Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Letter to ALAB : Recent High Court Ruling

Salmon Watch Ireland
6 Sutton Castle, Shielmartin Road, D13NN20, Dublin 13
Phone: +353 1 832 4852

8 March 2016

The Secretary
Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board Kilminchy Court
Co Laois

Dear Secretary

I refer to my letter and submission of 15 October 2015 about Salmon Watch Ireland’s appeal in respect of the granting of aquaculture and foreshore licences reference T5/555.

We now wish to draw your attention to the following development which impinges on the basis on which the Aquaculture Licences Appeal Board will be making its determination in this case:
The Supreme Court has recently restated, in three significant judgments, the legal position in Ireland regarding development consents in which important environmental and conservation considerations arise.  This applies in respect   of projects which can have an adverse impact on European Sites that are designated pursuant to the Habitats Directive or the Birds Directive to be Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or Special Protected Areas (SPAs). The judgments were delivered by Mr Justice McMenamin, Mr Justice Charleton,  and Mr Justice Clarke, in the case of Cromane Foods Limited & Anor -v- Minister  for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food & Ors [2016] IESC 6. Relevant extracts from the judgment are set out below.

While the Cromane case primarily concerned the application of legitimate expectation and public policy in Ireland, it contains important and authoritative restatements of Irish law regarding the application of Article 6.3  of  the Habitats Directive. This involves the central requirement to ensure certainty that  there  remains  ‘’no reasonable scientific doubt regarding the absence’’  of    adverse
effects on designated European Sites, before consents can be given in  situations where there may be risks of adverse impacts.