce the quantity of runoff from the site (source control techniques);
- slow the velocity of runoff to allow settlement filtering and infiltration (permanent conveyance systems); and
- provide passive treatment to collected surface water before discharging into land or to a watercourse (end of pipe systems).
In setting standards for the quality and volume of discharges from sewage treatment works, and from industry to watercourses, the Department of Environment's Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) will take account of the requirements of international agreements, EC Directives and national policy in relation to water quality. Within the Borough a number of rivers have, for example, been designated under the terms of the EC Freshwater Fish Directive (78/659/EEC).
A River Conservation Strategy for Northern Ireland was published in January 2001 by EHS.
The management of waste is an essential community service. It is not the purpose of the Plan to prescribe either the preferred methods of dealing with waste materials or specific sites for new facilities. These are matters to be determined by the producers, processors or holders of waste in the context of future waste management policy in Northern Ireland, and the Department's regional planning policies. The Department published a Waste Management Strategy for Northern Ireland (WMS) in March 2000. The key aim of the WMS is to achieve fully sustainable waste management through the controlled reduction in landfill, waste minimisation and a significant increase in waste recycling and recovery. At present, the predominant method of dealing with waste material arising in the Borough is to dispose of it by landfilling/landraising. Craigavon Borough Council will continue to have a statutory responsibility for the collection of waste and the production of a waste management plan. While most waste products in the Borough are disposed of in the landfill site located at Ballyfodrin, recycling operations are also facilitated through the provision of various sites in the Borough for the collection of materials suitable for re-use. The existing landfill site at Ballyfodrin will close in mid 2006.
Telecommunication provision within the Borough is mainly the responsibility of British Telecom supplemented by a number of other providers.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) provides the strategic environmental context for the delivery of public services and utilities and includes the following guidelines:
- to undertake or, where appropriate, facilitate a programme of infrastructure improvements essential to business needs;
- to create healthier living environments and to support healthy lifestyles; and
- to promote more prudent and efficient use of energy and resources and effective waste management.
In relation to flooding, the RDS includes the following guidelines:
- to promote an approach to building development and the use of land which is supportive to the well being and safety of people; and
- to take a precautionary approach and minimize building developments in areas considered to be a risk from flooding, coastal erosion and land instability.
The Department's regional planning policies for utilities in Craigavon Borough are currently set out in A Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland. This contains policies for new infrastructure, major projects and infrastructure costs. It also addresses the disposal or treatment of waste materials and development at risk from flooding or land instability and includes policies on overhead cables, renewable energy, telecommunications and septic tanks.
Prevailing regional planning policy in relation to telecommunications is provided by Planning Policy Statement 10 (PPS 10): Telecommunications, and in relation to Waste Management is provided by Planning Policy Statement 11 (PPS 11): Planning and Waste Management. A PPS on flooding is in the process of preparation by the Department of the Environment.
|Plan Policy UTIL 1 Development within the Portadown Flood Pondage Area|
|Development, including proposals involving the raising of land, will not be permitted in those areas of flood pondage lying below the 16 metre Ordnance Datum (O.D.) contour.|
The feasibility study commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) identified floodwalls and floodbanks as the preferred solution to the flood risk associated within the River Bann floodplain through Portadown. Concerns regarding aesthetic and environmental issues have been raised by some public representatives.
Scheme viability in economic terms is dependent on projecting existing property and business use over the design life of the scheme. A government facilitated conceptual development plan has been drafted for the town which promotes extensive change of use sites within the current flooded areas. As a consequence the economic viability and nature of any flood alleviation scheme would have to be re-appraised in conjunction with development proposals.
As a result of the feasibility study, carried out in 2001, the estimated Q1001 year flood pondage area of the River Bann in Portadown is shown on the relevant Plan maps. Any development within the flood pondage area would be at risk of flooding and would be likely to increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. The flood pondage area indicates where it will be necessary to further investigate site levels to establish the 16 metre O.D. contour. All applications for development within and adjacent to the Q100 year flood pondage area should, therefore, be accompanied by information on site levels.
1 Q100 indicates the level that the river may be expected to rise to once in every 100 years.