A new policy from Mid Ulster District Council on the management of bonfires on Council-owned land has been broadened to include all community events.
A meeting of the Council last night (Thursday 28 March) agreed the adoption of a policy which formalises the application process for communities to hold events and celebrations, including bonfires, safely while also managing a range of environmental and social impacts.
The policy includes conditions of land use, which set out the minimum requirements for safe, well-managed events, spanning risk assessments, event management plans, insurances and good relations issues.
Specific conditions are included for bonfires, with site safety, size of fires, distance from homes, materials to be burned and safeguarding among them.
While the policy itself is in its final form, an associated action plan will be developed following further community engagement.
This will include the appointment of a community advisor to consult with local communities and help identify measures which will aid groups to meet the aims of the policy, as well as any further support which the Council could consider around diversionary activities and other forms of cultural expression.
Implementation timescales will be agreed following the additional community engagement and the policy will come into effect thereafter.