On 12th November 2019, the Government launched their Consultation Draft of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). Lead by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), the draft document aims to create a “co-ordinated and coherent approach to decision-making and governance” in respect to marine planning. It includes planning for development proposals by sports, recreation and tourism bodies, which in turn covers the all-important Foreshore Licence.
Applying for a Foreshore Licence
Currently, any change or introduction of infrastructure below the high-water mark, e.g. marinas, pontoons, slipways, moorings, must apply for a Foreshore Licence. The application is divided up between two Departments (Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, and the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment) and can be a very time consuming, expensive and cumbersome process in some cases taking a number of years to complete which is a deterrent for any provider looking to develop facilities along the foreshore. There is also no link currently to local authority planning. As a result, we have very poor marine infrastructure around our coasts. The aim of the NMPF is to create a more streamlined approach for developing marine infrastructure and link applications and planning to local authorities and county development plans.
Irish Sailing and the Advisory Group
Harry Hermon, CEO of Irish Sailing sits on the Advisory Group working with the DHPLG on the proposed framework. The Advisory Group is made up of representatives from sport, tourism, fisheries, environmental agencies, local government, harbours, energy, and many others with an interest in the marine.
As Hermon describes it “we’ve been advocating continuously on this for many years so that members of the sailing community can work closely with local authorities to develop infrastructure on a county basis. If this goes through, clubs and centres will be able to apply directly to their local authority instead of the cumbersome and convoluted process that exists currently. I urge everyone to attend the Consultation Meetings set up by the Department and have their voices heard”.
In the 196-page document there are two key areas that are perhaps most relevant for sailing organisations: the sections on “Sport and Recreation” p.158, and “Tourism” p.168. The sections lay out a series of planning policies which include objectives to increase participation in water-based sports, improve access to marine and coastal resources, and the sustainable development of outdoor recreation facilities.
You can read the full document here: https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/public-consultation/files/draft_national_marine_planning_framework_final.pdf
Get your voice heard
The Department has set up regional public events outlined here, and you can read the full list here: https://www.housing.gov.ie/planning/marine-planning/public-consultation-draft-national-marine-planning-framework
- 21/11/2019 14:00 – 16:00 Greenhills Hotel, Limerick
- 21/11/2019 18:00 – 20:00 Greenhills Hotel, Limerick
- 26/11/2019 14:00 – 16:00 Town Hall, Westport
- 26/11/2019 18:00 – 20:00 Town Hall, Westport
- 02/12/2019 14:00 – 16:00 Connaught Hotel, Galway
- 02/12/2019 18:00 – 20:00 Connaught Hotel, Galway
- 10/12/2019 14:00 – 16:00 Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee
- 10/12/201918:00 – 20:00Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee
Details for further events to be held in Killybegs, Bantry, Dungarvan, Dublin, and Wexford, will be made available in due course at www.marineplan.gov.ie(link is external), Twitter @MSP_Ireland and by email to those on our contact list
Make a Submission
The Department invites submissions on the Draft NMPF. The consultation period closes at 12:00 noon on 28th February 2020. You can make a submission by:
Email to the following address only email@example.com; or
Writing to the following address:
Draft NMPF Submissions,
Marine Planning Section,
Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government,