Fires spark calls for police to monitor development site

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The council has asked the PSNI to monitor a development site in Glengormley following complaints from local residents about fires being started at the location.

The land on the corner of Church Road and Glebe Road East - formerly occupied by residential properties - is being cleared to make way for a nursing home development.

One disgruntled homeowner who lives close to the property said there had been three fires at the site over the past week - on Wednesday, Saturday and Monday.

The man, who didn’t want to be named, told the Times: “It is beyond a joke. My house is absolutely smoked out and we have had enough of it. I’m glad to see the site getting cleared because it was a complete jungle, but they need to put a stop to these fires before someone is killed by the smoke or someone’s house gets burnt out.”

Alderman John Blair, who was contacted by a number of local residents about the spate of fires, says he shares their concerns.

“I fully understand the concerns of residents, particularly given the close proximity of this site to neighbouring residential properties,” he commented.

“There has been a running history of anti-social behaviour at this site and I have been in contact with the PSNI and Environmental Services to ask them to keep an eye on the site.”

A spokesperson for Newtownabbey Borough Council confirmed that Environmental Health officers visited the site on Monday morning in response to a complaint about materials being burned.

“Officers were advised that a fire had been started on site prior to the builder arriving. The builder immediately contacted NIFRS who were already in attendance when council staff arrived.

“The PSNI Neighbourhood Team have been advised to monitor in relation to the malicious fires, and the builder has been advised regarding securing the site as well as their responsibility for appropriate removal of waste from the site,” she said.