Seven power cuts within a year for residents living in Coshquin

There have been seven power cuts in the Benview Estate area in the last year.
There have been seven power cuts in the Benview Estate area in the last year.

Residents in Coshquin’s Benview Estate have criticised Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) after it was revealed there have been seven power cuts in the area since the start of 2015.

A husband and wife, who did not want to be named, said they were concerned about the frequency of the power outages.

“Power cuts are part and parcel of living in an estate but the power cuts in the Coshquin area are happening far too often,” said the man.

“The power cuts impact upon me because I spend a lot of time at home as I suffer from an illness,” said the woman.

“I would call on NIE to improve the way in which the electricity is supplied to this area - maybe that would reduce the risk of the power being cut.”

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, described the power cuts as “alarming”.

“My constituency office has received a number of complaints from businesses and residents living in the general Coshquin area about the loss of electricity supply on an ongoing basis,” he said.

“It’s alarming that there has been interruptions to supply on seven occasions in the area over the past year.

“That’s a very high figure for such a small geographical area,” he added.

Mr. McCartney urged NIE to “get to the bottom” of the issue and to do all that it could can to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future.

“We have been in contact with NIE to raise these concerns and to try to get to the bottom of what is going on here,” he added.

“They have informed us that there is no common thread in the causes for the outages of power.

“I feel it’s very important that NIE review the entire electricity network in the area, look at solutions and move on whatever investment and system upgrade is required.

“It’s intolerable to be sitting in your home on a dark winter’s night worrying if your electric is going to go off. Likewise, if you’re running a business or farm - perhaps, looking after livestock - the financial implications are of major concern.”

A spokesperson for NIE said: “Unfortunately, there have been a number of power cuts affecting the Coshquin and Benview Estate areas since the start of 2015. There is no single cause of the faults. Three were caused by third party damage to the network, two by strong winds and one by a bird flying into the line.

“In all cases, NIE Networks’ emergency teams responded and restored power as quickly as possible.”