The Chairman of Lisburn City Council’s Planning Committee, Alderman James Tinsley has welcomed the demolition of derelict properties at Longstone Street in Lisburn City. The Council had been concerned over for some time about the appearance and anti-social behaviour associated with these properties which were located on a main thoroughfare in the City.
Pictured at Longstone Street in Lisburn where derelict properties have recently been demolished are Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Lisburn Housing Executive Liaison Committee and Alderman JamesTinsley, Chairman of Lisburn City Council's Planning Committee.
Alderman Tinsley said: “The Council received complaints through its Environmental Health Service about properties 168–174 Longstone Street as far back as January 2008. The properties had been sold for development but were unsecured and attracted and anti social behaviour in the area.
”The owners were contacted by the Council’s Environmental Health Officers and the properties were subsequently secured but continued to be broken into. A Statutory Notice was served on the then owners, under the Pollution Control and Local Government (NI) Order, to secure the properties.
”However, the owners went into Administration in early 2011. The Council served a notice on the Administrator on 13 April last year to ensure the properties were kept secure or alternatively demolished.
“The demolition of the properties was investigated but due to large costs surrounding the disconnection of services at the properties the Administrators did not demolish the properties and of course the anti-social behaviour continued.
“In August 2011 two of the properties were destroyed by fire.
“Despite continuous efforts the Council was unable to enforce the Statutory Notice as insolvency legislation excludes Administrators from such enforcement action.
“Pressure continued to be put on the Administrator with regard to these properties and any prospective purchasers were informed of the need to demolish the houses.
“The properties were eventually sold and I am delighted that the new owner immediately undertook to have the properties demolished. Now that the houses are gone I sincerely hope that things can settle down in the Longstone area. It has taken years to resolve this problem and has been very frustrating because due to legalities our hands were effectively tied for much of the time. I would like to thank all the residents I spoke to over this time and express my wishes that I hope things will improve for them with the removal of the derelict house,” concluded Alderman Tinsley.
Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Lisburn Housing Executive Liaison Committee, said: “Anti-social activity is a scourge for people, and in this case, particularly for the people who live in the vicinity of these houses that caused so many problems for so long. And of course to live beside burnt-out properties and homes destroyed by those perpetuating the anti-social behaviour is not good for anybody.
“I know people have been frustrated at the slow pace it may seem to have taken to get this problem on the way to being resolved. The Environmental Services Department has had an uphill battle all the way and I would like to thank Alderman Tinsley who has worked very hard to help get this awful problem resolved.
“I would appeal to any resident that may witness anti-social behaviour to please pick up the phone and ring the police to report the offenders,” he concluded.