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Unfinished housing developments locally: Calls to examine extent of issue

There have been calls to discover the extent of the issue in relation to unfinished housing developments across Newry and Armagh.

Many houses across the area have been abandoned by developers due to the economic downturn.

However, MLA Justin McNulty has called for an audit of these unfinished housing developments in a bis to ascertain the scale of this issue locally.

He has written to the Chief Executives of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

“In recent months I have been contacted by a number of residents groups across Newry and Armagh complaining about the way some of their housing developments have been effectively abandoned by the developer or in many cases the bank or financial intuition,” said Mr McNulty.

“This is a legacy of the downturn in the housing and property market over the last decade. Whilst we have seen a more buoyant market in recent years, there are still areas which are causing considerable problems locally.”

He added: “In many of the cases referred to me, the original developer got into financial difficulty and lost control of the development to the financial / lending institution.

“Since that time the new controller or receiver has failed to complete many of the street works. I have seen areas where the driveways and roads have been left incomplete with no street lighting, where footpaths and crash barriers have not been finished and are causing a real safety hazard. Others have drains above the road surface that are obsolete. Some even have sewer systems unfinished and causing a public health risk.

“Before construction can begin, developers have to put down what is commonly referred to as a bond. This is to be used in the event that works are not complete to an acceptable standard or in cases that a developer is not able to complete the works.

“This is why I have asked for an audit of unfinished housing developments across Newry and Armagh to ascertain the depth of the problem.
“I then intend to follow this up with Transport NI and NI Water seeking appropriate action in the areas concerned.

“This is a major issue for those living in these areas, not least because in many cases unfinished developments can be dangerous.”

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