Wednesday, 15 June 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
329. Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his Department made any changes to a special area of conservation boundary (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20400/05]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): The area in question is located near the Carrigower river, a tributary of the River Slaney, and is within the Slaney river valley candidate special areas of conservation. My Department is in the process of implementing a revised approach to inclusion of marginal areas along river banks in candidates for special area of conservation. In general terms, the boundaries of river for candidate special areas of conservation are being reduced to a distance of 2.5 M from the river bank. Lands beyond the 2.5 M limit will continue to be included if the area constitutes a floodplain of the river or contains valuable wildlife habitat such as woods or wetlands.
In the case in question, in November 2004, an application for a boundary revision on scientific grounds was submitted by an ecological consultancy on behalf of the landowner. Following inspection of the site by my Department it was decided to make an adjustment to the boundary of the candidate special areas of conservation in line with the revised national approach to such designations as outlined above.
My Department has been consulted by the Environmental Protection Agency for a waste licence application covering inter alia part of the land now to be excluded from designation as a candidate special areas of conservation. In response, my Department has indicated that it opposes the granting of this licence on grounds of adverse impact on the candidate special areas of conservation.
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