Door entry scheme will make residents feel safe

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RESIDENTS living in a block of maisonettes in the Harpur’s Hill area of Coleraine are now feeling ‘safe and secure’ after a Housing Executive scheme to restrict access to communal areas.

The £20,000 door entry scheme at Glebe Avenue Maisonettes was officially launched on Thursday.

The security call panel now provides controlled access to the 16 maisonettes, ensuring that only tenants and those they grant access to can enter the communal areas.

Both the front and the back of the maisonettes have also been closed off.

Previously, open access to the maisonettes meant that internal communal areas had become the focal point for anti-social behaviour with youths loitering and congregating on the stairs to drink. There were also incidents of illegal dumping .

As a result of the unrestricted access, the general public were also using the flats as a short-cut from Harpur’s Hill to shops on the Ballycastle Road.

Mark Alexander, Area Manager for Causeway said: “Having listened to the concerns of our residents and elected representatives, we have now completed this small but important scheme.

“The door entry system provides additional security for our tenants and has already significantly reduced anti-social behaviour in the area,” he added.

Residents have said they are already noticing the difference.

Jackie Nesbitt said: “It is just great that we have had the door system installed. Tenants see a massive difference. A lot of the older residents would have been afraid to use the stairs at night as there was a lot of anti-social behaviour.

“Thankfully that has all stopped. Now it is safer and more secure.”

Mr Watt said: “It’s brilliant. It’s quieter at night”, whilst Miss Irwin added, “It’s keeping people off the stairs.”

MLA Adrian McQuillan, who has been working on behalf of the tenants, said: “The residents of this vicinity have had to put up with hell and this long-awaited scheme will, I trust, give them peace of mind and the security to enable them to get on with their lives. 

“This is a very pleasing result.”

The scheme contractor was Damien Crawford of DAC Contracts in Coleraine.