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Make Your Mark
Islandmagee Primary School's Planning Application is lodged with Mid and East Antrim Council
Site plan shared during the Public Consultation Process (September 2020) by Resolve Planning.
Note the large area on the bottom right hand side (South East) marked as "trees to be retained" (mostly spruce conifer trees).
Northern Ireland shocking low forest coverage
Northern Ireland is the least densely populated region in Europe in terms of woodland (which is below the UK average of 13%), with only 8.7% of its land mass.
The term forest is used to describe land predominately covered in trees (defined as land under stands of trees with a canopy cover of at least 20%). See UK Forestry Standard (UK Forestry Standard | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)).
NI Forestry Service has confirmed that this forest is included in the NI Woodland Register and Basemap dataset. See the site highlighted within the ‘Map of forest and woodland cover in Northern Ireland 2020’ PDF (available at http://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/woodland-register).
46% of Northern Ireland forest and woodland cover is conifer, most of the remainder are either broadleaved - a category which includes native woodland and short rotation coppice (33%) or mixed conifer and broadleaved woodland (12%). The category of unknown (4%) can be assumed to be either broadleaved or mixed. The remaining area is comprised of regenerating forest and open ground in Forest Service forests.
Overall, it is acknowledged that the woodland cover in Northern Ireland is lower than in other UK countries, the south of Ireland and is the worst in Europe.
Mid and East Antrim Council Environmental Policies
Mid and East Antrim's policies which clearly states that:
the Council's Environmental Policy includes promoting environmental improvements throughout our Borough
Objective 12: Increase tree planting in the Borough in support of Council motion in 2019 and notes "Produce plan for 56,000 trees to be planted over the next five years - areas + resources"
Low Road (B150) recognised as a hazardous 60pm due to change to 50mph
It is acknowledged that the Low Road, in particular towards the entrance to the forest site, suffers from vehicles speeding and not adhering to current speed limits. There are plans to reduce the speed limit to 50mph and to 20mph near the site's entrance if the new school goes ahead. See www.LarneTimes.co.uk and www.newsletter.co.uk