Farmer sentenced for breach of environmental regulations

A County Tyrone farmer was sentenced at Omagh Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday, 22 June) for two offences under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:19 pm

Director of Lakeland Farms Limited, Derek Keys (55) of Omagh Road in Dromore was fined £1,600 for failing to comply with a Reinstatement Notice to return lands in the townland of Drumgoland, outside Newtownbutler, back to good environmental condition and for conducting further works on the same lands without appropriate consent from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

A Reinstatement Notice on the lands at Drumgoland had been issued to Mr Keys in 2018 to return lands to good environmental condition after Mr Keys had conducted unpermitted clearance of scrub/woodland and ploughing of semi-natural grassland.

In 2019, it was discovered that instead of implementing the Reinstatement Notice, Mr Keys had conducted further works without appropriate consent. These works included:

- the removal of 3.3 hectares of scrub/woodland;

- the removal of 1,727 m of field boundaries;

- the opening of 2,956 m of drainage;

- and working on the site of a historical monument.

The case initially arose from reports from members of the public.