Dredging Goes on at Lough Neagh

Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure has taken decisions on six planning applications including the call not to issue a Stop Notice for sand dredging at Lough Neagh.

According to the release, the Department has carefully considered the Lough Neagh Court of Appeal Judgement from 28 June 2017, concerning sand extraction from Lough Neagh.

The legal challenge was brought by the environmental campaign group, Friends of the Earth, who wish to stop sand extraction from Lough Neagh, which has been taking place without planning permission and other authorizations.

The Court of Appeal referred the matter back to the Department for its immediate attention and determination on whether or not to issue a Stop Notice,” the Department said. “Following receipt of the judgement, officials immediately commenced a process of reviewing the information currently available, including the up to date environmental information, and have determined that it is not expedient at this time to issue a Stop Notice subject to the implementation of mitigation measures and working conditions.”

The Department also added that the Lough Neagh Sand Traders have accepted all working parameters, reserving its power to reconsider its position and serve a Stop Notice at any time.

Annually around 1.5 million tonnes of sand is being extracted from the bottom of Lough Neagh.