Northern Ireland news

Lord Kilclooney charged under high hedges legislation

John Taylor.jpg

Life peer Lord Kilclooney has been charged with failing to comply with a remedial notice by not cutting hedges at his Mullinure home.

Former senior Ulster Unionist John Taylor (80), who has served at every level of politics and who is now a cross bench peer, did not attend Armagh Magistrates Court as he is “out of the jurisdiction,” the court heard.

In a prosecution brought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council under the High Hedges Act, Lord Kilclooney is charged that being the owner of a home on the Portadown Road, he “failed to comply with a Remedial Notice dated 24 January 2018 and served upon you requiring you to take action in relation to your hedge on the aforementioned property within one month from the effective date.”

Mr Rooney, appearing on behalf of A&L Goodbody Solicitors whom the council has instructed, told the court “there’s been progress made” and that defence solicitors Blair & Hanna have asked for the case to be adjourned to the next departmental hearing day.

“It’s a high hedges case and there’s been progress in that the hedges are being reduced so it’s hoped that the matter won’t trouble the court,” said Mr Rooney.

District Judge Paul Copeland said he would put the case back to May 18 “and the prosecution can inform the court as to the future of this prosecution in that there’s been some remedial approach by the defendant.”

“Failing that it will proceed as either a plea or a date to be fixed for hearing,” added the judge.

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