After years of campaigning, work has finally started on a new fence around the troubled former Clendinnings factory site in north Lurgan.
Residents of Allenhill Park, Lake St and Victoria Street have been calling for the area to be secured after gangs of youths began using it as a drinking and drugs arena.
Sinn Fein Councillor Keith Haughian said it was a ‘result for north Lurgan residents’.
In May residents were so fed up with the inaction of the land owner they held a public protest, demanding that the site is secured.
Soon after the owner Mr Philip Bassett told the Lurgan Mail he was eager to develop the site which had become a mecca for anti-social behaviour. He also blamed anti-social behaviour on hampering his plans to develop the site.
Pressure from residents and local politicians continued and now it appears the site is going to be secured.
Cllr Haughian said: “After a long delay, the diggers moved in this morning to clear the hedges along the pathway in Allenhill in preparation for a new fence.
“What was once a dark and intimidating place for residents at weekends is well on its way to being transformed.
“The developer and Council are to be congratulated on this work but in reality it’s the residents who have forced this issue.
“Thank you to each and every one of you in Allenhill, Lake street, Kilwilkie, Lurgan Tarry and beyond who participated in the protests and worked to get this to happen.
“The Sinn Fein council team along with our MLA John O’Dowd will continue to push for the development of this key piece of ground.
“North Lurgan Community Association and the safer community project will continue to work alongside residents, youth providers and the community Police to find solutions to anti social problems.”
Prior to the May protest the PSNI had posted on Facebook a hard-hitting description of children being drunk, unconscious, covered in urine at the site which had become a drugs den.
Also local Policing Partnership had organised volunteer patrols of the area to help keep the anti-social behaviour levels to a minimum.