Sunday, 10 July 2016

Withholding of Cairn Wood documents raises concerns

The withholding of documents concerning plans to sell and develop Cairn Wood raises yet more concerns about what’s been agreed behind closed doors.

I previously requested that government departments outline what’s been discussed and agreed about Cairn Wood via a Freedom of Information request. The information was held back until after the election but when received significant portions have been withheld surrounding the deal to transfer Cairn Wood from NI Water to the Forestry Service.

For far too long users of Cairn Wood Forest have been left in the dark over what’s on the horizon. By submitting the Freedom of Information request I hoped to secure some transparency over plans agreed but sadly the information has been withheld and we are still awaiting firm details on what NI Water and the Forestry Service plan for Cairn Wood.

Recent Ministerial Question Time thankfully provided an opportunity to quiz the new Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen on the issue. I am grateful for my colleague Chris Lyttle MLA for his contribution and look forward to meeting Minister McIlveen on the issue to find out what’s planned.

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