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Seafront Group in Dun Laoghaire Launches High Court Challenge to Cruiseship Plan

6th January 2017
Save Our Seafront (SOS) the Dun Laoghaire Harbour group launches a High Court challenge to cruiseships plan Save Our Seafront (SOS) the Dun Laoghaire Harbour group launches a High Court challenge to cruiseships plan Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#CruiseBerth - The Save-Our-Seafront Dun Laoghaire group was yesterday granted leave by the High Court to challenge An Bord Pleanala’s decision to approve cruiseships docking in the local harbour.

As The Irish Times reports, the group, which is an environmental non-governmental organisation chaired by local TD Richard Boyd Barrett, claimed that the environmental effect of the proposed cruise berths were not adequately assessed by the Board.

Mr Justice Max Barrett granted the group leave to judicially review the Board’s decision on a number of grounds.

The court heard that independent environmental impact studies were inadequate and as a result the Board had not lawfully discharged its obligations under Irish and European planning laws.

Counsel for the group said the Board should have conducted an independent and separate assessment before having given its decision without merely relying on the information provided by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

The court heard there had been a failure by the Board to conduct surveys relating to the effects on summer and winter birds and the impact on the Minke Whale population, a species listed in the Habitats Directive, and as a result of which its decision was further flawed.

Mr Justice Barrett heard that the harbour company proposed to dump the dredge spoil from the navigation channel into the sea on the Burford Bank which was within the Rockabill to Dalkey Island special area of conservation, an off shore reef vulnerable to toxins.

The group also alleged that given the toxic profile of the dredge spoil the harbour board was obliged to consider the impact of the dumping of spoil in all local special areas of conservation in Dublin Bay and Rockabill which it had not done.

It stated in an affidavit that the harbour company had failed to consider the cumulative effects on marine mammals or sea birds from other proposed or permitted developments within Dublin Bay.

The newpaper has more on the story here. 

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