A housing association has claimed that building a wall alongside a housing estate subjected to anti-social behaviour would not solve the problem.
Choice Housing was responding yesterday to concerns raised by Derry Sinn Fein Councillor, Tony Hassan, over the safety of residents at Donal Casey Court in the Templemore area.
Colr. Hassan said that the wall was needed following a number of very serious incidents at the estate.
He said: “In September of last year there a serious incident at Donal Casey Court after a car was abandoned and set on fire close to an elderly woman’s bungalow. The vehicle was torched only feet from the woman’s home and yards from a household oil tank.
“This was the third time similar incidents have happened in the same area.
“Back in 2015 there was a very serious fire there when a hedge was set on fire and it spread to a resident’s garden causing the oil tank to explode.”
Colr. Hassan that the former Oaklee Housing Association said at the time that they would look at the possibility of building a wall.
He said: “The rear of these bungalows are situated at Templemore Sports Complex car park. They are very exposed and it’s clear there is a need for a wall to be erected here.”
Colr. Hassan said the building of a wall was raised at a number of previous meetings involving Derry City and Strabane District Council, Oaklee Housing, the PSNI and the Shantallow Community Safety Partnership. “I have to ask Oaklee, now Choice Housing when the wall will happen,” he said. “I am calling on them to move on this issue and erect a wall there and put in place any other security measures that are needed.”
Responding to his concerns, a spokesperson for Choice Housing said: “Following several incidents of anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of Donal Casey Court, Choice staff met with local community representatives and Derry City Council on October 13, 2016. At this meeting, Choice staff explained that the construction of a wall would not solve the antisocial behaviour issues and a number of alternative options were considered, including closing off access to the adjoining car park at night.
“In the interim, Choice has provided on-call security teams to respond to tenant reports of anti-social issues.”
She added: “We are committed to providing a safe environment for all tenants and would welcome further multi-agency discussions to resolve the problem.”