Wicklow County Council Directed to Prepare an EIS by An Bord Pleanála

Pat yourselves on the back! We have achieved the result we wanted from the hard work of everyone. An Taisce, Friends of the Murrough and Ourselves asked An Bord Pleanála to intercede in the matter and last Friday we received notification of their decision.
Direct the local authority to prepare an environmental impact statement in respect of the said proposed development based on the reason and considerations below.

Having regard to the sensitive nature of the River Vartry (a designated salmonid river) which discharges to the sea a short distance downstream at the Murrough Wetlands (a costal area designated both as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA), to the likely interaction between the proposed groundwater abstraction and the flow in the river and the possible negative impacts on the ecology of the river system, particularly at low flow, it is considered that the proposed development should be subjected to environmental impact assessment.
In deciding not to accept the Inspector’s recommendation that an environmental impact statement was not required, the Board noted his comments to the effect that the impacts on the River Vartry fisheries were likely and impacts on the SAC and SPA were possible. The Board considered that an environmental impace assessment was appropriate having regard to the sensitivity of the river and estuarine eco-systems.

This does not mean that it is over with the threat from the Water Scheme, only that the WCC must do this in the public eye. We will be pressing them for Local involvement and assistance in preparation of the EIS and that disclosures are made of all documents that might shed light on how much effect to the River they anticipated. (Currently we have requests for documents that have been refused by the WCC that are about to be released by the Commissioner of Information).

June 30 2009 10:17 am | Active and Water Scheme

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