Storm damage leads to new council policy

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Mid and East Antrim council is to draft a new policy on dangerous structures following the extensive storm damage across the borough in December.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Operational Committee, members were provided with a report on the impact of Storm Desmond, the response by Council staff and the implications for Council and other stakeholders.

During the evening of Friday December 4, high winds caused structural damage to the roof of a building in Dunluce Street in the town centre.

The roof was blown off the building, striking a number of other buildings and ending up on the road at the junction between Dunluce Street and Lower Cross Street, where debris blocked the road.

Damage was also caused to overhead power cables, effectively closing the street for several days.

Later that evening, the matter was reported the PSNI to council staff, who provided an out-of-hours response and coordinated work over the following weekend to assess and repair the damage.

The council also liaised with other agencies such as the PSNI and Power NI over the issue.

Despite this, a need for a dangerous structures policy was highlighted by the local government authority to “take account of the lessons learned from the experience”.

The policy would also detail the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, members heard.

The Council are currently seeking to recover the costs incurred through the Local Government Emergency Planning Grant administered by DOE Local Government Policy Division.

A recommendation to submit for consideration and approval a future Dangerous Structure Policy for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was agreed by members.