Coastal Concern Alliance
Coastal Concern Alliance (CCA) is an independent, voluntary group, set up in 2006 by environmentally conscious citizens to campaign for:
- Reform of the outdated and undemocratic legislation governing construction in Irish seas (The Foreshore Act 1933).
- Introduction of a new planning framework to protect our coastal landscapes and marine environment.
- Development of a Marine Spatial Plan for Ireland.
We have no affiliation to any political party or industry group.
Why was Coastal Concern Alliance set up?
The vast majority of Irish people are unaware that enormous tracts of our ecologically sensitive, near-shore waters off the east coast have been handed over to private offshore wind developers on 99-year leases during the Celtic Tiger Era. An outdated and undemocratic legislative regime facilitated this 'sea-grab' under the radar of public attention. This legacy of speculation and inadequate regulation continues to shape the future of our coastal zone, endangering protected habitats, marine wildlife and coastal landscapes.
The management of Ireland's coastal waters is a matter of great importance to many citizens who have been excluded from the decision-making process because of the serious democratic deficits which have existed for decades. The current regime, the Foreshore Act 1933, empowers a sole individual, the Minister for the Environment, to grant foreshore leases to private individuals and dictate conditions attaching to those leases, with no statutory involvement of Local Authorities, no pre-selection of sites by government and no affordable public right of appeal against the Minister's decision. Developers were allowed to pick out sites randomly, with no public tendering. As a result of the low key manner in which this process worked, leases have been granted for two of the biggest wind farms in the world close to the coasts of Wicklow and South Dublin without the knowledge of the vast majority of Irish citizens and their public representatives.
Coastal Concern Alliance supports the development of offshore renewables in Irish waters to help Ireland meet national energy objectives. We believe that permission to construct such huge industrial installations must be assessed under a democratic fit-for-purpose legislative process and developments must be to a proper scale and properly sited to avoid damaging impacts on marine wildlife, habitats and coastal landscapes.