Application: T6/473A (back of Rossbeigh)
UPDATE: We lodged our objections (February 23, 2018) to this application, but as of June 14, 2018, the Minister has not yet made a decision about the application.
This first application was for the area at the back of Rossbeigh, a Blue Flag beach and recreational/tourism destination used daily by locals and visitors for swimming, golfing, walking, sailing, kayaking, horse riding, and more. Tourism in Kerry attracts 1.7m holidaymakers, generating more than €420m for the county.
The three communities of Rossbeigh, Glenbeigh, and Dooks are campaigning together under the name Save This Beach to appeal the first—and all subsequent—applications in this area. The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) confirmed in email correspondence with local politicians that there were a total of 8 applications for this area.
- The area is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) / Natura 2000 site, protected under the EU Habitats Directive of 1992 and the Natural Habitats Regulation.
- The Ministry and has acknowledged in an email briefing to local politicians correspondence that a new Appropriate Assessment would have to be conducted before any new licenses were granted in this area: however, the Minister waived the requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement. (The most recent Appropriate Assessment dates back to 2011, prior to the new fish farming applications).
- The Appropriate Assessment of 2011 fails to take into account the magnitude and number of applications for this area.
- We believe that the manner in which the Department processes licence applications is in total contravention of the Public Participation Directive and the Aarhus Convention. An integral part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive for SAC areas is to ensure the fullest possible public participation in the decision-making process. The group challenges the process whereby public consultation takes place AFTER a ministerial decision has been taken.
- The onus is on the locals to pool together their resources and wallets to appeal against the Ministerial decision and demonstrate that there may be a danger to the SAC, rather than on the applicant to prove that there will not. This is a complicated process that requires money and resources.
- Current access to the 40 acres of oyster farming already approved by the Minister (missed by the locals) in 2017 are already straining the infrastructure: Access is by a one-lane road, with no footpath, on a popular walking ‘loop’ in Glenbeigh. This walk is documented and promoted by the Community County Council. The trucks and vans coming down this road require walkers to step off the road and into the bushes to avoid being hit. Further approvals will be a danger to pedestrians. Does the County Council have a budget to increase the size of the road? Has such a study been undertaken prior to granting these applications?
- The application doesn’t adequately outline the consequences of farming non-native invasive oyster species (Crassostrea gigas) in this SAC. There are several existing reports of the dangers posed by these invasive species.
- Minister Michael Creed did not carry out the due-diligence required on applicationT6/473A before waiving the need for an EIS and sending to public notice.
Relevant documentation for the area
- Castlemaine Harbour SAC site details on NPWS site
- Castlemaine Harbour SAP site details on NPWS site
Current application on DAFM site
- Kerry applications page
- Current application T6/473A
- Ministerial Determination in relation to EIS requirements for the cultivation of shellfish by Owen & P Teahan Ltd.
- EIA ‘screening’ assessment
- Castlemaine Appropriate Assessment – 2011
- Appropriate Assessment Conclusion Statement for Aquaculture Activities in Castlemaine Harbour SAC and SPA (Natura Site)
This is the map that accompanied the first application. We believe this shows the extent of the applications that will follow. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that as of last year there were 8 applications.