Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Tree order is enforced at new development

Harmony Hill arts centreTHE Department of the Environment has confirmed it enforced a Tree Preservation Order after the felling of trees in the Harmony Hill area.

Residents in Skyline Drive said some trees were recently cut down, even though they had been assured that they would be kept in order to minimise the impact of the Clonmore Manor development, which was completed in 2005.

Mr John Kelly, a resident of Skyline Drive, said he was alarmed when he realised trees behind his house, which backs onto Clonmore Manor, had disappeared.

He contacted the planning office and Lisburn Council, as he knew the land was formerly Council property.

He said: "I was put in touch with the Mayor of Lisburn Councillor Jonathan Craig who acted swiftly on my behalf."

A senior planning official visited the area and was shown the site by residents.

Mr Kelly said: "The planners told us that prior to May 8 the trees on the land at the old Harmony Hill Arts Centre were protected by conditions attached to a planning approval and any work done to the trees before that date could be in breach of Planning Control.

"We were also told that a Tree Preservation Order was served on May 8."

A spokesperson from the Planning Department said: "I can confirm we were contacted by Mr Kelly and that a provisional tree preservation order was already in place. However two trees had already been removed and all work was immediately stopped. We welcome the co-operation of everyone involved."

The Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Craig, said: "I was very alarmed when I was told that trees were being chopped down. The building site was originally owned by the Council and in negotiations with neighbours at the time the land was sold it was agreed the trees would be kept to minimise the impact of the development.

"The Planning Department should be praised as they acted promptly. I hope the issue is now resolved."

Ulster Star