Northern Ireland

Belfast residents 'frustrated' over bonfire site

bonfire material
Image caption The wooden pallets were dumped at a site on Belfast's main ring road.

The Housing Executive has erected steel barriers around pallets at a bonfire site in Milltown, south Belfast.

Last week, workers from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) were told not to remove any material from the site.

A DfI spokesperson said its staff had removed some tree cuttings and an old wooden wardrobe on Thursday following a complaint about fly-tipping.

Staff returned on Friday but were approached and told not to remove any more material.

The spokesperson added "The department is currently liaising with the PSNI and other statutory partners to determine the best way to manage this site."

Image caption The police say they have not received any complaints about the pallets

A police spokesperson said they were aware of the incident "however no complaint has been made. Police continue to liaise with the Department for Infrastructure in relation to this."

DfL officials said this was "sensitive issue" and that the safety of staff had to be considered.

The spokesperson said the department did not approve of, or support the unauthorised use of its property for the building of bonfires.

'Clear community support'

The department said it would manage bonfires on its property "by removing unsuitable material when there is clear community support" and would put measures in place discourage fly tipping.

In order to remove unsuitable material from these sites, the department needs to be satisfied that local agreements are in place."

SDLP councillor Donal Lyons said he has been approached by some local residents who want the material removed.

"Their main frustration is three months before bonfire night we have approaching a hundred pallets and a daily growing mound of debris and rubbish taking up their green areas and at the entrance to their estate," he said.

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