UNLAWFUL extraction of peat for commercial purposes is taking place at sites in the Dungannon and Cookstown council areas, the Environment Minister has confirmed.
The information was made public in the Assembly by Mark H Durkan in response to a question from Green Party MLA, Steven Agnew.
The Minister explained: “The Department’s Strategic Planning Division are aware of four sites where it appears unauthorised commercial peat extraction is taking place. The sites are located in the Dungannon,
Cookstown and Omagh district council areas.
“The Department has taken formal enforcement action against one site, is processing a planning
application for two of the sites and is in discussions with the operator of a fourth site.”
Mr Durkan said that in cases where the unauthorised extraction of peat constitutes a breach of planning control, his Department can consider enforcement action.
Action taken to date ranges from the receipt of a planning application to a stop and enforcement notice.