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Minister’s Linen Green flood letter ‘pathetic’

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Minister’s Linen Green flood letter ‘pathetic’ thumbnailFlooding caused millions of pounds worth of damage was caused at the Linen Green shopping complex, Moygashel.

A LETTER from the Infrastructure Minister to Mid-Ulster Council in relation to last year's devastating flooding at the Linen Green has been described as "pathetic".

In December 2015, all 31 units at the complex were affected when Storm Desmond battered the UK, and it is estimated millions of pounds worth of damage was caused at the Moygashel shopping complex.

At the time, Chief Executive of the Rivers Agency, David Porter, said the flooding was caused by a blocked culvert grille at a site above and beside the Linen Green.

The blockage caused the water to overflow even though it had been stated the grille had been recently cleaned.

A full report was to be issued on the incident, identifying ways of preventing any recurrence of the devastation, but it has yet to be published.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard sent a letter to the Council after members passed a motion expressing disappointment at the absence of a report on possible prevention measures.

In his response, the Minister said the "report on the initial investigations into the cause of the flooding... was finalised and shared with Linen Green Management in February 2016."

However, he also revealed there is as yet only an "initial report on the feasibility study" into the "viability of work" at the location of the flooding.

But the continued delay in providing a report on measures which could be put in place to prevent a repeat has been branded "unacceptable" by DUP Dungannon Councillor Clement Cuthbertson.

He says Rivers Agency have "buried their head in the sand" and called for the Infrastructure Department to "stop ignoring their responsibilities.

Cllr Cuthbertson told the Courier: "The response the Minister has provided to Council is nothing short of pathetic.

"To still be unable to provide a report on prevention measures some 12 months after the flooding occurred at the Linen Green is unacceptable.

"Rivers Agency have just buried their head in the sand hoping this subject would somehow go away.

"Never mind a report, actual measures should have been activated by this stage to ensure no repeat of the disastrous events last December.

“I call on the Department to stop ignoring their responsibilities and take action immediately."

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