Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 16:54 UK

Neglect of Ballyhornan/Bishopscourt

Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard called for action on the environmental degradation of Ballyhornan in County Down, on 22 May 2012.

Mr Hazzard explained how the village had been subsumed within the military base known as RAF Bishopscourt.

The base was closed in 1990 following the end of the Cold War.

"When the British military moved out the local community was left in limbo," the Sinn Fein MLA added.

He described recurrent problems with the overflow of sewage, and roads pitted with potholes.

In particular, Mr Hazzard described sewage running into the sea from a rusty, leaking pipe that washed back on to the beach.

This resulted in walkers being confronted by sanitary towels, used condoms and toothbrushes.

Mr Hazzard said the people of Ballyhornan were becoming increasingly impatient with "the glacial pace of change".

He commented that none of the government departments with responsibility wanted to "jump first".

Environment minister Alex Attwood listed the actions his department (DOE) had taken to address the problems faced by Ballyhornan residents.

He said DOE had adopted a development plan which specifically dealt with Ballyhornan.

The minister added, with regard to sewage, that the appropriate solution under the EU directive was for a "long sea outfall with fine screening".

An enforcement was going to be served on Northern Ireland Water to ensure that the directive would be complied with by 2013.

The minister objected to the claim that none of the departments had been prepared to make the first move, stating that DOE "had jumped".

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