Northern Ireland news

Bonfire 'dangerously close' to electricity substation removed

The Housing Executive said a "substantial amount" of materials were removed
Brendan Hughes

A BONFIRE placed "dangerously close" to an electricity substation has been removed from a site in Newtownards.

Police monitored the clear-up by Housing Executive contractors from its land along Circular Road on Sunday morning.

The housing body said it arranged for a "substantial amount" of materials to be removed after being notified of dumping on the site.

"This site is adjacent to a major electricity substation and there are genuine concerns about the danger and distribution that a bonfire here could cause," a spokeswoman said.

"With the support of the community, we arranged for the materials to be lifted and disposed of. We asked if the PSNI would monitor the clear-up and they attended as requested."

It is the first time the housing body has had to remove bonfire material from this land, which is not a usual bonfire site, the spokeswoman said.

"The Housing Executive does not give approval for bonfires on our land. We are one of many public bodies where bonfires are located on land without permission," she added.

"When we have community support and feel it is safe for our staff and contractors to do so, we remove materials."

PSNI inspector Ray Shaw said it is not the "lead agency" on bonfires, but will "support other statutory bodies to carry out their role if requested to do so".

He said the bonfire materials "had been placed dangerously close to an electricity substation and street lighting".

"The Northern Ireland Housing Executive asked us to monitor the clear up, which we did," he added.

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