New houses empty over golf ball risk

Published Thursday, 19 June 2014
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Safety concerns have caused a delay for residents due to move into new social housing in south Belfast.

Fold Housing Association is concerned that balls from nearby Balmoral golf course could hit residents or the properties in the Taughmonagh Estate.

The concerns were first raised by the builders in May last year. Now the homes are finished and ready for tenants - except they are empty.

Sharon Hosick and her family are waiting to move into their new home.

"I'm finding it very frustrating because my house is full of boxes. I've got everything mainly packed away and it's chaotic," she said.

Sharon had expected to relocate to the property at the beginning of June.

Anna Davidson is also waiting, and told UTV the delay has made life difficult for her elderly mother.

"My mother's sleeping on the settee whereas life could be a lot easier for her."

She added that for years residents have lived in houses in the area beside the golf course and there's never been a problem.

Fold Housing Association told UTV that they have been involved in discussions with Balmoral Golf Club to try to get the matter resolved.

Eileen Patterson, of the Association, said: "We assessed the risk in that golf balls were landing on the site.

"We know there are houses that have been in Taughmonagh a long time - but none of us were aware of this risk and it would appear that the exact location of the scheme is in an area where people would tee off.

"Golf balls were landing there and we assessed it as being a serious and potential risk and we felt that we needed to mitigate against it.

"Is it a small risk if one person gets seriously injured?"

In a statement, Balmoral Golf Club said that they have been in ongoing discussions with Fold Housing Association and are hopeful for a satisfactory conclusion in the immediate future.

The Fold and the club are expected to meet on Friday.

However, the case is still set to go in front of the courts next week.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
village idiots in belfast wrote (223 days ago):
what idiot[s] would let houses be built so close to a golf course, no wonder nobody wants to move in?
west in belfast wrote (225 days ago):
its hardly a small risk if that one person could be a child or baby that a golf ball would most definitely kill outright if landed on the head. all fold housings fault and if golf balls do enter peoples properties balmoral will be getting sued left right and centre.
Mr Ross in Balmoral wrote (225 days ago):
I have lived on the very edge of balmoral golf club for some 42 years now, my home is in direct target of golf balls and have several each week landing in my garden, I do not let my young nephews play in the garden for this reason,as some years before we had a family pet struck on the head by a golf ball of which the dog later died, as we did not see any one or witness it there was little for us todo, we have asked the club about fencing issues also and we always hear the same thing, we will get back to you, well this has been the story for the last several years now.
Eileen Roche in Ireland wrote (225 days ago):
Hard on those waiting to get a decent home, but....did the Housing Association put up those flags ???
Monkey in Coleraine wrote (225 days ago):
Erect a large net on steel frame ! Have seen it used other places !
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