Call to clean up derelict sites
North coast developers are facing demands to clean up derelict sites as plans were announced to spend £400,000 ridding two towns of street eyesores in advance of the Irish Open golf championship at Royal Portrush in June.
Work to clear decaying properties as well as repair, secure and paint buildings and landscape a number of gap sites in Portrush, Co Antrim and neighbouring Portstewart will begin this week, Northern Ireland environment minister Alex Attwood announced.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to visit the north coast when the four-day tournament begins at the end of June. The North-West 200 motorcycle races, which is likely to attract the same number of fans as well, takes place in May.
Mr Attwood said the clean up was crucial to make sure visitors returned, but there had to be a long-term strategy as well.
He said: "This investment is also being done for the people of the area. They will have the character of their built environment improved. These sites are scars on the beautiful Causeway Coast, in towns with a great history, great popularity and a great future."
"It must not be a short-term fix. What concerns me is that we have developers on the North Coast with money to build and develop on the one hand, while on the other, letting sites that they own decay and scar the area. I will be calling these developers in, telling them to get their act together and deal with the eyesores they own. I am also calling in the NAMA advisory board in respect of their properties."