#PortHearing- An Bord Pleanála is to open an oral hearing today, writes The Irish Times, into the first phase of a €126m expansion of Galway Harbour that aims to provide cruise liner berths, a marina and potential “mini Sydney opera house” if approved.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a preliminary hearing took place last week prior to today’s start of An Bord Plenaeála hearing on the four-phase port extension plan. The plan would involve reclaiming 27 hectares of environmentally sensitive bay area to move the existing port south and provide deepwater berths.
The harbour company said it has consulted with the European Commission on invoking a clause under the EU habitats directive which involves offering compensation for loss of fragile environment. The IROPI (imperative reasons of overriding public interest) provision under article 6 (4) of the EU habitats directive was first used to seek approval for a motorway in Hessen, Germany.
For more on this story (click HERE) which refers to Shannon-Foynes Port Company, one of those who have registered its opposition to the neighbouring mid-west’s port exansion plan.