Efforts to address William Street ‘eyesore’ lane-way paying off

The labelling of bins by local traders to identify ownership and the installation of gates has helped towards combatting the issue of dumping in the lane-way off William Street in Derry city centre.

By Gillian Anderson
Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:51 pm

The move was warmly welcomed by former Mayor, SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney who thanked local business owners and council officers for their patience and in dealing with the waste problem in an area which has previously been branded an ‘eyesore’.

He said: “I welcome this development at the lane-way on William Street which has proved problematic for a number of years and I want to thank the business owners in that particular area for bearing with us throughout this long and drawn out process.”

Members of the Environment & Regeneration Committee received a report from Conor Canning, Head of Environment, which noted that there have been ‘incidents of fly-tipping within this lane-way over several years resulting in interventions by Council teams to remove and clear waste deposits.

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Previous incidents of dumping several years ago in WIlliam Street and a previous clean up operation.

‘The waste comprises mainly of bags, food and takeaway packaging indicating that it is a trade waste issue caused by insufficient waste disposal arrangements.’

At previous committee meetings Members approved the installation of  a new set of gates at the location which were installed on October 11, 2021.

The gates comprise of a double leaf gate and separate side pedestrian gate fitted with a push-bar opening mechanism. The pedestrian gate and push-bar lock allow a previously raised concern about emergency exits to be overcome.

In addition to the emergency exit gate, self-closing devices have been fitted which will return the gate to a closed position after opening. This is also an improvement on the former gates as a lack of these devices meant the gates were often left open thereby providing access for fly-tippers. 

The double-leaf gate is secured with a padlock and council officers have been liaising with City Centre Initiative (CCI) on arrangements for opening and closing. 

CCI have engaged with traders in the area and have brought forward a proposal to trial unlocking the gates early in the morning and locking again in the evening. 

In addition to this, information is being sought from traders on their waste disposal arrangements on the number of bins and frequency of collections and they have been asked to label bins to identify ownership. 

Councillor Tierney thanked the officers for ensuring the gate had been put in place adding: “I know officers previously went in and cleaned the lane and assisted community organisations to clean it and I want to acknowledge the work that has gone on to try and address this. I also acknowledge that the report states about owners labelling their bins which is all progress. 

“I passed the lane-way on my way here and I’m pleased to say it was all clean and tidy and hopefully it remains that way.”

Members were advised that the lane-way will continue to be monitored for and arrangements amended if required. 

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter