Clampdown on derelict property owners planned

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly .
SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly .

The new Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs wants to give local councils more power to take action against the owners of derelict properties.

Waterside Councillor Martin Reilly welcomed the move.

He urged residents in Londonderry who are affected by the problem to respond to a consultation process which is open until June 30.

“Empty or derelict properties bring many problems for neighbouring residents.

“They blight neighbourhoods by creating health and safety concerns, are a target for antisocial behaviour, and can also drag down house prices in an area.

“Furthermore, they are a wasted resource in a city that has such a housing shortage.

“This problem is not confined to residential streets, as in business areas derelict properties also adversely affect the quality of the environment.

“Giving local councils a more direct involvement in tackling these types of problems compliments our planning, economic development, community planning and local tourism roles.

“I therefore welcome the publication of this document aimed at tackling the problems associated with dilapidated buildings and would encourage those who are affected to respond to the consultation process via the website”