Resident's of Sandy Row apartment block still in the dark over bonfire repairs

Damage to windows of the Victoria Place apartment complex near Belfast's Sandy Row after last weeks bonfire. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Andrew Madden

Victoria Place residents remain in the dark over who will pay for the repairs to their building.

The Victoria Place apartment complex on Sandy Row in Belfast sustained cracked windows, melted door seals and exterior smoke damage from the nearby pyre on the Eleventh Night.

As the damage to the building was assessed in the days that followed the bonfire, questions were raised as to who was responsible for paying for the repairs.

In a statement, the Housing Executive confirmed they owned the land the bonfire was on, but said they could not comment any further as they are investigating the matter.

The NIO was first to explicitly distance itself from the situation, releasing a statement on Friday saying it "did not operate a bonfire compensation scheme".

Read more: Residents tell of bonfire 'night of hell'

A few hours later, Belfast City Council released a similar statement.

"The council works with a range of partner agencies and communities to mitigate the most negative impacts of bonfires. However, it has no role in relation to the bonfire itself," a spokesperson said.

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey yesterday said that residents still haven’t been told exactly who will pay for the repairs to the building.

"The building manager said the insurance company will pay for the repairs, but only on the condition that a government department or authority will agree to pay them back at a later date," she said.

"So really what we need now is someone to take responsibility for all this. In the meantime, the residents have been told to just stay away from their windows.

"This isn’t safe, just the other day I was walking to the building and a pane of glass fell and smashed on the ground. It’s ridiculous."

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