Plans to improve security at the Rockmills social housing complex on the Strand Road have been finalised.
Earlier this year, the ‘Journal’ published several accounts from residents living in Rockmills highlighting concerns about anti-social activity in the complex.
All of the residents interviewed by the ‘Journal’ reported high levels of anti-social behaviour, drug abuse and criticised the housing association responsible.
At the time Rockmills was under the management of Oaklee Trinity but that organisation has merged with another housing association and is now called Choice Housing.
One of the residents interviewed by the ‘Journal’ several months ago said he had noticed improvements.
“A letter telling residents that the refurbishment was due to start in November was sent around recently.
“There are a few more cameras in the place but I am not sure if they are being monitored as much as they should be.
“The problem of anti-social behaviour is far from being solved at Rockmills but I think , although it’s slow, we are moving in the right direction,” said the resident.
Local Sinn Fein councillor, Mickey Cooper, was involved in helping to draw up the new security plans for Rockmills.
“A number of residents had raised issues of concern about things taking place in the vicinity of Rockmills on the Strand Road,” said Colr. Cooper.
“I am pleased that plans have been developed for the installation of an upgraded CCTV system so that all entrance doors are covered and monitored 24/7.”
Colr. Cooper added: “There will also will be new doors for the back entrances and fire exits to make those doorways more secure and to stop non-residents gaining access.”
Colr. Cooper explained the new security measures were part of the wider refurbishment of the housing complex and encouraged any residents with concerns to get in contact.
“This is part of a much wider refurbishment of the complex and no new tenancies will be issued until the work is complete to remove any additional disruption.
“I would urge any residents who still have issues to contact myself, Oaklee Trinity [now Choice Housing] or the PSNI so we can collectively resolve any outstanding complaints,” said Colr. Cooper.
A spokesperson for Choice Housing told the ‘Journal’: “In the forthcoming weeks, Choice will be consulting with customers at Rockmills on the next stage of our proposed maintenance investment programme which is designed to deliver wide-reaching benefits for tenants, staff and visitors. We anticipate this will happen in late August and will be writing to all customers in due course.
“The proposed works include further security measures with video intercoms and controlled access to the site. A number internal alteration works including modernisation of electrics and plumbing and the installation of modern kitchens and bathrooms and replacement of all doors, windows and passenger lifts serving communal areas which will also be refurbished as part of the project.
“We hope to commence the programme in November 2015 and work will be undertaken in three separate phases concluding in the very early part of 2017,” the spokesperson added.