Derry/Strabane Council urges DfC to consider redress scheme after defective block detections

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The Council has urged the Department for Communities to consider a redress scheme amid warnings a growing number of defective blocks in Derry could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

A spokesperson said five addresses have been lodged in a register launched last year for properties potentially affected by defective blocks.

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons, meanwhile, told MLAs seven cases of defective blocks have been identified in the Derry and Strabane area in total.

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“To my knowledge seven cases have been identified by DC&SDC: six social homes that have received redress and one private home that, I think, was not eligible for redress because of when it was built,” he said.

Defective blocks at a house in DonegalDefective blocks at a house in Donegal
Defective blocks at a house in Donegal

Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan warned the number of homes affected by deleterious materials such as mica, pyrite, reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (RAAC) will grow.

“The number of cases to date — seven — is small, but it is the tip of a potentially large iceberg. I am not sure what redress those cases have received,” he said.

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Durkan fears seven cases of defective blocks in Derry/Strabane only ‘tip of pote...

A Council spokesperson explained that while it has been collecting data it cannot carry out any form of testing and has no remit to address defective blocks.

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“We recommend that any property owners who wish to carry out testing seek the advice of a Structural Engineer, in the first instance, who would be best placed to advise further.

“Council have written to the Department for Communities to ask that central government consider the establishment of a redress scheme for defective blocks in NI,” the spokesperson said.

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