Northern Ireland

Derry City Council pay-out in land dispute

Derry City Council logo
Image caption Derry City Council said any trespass was limited

Derry City Council has agreed to make a five-figure payment to a businessman over the alleged illegal dumping of waste on his land.

However, a judge refused to order the removal of up to 3,000 tons from Bernard McFadden's property due to the heavy costs involved.

It is beside a former landfill site at Culmore.

Mr McFadden brought a case claiming unlicensed dumping on an area of nearly 700 sq metres adjacent to his land.

The alleged encroachment was discovered in 2004 and had been going on for years, the court heard.

It was said to involve a wall being built beyond the permitted landfill site on the banks of Lough Foyle.

Mr McFadden's lawyer, Kevin Downey, told the hearing that waste lay outside the area for which the Northern Ireland Environment Agency licensed the council to dump.

He claimed it constituted a "breach of the licence and is a potential criminal offence".

However, Brett Lockhart QC, for Derry City Council said that any trespass was limited.

"The vast majority of material on this land is not material from the council landfill site," he added.

Following further legal negotiations, Mr Justice Deeny was informed that the case had been resolved.

The 693 sq metres at the centre of the dispute are to be purchased for a nominal sum of £1.

The council is to pay Mr McFadden's legal costs.

He is also to receive an indemnity over any leachate which escapes from the land into Lough Foyle.