FOUR dilapidated caravans and a wrecked car appear to be holding back the clean-up operation at Greenbrae.
Both the Housing Executive and Derry City and Strabane District Council have outlined their respective commitments to clearing the traveller halting site but suggested any works could be weeks away.
Currently a home to a burgeoning amount of general debris, the site has become more and more neglected in recent years and has generated a number of complaints by local representatives attending council meetings.
Moreover members of the travelling community took over a stretch of land on the Lifford Road just yards from the Let the Dance Begin structure, after Greenbrae closed last autumn. One family said they would remain until such times as Greenbrae was brought up to a habitable standard or alternative arrangements are made by council or the Housing Executive.
This week a spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that responsibility for the Greenbrae site at Strabane currently lies with the Housing Executive.
“Council is however working with the Executive with a view to resolving issues around access to the site and clearing it of any abandoned vehicles and rubbish over the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.
For its part, the Housing Executive outlined its efforts to find the owners of the destroyed caravans, vehicles which are currently preventing crucial redevelopment taking place.
“We are keen to begin remedial works at Greenbrae to bring the site up to the required standard as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.
“Before remedial works can be carried out we need to clear the site. Currently there are two dilapidated caravans and a badly damaged car on the site plus a further two caravans on the access road into Greenbrae.
“We have tried to establish ownership of the caravans so that their removal can be organised but without success.
“A meeting to discuss the next step forward regarding Greenbrae will be held within the next fortnight.”
However according to local councillor Patsy Kelly, more urgent action is required at Greenbrae.
“Anyone can see these caravans are a mess and nobody would want them,” Cllr Kelly said.
“It’s a joke, really. The site is in a severe state of disrepair and anyone travelling to the town, it’s the first or last thing they see. It’s a desperately bad eyesore, so I can’t see why work can’t be done now.
“Council and the Housing Executive need to catch a grip on what’s happening here. We need to get conditions and facilities right for the travelling community. The way it is, it’s no good to anyone.”
Posted: 3:46 pm March 7, 2017