Statement on behalf of Belfast City Council
10 Jul 2018
Following a decision made at the meeting of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on Monday evening (9 July), the High Court has made an order this evening requiring the Department for Infrastructure to take steps to reduce the height of the bonfire currently at Bloomfield Walkway.
The injunction also requires the Department to remove all excess materials from the immediate vicinity of the existing bonfire.
The judge made the order taking into account a number of factors. These included elected representative concerns, community fear and apprehension, and significant risk to property and life.
The judge emphasised that she hoped the community initiative would continue and that the people building the bonfire would see sense.
The judge also said she will not condone unlawfulness which puts lives and properties at risk.
Belfast City Council recognises the huge effort made by Council officers, Councillors, mediators and community representatives in trying to resolve issues around bonfires this year.
All Parties in City Hall had agreed to work to improve the situation from last year. There has been some success in this regard, which is welcome; however, the situation at the Bloomfield Walkway has continued to prove difficult.
Despite efforts, the bonfire is not at an acceptable safe height within the guidelines of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.
Council made a final plea yesterday evening to the bonfire builders to remove surplus material to reduce the threat to life and property.
We will continue to work and engage with the relevant agencies and local residents over the days.