Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has welcomed an announcement from Phoenix that a £3m project to bring natural gas to Whitehead will commence on October 8.
In a statement, Mr Dickson said: “I am informed that work is scheduled to start on October 8 between Kilroot and Whitehead.”
“Works information will be made available and updated regularly on Phoenix’s website at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com.
“In addition, the customer services department will be writing to all properties in the local area to inform residents and business owners about the upcoming works.
“Phoenix also tells me that work will continue to connect properties over the next two years, with up to 800 being connected every year.
“This is great news for the people of Whitehead who will now be able to enjoy the benefits of natural gas, after many years of being excluded from the network.”
The multi-million scheme received the green light from the Utility Regulator in July.
The development has also been welcomed by Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs.
Mr. Beggs said: “The announcement from Phoenix Gas that they are to start work next week in Whitehead to extend the gas network to 1600 homes is to be welcomed as an additional energy option for local residents.
“The pipeline between Kilroot and Whitehead will take 2 years, connecting around 800 properties per each year of construction. Despite the high pressure gas pipeline being adjacent to Whitehead, businesses and residential users were not able to access it until this decision to provide a low pressure pipeline to the area.
“Having previously met with Pheonix gas and having lobbied for natural gas to be extended to Whitehead in recent times, I welcome the work that is soon to be underway. I would urge those involved to minimise disruption to the local community.”