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Strangford Lough

Volume 164: debated on Monday 8 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will replace the CNCC with a democratically constituted council; and if he will make a statement about public participation in the management of area of special scientific interest Strangford lough part 3.

The Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC) was recently established under the provisions of article 3 of the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, and its constitution was very carefully considered. The membership of the council represents a wide range of interests and experience throughout Northern Ireland. It provides sound and balanced views on conservation matters. There are no plans to amend the legislation.The management of the lands within the Strangford lough (part 3) area of special scientific interest (ASSI) depends on co-operation between individual owners and occupiers and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. It is not an appropriate matter for public participation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has to involve the loughside community in the management of the Strangford lough foreshores; and if he will make a statement.

The management of the Strangford lough area of special scientific interest (ASSI), which mainly comprises the Strangford lough foreshores, is a matter between the individual owners and occupiers and the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. At the time the declaration of Strangford lough (part 3) ASSI was confirmed I stated that a locally based and organised voluntary group representative of the wide variety of interests concerned could be very useful to the Department in preparing its proposals for the marine nature reserve in Strangford lough. I also indicated that I hoped that local people would take forward this suggestion which I had welcomed.