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Role of Crown Estate Must Be Defined in any new Marine Bill

8 March, 2012 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said that it is imperative that the role of the Crown Estate is defined in any new Marine Bill.

Mr McMullan said,

“It is proposed that within the new Marine Bill currently being debated at the Assembly that a Marine Management Organisation (MMO) would be set up.  However this new organisation could come into conflict with the Crown Estate that claim ownership of the seabed.

“For example if there is a decision to deny a planning permission by a wind farm at sea by the MMO would the Crown estate have the authority to give it the go ahead.

“There are many industries that use the coastline and sea to create employment so it is important that we have one definitive body that controls the use of our rivers and seabed.

“At present the Crown Estate gather rents from each and everyone of these industries and while some of this money is returned through grants most is taken back out to the British Exchequer.

“It is therefore imperative that the role of the Crown Estate is defined in any Marine Bill so that no confusion exists. I would prefer the rights of Irish waters to be transferred to the island of Ireland so that any monies that come from that resource are used to benefit the people who make a living from the sea and our coastline.”

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