DUP MLA William Hay says he’s bewildered the statutory agencies won’t work with a frustrated constituent to help him rescue his Eglinton property from flooding.
Joe Strawbridge wants to drain a field behind his property on the Highmoor Road.
He reckons water running from a brae on the road is saturating the field, imperilling a bungalow property, owned by Mr Strawbridge.
DRD Roads Service says ‘vennels’ - mini aqueducts - have been used to drain water from the road for decades and that a recent bid to drain the field has disrupted this system and contributed to the flooding.
Mr Hay says both parties should sit down and iron out any difficulties in order to resolve the problem. He said: “Joe has spoken to me on a number of occasions about what’s clearly a serious flooding issue. I must say that I’m bewildered by the attitude taken by the various agencies against him.
“Here’s someone who wants to drain his own land to alleviate a serious flooding issue that’s threatening to inundate a property and the agencies appear to be working against him.”
DRD Roads Service say they were contacted by Mr Strawbridge a number of months ago, with a spokesperson stating: “It was explained to him at the time that the drainage of road water through outlets or ‘vennels’ onto adjacent land is a method that has been used for centuries. Roads Service maintain thousands of outlets primarily in rural areas where there are no formalised drainage systems available to drain the carriageway.
“We are aware that some earthmoving work has been undertaken recently in the field in question. It is our view that this is the primary cause of the flooding to the bungalows. Prior to this work we had no complaints about flooding at this location.”
Mr Hay says he will work to facilitate a resolution between the parties.
“Over the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to get everyone to sit down around a table and see if this issue can be resolved. All he wants to do is drain his land and he’s prepared to do this to the satisfaction of everyone concerned,” said Mr Hay.