Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consultations he has had with the local community in Portaferry about the future of the ferry slipway at route Al, Portaferry; whether the future of this slipway has been directed to the attention of the International Fund for Ireland; and if he will make a statement about the future of this slipway.
§ Mr. Atkins
The Department of the Environment has consulted with the traffic police, Ards borough council and statutory undertakers about a proposal to abandon the slipway. The Department is also considering a planning application from Portaferry regeneration group to use the slipway for temporary berthing facilities and this application will be subject to consultation with Ards borough council. The question about the International Fund for Ireland is a matter for the fund and not the Government. No statement can be issued about the future of the slipway until the statutory processes have been completed.