Following a meeting between the SDLP, the Housing Executive and a number of local residents, the Housing Executive has pledged to act over problem porch extensions in River and Brooke Close.

As we reported earlier this summer, residents in Brooke Close, off Blacks Road, have been raising concerns about the dodgy structure of porch extensions since as far back as 2003.

Residents’ concerns were heightened two years ago when gas was installed as there were fears that the unsound structure could fracture gas pipes.

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood, who was at the meeting, has welcomed the HE announcement that a resolution is in sight to the decade-old problem.

“Residents and I met Maurice Johnston, the HE Belfast Area Manager, to voice our concerns and demand that this matter was progressed urgently,” he  said.

“The NIHE confirmed on August 24 that a time-line for remedial action has now been agreed which would result in an updated condition report with options for dealing with the porches issue by January/February 2013 and with a scheme expected to start in the summer of 2013.

“The NIHE have also agreed to relocate boilers from the porches to an alternative location within the house. It is welcome that the NIHE have agreed to progress these works but it is disappointing that an options report cannot be taken until after a procurement exercise is completed in October 2012. More importantly, it should not have ta­ken the NIHE this long to act on the concerns of residents.”