‘More action needed’ at former harbour factory site after youths seen on roof

A park bench was brought into the former factory.
A park bench was brought into the former factory.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been working with the owner of a disused factory in the harbour area to secure the site.

The local authority has commented on an appeal for the council to be “more proactive in compelling the owners of the former Insilco factory site to secure and prevent trespass on the site”.

The derelict Insilico factory.

The derelict Insilico factory.

The issue has been raised by Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart who said: “Recently, the anti-social behaviour of youths trespassing on the site has become an increasing annoyance for residents of the adjacent Bay Road Manor.

“There have been some recent moves to board up doors and windows and a park bench which had been used as a party table has been taken away. However, youths are still getting in and have even been seen climbing on the roofs with the obvious danger that entails. There is a question over the presence of asbestos.

“The land is in private ownership, so ultimately responsibility for deterring trespassers and minimising danger to the public lies with the owners.

“My office has, since last November, been highlighting the issues to police, the police and community safety partnership (PCSP) plus the council’s environmental health department who have powers to compel the owner to take action to secure the site.

“This site will only cease to be a problem when the owner demolishes and clears the site and finds a productive reuse for it.

“Until then, I would continue to encourage local residents to keep reporting incidents to both the police and the council, so that the full extent of the problem can be fully realised and acted upon.”

A council spokesperson said: “Responsibility for this site lies with the owner. Council have been working with them to ensure measures have been taken to restrict access and improve safety around the site, which have been implemented. Any trespassing is a matter for PSNI, who should also be contacted on 101 if anyone has any reports of anti-social behaviour.”

Insilco Technologies which made cables for telecoms closed the Larne factory in 2001.