Residents have called for action about a huge mound of earth at a Lurgan housing development which is plagued with rats.
The mound of earth, rubble, oil, rubbish and building materials is a ‘public health risk’ according to SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly.
Residents of Silverwood Leaves have been living with the heap for years and as well as it being an eyesore, it is also a health risk, says the MLA.
“The mound is not only contaminated but it is also structurally very unsafe and there is a very real risk of the high mound slipping, most likely on children, who are often around it playing,” she said. “With the man-made mound overrun with rats, there is a real danger of contracting Toxoplasmosis and Leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease.
“These infections are commonly transmitted to humans by allowing water that has be contaminated by animal urine to come into contact with unhealed breaks in the skin or through the eyes.” She has called on Council to use powers to clear this land as after court proceedings it is now owned by Crown Estates.
She said residents had praised SDLP councillors Joe Nelson and Declan McAlinden who worked with residents and the Department for Regional Development who have ‘made excellent progress by installing street lighting, traffic calming measures and repairing footpaths and road surfaces.
“Our Councillors will be seeking the support of the other parties at the next Council meeting to take action.”
A spokesperson for the DOE Roads Service said: “This mound is on private land. Roads Service has no powers to enter private land to rid the mound in question. Roads Service is in the process of adopting the roads in Silverwood Leaves final phase, following extensive work by our contractor to street lights sewers and roads.”