SDLP Councillor Carmel O’Boyle commented on the felling of a tree at the Apex Housing Association site on the Castlewellan Road,
She said: “An alder tree was felled last week along the boundary line of the Apex development, adjacent to Burrenview Court and Burrenview Way. While residents were given assurances that none of the mature trees that form a natural boundary between the two sites would be felled, this Alder tree was suffering from root damage and was leaning dangerously towards some homes.
“The tree was removed by a tree surgeon on the advice of the NIHE Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, and I have been assured that for Health and Safety grounds this tree would have had to come down whether or not development work was going on adjacent to it. Nor further mature trees are to be felled in this area but in the unlikely event that this should happen, local residents will be consulted in advance.
“Talks are now taking place between the Housing Executive, the contactor and Apex about the height of fencing that should form the boundary on the Phase 1 part of the development site on the Castlewellan Road.
“While boundary fencing for Phase 2 has been agreed, and tall palisade fences are to be erected, I have asked the owners and contractor at the site to increase the height of the fencing for the rest of the site boundary. Local people need to feel safe and in light of the fact that there have been a number of recent burglaries along this stretch of road. I feel that higher fencing needs to be erected.
“The owners have agreed to take these representations into consideration before making a final decision on the type of fencing to be installed at the Phase 1 site,” added Councillor O’Boyle.