Youths gather in ‘eyesore’ houses, resident claims
DERELICT properties in Coalisland are proving to be “open game” for vandals as well as attracting anti-social activity at weekends, it has been claimed.
One member of the public contacted the Tyrone Times to highlight the problem recently, calling for action to be taken to secure the vacant houses in the Lineside area of the town, in a bid to make them less accessible.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the properties had been vandalised in recent weeks and were now “an eyesore” to people living in neighouring housing developments.
“There is no effort made to secure the properties from youngsters at the weekend.
“These houses were vacated maybe two months ago, and the vandalism started off with a few windows being broken, but now the houses are nearly in ruins. The residents of Canal Quay can see the teenagers gathering every weekend night in one of these houses.”
Local Assembly Member, Francie Molloy, said he was also aware of vandalism in the area, pointing to derelict properties in a housing development along Coalisland Canal, which have attracted a significant amount of destruction.
According to Mr Molloy, some of the houses are in the ownership of the First Trust Bank and that discussion had taken place in the past with regard to setting up a scheme with a housing association.
“It is an awful pity for people living in other housing developments in the area that these vacant houses are devaluing their properties”, said the Mid-Ulster MLA.
“These empty houses have become a gathering place for anti-social behaviour which is of concern as we are currently trying to deal with a growing drug problem in Coalisland.
“The houses are severely vandalised. I actually went in one Saturday and found them in a very dangerous state. I do think Dungannon Council has a responsibility as regards environmental health, to get these properties secured because at the minute, there is nothing to secure the back of the houses, only some hoarding at the front.
“A lot of manholes were lifted and sold for scrap and even walking on the ground around these properties is dangerous.
“I have been surprised at the type of vandalism that some people will carry out. These houses are open game for people to do what they want.”
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council were asked to comment on the issues raised within this story, but no reply was forthcoming.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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