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Foreshore Planning: Irish Sailing Urge Sailors to Have a Say at Marine Planning Framework Consultations

14th November 2019
The Government is aiming to create a “co-ordinated and coherent approach to decision-making and governance” in respect to marine planning The Government is aiming to create a “co-ordinated and coherent approach to decision-making and governance” in respect to marine planning

As Afloat reported yesterday, the Government launched its Consultation Draft of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). Lead by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), the draft document aims to create a “co-ordinated and coherent approach to decision-making and governance” in respect to marine planning. It includes planning for development proposals by sports, recreation and tourism bodies, which in turn covers the all-important Foreshore Licence.

Applying for a Foreshore Licence

Currently, any change or introduction of infrastructure below the high-water mark, e.g. marinas, pontoons, slipways, moorings, must apply for a Foreshore Licence. The application is divided up between two Departments (Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, and the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment) and can be a very time consuming, expensive and cumbersome process in some cases taking a number of years to complete which is a deterrent for any provider looking to develop facilities along the foreshore. There is also no link currently to local authority planning. As a result, we have very poor marine infrastructure around our coasts. The aim of the NMPF is to create a more streamlined approach for developing marine infrastructure and link applications and planning to local authorities and county development plans.

Irish Sailing & the Advisory Group

Harry Hermon, CEO of Irish Sailing sits on the Advisory Group working with the DHPLG on the proposed framework. The Advisory Group is made up of representatives from sport, tourism, fisheries, environmental agencies, local government, harbours, energy, and many others with an interest in the marine.

As Hermon describes it “we’ve been advocating continuously on this for many years so that members of the sailing community can work closely with local authorities to develop infrastructure on a county basis. If this goes through, clubs and centres will be able to apply directly to their local authority instead of the cumbersome and convoluted process that exists currently. I urge everyone to attend the Consultation Meetings set up by the Department and have their voices heard”.

Planning Policies

In the 196-page document, there are two key areas that are perhaps most relevant for sailing organisations: the sections on “Sport and Recreation” p.158, and “Tourism” p.168. The sections lay out a series of planning policies which include objectives to increase participation in water-based sports, improve access to marine and coastal resources, and the sustainable development of outdoor recreation facilities.

You can read the full document here

Get Your Voice Heard

The Department has set up regional public events outlined here, and you can read the full list here

Date

Time

Venue

21/11/2019

14:00 – 16:00

Greenhills Hotel, Limerick

21/11/2019

18:00 – 20:00

Greenhills Hotel, Limerick

26/11/2019

14:00 – 16:00

Town Hall, Westport

26/11/2019

18:00 – 20:00

Town Hall, Westport

02/12/2019

14:00 – 16:00

Connaught Hotel, Galway 

02/12/2019

18:00 – 20:00

Connaught Hotel, Galway 

10/12/2019

14:00 – 16:00

Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee

10/12/2019

18:00 – 20:00

Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee

Published in Environment
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