Councillor slams NI Water over noise nuisance at Queensway

DUP Cllr Jonathan Craig.
DUP Cllr Jonathan Craig.

A local DUP councillor has criticised NI Water over night-time works being carried out in a residential area of Lisburn.

Having received complaints from local householders about the noise of the works at Queensway, Cllr Jonathan Craig said the situation was “neither satisfactory nor acceptable.”

“This is a predominantly residential part of this road just prior to the turn off for Bells Lane, and having slit saws and kango hammers going full blast at 10.30pm at night is neither satisfactory nor acceptable,” he commented.

“Residents have quite correctly been complaining about the impact it has been having on their children, who cannot get to sleep, never mind the impact it is having on parents.”

Cllr Craig, who raised the issue at last week’s full council meeting, continued: “The law is clear, only in emergency situations where the water supply to properties has been cut off can NI Water close off and dig up public roads, the difficulty with the situation on Queensway is the fact that this is planned maintenance scheme not emergency work.

“As a council we will be grilling TransportNI at its meeting with the council in a few weeks as to why they have allowed this to happen. I find it appalling that NI Water, who at a site meeting only a month ago stated that this work would not recommence until the next holiday period, reneged on this promise within weeks.”

Responding to the issues raised by Cllr Craig, a spokesperson for NI Water said the company, and its contractor Lagan Construction Group, would be happy to meet on-site to discuss any concerns.

“NI Water has been working to lay new watermains at Queensway in an investment worth some £375,000, part of an overall project investment of £1.8 million in the water infrastructure in the Lisburn area. Permission was obtained from DfI Roads to work further into the evening as an advance on the original scheduled working time of 9:30am - 4pm, in order to relieve traffic pressure on what is a very busy route into and out of the city, especially during peak hours,” the spokesperson said.

“Working into the night affords us the opportunity to complete the work quicker and alleviate the pressure on local businesses and journey times. While we fully accept and appreciate there will be noise as a result of evening work, every effort is made to minimise the noise, particularly after 10:30pm. Hopefully, as the work progresses along the set route, no household should be affected for more than a short amount of time.

“The permission granted to work into the night also enables NI Water to replace sections of the watermain in close proximity to schools, which ensures minimal disruption during school drop off/pick up times.”

He added: “NI Water is grateful to customers in the area for their patience while this essential upgrade work is completed in order to enhance the quality, security and reliability of the public water supply in Lisburn. Anyone experiencing difficulties should contact NI Water via Waterline by dialling 03457 440088.”