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Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Utilities


The provision of utilities within Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough is primarily the responsibility of a number of Government departments and agencies, the Borough Council and statutory bodies. However, the role of private sector bodies as service providers is gaining in importance. Over the Plan period, factors such as advances in technology and improving standards will influence the provision of utilities.

Water and Sewerage Infrastructure

The provision of water and sewerage infrastructure in Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough is the responsibility of Water Service, within the Department for Regional Development. Opens link in a new browser window
The Borough's water supply comes from four main sources: the Altmore Water Treatment Works (to be replaced by the Clonavaddy WTW), Castor Bay WTW (Lurgan), Seagahan WTW (Armagh) and Killyhevlin WTW (Enniskillen), with the Altaveedan station now being used as a storage reservoir. Use is also made of four boreholes to supplement supply. Water is fed into the Dungannon area from these plants via a number of service reservoirs, some of which are located outside the Borough. The watermain distribution system in the Clogher Valley has been upgraded in recent years. The eastern part of the Borough's distribution system has also been assessed, highlighting necessary improvements, much of which have now been implemented. These are expected to supply the area's needs to 2010.
Most settlements in the Borough are serviced by existing sewage treatment works. Many of these have spare capacity, whilst others are operating at or beyond design capacity. The need to maintain river water quality and the limited capacity of local streams to receive treated effluent may constrain the development of proposals, which generate significant volumes of effluent. Sewage treatment facilities in the Borough are subject to the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC).
Wastewater/sewage treatment plants service most towns and villages in Dungannon Borough and during the life of the Plan upgrading and extensions works will be undertaken through the Water Service's Capital Works Programme. This Programme is capable of expansion as demand arises and resources permit. Major future projects include improvements to Coalisland and Dungannon (Moygashel) Wastewater Treatment Works. Other schemes are programmed for Benburb, Blackwatertown, Cabragh, Castlecaulfield, Caledon, Killyman, Tamnamore and Clontyclay.
Before the release of Phase 2 housing zonings in Dungannon or Coalisland, consideration will need to be given to the capacity of the towns' sewerage systems including the sewage treatment works. Where settlements are not served by a sewage treatment works, this is likely to be a significant constraint on large scale development. Further information for each village is provided where relevant in Part 3 of the Plan.


Rivers Agency Opens link in a new browser window, of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), has responsibilities 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.
In the Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough, the main areas subject to flood risk lie along the Blackwater and Torrent River corridors. The main risk areas on the Blackwater are located at Augher, Caledon, Clogher and Moy, and on the Torrent River at Castlecaulfield, Donaghmore and Newmills. In addition to these rivers, flood risk is also present at Ballygawley from the Ballygawley River.
Land subject to flooding is highlighted in Part 3 of the Plan. Flood risk will need to be taken into account in any development proposals and may restrict the development potential of land in its vicinity. The areas of flood risk outlined are not intended to be exhaustive. The Department has published, in December 2004, a draft planning policy statement entitled PPS 15: Planning and Flood Risk.
Many existing urban drainage systems are damaging the environment and are therefore not sustainable. The government wishes to promote a move to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) Opens link in a new browser window. 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's Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) will take account of the requirements of national policy, EC Directives, and international agreements in relation to water quality. A River Conservation Strategy for Northern Ireland was published in January 2001, by EHS.


Waste represents a potential source of pollution so minimising waste production and ensuring safe methods of disposal are of increasing importance. EU and UK legislation is currently being implemented to improve standards in waste management. In particular, the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 has introduced comprehensive measures to protect the environment through minimisation and safe management of waste. It also places a duty on Councils to formulate a plan for the recovery and disposal of waste in their areas and make provision for a system of recycling credits. Facilities necessary to landfill the irreducible minimum of waste are required to be of very high quality.
The careful management of waste is an integral part of sustainable development. 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, holders or processors of waste in the context of future waste management policy in Northern Ireland and the Department's regional planning policies. The Department's Environment and Heritage Service Opens link in a new browser window 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.
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council is one of eight member councils of the South West Management Partnership (SWaMP) Opens link in a new browser window, which has produced a Waste Management Plan that is guided by the WMS. It details proposals, targets and resource requirements to achieve the area's waste management objectives, including co-operation with other regions.
At present, the engineered landfill site located at Tullyvar Road, Aughnacloy is used to dispose of waste products in the Borough. The facility has sufficient capacity to cater for the municipal waste disposal needs of the Borough over the Plan period.
The Borough Council has issued 5,000 households with waste bins that facilitate the separate collection of organic and inorganic waste. Significantly, the Council has recently introduced a 'blue bin' scheme for the collection of dry recyclables to all households within the Borough, which is expected to significantly reduce the amount of landfill. The Council operates civic amenity sites at Clogher, Coalisland, Dungannon, Fivemiletown, Moy and Tullyvar for the collection of materials suitable for reuse. Paper and bottle banks are also provided at various locations throughout the Borough.


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 minimise building developments in areas considered to be at risk from flooding, coastal erosion and land instability.
Many of the Department's regional planning policies for utilities in Dungannon and South Tyrone 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 development at risk from flooding or land instability and includes policies on overhead cables, renewable energy and septic tanks.
Prevailing regional 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. The Department has published draft Planning Policy Statement 15 (PPS 15): Planning and Flood Risk. Supplementary planning guidance in respect of telecommunications is contained in Development Control Advice Note 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunications Equipment.
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