Northern Ireland Planning Service

Quarrying Stopping To Protect Environment

Published on Wed, 27 Jul 2005
A Discontinuance Notice has been served on the owners of Rooskey Quarry Enniskillen, requiring that no further rock be extracted.
A spokesperson from DOE’s Planning Service said: "We have taken this action to safeguard the environmentally important features of Rooskey and Fardrum Turloughs. These are sites of international importance and are of particular scientific interest because of their earth science and biological features. This action is a clear indication of our commitment to protect both the environment and this particular unique habitat."
The effect of the Discontinuance Notice will be to remove the existing planning permissions to quarry rock.

Notes to Editors

  1. Planning permission for quarrying stone at Rooskey was granted on 13 April 1979. The permission was activated on part of the site at the time, but quarrying ceased after a short period of time.
  2. In October 1998 the Department submitted an adjoining site containing the Rooskey and Fardrum Turloughs to the EC as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC).
  3. In March 2001 quarrying operations resumed on a portion of the original quarry site on the basis of the 1979 permission. This permission included regulated blasting within the boundary of the quarry.
  4. The EC Habitats Directive require all competent authorities such as the Planning Service and the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) to review all plans and projects which may have a detrimental affect on European protected sites.
  5. This particular site has drawn the attention of the European Commission which is closely monitoring the Department’s efforts to safeguard this almost unique habitat.
  6. Fardrum and Rooskey Turloughs are of particular scientific interest because of their earth science and biological features and are of international importance.
  7. They have been declared an Area of Special Scientific interest under domestic Northern Ireland legislation, listed as a Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and designated a SAC under the Habitats Directive.
  8. Research commissioned by the Environment and Heritage Service has indicated that further quarrying is a threat to the scientific interests of the Turloughs. Consequently, the Department believes that the best long-term solution to protect this important European SAC is to cease all quarrying and discontinue all permissions for quarrying at Rooskey.
  9. A Stop Notice and an associated Enforcement Notice issued in August 2003 on foot of advice from EHS. These Notices are still in effect and currently the subject of appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission. However, the applicant and the Department agreed that the Appeal should be deferred awaiting the outcome of the discontinuance action.
  10. In the meantime no quarrying can take place and the Department monitors the site regularly.
  11. For media enquiries contact DOE Press Office 028 9054 0003.

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