AQW 35852/11-15

Mr Steven Agnew
Green Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 11/09/2014
Answered On Date: 22/09/2014
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to AQW 35119/11-15, whether by permitting unauthorised sand extraction from Lough Neagh Special Protection Area to continue, his Department is breaching Article 6(2) of the Habitats Directive and the precautionary principle which underpins that Directive, as set out in the ruling of the European Court of Justice in Case C-127/02, Waddenzee.

Article 6(2) of the Habitats Directive requires Member States to take appropriate steps to avoid the deterioration of the interest features of Natura 2000 sites. Between the last two reporting rounds there has been no deterioration of the features of Lough Neagh SPA that can be attributed to sand and gravel extraction.