Hope high estate may be finished

Residents of Charles Baron Crescent pictured during a protest at the state of of unfinished building site adjacent to their homes. Also included are Councillor Colin McCusker and Carla Lockhart, MLA, right. INLM19-211.
Residents of Charles Baron Crescent pictured during a protest at the state of of unfinished building site adjacent to their homes. Also included are Councillor Colin McCusker and Carla Lockhart, MLA, right. INLM19-211.
  • Residents claim homes devalued due to lack of progress
  • Locals angry at the unkempt state the estate
  • Developer has intention of submitting new planning application

Residents at a housing estate in Lurgan which has been described as an ‘unkept hazard’ are angry that developers have not finished the site and are demanding action.

Angry residents said Charles Baron has been left in a terrible state and living there has become a nightmare.

Neil Turkington said: “The place is an eyesore. People are coming and dumping old carpets and other goods. It sickens me that they are not finishing it. I am concerned for the safety of the kids.”

“This is devaluing our property,” he added.

However hopes are high that a proposed planning application to finish the site may be in the pipeline.

A spokesperson from Planning Consultancy Strategic Planning, who are acting on behalf of Gavara Ltd, site owners said; “The original development of Charles Baron involved the regeneration of a brownfield site. Three quarters of the development has been completed, however, the unfortunate reality is that the financial crisis hit and circumstances took their course.

“The company is presently in negotiations to allow the future development of the remaining site.

“Subject to these discussions, a planning application can be taken forward and the company would hope to have the support of the local Council in ensuring a timely approval. In the short term, in order to address the issues raised it is the company’s intention to immediately ensure that the as yet undeveloped part of the site is sufficiently secured and the company will also endeavour to aesthetically improve the overall site as best as possible.”

DUP MLA Carl Lockhart said, “I have been working and lobbying for the surfacing and adoption of sewers and street lights for a number of years and am pleased that some progress has been made with regards to resurfacing and the adoption of the sewers.

“However, residents remain frustrated and angry as to the state of the site and the fact that it is used for dumping, there are site huts which are used by children and the fencing is not sufficient to keep unwanted people and children out of what is a real health hazard.

“I met with a number of residents on site to show solidarity in having these matters resolved and have been in constant contact with the developers and environmental health. I just last week received confirmation that they had instructed for the site huts to be removed which will be a major help. Environmental Health are also working with us to assist.

“I would call on the developer to have this site secured, levelled and potential building works to start again. This site has been left unkempt, and hazardous and therefore I am asking that development continues and the commitments which were given when these homes were purchased are fulfilled.”