New infrastructure to pump sewage from Skeoge to Fort George should be built in tandem with the Buncrana Road widening scheme.
That’s according to Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy who wants the Department for Infrastructure and NI Water to ensure the new road and sewerage are laid simultaneously.
“After a meeting with representatives of NI Water and developers we were told that a new sewage pumping station is needed at Coshquin to take the sewage flow from the new developments at the Skeoge lands and the H2 development site at Buncrana Road.
“This would mean the laying of new infrastructure and digging up Buncrana Road right up to the land at Fort George. It is important that this work is carried at the same time as the upgrade of Buncrana Road work takes place,” she said.
The sewerage works are needed to service a proposed new suburb of up to 3,500 houses on the Skeoge lands close to the Donegal border.
Whilst the prospective expansion of housing between Whitehouse and Coshquin is a separate project to the A2 Buncrana Road widening it is something DfI project managers are taking into account.
For example, DfI acknowledges that a current traffic volume of 20,000 vehicles a day on the Buncrana Road is only going to grow once the Skeoge lands are developed.
DfI has previously said it wants to publish draft vesting and direction orders and an environmental statement by the middle of next year. There will then likely be a public inquiry, after which procuring a contractor will take about a year. Work on the new road could start by 2022. NI Water’s plans for the new sewerage works, meanwhile, is contingent on funding.
Colr. Duffy said: “NI Water has said the Coshquin sewage pumping station is a high priority and will cost £1.7m to complete subject to finance being available. It is vitally important that the upgrade of the Buncrana Road happens as it will address and help the regeneration and development of new homes and businesses along the entire stretch of this main arterial route from Derry to Donegal and reduce the traffic gridlock there at peak times of the day.”
A spokesperson for NI Water said: “Proposals for water and wastewater network improvements within the Buncrana Road area are at an early stage. NI Water construction projects are subject to statutory approvals being in place and availability of the necessary funding.
“Timescales at present have not been agreed. NI Water will continue to liaise with the DfI Roads and endeavour to co-ordinate works on the Buncrana Road to minimise disruption to the public wherever possible.”