AQW 38304/11-15

Mr Steven Agnew
Green Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 05/11/2014
Answered On Date: 10/11/2014
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to AQW 37576/11-15, whether it was appropriate for his Department to grant onshore planning permissions to facilitate unauthorised Environmental Impact Assessment Development taking place within Lough Neagh Special Protection Area; and whether he has concerns regarding the implications of such a practice.

While historically planning permissions have been granted for the land based operations associated with sand extraction on Lough Neagh, once the unauthorised development was brought to my attention I sought to remedy this.
It is my policy that all unauthorised extractive and waste operations require the most rigorous and prompt enforcement action. It is not acceptable that mineral extraction activities be allowed to continue without first having been through relevant assessments and obtained appropriate planning approval.