Shame of town’s weeds

Weeds on the footpath at William Street. INLM3312-125gc
Weeds on the footpath at William Street. INLM3312-125gc
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CLEAN up your act, local property owners have been told as a plague of weeds infests even the most central shopping areas of our town.

Derelict properties and not so derelict ones are becoming jaded and shambolic with weeds permeating the perimeter walls and bulbing from drainpipes and guttering.

Weeds growing on premises in High Street. INLM3312-126gc

Weeds growing on premises in High Street. INLM3312-126gc

Following a major town face-lift, with millions spent on the new plaza and businesses benefiting from a paint job - some property owners are being scolded for failing to maintain their buildings to standard.

Sinn Fein Councillor Liam Mackle reminded owners of derelict buildings that they are responsible for the maintenance and security of these buildings.

The councillor said he had been contacted about a number of empty and dilapidated houses and properties within the Lurgan area.

He pointed out that a number of properties which are currently up for sale and have been on the market for a long time are suffering from serious neglect and are substantially overgrown.

Weeds beside a waste bin on the Avenue Road. INLM3312-128gc

Weeds beside a waste bin on the Avenue Road. INLM3312-128gc

Cllr Mackle said parents of young children had voiced concern that some properties had protruding bushes with large thorns.

The Sinn Fein councillor said he had been in touch with the Council Environmental Services various properties.

He pointed out that, while Environmental Services will intervene where there is a danger, property owners need to accept their responsibility and show respect for the community and their neighbours.

Cllr Mackle said: “For by the obvious duty to the community it makes no financial sense to allow a property to get into this state.

The Dollingstown sign is nearly hidden by the weeds at Belfast Road. INLM3312-129gc

The Dollingstown sign is nearly hidden by the weeds at Belfast Road. INLM3312-129gc

“When an empty property becomes overgrown it attracts young drinkers looking a hidey hole. As the weather gets colder they will seek shelter and may eventually break into the building with resultant damage and additional cost for the owner.”

A spokesperson of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce said: “Neglecting the front of properties portrays a very poor image of the business.

“In these difficult economic times business owners should be doing all they can to encourage potential shoppers.

“It sends out a message that the owners don’t really care which can be very detrimental,” he said.

“With regards empty properties the letting agents or selling agents surely must have some responsibility towards the image of the building that they put their boards on.

“It’s in everyone’s interests that the town looks as inviting as possible,” said the Chamber of Commerce spokesperson.