CAMPAIGN TO GET LECALE’s BEACHES RECOGNISED UNDER THE EU BATHING WATERS DIRECTIVE

There are a series of documents linked to the page below that you will find useful in getting your beach nominated as an ‘EU Bathing Water’. I have created this information-resource base to help local community associations in villages around Lecale get their local beaches recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. These villages include

  1. Strangford (Strangford Community Association) Kilclief Beach
  2. Kilclief (Kilclief Residents Association and residents along Killard) Kilclief Beach and Killard Beach
  3. Ballyhornan (Ballyhornan Community Development Association) Ballyhornan Beach
  4. Ardglass (Ardglass Development Association and residents from nearby Chapeltown) Ardglass Spa, Ardglass Beach and Our Ladys  Well
  5. Coney Island (Coney Island Residents Association) Coney Island Beach
  6. The Lecale Conservation Society (amongst its wide variety of actions – maintains and protects Minerstown Beach)
  7. Killough Residents Associations (inc. Fishermans Row, Seaview/Westpoint and Church View)  Killough Beach and St. Helena’s Beach

We are all very grateful to the Ardglass Development Association who have fundraised several hundred pounds to get this project up and running.

OBJECTIVES – Main objectives to this campaign

  1. To improve the tourist potential of our villages and all of Lecale
  2. To bring legal pressure on NIWater to end the discharge of sewerage on or near our beaches.
  3. To have a Sewerage Systems similar to that in North Down as was originally proposed for Ardtole in Ardglass back in 2007. This project was downgraded in 2013 partly because none of our local beaches were recognised as ‘EU Bathing Waters’. We aim to return to the original plan of having all sewerage from local villages pumped to Ardtole for the same top-class treatment as in North Down
  4. To create a safe bathing environment for ourselves and our children.

Shared Information Base

(if you find other relevant info email cadogan@enright.ie to include it below)

I have inserted key pieces of information below to support the separate campaigns running on each of our local beaches;

  1. Why were our beaches not successful in the 2011 NIEA consultation? 

    1. Firstly because both Down Council and the NIEA failed to nominate Kilclief, Killard, Chapeltown, and beaches around Ardglass and Killough
    2. Secondly the NIEA did nominate Rossglass, Minerstown and Ballyhornan but claimed that there was insufficient evidence of use to support the designation.   (see 2011  list of nominated beaches and clearly incorrect stats for these 3 nominated beaches HERE)
  2. What are the rules for nominating a beach?

    1. We don’t need the NIEA or Council to do this for us, we can do it ourselves. The most important aspect is proving traditional and ongoing use – hence our use of Facebook to collect evidence in each local village for every beach
    2. I have captured the rules for nominating your beach as a ‘candidate beach’ HERE  and HERE
    3. The next opportunity to have our beaches nominated is now approaching – we need to apply.
  3. Why does Down Council have to help us?

    1. Because I got cross-party support for my motion to provide council help in having our beaches nominated as ‘EU Bathing Waters’
    2. The details of the motion and debate are HERE. As of July 2014 Council Management have done nothing – so local communities will have to ‘hold Council’s hand’ and help them make the right moves, as pro-active environmental campaigning is not a strong point in Down Council.
  4. Who do we approach, and how does it work?

    1. See HERE for a short summary document about how the process works
  5. What is the latest information we have from the Department?

    1. see HERE for the most useful of the ‘Freedom of Information’ replies I received.
  6. What sort of questions did you ask the Department?

    1. It took a while to discover from NI Water that their down-grade of the Ardglass Sewerage Project was partly triggered by the NIEA’s failure to identify any ‘Bathing Waters’ in Lecale – despite our villages and beaches being one of the North’s best Tourist attractions. See HERE for email chain trying to ask all the relevant questions to the NIEA;
  7. HERE is the full 2011 NIEA consultation document that identified ALL beaches on the ‘Gold Coast’ as ‘bathing waters’ but failed to to identify any of our beaches except Tyrella

  8. Compare the GOLD COAST with the LECALE COAST for sewerage treatment HERE