Thursday, 7 January 2016

Hundreds in support of save Cairn Wood Forest campaign


Sign, Cairn Wood near Belfast
(
Albert Bridge) / CC BY-SA 2.0
I welcome the surge in support for the campaign against the sale of Cairn Wood Forest with Petition I established calling for the Minister for Regional Development to halt the sale now receiving over 1,700 signatures. I am delighted to receive such a strong level of support against disgraceful plans to sell Cairn Wood Forest to the highest bidder. 

Petition can be signed at https://www.change.org/p/minister-for-regional-development-minister-for-regional-development-michelle-mcilveen-mla-save-cairn-wood-forest 

Over the Christmas and New Year period Cairn Wood was again extremely popular with the car park regularly full but sadly, if plans proceed, this amazing asset could be lost forever due to the actions of NI Water, a body within the Department for Regional Development. Sale of the Forest seems to be a short sighted get rich quick plan to sell Northern Ireland’s family silver to top-up government coffers.

Over the last number of weeks I have been inundated by people to seek action to stop the sale and can happily report that Ards and North Down Councillors will be given an opportunity to voice their opposition to sale on Tuesday 12 January 2016, 7pm at Council offices in Newtownards. At the Corporate Services Committee Meeting Councillors will consider my motion calling upon the Minister for Regional Development to halt the sale. I sincerely hope that local politicians will listen to the will of the public and unite against sale plans.

Motion to be debated at Council “That this Council agrees to urgently write to the Minister for Regional Development requesting that she instruct NI Water to remove Cairn Wood Forest, Craigantlet from sale and leave it within public hands open for public use on the same basis as enjoyed by many over previous decades.”

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