Man claims bank at back of his house is infested by rats

Man claims bank at back of his house is infested by rats

11 July 2018

A DOWNPATRICK man has claimed that his Ballynoe Close home is plagued with rats in his back garden coming from overgrown grass in adjacent land.

Ciaran Rogan has also claimed that recent incidents of anti-social behaviour resulted in two fires being lit on the land, setting alight a car in the past and a sofa only last week. 

Mr Rogan has been raising the issue of the rats and the need for grass-cutting with Newry, Mourne and Down District council, which jointly owns the land with Choice Housing Ltd.

The council is responsible for the top part and Choice is responsible for the lower part closer to the small development of homes on the Ballynoe Road.

“Any fire catches on to the dry grass and as it happens so close to our houses, it’s worrying as we all have oil tanks,” Mr Rogan told the Recorder.

“Long grass leads to problems and that causes rats running about. I even have videos of them running about my back garden. 

“We’ve laid poison and have had pest control over the years. Other neighbours have spotted rats and as we have three children at home, my partner and I don’t let them out into the back garden.

“We have been living here for over four years and I have been asking Choice Housing why the grass bank was left like that when there are only eight houses here. That bank could and should have been taken away and a retaining way built and our gardens would have been bigger. They wouldn’t have had land to maintain then.”

Mr Rogan acknowledged the grass had been recently been cut but he said it needed more regular maintenance.

However, Choice Housing Association Ltd has denied the claim that there’s rats in the grassland. It confirmed that they had appointed a 24-hour security service to assist with incidents of ant-social behaviour. 

A spokesperson confirmed that the area of land to the rear of Ballynoe Close was its property and added: “It is fully enclosed by fencing, with appropriate security access for the ground maintenance contractor.

“The grass in this area was cut back last week with no signs of vermin found. Further grounds maintenance will be carried throughout the summer months.

Choice said that it worked carefully with communities to resolve potential issues.

“We have also appointed Insec Security to provide 24-hour assistance to tenants whenever problems are encountered in relation to anti-social behaviour,” the spokesperson continued.

A spokesperson from the local council said: ”Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has inspected the area. Grass areas which are the responsibility of the council have been cut.”