Youths urged to stay away from empty house

Limavady Deputy Mayor, Alan Robinson has appealed to youths to stay away from an empty property being used as a drinking den in the Knockanbaan area of the town.

Cllr Robinson said residents had been in touch with him to see the extent of damage, both internally and externally to the property that has been unoccupied for some time.

“Youths have gained access to the property which appears to have been trashed, used as a drinking den and where fires have been lit within several of the rooms. Externally, windows have been broken, paint splashed across walls, the electricity meter box lid has been ripped off exposing wiring and sewer lids have been removed revealing a dangerous drop for anyone in the immediate locality of the house. There are numerous hazards being posed but overall the property is unsightly and is having an adverse environmental impact upon this neighbourhood where families have worked hard to provide beautiful homes in a tranquil setting,” he said.

Colr. Robinson said he has written to Environmental Health asking them to pursue the proprietors “in the hope they recognise the dangers currently being posed, that its current condition is detrimental to the amenities of the neighbourhood and that an urgent clean-up be carried out”.

“Councils can invoke legislation, (Pollution Control and Local Government Northern Ireland Order 1978) which affords the district councils to serve notice upon the owners of dilapidated buildings asking that they execute works of repair or restoration however this can be a lengthy process,” he said. “Ideally, residents would like to see the property being repaired and put onto the open market for a quick sale which would provide a remedy to the problem however it is not within the gift of I as a Councillor or Environmental Health to dictate against the future plans of its current owners. I would however make a direct appeal, in good faith, on behalf of the local residents asking that the proprietor visits the area and carries out a full and extensive clean-up and to ensure that the property is secured in the short term to restrict any future access.”