Mr Dickson had written Minister Chris Hazzard expressing the “strong desire” of his constituents to have the site, which was the focus of exploratory drilling earlier this year by company Infrastrata, be restored to its natural state with immediate effect.
“I have now been informed by the Minister the restoration work has started and will be completed by August, when Infrastrata will leave the site,” he said.
“The site will be left ready for replanting, which will be undertaken at a later date by the Forestry Service. Northern Ireland Water does not anticipate having to undertake any restorative works, but will continue to work closely with Infrastrata and relevant agencies to ensure the site is fully restored as soon as possible.
“I have always questioned the decisions that led to the drilling getting approval in the first instance, as it had the potential to unleash serious environmental consequences. We must ensure lessons are learnt from this episode.”