Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Anger over dumping at beauty spot

Frustrated Belvoir Forest Park users are becoming infuriated at the continued dumping problem outside the beauty spot’s entrance.

Community worker Brian Dunwoody said: “I know over the years Belvoir Community Association have made representations to the Housing Executive (NIHE) about a spot at the entrance of the park that attracts continual dumping.

“The land is owned by the NIHE, and they do clear it — however the problem is that people choose to continue dumping there and I don’t know what can be done to stop it. Vehicles have access to it and that’s one of the major problems.

“It is an eyesore and the problem is when something is dumped, like old doors and old kitchens, if it’s left there people soon add to it. I honestly don’t know why they don’t choose to go to the tip — it’s only down the road.”

Woodland Trust officer Gregor Fulton, who is the site manager at Friends of Belvoir Wood, told the Community Telegraph: “It’s always been an issue. The area of land in question outside the entrance is owned jointly between NIHE and the NI Forest Service.

“A few years ago now we actually offered a barrier to put across the road in question — only Forest Service management use that route and they could have a key for the barrier, so other vehicles can’t get down. I think this would really help to reduce the dumping. People dump there because it’s easy access for vehicles and it’s quite remote.

“The NIHE or Forest Service never got back to us about taking the barrier off us. We waited so long the barrier is actually in use in another area now. For all it costs to get a barrier placed here, it’s definitely worth a try — it really is an eyesore.”

A NIHE spokesperson said: “The Housing Executive, the Forest Service and the Woodland Trust held discussions around three or four years ago about the transfer of portions of Housing Executive land to the Woodland Trust as a means of resolving this issue.

“Whilst some land was transferred, it seems that the issue of a barrier has not been resolved. However, the Housing Executive carried out grounds maintenance work to prevent cars from using this particular area as an unofficial car park.

“The Housing Executive will be happy to discuss ways of resolving this ongoing issue with the Woodland Trust and the Forest Service.

“In the meantime, we will continue to remove waste material that is dumped on our land.”

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