Infrastructure Minister announces potential pilot Sustainable Drainage Scheme in the O’Naullian Crescent area of Derry

Date published: 02 March 2022

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced that the O’Naullian Crescent area of Derry will be the location for a potential pilot Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) to reduce flooding as part of her commitment to climate action.

Minister Nichola Mallon

In June 2021 the Minister announced the development of a strategic plan for drainage and wastewater management for Derry through the Living with Water Programme Plan and the O’Naullian Crescent area has now been identified as a potential location for a SuDS pilot.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said:

“I have asked my officials to begin engagement with the local community about a potential pilot Sustainable Drainage Scheme in the O’Naullian Crescent area.  Last year I commissioned a study to identify possible sustainable drainage solutions that would bring real benefits for this part of the City whilst linking in with the needs of the new Buncrana Road Scheme that my Department is also developing. This common sense approach has demonstrated that there is the potential for considerable financial savings to the design of the road scheme as well as significant environmental and drainage benefits to the wider community.

“This scheme could see the creation of a wetland feature within land currently owned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) that would temporarily store water during periods of heavy rain helping to slow the flow of water through our rivers and drainage systems and reduce the risk of flooding. The project may also potentially create a new public amenity space in the O’Naullian Crescent area with footways and seating created alongside the new wetland feature.”

This pilot SuDS scheme is part of the Living with Water Programme (LWWP) which seeks to revolutionise drainage and wastewater management with greener integrated solutions which coexist alongside hard engineering infrastructure such as bigger pipes and flood defences.

The Minister continued:

“The Living With Water Programme is about using natural solutions such as open green spaces to temporarily store surface water to help improve water quality in the rivers and reduce flood risk.  Schemes can also be designed to aesthetically enhance the green spaces in the surrounding area to bring communities wider benefits such as active travel, health and amenity improvements. This is the type of sustainable infrastructure that will transform communities across the North now and for future generations whilst helping tackle the climate emergency.

“My Department continues to work in partnership to find the right solutions in the right places that support our communities. We will continue to work with our partners to develop these ambitious but necessary plans which will hopefully be further rolled out in other parts of Derry, Belfast and ultimately across the North.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Living With Water Programme seeks to revolutionise the way drainage and wastewater is managed in Northern Ireland by promoting greener catchment based solutions, such as sustainable drainage systems and river floodplain restoration works alongside the more conventional hard-engineered infrastructure, such as bigger pipes or higher flood defences. The programme for Belfast was recently published. Details are here:
  2. DfI will work with partners in the city to develop the LWWP in Derry – partners include Derry City and Strabane District Council, NI Water, Department for Communities and the NI Housing Executive.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  4.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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