AQW 32333/11-15

Mr Steven Agnew
Green Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 25/03/2014
Answered On Date: 07/04/2014
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of the Environment (i) to outline his understanding of the precautionary principle; (ii) whether this principle underpins the proper implementation of the European Birds and Habitats Directives; and (iii) how this principle was considered and applied by his Department in relation to the unregulated mineral extraction from Lough Neagh Special Protection Area.

Where plans or projects are proposed which may have a likely significant effect on a site, an assessment of the impact is required. In these cases consent can only be given having ascertained no adverse effect on the integrity of the site. As the Department has never issued permission for extraction of sand from Lough Neagh no assessment has been undertaken.