Stop the Destruction of Brent Geese Feeding Ground in Dungarvan

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Eoin McNamara started this petition to An Bord pleanala

A proposed housing development of over 200 residential units is being considered under the auspices of the 'Strategic Housing Development' by an Bord Pleanala at Duckspool Dungarvan Co. Waterford.

This circumvents normal county councils planning rules due to the size of the development. Some of the proposed units are 4 storeys high and there is plans for over 400 car parking spaces.

The site is a documented feeding ground for Brent Geese who migrate to the site from the Arctic every year. Kingfishers and Bats are present on the site and rare Glossy Ibis have been spotted in the area.

   Planning has been turned down on a number of occasions in the past by the local county council. The site is adjacent to the Waterford Greenway and Dungarvan Harbour Special Protected Area.( https://www.npws.ie/protected-sites/spa/004032 )

The National Parks and Wildlife Service in its 'Conservation Objectives Series' document for Dungarvan Harbour (SPA 004032 ) states the following on page 8 in relation to light bellied Brent Geese (A046).

'There should be no significant decrease in the numbers or range of areas used by waterbird species,other than that occurring from natural patterns of variation'

Available :

https://www.npws.ie/sites/default/files/protected-sites/conservation_objectives/CO004032.pdf

The following extract from a recent an Bord Pleanala inspection report references Brent Geese and the sites propensity to flooding :

'The impact the development would have on the Dungarvan Harbour SPA, and in particular Brent Geese. The site provides a feeding ground for same and concerns exist not only in terms of the removal of an area of feeding ground but also in relation to the habitat disturbance relating to residential development and the more intensive use of the area.' 

Inspector’s Report on Recommended Opinion ABP-308915-20 p.10

https://www.pleanala.ie/anbordpleanala/media/abp/cases/reports/308/r308915.pdf

Dungarvan Harbour has also been identified under the River Basin Management Plan 2019-2021 as requiring remediation measures to reverse its current poor water quality status and any development on the site would have a negative impact on water quality.

The site is situated within a flood zone and it is difficult to see how any development can overcome same and pass a Development Management Justification test as set out in The Planning System and Flood Risk Management, Guidelines for Planning Authorities.The development is considered highly vulnerable given its residential nature and its location within a flood zone, where there are existing instances of flooding in the general area including existing residential areas. The cumulative impact of the proposed development in terms of flooding is also a concern.

Inspector’s Report on Recommended Opinion ABP-308915-20 p.10

https://www.pleanala.ie/anbordpleanala/media/abp/cases/reports/308/r308915.pdf

It is clear that any development on this site will effect the wildlife of the Dungarvan Harbour Special Protection Area. The Waterford County Council Heritage Officer has made  the following comments in the recent an Bord Pleanala inspectors report:

'The development site lies outside but adjacent to the boundary of the Dungarvan Harbour SPA and is a well known feeding ground for wintering bird life,in particular Brent Geese. Flocks of around 200 Brent Geese are regularly recorded at the development site each winter.This is likely due to ease of access from the inter tidal mudflats.'

'The site should contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the Dungarvan Harbour SPA including,where necessary, of the overall favourable status of the national resource of waterbird species, and the continuation of their long-term survival across their natural range.'

Inspector’s Report on Recommended Opinion ABP-308915-20 p.11

https://www.pleanala.ie/anbordpleanala/media/abp/cases/reports/308/r308915.pdf

With the current climate crisis affecting millions of people worldwide it would be careless to ignore this flagrant destruction of an important wildlife habitat on our doorstep. If we do not stand up and protect bio-diversity and our local environment than we are responsible for climate change .

This development should never have been allowed to proceed to the planning stage either through the local county council or An Bord Pleanala by means of the controversial Strategic Housing Development plan .

Please sign this petition if you wish to preserve an important natural habitat for migratory birds and protect the bio diversity of Dungarvan Harbour and it's surroundings including the Waterford Greenway which passes this site.

Details of the planning appplication can be found at the following link:

https://www.pleanala.ie/en-ie/case/308915

Details of the Dungarvan Harbour SPA can be found here:

https://www.npws.ie/protected-sites/spa/004032

Details of how to submit observations (objections) can be found here:

There is a 20 euro fee and the objection must be submitted within 5 weeks of  an Bord Pleanala receiving the planning application.

https://www.pleanala.ie/en-IE/Observation-on-a-SHD-Application-Public/Observation-(SHD)-Making-an-Observation

 

 

 

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