The issue is currently before the High Court after dredging firms appealed NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan's 2015 enforcement notice against the removal of as much as 1.8 million tonnes of sand from Ireland's largest lake.
And the practice has continued unabated, despite planning permission never being granted for sand dredging on the lough, a protected area for wildlife, said Gregory Jones QC on opening the application for judicial review by Friends of the Earth.
“This issue is bringing the planning system in Northern Ireland into ridicule," the charity's counsel told the court. “This is something one would not expect of the most primitive dictatorship.”
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.