'˜High tension' in area as new homes to be constructed

Graffiti has been sprayed at the proposed site of new shared housing in Newtownabbey.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 4:50 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:15 pm
A spokesperson for Abbeyville Residents Association claims there has been an upsurge in drug related crime in the area.

The graffiti, which states, ‘Local homes for local people’, ‘No scum’ and ‘No drug dealers’ has been painted in the Whiteabbey area.

A total of 35 properties are due to be built at Abbeyville Place by May 2019.

The site has been selected to be part of the Assembly’s ‘Together Building a United Community’ strategy.

The graffiti was sprayed in the Abbeyville area.

It is understood Connswater Homes intends to purchase the homes across seven phases.

Commenting on the graffiti, a spokesperson for Abbeyville Residents Association said: “This is a direct result of high tension in the Abbeyville and the Whiteabbey area in general due to high housing demands by locals.

“Local residents have expressed their concerns that applications from outside their area will be allocated these properties without locals being given first refusal.

“We are fully aware that the NIHE policy is a points based system on which allocations are made.”

The homes are due to be completed in May 2019.

The spokesperson added: “In the past and indeed the present, intimidation cases have been allocated in the Whiteabbey area, causing an upsurge in anti-social behaviour and drug related behaviour on our streets.

“Abbeyville is generally a quiet settled neighbourhood and locals want it kept that way.

“It is the full responsibility of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive who they allocate these properties to

and to be refreshing their existing policy where it is fair i.e. that locals will be given first choice.”

Asked whether the group condemned the graffiti, the spokesperson refused to comment.

A Connswater Homes spokesperson said: “I can confirm that Connswater Homes will be allocating all properties at Abbeyville Place under the rules of the NIHE Common Selection Scheme as per current legislation.”

Meanwhile, information sessions about the new development are being held today and tomorrow in Whiteabbey Community Centre.