Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are to take immediate action to make a retaining wall at Banbrook Hill in Armagh safe.
The decision was confirmed at Monday night’s council meeting to ratify the recommendation of the Planning and Regulatory Services Committee.
Cllr Mealla Campbell said: “I have been working for some time with local residents, the Council’s Building Control officers and legal team to progress this very difficult matter.
“The retaining wall runs parallel to a ramp that provides access to residents homes and due to public safety concerns this access had to be secured until an owner was identified and the wall made safe. This has created a major inconvenience for the affected residents.”
She continued: “Following exhaustive land registry searches Councils solicitors have, as yet, been unable to identify an owner. In anticipation of this our officers had simultaneously been working to bring forward recommendations to repair the wall under the Dangerous Structures Legislation.
“The recommendations were brought to committee earlier in January and I am pleased that an the option I proposed to demolish and rebuild the retaining wall has now been ratified by full council.”
Cllr Campbell added: “Further to this I have engaged with Transport NI / Roads Service to request that they adopt this foot way upon completion of the repairs. They have agreed that they will meet with council officers with a view to furthering this outcome. This would be a win win situation for residents as it would mean that, not only will the walkway be safe and accessible again, but Transport NI would have responsibility for the maintenance of the footway going forward. This would mean that residents would finally have an adopted access to their homes from the public footway.”
Cllr Campbell concluded “Following tonight’s agreement at full Council I have further requested that action is initiated immediately and that discussions with Transport NI are pursued as a matter or urgency. Residents have been inconvenienced for long enough on this matter and they will be glad to finally see progress.”