Belfast Telegraph

House Executive says 'no bonfire permission' on their land

The Housing Executive has said it "does not provide formal permission" for bonfires on their land, following a controversial claim from a Sandy Row community campaigner.

The Irish News reports that Glenda Davies of the Sandy Row Community Forum said on Facebook the Housing Executive wanted the site next to the Victoria Place apartment complex "managed" and that it was "content to have the bonfire on the Hope Street site until it is developed".

The site between Sandy Row and Great Victoria Street was at the centre of controversy after a pyre built for this year's Eleventh Night celebrations blazed so hot that it damaged the nearby apartment block, cracking its windows.

Some residents were forced to evacuate the Victoria Place apartment complex.

Following the damage, it was unclear who was liable for the cost of repairing the apartments.

Last week property management firm MB Wilson & Co confirmed the cost of repairing the 22 flats damaged would be covered by insurers.

In its response to the claim from Ms Davies, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Housing Association said: "We do not provide formal permission for any bonfires on our land.

"However, we always work with local communities and other agencies to minimise any negative impacts from bonfires."

The Housing Executive had previously liaised with Sandy Row Community Forum while carrying out a consultation process in the local area.

It contributed £5,000 to help facilitate this process.

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