The controversial decision to remove a hedge at Belfast’s main municipal cemetery has been backed by a local councillor.
Former Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers spoke out in support of the arrangement between Roads Service and the Planning Service to remove a hedge row that had screened off a proportion of Roselawn Cemetery from view along the Ballygowan Road.
Mr Rodgers said: “I sit on the parks and cemetery committee and it has been brought to my attention that complaints have been received from local residents not happy the hedge has been taken away. I would like to take this opportunity to inform people that it was taken away for the benefit of the local community.
“Ballygowan Road is a busy road and although it is a 30mph speed zone by the cemetery, people still fly down it — there have been many road traffic accidents and fatalities down there. Roselawn cemetery is a very busy cemetery, especially around Christmas and Easter when people make that special trip to visit loved ones now deceased.
“It was felt the hedge was blocking vision for visitors leaving the cemetery in their cars and for oncoming traffic.
“I know people are not happy with how it looks now but it is for the benefit of the public — it had to be taken down for safety reasons.
“A fence has been put up and I have been told a hedge will be reinstated at a later date, a few feet back.