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Judgment Reserved in ‘Complex’ and ‘Significant’ Review of Larne Lough Gas Caverns Licence

7th May 2023
File image of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast
File image of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast Credit: Kenneth Allen/Geograph

Judgment has been reserved in the judicial review into the granting of a marine licence for the excavation of gas storage caverns under Larne Lough.

After four days of submissions at Belfast High Court, on Friday (5 May) Justice Michael Humphreys described the case as “complex” and “significant”, according to BelfastLive.

As previously reported on, Northern Ireland’s main conservation groups have come out against the plan to develop the gas storage caverns underneath Larne Lough on environmental grounds.

In the most recent of a series of demonstrations, some 30 swimmers took to the waters of Larne Lough on Saturday 22 April to protests plans to store half a billion cubic metres of natural gas under its bed.

Representing the campaigners, Barrister Conor Fegan warned of a damaging impact on marine wildlife in the area, noted how it would lock Northern Ireland into extended fossil fuel dependence and questioned suggestions that the caverns could be used to store hydrogen instead.

King’s Counsels representing DAERA and Islandmagee Energy, meanwhile, sought to mollify concerns over the approval process for the licence and minimise the potential for discharge in the sensitive sea life zone.

BelfastLive has much more on the story HERE. Team

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