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£2,000 picket fence erected at site of pyre removed

The fence at Milltown Hill cost around £2,100. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

A PICKET fence costing ratepayers more than £2,000 that was erected around a bonfire site to combat fly-tipping has been removed amid the building of a new pyre.

The site beside Milltown Hill, close to Shaw's Bridge in south Belfast, was enclosed with the fence by Belfast council at a cost of around £2,100.

Further metal fencing nearby costing £256 was also erected by the Housing Executive (NIHE).

The Department for Infrastructure had said the fence was erected on its land to reduce fly-tipping, while NIHE said its barriers were to stop bonfire material "spilling on to the dual carriageway".

But amid the building of this year's Eleventh Night pyre, with stacks of pallets piled high at the site, the picket fence has been removed.

Asked for the whereabouts of the wooden fence, Belfast City Council yesterday did not respond.

SDLP councillor Donal Lyons criticised the local authority's spending on the fence at the bonfire site.

"The council, unwisely in my view, spent over £2,000 on a temporary wooden fence for the Milltown site, the current location of which is unknown, but again we've seen the dumping of rubbish, builders' debris and hundreds of pallets along the ring-road," he said.

He said people now have to "navigate their way around a pile of scrap wood that's already slipping onto the road".

"The council has over recent years offered grants, beacons, and services but year in and year out we are faced with the same problems and same tension."

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