Belfast Telegraph

No bonfire compensation scheme, NIO tells residents of damaged Belfast flats

Housing Executive 'exploring options' for the land

By Jonathan Bell

The Northern Ireland Office has said there is no bonfire compensation scheme.

Residents of an apartment complex in Belfast held a meeting after the heat from a  bonfire in a vacant site next to the complex caused damage.  Firefighters stationed themselves on the roof to douse down the building to prevent the fire from spreading.

Many windows of the building cracked under the intense heat.  Its residents have asked who will pay for the repairs.

The Green MLA Clare Bailey has suggested it may be the Northern Ireland Office which foots the bill.

However, the Northern Ireland office dismissed this.

It said: "The Northern Ireland Office does not operate a bonfire compensation scheme. The issue of bonfires is complex and often involves a number of organisations operating within the devolved administration such as; the local council and the respective landowner.

"Where an individual is seeking compensation for damage to property, the specific circumstances of each claim will define the process."

The Housing Executive owns the land. The organisation said it was "exploring its options" over the future of the site.

It said: "The Housing Executive can confirm that we own the land in question.  We cannot comment any further at this time as we will fully investigate this matter."

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