Meeting with Environment Minister

Wednesday 24 March 2010

The RDCA Committee met with the Environment Minister, Edwin Poots MLA on his visit to Rathlin on Thursday 18th March. Among the topics of discussion were:

Planning: the Minister was sympathetic to the problems encountered on the island by people trying to get permission for new dwellings, or renovations etc. He has suggested bringing the Planning Department over for a day and hopefully with them he could provide more flexibility on this issue. Further information will be posted on the website when we get confirmation of this happening.

Wind Turbine Project: This project was outlined to the Minister who was impressed with the work done so far. The problem of costs for the survey, etc. were highlighted but until the application is given the go ahead by the EU, he suggested we approach the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for assistance.

NT, RSPB, and NIEA: Minister Poots was shown the policy document that the RDCA received in February that outlined the three organisation's policies for the island. The Minister voiced some concerns about it. He felt that these bodies must be aware of the importance of keeping the island community in the loop of what was happening and that they must co-operate with the RDCA and the community.

Local Council/Super Council: With the introduction of the super council, the RDCA Committee made the Minister aware that whilst they had a good relations with Moyle District Council, when powers were transferred to a new council, it would be a new challenge to the island to make sure our voice was heard. Aidan McPeake of Moyle's Technical Services Department has informed the RDCA that the bin lorry will be staying on the island for the summer, and David Hannaway will be provided with extra assistance at times to cover the work needed for the summer season.

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