Tree-mendous waste of money?


THE sudden appearance of more than 20 trees in tubs in front of an unfinished apartment block has raised eyebrows in Portrush.

Residents in Causeway Street were amazed to see the huge trees being placed in front of the grey-brick unfinished building which is situated between St Patrick’s Catholic Church and the town’s hockey pitch.

One resident told the Times she believed it was part of the project to tidy up Portrush before the Irish Open golf tournament in June.

However, she said, the trees in tubs did nothing to detract from the eyesore of the half-built apartment block.

“That apartment block has been an eyesore for years but whoever came up with the idea of setting a load of trees in front of it has lost the plot.

“The trees don’t act as camouflage. They just draw your eye to the area even quicker and then you see that awful building lurking behind them.

“I was told that Coleraine Council paid £26,000 to have those trees put there. If that’s true, it’s ridiculous.

“The property developer is allowed to leave that eyesore sitting on our doorstep for years yet when a few golfers roll into town, the ratepayers have to put our hands in our pockets to foot the bill for these trees.”

On Friday morning, it was also discovered that high winds the previous night has toppled some of the trees - with some falling into the car park of the nearby church.

However, a Council spokesperson was quick to allay fears over the cost of the trees.

In a statement to the Times, they said: “A number of trees were purchased as part of the Portrush-Portstewart Intervention Programme fully funded by DoE.

“There has been no cost to the ratepayers in the Borough of Coleraine.”

Regarding the concerns of church-goers at the safety aspect of the trees blowing down into the car park, the Council statement continued: “Council officers are considering how best to utilise these trees to improve the appearance of this building as they are currently in a temporary position.”

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