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Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 208. Mr. Spring Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera  if she will reply to the final element of Parliamentary Question No. 564 of 20 March as submitted to her. [10433/02]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera I am happy to furnish the Deputy with greater detail on changes to SAC boundaries made on foot of the appeal process as referred to in my earlier reply of 20 March.

I draw the Deputy's attention to the following statistics relating to appeals that were completed up to Tuesday, 26 March. Out of a total of 384 appeals dealt with informally by Dúchas staff the cSAC boundary was amended in 200 cases. Most of these informal amendments involve 187 exclusions from the overall land contained within the designated site, but only 13 involve additions to the extent of land in cSACs.

Out of a total of 86 appeals referred to the appeals advisory board, the cSAC boundary was amended in 39 cases. Of the balance of 47 cases, 13 were withdrawn by the appellant. Each of the amendments have involved exclusions from the overall land contained within the designated site.

I trust this information is of assistance to the Deputy.

 209. Mr. Spring Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring  asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera  when she will correct the record of Dáil Éireann in relation to information given in a parliamentary question concerning the special area of conservation at Inch, County Kerry. [10434/02]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera On 28 March 2001 the Deputy tabled Parliamentary Question No. 156 on the subject of golf course development in Kerry and Donegal and injunction proceedings to restrain such development which my Department sought and obtained. These injunctions were [874] sought on the grounds that any additional golf course development at the sites concerned would have an adverse impact on the favourable conservation status of the SAC in which they were located.

In reference to the Kerry case it was stated, inter alia, in the written reply: “The Deputy will also be aware that works had commenced, which constituted a ‘notifiable action' under the Natural Habitats Regulations”. This statement was based on a misapprehension of the situation by officials of my Department. In light of further clarification from the officials I accept that no work had in fact been done on the site in Kerry at that time.

The interim injunction proceedings in the Kerry case were brought to full hearing in the High Court in the course of which the designated status of the site as a SAC under the EU Habitats Directive was challenged. The reserved judgment has been given but a court order has not yet been perfected. Therefore, the designated status of the site is affirmed by the court and a permanent injunction has not been granted.

I am happy to avail of this opportunity to correct the record of Dáil Éireann.


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