In February 2013 the Department of the Environment held a Public Consultation on their proposed Foreshore & Marine Area Development Bill - see text of their paper above. Save our Seafront took part – text of our submission below
The Foreshore Bill was discussed at the Environment Committee in the Dail and Richard Boyd Barrett TD was there to hear the submissions from An Bord Pleanala and some other groups. It will be discussed again next Tuesday with more contributors including Coastal Concern Alliance.
Certainly the old legislation needed updating as it had not been changed since 1933. It certainly seems to be an improvement that planning permission for the foreshore and the entire maritime area be brought under the aegis of An Bord Pleanala and local councils but the new proposals also contain many problematic areas.
Currently some of our concerns are as follows:
1). That the foreshore is no longer seen as a separate entity in the proposed legislation, instead it is linked in with all the rest of the waters. It seems to us that there are specific issues in relation to the environment and the foreshore in particular and that any legislation should recognise this.
2). The legislation is very focussed on streamlining the processes for Natural Resources exploration with less of a focus on the environment and heritage.
3). If An Bord Pleanala becomes the planning authority it is not envisaged that there would be any appeal process - this is not just unacceptable - it is not best practice in terms of European Law.
Those are just our first thoughts on this matter and we will be investigating all the proposals further and listening to the debate next week.
After the Committee debates, the draft bill goes back to the department and then will return to the Dail for the full legislative process.   It is expected that the Bill will be published in 2014.
We will keep you posted and if you have any thoughts on the matter or would like to raise any issues with us, please contact us.
NEW FORESHORE BILL UPDATE - OCTOBER 2014:
The Foreshore Bill is now expected to be passed in December 2014