For Written Answer on : 28/06/2022
Question Number(s): 284 Question Reference(s): 34498/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if his Department is processing a foreshore licence to enable dredging works to take place at Ballycotton Harbour, County Cork; if so, when the application was received by his Department; when he expects to be in a position to issue such a licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
An application from Cork County Council for a foreshore license under section 2 of the Foreshore Act 1933 was received in my Department in May 2021. Details of the application and progress with the statutory assessment undertaken to date are on my Department’s website https://www.gov.ie/en/foreshore-notice/80533-fs007037-ballycotton-harbour-dredging/
It is not appropriate for me to comment on applications that are currently going through the statutory assessment process. Each application must be assessed appropriately in accordance with the applicable requirements of domestic and EU law including the EIA Directive, Birds and Habitats Directive and the Foreshore Act. Taking account of these requirements and the necessity to ensure robust decisions in the light of the increasing risk of challenge, applications of this type ordinarily require a minimum of nine months. Given the volume and complexity of applications on hand and the continuously evolving case law and related developments, the timeframe for individual applications is likely to be longer.
My Department is in contact with the applicant who has been advised of the next steps with regard to the assessment process and their requirements in that regard. When the statutory assessment process is complete, the Marine Licence Vetting Committee (MLVC) will make a recommendation to me, as Minister, as to whether a foreshore license ought to be granted by me under the Foreshore Act to the applicant for this activity.