“Common Sense Solution needed to Green dispute”: Long

East Belfast Alliance Assembly Member and Victoria Councillor, Naomi Long, has said that a common sense solution is necessary to resolve the dispute which has erupted about children playing football on the green in Thornhill Parade.

Cllr Long MLA has been contacted by residents over the last week, concerned that the Council has erected “No Ball Games” signs at the green without consultation and the situation escalated further when a number of local children were cautioned by the Police for breach of Council bye-laws at the weekend.

Speaking after conducting a residents’ survey in the wider Thornhill and Barnetts area last night, Naomi Long said, “A significant number of residents have contacted me expressing their opposition to the signs and, during the survey last night, it was raised again both verbally and in writing. People are particularly upset that the Council erected the signs without consulting the local residents.

“I have also made contact today with those individuals who expressed concern about the impact which ball games on the green have on them and I am keen to explore with them if any alternative measures, including some of those put forward by other residents during the survey, such as low hedging or fencing, would address any concerns which they may have.

“I wrote to the Council last week and I discussed the issue with Council officials today in light of the survey and, pending the RoSPA report outcome, the Council is keen to try to facilitate local resolution and prevent any further escalation of this dispute.

“Ideally, what I want to see is a solution which respects people’s right to have quiet enjoyment of their homes and protects their property and at the same time allows children to continue to enjoy responsible use of the green.”


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