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Portaferry Pumping Station

Volume 986: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when work at the Portaferry pumping station ceased; and in what circumstances this occurred.

Work ceased on the construction of the pumping station in mid-March to examine the possibility of amending the design of the building to improve its visual impact.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the name of the firm which had the contract for the pumping station at Portaferry.

The construction of the pumping station formed part of a contract awarded to Public Works Services Ltd.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what is the name of the firm with which negotiations are proceeding for resumption of the contract for the laying of pipes near Portaferry in connection with the sewerage scheme;

(2) when tenders were invited for the Portaferry sewerage scheme ; what were the terms of the advertisement ; whether the lowest tender was accepted ; in what sum the contract was set ; and if any special conditions were inserted in the contract.

The construction of the scheme involves the following three separate contracts :

ContractDate of Tender AdvertisementAmount
£
Mechanical equipment17 October 197828,288
Outfall5 January 1979120,108
Main works6 April 197982,774
The terms of the advertisement were standard and no special conditions were included in the contracts. In each case the contract was awarded to the lowest tenderer.Tenders for the completion of the outfalls have been received from four firms and these are now under consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) when was the last occasion when an independent expert was requested to examine proposals for the discharge of partially-treated sewage : and what action was taken on receipt of his report;(2) whether it is the normal practice for the Department of the Environment to submit proposals for the discharge of partially treated sewage to the Water Research Council; and why the Portaferry proposals were submitted to the former head of the coasts and estuaries division of the Water Research Council;(3) what is the name of the outside expert called in by the Under-Secretary responsible for environment to examine proposals for the discharge of partially-treated sewage from Portaferry into Strangford Lough.

Mr. A. L. H. Gameson was engaged on a consultancy basis in April 1980 to report on the effectiveness of the sewage disposal scheme at Portaferry and in particular to examine the possibility of marine pollution due to the discharge of partially treated sewage from the sea outfall point at Walter Rocks. Mr. Gameson was selected as an acknowledged expert to examine the scheme independently in view of local concern expressed about the method of sewage disposal.Mr. Gameson's report confirmed that the method of discharge would be satisfactory subject to careful monitoring when the scheme comes into operation. This monitoring will be undertaken in conjunction with local interests who have expressed concern about the scheme.It is not the normal practice for the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland to submit proposals for the discharge of partially treated sewage to the Water Research Council.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consultations took place with local user interests in the development of the proposals for the discharge of partially-treated sewage at Portaferry.

The scheme was subject to the normal consultation processes. Discussions took place with the Ards borough council, covering both the planning and operational aspects and details of the scheme were advertised in the local press.