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Campaigners Appealing Dismissal of Legal Challenge to Larne Lough Gas Cavern Plans

22nd October 2023
File image of Larne Lough
An appeal is being launched by campaigners after their legal challenge to proposals for half a billion cubic metres of natural gas stored in caverns excavated under Larne Lough was dismissed by the High Court in Belfast in August Credit: Kenneth Allen/Geograph

Local campaigners are taking their challenge against proposed gas caverns under Larne Lough to the Court of Appeal, following its dismissal by the High Court in August.

As previously noted on, all seven grounds of the legal challenge brought jointly by campaign groups No Gas Caverns and Friends of the Earth NI were dismissed at the High Court in Belfast.

But as Belfast Live reports, the groups are mounting an appeal of Justice Michael Humphreys’s ruling under two grounds: failure to refer the marine licence applications to the Executive Committee; and the taking into account of an irrelevant consideration, namely the fossil fuel scheme’s promise of a ‘community fund’.

The groups argue that former Environment Minister Edwin Poots acted unlawfully when he approved a marine license for plans to store half a billion cubic metres of natural gas under the lough.

It’s feared that “hyper-saline” water that would be released by carving out the salt caverns beneath the lock would threaten vulnerable marine wildlife and even create a “dead zone”.

Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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