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Derryadd residents at end of their tether as development remains unfinished

'We all feel like it is an 'out of sight, out of mind' situation and that we have simply been forgotten about'

A Lurgan man who has been living in an unfinished housing development for two and a half years says he and other residents have “simply been forgotten about”.

Owen Rice bought his house in Church Brae, Derryadd, in September 2020.

Despite paying full rates, the footpaths and roads in the development have not been completed and, say residents, are full of potholes and manholes.

Another man, John Fox, had to replace three wheels on his car after badly damaging them on the road, while residents have to wheel their bins to the roadside to have them collected.

“Our development has been left unfinished and essentially abandoned and the way the place has been left is unacceptable,” said Mr Rice.

“The road has not been adopted by the Roads Service, has no top-coat of tarmac, and is full of potholes.

“The front entrance of the estate still looks like a building site, with mounds of soil, clay and stones visible.”

Mr Rice said he and his neighbours just want matters sorted out.

“We all feel like it is an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation and that we have simply been forgotten about.”

SDLP councillor for the area Declan McAlinden said residents had contacted him “in desperation” about the unfinished works.

“Issues around Church Brae have been ongoing since the site began a number of years ago,” he explained.

“Initially it was an unfinished site due to the economic downturn and, secondly, because the site wasn’t finished there was no proper sewage plant installed.

“A new developer took over the development in recent years and to his credit has finished the homes to a high standard.

“Unfortunately though, the footpaths and road surfaces have not been completed which is leaving the residents very frustrated and angry.”

He said the delays in completing the road were down to signing off the water treatment plant and that he is due to attend a meeting with all the relevant agencies in an effort to resolve the situation.

“I am hoping that after a very long process, the end is nearly in sight for these residents,” he added.

A representative for the development company, Wilden Construction Services Ltd, said they had been following the full Water Service adoption process but that matters seemed to be taking longer because a treatment plant had to be installed.

“The treatment plant has to be adopted by the Water Service before the roads can be finished and that’s why it has been so frustrating and drawn-out,” he added.

A spokesperson for NI Water said: “The developer responsible for the Church Brae development in Lurgan has a number of actions to undertake to ensure it is at the standard required for NI Water to adopt it.

“For example, part of the approval process is the developer must apply to NIEA to receive a Water Order Consent which sets the standards of effluent to be discharged into a watercourse.  The developer now needs to test the works to ensure this consent is met.

“NI Water has outlined to the developer’s agent the series of actions the company must take to progress the adoption process.

“NI Water is committed to working with all developers to reach a solution. However, remedial works must be completed as soon as possible before we adopt any site infrastructure.”

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