‘Moat’ estate builder defends actions

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The building company behind a controversial ‘moat’ development in Coalisland has insisted that it has not broken any planning regulations.

The 30 house development constructed by Western Building Systems at Moor Park is now facing enforcement action amid flooding fears.

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill had raised concerns that the plans could “further enhance an already severe problem with flooding in the area”.

Built in an area prone to floods, the development is surrounded on two sides by a water trench and accessed via a bridge.

Addressing concerns raised in a daily newspaper about the homes, Martin McCloskey, Managing Director at Western Building Systems confirmed that all Statutory Regulations are, and will be complied with.

“Work on the site at Moor Park commenced with full statutory approvals, including full Planning approval and Building Control approval.”

He highlighted the preventative measures that were taken to ensure the site was not a flood risk.

“At the Planning stage the development was subject to an intense Flood Risk Assessment by specialist hydrological engineers. The drainage system being installed has been approved by the Planning Authority, the Rivers Agency and NI Water.”

The works, when completed, are designed to protect Moor Close and the surrounding area from the causes of historical flooding events.

“Indeed last winter, during some of the worst flooding and highest water levels recorded in recent living memory there was no adverse flooding at this site. This is despite the fact, that all the works, designed to protect the site, were not in place.

“The Moor Road crossing will be completed when Transport NI have given their technical approval to the structural elements within the culvert design”

Addressing questions as to why this work had not been completed before any house was built

on the site, the Western Managing Director pointed out that:

“The decision to proceed with the drainage work, and housing, was discussed with Transport

NI. Given the scale of the disruption required, in closing the road for a number of weeks,

Transport NI need to be satisfied that contractors, are genuine about completing fully the

development. All the initial works have been completed and application to finish this work

has been made to Transport NI.”

Mr McCloskey continued: “Western, along with our professional team of engineers, architects and consultants, are working diligently on the TAS application and we trust, approval to be granted imminently. The Planning Service are aware, that Western are ready and willing, to complete the

drainage works, but cannot do so, without the permission and consent of Transport NI.”

Reassuring those wishing to purchase houses on the development Mr McCloskey said:

“Western Building Systems and Jas Properties can assure those interested in purchasing a

house on this superb development that it will be completed to a high standard, just like our

developments at Farlough Manor, Westclare Court, Gortacladdy, Gortmerron and Magheracastle.”