Unionist peer charged over failing to cut hedges

Life peer Lord Kilclooney was today (Friday, April 20) charged with failing to comply with a remedial notice by failing to cut hedges at his Mullinure home in Armagh.

One of the hedges in question.
One of the hedges in question.

Former senior Ulster Unionist politician 80-year-old John Taylor, who has served at every level of politics and who is now a cross bench peer, did not attend Armagh Magistrates Court as he is “out of the jurisdiction,” the court heard.

In a prosecution brought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council under the High Hedges Act, Lord Kilclooney is charged that being the owner of a home on the Portadown Road, he “failed to comply with a Remedial Notice dated 24 January, 2018, and served upon you requiring you to take action in relation to your hedge on the aforementioned property within one month from the effective date”.

Mr Rooney, appearing on behalf of A&L Goodbody Solicitors who the Council have instructed, told the court “there’s been progress made” and that defence solicitors Blair & Hanna have asked for the case to be adjourned to the next departmental hearing day.

“It’s a high hedges case and there’s been progress in that the hedges are being reduced so it’s hoped that the matter won’t trouble the court,” said Mr Rooney.

District Judge Paul Copeland said he would put the case back to 18 May “and the prosecution can inform the court as to the future of this prosecution in that there’s been some remedial approach by the defendant.”

“Failing that it will proceed as either a plea or a date to be fixed for hearing,” added the judge.