Council sign for Dark Hedges refused

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Ballymoney Borough Council has had its application for an interactive information panel at the Dark Hedges turned down by Planners.

The application for a free standing interpretative panel on land adjacent to the entrance to Gracehill Golf Club was refused following concerns from Roads Service.

Planners said the application was turned down because it would “prejudice the safety and convenience of road users”.

Speaking at last Monday night’s Council meeting, Cllr John Finlay said he was very disappointed by the decision.

“This is a tourist attraction. Many people travel to see the Dark Hedges. We have one government body wanting us to get tourists here and another government body says we can’t have an interpretative panel. Where is the logic?”

Cllr Finlay asked for an office meeting to discuss the matter further.

A Planning representative said that a sign had already been approved for the other side of the road. She added that Roads Service were concerned as the proposed panel would have been placed after a bend in the road and would have encouraged cars to stop on the bend.

Cllr Evelyne Robinson supported Cllr Finlay saying that locals are being asked “time and time again for directions” to the Hedges.

Cllr Philip McGuigan said that while he agreed it was logical to promote the site, Roads Service needed to have an input from a safety point of view. He asked if the panel could not be placed somewhere else? It was agreed to have an office meeting.