Disposal of Portavo Reservoir Delayed

February 10th, 2011

In conjunction with an on-line petition and the first of a series of public meetings, organised by Councillor Andrew Muir, to muster support in opposition to Northern Ireland Water’s proposal to sell-off Portavo Reservoir, North Down’s MP, Lady Hermon, has now received correspondence confirming that “…due to some minor outstanding legal issues which need to be resolved, NI Water has decided to defer placing Portavo Impounding Reservoir on the open market in 2011/12.”

Reflecting upon her letter from Mr Bill Gowdy, the Acting Director of Engineering Procurement for NI Water, Lady Hermon said: “Whilst I obviously welcome the additional breathing space for Portavo in terms of its proposed sale, I’m intrigued and a bit mystified by Mr Gowdy’s acknowledgement that this stay of execution …‘may provide an opportunity for interested parties to discuss the various options surrounding its sale.’

If all of us, who so strongly oppose the disposal of several of North Down’s reservoirs, including Portavo, are stymied by NI Water in our efforts to prevent such disposals, I cannot help but wonder whether, in light of Mr Gowdy’s words, we should actively canvass the RSPB and/or the National Trust to acquire Portavo Reservoir with its beautiful surroundings.”

Lady Hermon concluded: “Meantime, I’m awaiting a response from the DRD Minister Conor Murphy, whom I’ve urged to take our North Down reservoirs off the ‘For Sale’ list, because their disposal could have an adverse impact on our future water supply.  We saw all too starkly, during the recent prolonged and very bitter spell of wintry weather, that household water supplies were not secure.  We cannot tolerate a repetition of that misery for so many.”

Entry Filed under: Press Statements