End in sight to Copperthorpe residents’ plight

Councillor Martin Reilly at the entrance to the Copperthorpe development in Drumahoe. INLS 46-709-CON
Councillor Martin Reilly at the entrance to the Copperthorpe development in Drumahoe. INLS 46-709-CON

Residents appear set to see Drumahoe’s Copperthorpe development brought up to adoptable standard after years of battling.

Northern Ireland Water is to begin sewer improvements within weeks which, in turn, will enable TransportNI to carry out vital road works at the residential location.

Waterside SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly has welcomed the positive progress at the development, which has been in administration for a number of years.

Cllr Reilly said: “Over many years residents in the various three phases of Copperthorpe have been seeking progress to ensure that the area in which they bought their homes was finished appropriately.

“After a lengthy and protracted process I therefore welcome builders on-site now to finish works in Phase 3 of the development.

“I am delighted that eventually we are seeing positive progress for residents in the area. Indeed, having spoken to them, I know how much they value having an area which is safe for their children to go out and play in.

“Phases 1 and 2 of this development will also need to be completed to the satisfaction of residents in the area – which remains under the remit of the Department for Infrastructure.

“I therefore welcome recent confirmation from NI Water that they will begin works to improve the sewer network this month which will then allow Transport NI to progress the site towards final adoption.”

In correspondence with Councillor Reilly, Transport NI stated it has instructed NI Water to begin their works which “will ultimately allow Transport NI to begin our works to progress the site towards final adoption”.

According to NI Water, the contractor plans to start the sewer remedial work at Copperthorpe in the next few weeks and will continue into the start of 2017.

A spokesperson told the Sentinel, on Tuesday: “NI Water confirms they are working in conjunction with Transport NI to prepare the first phase of the development at Copperthorpe, Drumahoe to an adoptable standard.

“NI Water contractor will commence work imminently to bring the sewers up to an adoptable standard to meet the requirements under the current Sewers for Adoption procedures.

“NI Water continues to review the status of unadopted sewers in older developments and to work with other agencies, bodies and developers to explore solutions to bring sewers to an adoptable standard. NI Water will consider the use of enforcement powers when adequate funding resource is available.”

In January of this year, Transport NI attended a special meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee, which heard there was a backlog of over 80

development sites across the council area which have yet to be adopted.

DUP Councillor Hilary McClintock spoke about Copperthorpe where she said people were having “massive problems”, not least those trying to sell their homes. Concerns were raised that the separation of issues around water works and roads may have been hampering progress.

At one stage in the long-running saga residents were informed they would have to pay to look after their own sewers and roads.