‘Cut rates for unadopted estates’ - DUP Councillor

DUP Councillor Maurice Devenney. DER2114MC115
DUP Councillor Maurice Devenney. DER2114MC115

A DUP Councillor has warned that local people living in unadopted estates are having difficulties getting bins emptied and are being left without street lighting.

Maurice Devenney has now called for a rates reduction for affected residents in estates in the Waterside and in other areas of the new Derry-Strabane Council.

Colr. Devenney raised the matter at the October meeting of the council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee at Strabane on Wednesday.

He said: “We all know here that since the property boom disappeared quite a number of estates and developments are sitting out there that are not adopted by Roads Service [Transport NI]. It is causing a serious problem for those people who can’t get their bins lifted.

“When you look at these people, they are caught in a trap here because at the end of the day they are paying their rates. Some of these developments do not even have public lighting.

“The part we would have to look after is making sure the binds are lifted. In this type of scenario it is my opinion that there should be some form of rates relief.

“These people are paying in excess of £500-£600, maybe up to £1,000 but aren’t getting the delivery of what they would expect for their rates.”

UUP Councillor Derek Hussey said the council should seek a meeting with the Department for Regional Development over the issue and look into whether developers, if they still exist, will offer insurance cover to vehicles going into the estates.

Council officers clarified that the issue related to insurance for council vehicles accessing such estates, and confirmed they have met with Transport NI officials and requested information from them. They also said that Transport NI were proactively looking at how they can help resolve the problems for residents.

“We certainly recognise this is a real problem for residents in the area and Transport NI recognise that too,” Karen Phillips, the Council’s Head of Built Environment and Environmental Health said.

Mr Devenney said the council should consider inviting the person who deals with unadopted roads to the committee.

“We have some of the sites sitting there now for almost six, seven years and by the looks of things they will be sitting like that for the next five years.”