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Fortwilliam Residents’ Homes in Danger

Published: Tue, 9 Jun 2015
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Home Safety
We are extremely concerned at the activities of ‘brick bandits’.  Their actions are causing great difficulties and potential danger to local residents in the Fortwilliam Parade area of North Belfast.
As part of a regeneration initiative, we are currently demolishing terraced housing in Fortwilliam Parade to make way for a new social housing development. A small number of residents are still living in the street during demolition.
Demolition is taking place over two phases, with phase one recently started.  Work was proceeding as planned until our local office was made aware of individuals trespassing onto the site to steal bricks. This activity is endangering the structures of the remaining occupied homes as it is interfering with chimney stacks and load-bearing walls.
We have been able to determine that those involved come from outside the area, and it is apparent that they have no regard for the safety and welfare of residents who are suffering because of their unacceptable actions. Aside from the issue of theft, we are very concerned from a health and safety point of view, as there is a potential for the remaining houses to collapse due to the load-bearing walls being tampered with.
Our North Belfast Area Manager, Malachy McKinney, said:
“This problem has, understandably, caused a great deal of fear and apprehension amongst the remaining residents. The Housing Executive is working closely with the PSNI to address this problem. We would appeal to those involved to stop this unacceptable behaviour.  Help protect local residents’ homes by informing the police, telephone 101, if you become aware of this criminal activity.”