Northern Ireland news

Warrenpoint Port cancels plans to dump dredged material in mouth of Carlingford Lough

A new site for dredged materials had been earmarked in the mouth of Carlingford Lough between Cranfield Point and Greencastle

WARRENPOINT Port has abandoned plans to dump dredged material near protected areas in Carlingford Lough.

In a statement yesterday, authorities at the port said it would "no longer pursue" the proposals to change how it deals with dredged material.

It said it accepted its plan had the potential for an "unacceptable detrimental impact on the ecology and aquaculture within the lough".

The port had proposed moving the placing of material collected during its regular dredging - carried out to maintain clear access for vessels - from 16 miles out at sea to within the lough.

It had earmarked a site in the mouth of Carlingford Lough between Cranfield Point and Greencastle.

However, campaigners on both sides of the border objected to the plans, claiming it would bring nuclear substances into the bay.

The suggested area was also close to zones which had European protection due to their importance as breeding sites for seabirds.

Clare Guinness from Warrenpoint Port yesterday said it had cancelled the plans following the initial findings of site surveys.

"Early results from our site characterisation study have shown the proposal would potentially have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the ecology and aquaculture within the lough," she said.

"Throughout the process, we have been clear that should the scientific research identify the potential for such an impact, then the proposal would go no further.

"We are pleased to deliver on this commitment, in our role as conservators of the marine environment, and will immediately cease pursuit of a revised dredging proposal."

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