Green Party Councillor, Barry McKee has expressed his sadness and dismay that the area around one Northern Irelands most picturesque train stations will soon be unrecognisable with the planned removal of up to 141 trees by contractors working on behalf of Translink.
“The safety of rail users and the continuity of the railway is very important but the removal of so many important trees in the Carnalea area is a price too high to pay for nature.”
“Northern Ireland is the twelfth place in the world for biodiversity loss and what we will see here will be a significant loss of biodiversity. There are plants and animals that rely on these trees for cover and habitat, not to mention the amenity they provide to commuters and residents.”
“I have met with Translink to share my concerns and the anger of residents. These works will not only remove important trees and animal habitat but will result in months of overnight disturbance to sleep of residents in the area with chainsaws and excavators used in the works.”
“Translink justifies these planned works as their way to eliminate risk, but I have to question why such a large number have to be removed in one go when for decades these trees have been able to grow without any attempt to undertake maintenance or stop these risks developing.”
“Although a number of the trees scheduled for felling have Tree Preservation Orders, safety concerns mean that the orders cannot prevent the trees from being removed.”
“Translink have applied to ANDBC to remove protected trees, but they do not plan to replace them with new trees in the area, instead they will be planting trees in Lisburn which is of no comfort to resident or the animals whose habitat has been lost. I have contacted the Council to ask them to ensure that they mandate Translink to replant trees in Carnalea to replace the ones that will be felled.”