Climate NI: Belfast city getting five miles of flood defences to reduce tidal risk

By Shauna Corr

Over five miles of flood defences are going up around Belfast in a bid to protect the city's homes and businesses from tidal risk in line with climate crisis projections.

The £17m scheme was announced by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon on Tuesday and has been awarded to Lagan Construction Ltd.

It is anticipated the completion of the detailed design will take approximately four months with the works commencing on site shortly after. The scheme will extend along the tidal River Lagan covering the area from Belfast Harbour to Stranmillis Weir.

Minister Mallon said the "scheme.. is designed to reduce tidal flood risk to over 1,500 homes and businesses in the city".

"I hope this will reassure residents and businesses within the city centre, particularly those concerned about the effects of sea level rise caused by climate change," she added.

“The Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme has not only been designed to integrate with the surrounding landscapes and streetscapes but also takes into account the latest projections on climate change. The scheme extends to over 8.5km along the tidal River Lagan covering the area from Belfast Harbour to Stranmillis Weir. This scheme will provide a long term approach to tidal flood risk management for Belfast and has been designed to allow future adaption to mitigate against potential sea level rises.

"This critical infrastructure will help protect a thriving City for this generation and the next, a City where people want to live, work, visit and invest."

DfI said the work will be programmed to minimise any inconvenience to the public, however, road and towpath users should take care in the vicinity of the works and be aware of emerging construction traffic. Pedestrian and cycle access with be maintained at all times with alternative routes provided.

The detailed design and construction stages are estimated to take at least 18 months to complete and it is expected work will start on site in early 2022.

The Belfast Tidal Scheme forms part of the Living with Water Programme www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/topics/living-water-programme. See https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/belfast-tidal-flood-alleviation-scheme for more information.


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