East Londondderry MLA John Dallat has highlighted a blocked culvert on high ground above Dungiven which he claims has the potential to cause serious flooding in estates on lower ground in the County Londonderry town.
He said: “There is a particular problem relating to housing estates which have remained unfinished as a result of the collapse of the housing market a few years ago. Open streams are frequently diverted into underground piped culverts to allow for development and these are intended to be adopted by the Rivers Agency and checked on a regular basis to ensure that debris brought down from higher ground in floods is cleared. “Unfortunately they are not and in the case I have brought to the attention of the authorities there is a flooding situation waiting to happen which can be prevented if there is a change in the law which ensures that at all time someone is responsible for these culverts.
“The collapse in the housing market has left many roads, footpaths and street lighting unadopted and the Assembly’s Regional Development Committee which I serve on has debated what to do in these situations but there has been no discussion on what to do with culverts which in many respects has the potential to do a lot more harm and perhaps endanger life itself.”
He added: “The experiences in England adds a new urgency to ensure that where culverts are created they are not left unattended.”