Coastal Concern Alliance
Consultation draft of Ireland's first National Marine Planning Framework published.
Closing date for submissions 28 February 2020.
Who Are 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- Reform of the outdated and undemocratic legislation governing construction in Irish seas (The Foreshore Act 1933).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 large tracts of our ecologically sensitive, near-shore waters off the east coast have been targeted by developers for construction of some of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world. During the Celtic Tiger Era, 99 year Foreshore Leases were awarded for construction of two large scale wind farms with hundreds of huge turbines on the Arklow & Codling Banks off the coasts of Wicklow and south Dublin. Extensive exploratory licences were also awarded off the coasts of Louth, Dublin & Wicklow and in Galway Bay. More recently, Foreshore Licence applications have been submitted for exploration of large nearshore areas off Waterford and Cork.
An outdated and undemocratic legislative regime has facilitated this 'sea-grab' under the radar of public attention.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 marine planning legislation, 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 on a 'first come first served' basis, with no public tendering. As a result of the low key manner in which this process worked, leases and licences have been granted 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.