Flower power as village gets planting rights

DONAGHCLONEY residents are now able to plant flowers in planters and hanging baskets after the Department of Regional Development gave them the go-ahead.

DUP Councillor Mark Baxter said he wrote to the DRD minister after residents complained about their inability to spruce up the village for the Ulster in Bloom competition.

Councillor Baxter said local residents met with the DRD and Craigavon Borough Council’s Park Ranger.

“Fortunately common sense prevailed and the Road Service reneged on their “no planters or hanging baskets policy” and a planting agreement has been arranged.

“This is good progress as previously we were told that under no circumstances would these be allowed and the residents committee would be invoiced for their removal. Although this was a result for the village we are still left disappointed as DRD have made the Donaghcloney in Bloom group jump through hoops and pay for their own public liability insurance which previously the council had provided,” he said.

“Can I stress this all came about because of a decision council made to no longer maintain non council lands, a decision which our party was opposed to and the only party who voted against it. When we drive around the borough now we can see further fruits of this as some of the verges and roundabouts are like something you’d see in the Jungles of Borneo,” he said.

A Roads Service spokesperson said local representatives from Donaghcloney Rural Needs Development Group were met to discuss planting on DRD property in Donaghcloney.

He said pedestrian and road users safety was a priority. Roads Service explained about the safe placing of planters and the essential provision of public liability insurance. These points were accepted by the group who agreed to make the necessary arrangement to ensure the safety of the public.

“Roads Service extended every facility to the group to reach this successful outcome in keeping with its current policy,” said the DRD.