Many sailors with experience of foreshore planning for moorings or developments will know there is currently a permission process. If applying for a foreshore licence in a fisheries port you apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and for all other ports to the Department of Environment Community and Local Government. (Dept of Environ).

The Dept of Environment introduced a Foreshore Amendment Bill in 2013 and the ISA has been in communication with the department to see how this may effect / benefit leisure sailors.

As the amendment is 125 pages long, we have summarised the areas of change that may effect the leisure sailor and leisure sailing industry directly.

Currently all applications go through to the Foreshore Department of the Dept of Environment for processing. The new system will change the process to make it more efficient.

1. Applicants will initially be required to apply to the Foresore Dept. (who are acting as agents for the Minister).
2. Foreshore will check if the requested location is already in use or has a "Maritime Option" on it and then give the applicant a "Maritime Option" if available. This allocates the location to the applicant for a limited period to allow the applicant to secure development consent from the appropriate authority (e.g. the local authority or An Bord Pleanála).  Failure to secure development consent within the specified period would lead to the Option lapsing.
3. The applicant then prepares a more detailed application with full details for the proposed plan.
4. The application is then sent to the Local Authority to assess if it is a large enough or sensitive enough project to need a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It is not possible to create a matrix to state what would or wouldn't need an EIS as there are so many variables. Each case is looked at independently. 
5.  Applications that do not need an EIS will be processed solely by the Local Authority and those needing an EIS will be forwarded to An Bord Pleanála to be processed for planning.

It is not possible to determine this stage when these new arrangements will come into effect, as much depends on the drafting and legislative processes.

The Irish Sailing Association is making representations and submissions on behalf of ISA leisure sailors, to ensure their needs are taken in to consideration.

The full Foreshore Amendment Bill 2013 is attached to this newsfeed for your interest.

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