PUBLIC housing estates situated at Ballysally, Millburn, Killowen and The Heights are described as “the most deprived neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland”, according to Coleraine Borough Council.
The comments came from Acting Neighbourhood Renewal Co-ordinator, Tracy Hegarty, in a recent council report laying down plans for regenerating the areas.
Taking statistics from 2001, the Development Services officer revealed “there is a serious unemployment and poverty problem” in the estate [of Ballysally], with 27% of householders out of work and 41% of households on weekly incomes of less than £100 per week.
“There is a low rate of car ownership, high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour,” continued the report.
“Ballysally is primarily a single identity estate (nearly 80% Protestant) with a significant presence of former paramilitaries.”
However, not all of the comments were negative.
On the plus side, the report recognised that “Ballysally has been working for many years on regeneration activities and as such its community infrastructure is more developed than in some other areas.”