Sinn Féin MLA for East Derry, Cathal Ó hOisín, has stated that those who are literally losing their livelihoods to the sea at the Bellerena and Magilligan shorelines should be recompensed by the Crown Estate.
Speaking today Mr Ó hOisín stated:
"There are numerous farmers and businesses that are in danger of having their livelihoods literally washed away at Bellerena and Magilligan by coastal erosion. Fiftysix acres have been lost in recent years and this erosion is continuing unabated.
“The Crown Estate, which claims any land from the sea bed up to they high water mark, now has claim to the land affected with no recompense for local land owners.
“Given the current economic climate the loss of this land has only served to compound the financial difficulties faced by businesses and farmers on this coast.
“The Crown Estate, through its gain, should strongly consider a compensation package for those affected. Through a natural process of sea erosion, which has been extensive in this instance, the Crown Estate are financially better off while many who have lost land are now in financial difficulty.
“Further to this with the extent of this erosion I would appeal to the Department of Agriculture to implement a series of sea defenses in order to protect the remaining land.”