Call for Inquiry into ‘near disaster’ at flats

Conars Court off Northland Road.
Conars Court off Northland Road.

Foyle MLA Eamonn McCann has called for an inquiry amid alarm over the gas heating system at a flats complex in Derry.

Mr McCann was speaking after a report pointed to potentially “dangerous” issues relating to the gas heating system at Conar’s Court, in the Crawford Square area.Some of the 47 flats are owner-occupied, but Habinteg Housing is landlord for most of the complex, having taken over as landlord two years ago, unaware of the issues with the gas system.

People Before Profit MLA Mr McCann said a letter issued by the safety authorities states that faulty gas pipes have created an “immediately dangerous” risk for residents.

Calling for an inquiry and a probe into other local buildings which may be affected, Mr McCann added: “We need to know how this alarming situation came about.”

Mr McCann and representatives of the residents have been meeting regularly with Habinteg. However, he said, residents remain anxious and are seeking compensation for disruption and costs of electricity for appliances installed when gas was cut off.

A Habinteg spokesperson said: “We continue to prioritise the needs of our tenants at Conar’s Court, as we have done since being made aware of issues with the gas heating systems following recent servicing. This is a situation which we have inherited and are doing everything in our power to put right.

“As a responsible landlord, based on the information provided, we had the gas supply to our properties cut off and are currently undertaking preventative work, along with the management company, to bring the heating systems back into operation. We very much regret any inconvenience caused. The Health and Safety Executive NI has indicated that we have taken the correct course of action.”