AN urgent call has been made for the demolition of a derelict Castlederg bungalow which has become a ‘hotspot’ for youths who are torturing residents with anti-social behaviour.
The building, situated off the Kilclean Road has reportedly become a den for underage drinking and drug use, and residents in nearby Castleview Terrace, Killeter Road, Thomas Street and Milldam View, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable, are appealing for something to be done.
Numerous complaints have been made about loud music and noise, which is particularly bad at the weekends.
On Friday night of last week, police and the fire service were called to an incident at the property where a sofa had been set on fire but those responsible had dispersed by the time the emergency services arrived at the scene.
Sinn Féín councillor Ruairí McHugh has called for the house to be demolished without further delay.
The local councillor said, “Particularly concerning is the fact that most of those who have been frequenting this bungalow and exposing themselves to multiple potential dangers have been underage. They are getting over 18s to purchase alcohol for them and I would encourage anyone doing so to stop. Equally, local parents should ensure that none of their children are involved.
“In terms of the property itself, I was in contact with council’s Environmental Health Department a number of weeks ago whose officers have spoken to the site owner who has given assurances it would be demolished.
“However, if this isn’t carried out in near future, I will be asking council to serve a legal notice requiring that the property is made secure under Article 66 of the Pollution Control and Local Government (NI)Order 1978.”
Police have warned that youths engaging in this type of behaviour could end up with criminal record.
Local Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant David McIlwaine said, “Police received a report of anti-social behaviour involving a number of youths at a derelict house at Kilclean Road in Castlederg on Friday March 12. Officers attended but the youths had made off upon their arrival.
“We will be continuing with our patrols in the area to deter any repetition of this incident and I would ask parents and guardians to be aware of where their young people are and what they are doing. Anti-social behaviour is not only a serious annoyance to residents and businesses but is also dangerous to those involved.”