we are currently investigating a breach of Environmental Regulations on Simmy Island in Strangford lough, within what is an area of special scientific interest.

Retired Green Party Councillor Bill Corry learned of an application for retrospective planning permission for a site on the island, which includes the extension of a jetty, the conversion of a boathouse to a house and the installation of a sceptic tank, which Bill describes as ‘illegal’.

Simmy island lies within an area of special scientific interest, as well as having Marine Nature Reserve and RAMSTAR status. This application is for a private residence and has been completed without prior planning permission, causing disturbance to the foreshore. The fact that it is a retrospective application shows total disregard for the environment by the applicant.

Bill Corry, in his capacity as Councillor, has been in correspondence with the Planning Service to highlight the effect the development has had on the area, as well as to highlight that the installation of a sceptic tank is illegal as it breaches discharge consent. He has demanded enforcement by the Planning Service at once. A copy of Bill’s letter can be found here.

The Planning Service have since replied to Bill with the information he requested on the application and have assured him that “the Department will pursue this matter until it has been satisfactorily resolved and in doing so will be conscious of any statutory time limits in respect of formal enforcement action”.

Cllr. Cadogan Enright, who has replaced Bill on Down District Council, has pledged to continue Cllr. Corry’s work on this issue and intends to ensure that the Planning Service enforce legislation against environmental damage.

Pictured are out-going Green Party Cllr. Bill Corry and in-coming Cllr. Cadogan Enright at Strangford Lough, with Simmy island in the background.