FOLLOWING calls from the local community to take action on the unsightly buildings in the area, Coleraine Borough Council has commenced work to clean up a number of coastal town premises.
Work was carried out to improve the exterior of the former Montagu Arms on Portstewart’s promenade.
Council’s programme of work aims to minimize the unsightly appearance of dilapidated properties in the area ahead of the Irish Open golf tournament in June.
Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley said: “In addition to working within Council’s own limited resources, Coleraine Borough Council greatly values the consideration of support from Minister for Environment, Alex Attwood.
“We hope to work in partnership to achieve our goal, which is to improve the appearance of some of the Borough’s most unsightly properties. These include buildings such as the Metropole, apartments at East Strand and some of the buildings on Causeway Street in Portrush.
2“As part of Council’s ‘2012 Clean up our Borough’ campaign, we are also supporting local resident and community groups who are determined to ensure that these buildings are visually repaired in some way.
“Many of these buildings are still privately owned which is why Council could not previously take action. We have appealed to owners on numerous occasions to repair the damage to their properties for the benefit of the local community.
“Legal action is always an option, but with major events imminent, Council decided to take action by negotiating with the owners to allow Council to make the changes with a view to recovering its costs in the future.”
The mayor added: “Resources are limited so we have had to prioritise those locations that we deem to cause the worst visual offence.
“Support from Minister Attwood and the Department for Environment will go a long way to address many of these issues. This is a significant task for all involved, and will be a first for Council, but we are all determined to do what is needed to improve the local environment.”