21 ‘unadopted’ roads in Ballymoney area

THERE are 21 ‘unadopted’ roads in the Ballymoney area, councillors have been told.

‘Unadopted’ roads are often left unsurfaced and without street lights because they were due to be finished by developers who have gone bust.

The issue has been raised at Ballymoney Council where Councillor Evelyne Robinson (DUP) asked the Chief Executive John Dempsey to obtain details of “21 roads in the Ballymoney Borough which are currently unadopted”.

Cllr Mervyn Storey (DUP) raised the issue of housing estates which are not fully developed and estate roads not finished, in some cases due to the developer being in receivership.

He raised questions on the number of ‘bonds’ outstanding and sought clarity on where responsibility for the bond lies in such circumstances and what action central government has taken or is available for the department to take.

The Council agreed to write to the Department of Regional Development.

Meanwhile, Ballymoney Council has received correspondence from NILGA, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association.

A report prepared for councillors said: ‘NILGA has recently been made aware of a procedure in place within DRD to deal with unadopted roads and members have requested that the Regional Development Committee is furnished with details of this procedure to further inform their inquiry.

‘NILGA is led to believe that: Divisional Roads Services Offices maintain a backlog list of roads not adopted within their area and used to call to mind all unadopted roads. Roads are added to this backlog list under two conditions: When a site is 80 per cent occupied and Roads Service has not received a Preliminary Certificate of Adoption; Where a Preliminary Certificate has been received but after 18 months a Final Certificate of Completion has not been received.

‘Procedure * - Roads Service will first try to persuade the developer to undertake works.

* If this is unsuccessful, Roads Servide will issue an Article 11 Notice, which gives the developer 28 days’ notice to commence works.

* If the work is not commenced, Roads Service will hire a contractor to undertake the work on their behalf and claim the total amount of expenses from the Road Bond (or the administrator if the developer has went into liquidation).

* It is a very rare occasion for the Road Bond to be insufficient to cover the cost of works.

‘Work on unadopted roads is priortised, based on: the condition of the site; complaints from members of the public/elected members and targets set to adopt a certain amount of roads within each financial year.

‘NB: Roads Service can experience difficulty in proving when 80 per cent occupancy was achieved,’ said the Council report.

Ulster Unionist councillor Tom McKeown asked roads bosses if they are putting the pressure on to sort out the situation.

Roads official Malcolm Glover said unadopted roads are a problem across Northern Ireland which he said it “stems from the years of plenty we had and suddenly all the money dried up.”

He said there are many ‘unadopted’ streets and he said Roads Service is finding it difficult to get developers to finish the work but he said there is a legal process involving ‘bonds’.

Another roads official, John McKinley, said they are looking into complaints and said his office was recently contacted by a member of the public “at the end of their tether” with the situation.

Mr McKinley said there had been a few successes where work was carried out like in the Carrowdoon area of Dunloy.