Councillor Willie Clarke on Newcastle Housing Issues

NEWCASTLE Sinn Fein Councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed the meeting arranged by the Housing Executive, to discuss the out workings of the housing allocation of the new social development on the Castlewellan Rd, Newcastle.

Councillor Clarke explained:  “Residents raised concerns with me primarily for two reasons:  the first being that the local community will not be allocated housing in the new development. Secondly, that the housing of over a hundred young families will have to managed and that existing community group representatives and local elected representatives need to be involved in discussions, to ensure there is accurate information articulated to residents about the allocation of these housing lets.

In a related matter Councillor Clarke said: “At the recent presentation of the District Housing Plan at Down District Council, I requested the Housing Executive facilitate a meeting between local councillors, community reps and APEX housing to discuss the impact of the new housing scheme, there will be a need to set a community group very quickly in the new Housing estate to ensure there is good communication between communities and statuary bodies.

“I would like to thank the Housing Executive Manager Aidan Brannigan for his assistance in organising the meeting, Wednesday 3rd October 2012.

Burrendale Alley Gates Welcomed.

Councillor, Willie Clarke has also welcomed the commitment given by the NI Housing Executive to consult with residents in relation to introducing alley gates in a number of areas of the Burrendale Estate, Newcastle.

Councillor Clarke said: “I have had a site meeting at locations within the Burrendale Estate with Housing Executive staff and a representative of the Murlough Community association. During this meeting it was clear there was a significant problem in a number of laneways;  Erecting gates would in my opinion have a very positive impact in terms of dealing with anti-social behaviour and fly tipping and will greatly help to reduce crime as well.

“Alley gates are put in to stop easy escape routes for criminals and troublemakers between houses and other buildings, blocking them off and making it a safer environment for residents.

“Also, alley gates will enhance the area and I think the residents will be able to take ownership of their back alleys and children can use them as secure play areas.

“The laneways are being used by fly-tippers and  for general anti-social behaviour and in one case is costing a landlord in the nearby Mourne View Rd estate. This laneway is being used as a short cut and because of the damage being caused, he cannot rent out his property.”