Residents welcome start of repair work

Councillor Billy Webb and Chairman of Merville Residents' Association David Milliken survey the damaged land at Lovers' Lane. INNT 17-049-PSB
Councillor Billy Webb and Chairman of Merville Residents' Association David Milliken survey the damaged land at Lovers' Lane. INNT 17-049-PSB
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MERVILLE residents have welcomed the start of repair works to land in the village.

The Lovers’ Lane area was ripped up by Northern Ireland Water contractors in order to install new water mains as part of a large scale rehabilitation project.

Contractors had pledged to return the area to its former state using turf.

However, when the work was completed and the land restored residents said they were dissatisfied with the end result saying it was no where near as good as what was there before.

David Milliken chair of the Merville Residents’ Association, welcomed the start of the repair work to the grassy area.

He said: “We had been given assurances that when the water work was completed the contactors would restore the area to what it was before.

“But when they left it covered in weeds and no where near what it was - it was a shambles.

“We are delighted that NI Water and their contractor have listened to our concerns and are working to put the situation right.”

Alliance Councillor Billy Webb has held a number of meeting with residents and the contractor to have the repair work carried out.

He said: “I welcome, at long last, the commencement of repair work to the grass area of Lover’s Lane.

“The contractor churned up this area and left it in an unsatisfactory condition. They had a verbal agreement with the management agent, McConnel Chartered Surveyors, to repair by using turf, but have now agreed to cut the grass, in order to establish the extent of the works required.

“Following that they will remove all stones, level the ground, add top soil and cover in grass seed. It has been a long journey in getting this restored but I am hopeful the next few weeks will see an improvement.’’

A spokeswoman for NI Water blamed the bad weather for holding up the repair works.

She said: “NI Water, along with its contractor, had several meetings with representatives from McConnell Chartered Surveyors regarding the outstanding reinstatement of grassed areas in Merville Garden Village.

“Due to recent poor weather, it was agreed that the conditions were not ideal for carrying out reinstatement works.

“However, NI Water’s contractor has now commenced the reinstatement. NI Water and the contractor are committed to restoring this area to its original state by mid May, weather permitting.”