Planning Portal

Fermanagh Area Plan 2007
Environment: Nat Env 5 Protection of Loughs and Rivers

Nat Env 5 Protection of Loughs and Rivers
The Department will seek to minimise the impact of new development on the loughs and rivers of Fermanagh and, in assessing proposals for new development, will pay particular regard to the likely effects on visual amenity. conservation interest. recreational potential and water quality.
Lower Lough Macnean
Fermanagh contains a large number of loughs linked by rivers. Proposals for new development will be expected to respect the nature conservation interest, the man-made heritage and to maintain the landscape quality of these loughs and rivers and if possible retain the potential for their enjoyment for appropriate activities e.g. fishing or nature appreciation. The water quality of the major fresh water loughs in Fermanagh is of great importance to both the local population and visitors alike. Drinking water is abstracted from Lough Erne for a large proportion of Fermanagh. Clean water is also vital to the continued recreational use of the loughs, the development of the tourism industry and the protection of fishing and nature conservation interests. Much of the water in Fermanagh is of relatively good quality according to the Report on River and Estuary Quality in Northern Ireland (Environment Service 1991) and it is necessary to ensure that new development proposals do not cause a deterioration in standards.
Accordingly proposals will not normally be permitted where they will cause or contribute to :
  • a significant deterioration in water quality
  • changes in water levels (above or below ground level) which could adversely affect the nature conservation interest.
The Department is also aware of recent research utilising alternative technology in the field of effluent treatment particularly with regard to septic tanks. Alternative or supplementary systems, including the use of constructed wetlands or reedbeds, now exist. These can provide cost effective and environmentally sound methods of treatment, particularly in areas where water nutrient levels are of concern, or where ground conditions may be unsuitable for the use of traditional soakaways.
In assessing future development proposals in areas where connection to a main sewer is not practicable, the Department will require developers to consider the use of alternative and/or supplementary treatment systems where appropriate.
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