Councillors call for action to deal with problem properties

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Local councillors have stressed the need for tougher legislation to tackle the problem of derelict and eyesore properties.

At their Environment Committee meeting on Monday, October 7, councillors Gerry O’Reilly, Mark Cosgrove and Phillip Brett raised concerns about unoccupied houses in Elmfield, Harmin and Glenvarna, adding that at present, given the restrictions of the current legislation, the council is almost powerless to take action unless there is an environmental health issue.

Members were informed that officers are currently working with Belfast City Council in a bid to develop “a robust policy” to deal with derelict and abandoned properties.

Cllr O’Reilly stressed the need for urgent action, warning that more properties are likely to be left to fall into disrepair as repossessions increase.