Marinas

We write out of great concern that the above proposed development has not been subject to a suitable assessment to protect the Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area into which it extends.
The Secretary,
An Bord Pleanala
64 Marlborough Street
Dublin 1,
30 April, 2003 By fax only: 01 872 2684


RE: HUDSON BAY AQUATIC CENTRE
Roscommon County Council Ref: JC
Date of advertisement: 21 March, 2003
Location: Barrymore Townland, Hudson Bay, Athlone


Dear Secretary;

We write out of great concern that the above proposed development has not been subject to a suitable assessment to protect the Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area into which it extends.

Not only are we concerned about the dredging and infilling required for the construction of the centre, but we would feel that the purpose of the aquatic centre in so far as it extends to speed boats, water skis, and jet skies, etc., may impact adversely on the conservation status of the designated area.

We would be grateful if you exercised your powers under Section 120 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 to determine the appropriate assessment for this proposal


Yours, etc.,

Tony Lowes
Re: Hodson Bay Aquatic Centre and Boat Training Centre,
Location: Hudson Bay, Althlone, County Roscommon
The Secretary,
Roscommon County Council,
Roscommon,
25 March, 2003

Re: Hodson Bay Aquatic Centre and Boat Training Centre,
Location: Hudson Bay, Althlone, County Roscommon

Dear Secretary;

Friends of the Irish Environment have examined the file and the site of the proposed development and cannot find sufficient information to make a final assessment of this proposal.

From the information provided, it appears the proposed development will encroach onto the areas agreed for nature protection by the EU and Ireland and will have substantial adverse impact on the conservation status of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree is already under major amenity development pressures and the impact of this proposal, considered together with recent development consents on Lough Ree, must be subject to a full assessment of both planning and licensing requirements.

To permit development without such an assessment would infringe the Habitats and Birds Directives.

If your authority - who are acting as developer - proceeds in this manner FIE will have no other option but to seek the intervention of the EU Environmental Directorate's Legal Affairs Division and charge you with all cost arising.

Yours, etc.,

Tony Lowes



The Manager,

Cork County Council,

County Hall, Cork City

14 April, 2000

Part X Planning Application for 400 meter breakwater, marina, extension to piers, parking, roadways, access, and ancillary developments at Baltimore Harbour, County Cork

Dear Sir;

We have been made aware by concerned residents of a current proposal to construct a breakwater, marina, parking area, and ancillary developments at Baltimore, County Cork.

We refer to the Baltimore Harbour Proposed Development Plan Preliminary Report prepared for your authority by D. Fitzgibbon & Associates and dated November 1997.

In particular, we refer to page 12 of that report entitled Specialist Services and we quote this section in full:

"A detailed examination by Specialists of the following will be required prior to implementation of the Report.

a) Hydrographic Survey of the approach channel

b) Soil Investigation in the area to be developed

c) A wave/siltation study.

d) An Environmental Impact Assessment."

The cost of these studies including legal and other fees was given as £597,000.

We understand that you are considering approval of the above development in the absence of these studies as recommended by your Consultant Engineers.

We would be grateful for your confirmation of this situation as it would appear to us that with the evidence of the likely significant detrimental effect on the environment contained in this report and represented by the recommended further studies, it would be manifestly unreasonable and/or ultra vires to authorise this development before completion of these studies.

We would be grateful for an early reply

=========

cc: Noel Dempsey, Minister for the Environment

Thomas Tobin, Principal, Department of the Marine Coastal Zone Administration Division.



The Secretary,
Roscommon County Council,
Roscommon,
25 March, 2003

Re: Hodson Bay Aquatic Centre and Boat Training Centre,
Location: Hudson Bay, Althlone, County Roscommon

Dear Secretary;

Friends of the Irish Environment have examined the file and the site of the proposed development and cannot find sufficient information to make a final assessment of this proposal.

From the information provided, it appears the proposed development will encroach onto the areas agreed for nature protection by the EU and Ireland and will have substantial adverse impact on the conservation status of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree is already under major amenity development pressures and the impact of this proposal, considered together with recent development consents on Lough Ree, must be subject to a full assessment of both planning and licensing requirements.

To permit development without such an assessment would infringe the Habitats and Birds Directives.

If your authority - who are acting as developer - proceeds in this manner FIE will have no other option but to seek the intervention of the EU Environmental Directorate's Legal Affairs Division and charge you with all cost arising.

Yours, etc.,

Tony Lowes




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Fionnuala Cawkhill and Associates,

13 Upper Ormond Quay,

Dublin 1


The Secretary,

Cork County Council

County Hall, Cork City

13 May, 2000


Re: Our clients - Friends of the Irish Environment

Part X Planning Application for 400 meter breakwater, marina, extension to piers, parking, roadways, access, and ancillary developments at Baltimore Harbour, County Cork


Dear Sirs;

I refer to the above proposal which we understand is due for decision shortly.

The breakwater element of the proposal will have a significant impact on the environment. Taken in conjunction with the proposed extension to the piers, additional harbour-based parking, and marina facilities the overall proposal represents a substantial development which our clients believe will have consequences which can only be assessed in the appropriate manner.

Our clients have enquired with the Baltimore Harbour Commissioners, Cork County Council, The Department of the Marine, and the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and have not been able to determine that any assessment has taken place.

Such an assessment would be required under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, notwithstanding any thresholds in Irish implementing Regulations. In this regard, we refer you to the Judgement in the European Court of Justice against Ireland of September 21, 1999, entitled "Assessment of the effects of certain public or private projects - settling of thresholds" [ Case C-392/96].

We are instructed that the necessity for such an assessment of this specific proposal was drawn to the attention of your decision makers in 1997 through a study your authority commissioned "to evaluate the marine engineering technicalities of the development, to make what adjustments were felt necessary, and to develop the appropriate cost estimates and programme associated with the works." The report was entitled Baltimore Harbour Proposed Development Plan Preliminary Report and was prepared by D. Fitzgibbon & Associates and dated November 1997.

In particular, we refer to page 12 of that report entitled Specialist Services and we quote this section in full:

"A detailed examination by Specialists of the following will be required prior to implementation of the Report.

a) Hydrographic Survey of the approach channel

b) Soil Investigation in the area to be developed

c) A wave/siltation study.

d) An Environmental Impact Assessment.

The costs of these are included in the estimates"

The cost of these studies including legal and other fees was given as £722,000. This figure is given as £829,000 in the Department of the Marine's 1999 Review of State Regional Ports and Harbours. To our Client's knowledge no surveys, studies, or assessment have been done to date. The construction drawings available for the proposal appear to be exact replications of the drawings attached to the 1997 study.

It was clearly the intention of your Authority to carry out these studies and giving development consent to the above development in the absence of the recommended surveys, studies, and assessments would be manifestly unreasonable and/or ultra vires.

We are instructed that our Clients will vigorously oppose any attempt by Cork County Council to proceed with this development in the absence of the necessary assessments, and should it become necessary to make an application to the Court we will rely on this letter to fix you with the costs of any such application.

We would request that you reply to this letter within 14 days of receipt of same.

Fionnuala Cawkhill & Associates,

Solicitors

cc: Noel Dempsey, Minister for the Environment

Thomas Tobin, Principal, Department of the Marine Coastal Zone Administration Division.

Sheila deValera, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht, and the Islands