CONSERVATION DESIGNATION APPEALS
AQUAFACT has carried out a number of appeals on behalf of private individuals who wish to appeal against the designation of sections of their land.
It is the responsibility of the state to designation land as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) or Natural Heritage Area (NHA) if it is of conservational concern. These designations can result in objections by the landowners.
An objection will only be assessed on scientific grounds, i.e. it is shown that the relevant habitats/species/geological features were not present in such a condition as to warrant designation.
There are two stages to the process:
1. Internal Review
Local NPWS staff will re-examine the scientific grounds for including the section of land in question. The Conservation Ranger will make a recommendation to local management. Where the outcome of the internal review is not to the landowners satisfaction they may choose to have the case referred to the Nature Conservation Designations Advisory Board for consideration.
2. Nature Conservation Designations Advisory Board
This Board is comprised of equal representation of stakeholder NGO's representing landowners/users and conservation interests. The Board has an independent chairperson. Following assessment of an expert case from both the Department and initiator of the review in each case the Board makes a recommendation on the outcome to the Minister. The Minister makes the final decision on the outcome having considered that recommendation.
Examples of such appeals, which AQUAFACT have carried out are:
- Clonakilty Marsh SAC, Cork
- Bandon River SAC, Cork
- Cregganna Marsh NHA, Galway
- River Shanon SAC, Clare