Dáil Éireann - Volume 546 - 12 December, 2001
Written Answers. - Special Areas of Conservation.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
26. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the progress in preparing management plans for special areas of conservation and special protection areas; the public consultation process in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31691/01]
Miss de Valera Miss de Valera
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): The Deputy will be aware that I view the management plans for SACs and SPAs, and the public consultation process in particular, as a central part of the system for maintaining the favourable conservation status of these sites in the long-term. A steering committee within Dúchas, the heritage service division of my Department, oversees the preparation of plans and monitors progress.
Conservation management plans for SACs and SPAs currently under preparation will have to be taken into account by all relevant authorities and landowners. The plans will not be finalised until after public consultations with landowners and interested parties are completed. The objective of undertaking this process is to maximise the plans'  effectiveness, and to ensure their full implementation.
As matters stand at present, 241 SAC management plans and 98 SPA management plans are at various stages of completion. There is some overlap between the two, as many SPAs are contained within SACs.
Out of the total of 339 SAC and SPA management plans, 292 draft plans have reached the stage of being ready to progress to public consultation. Public consultation is already under way in the case of 24 of these plans.
During the public consultation phase, multiple copies of draft plans are produced as a basis for consultation initially with landowners and liaison committees. When their views have been received, a further draft is prepared to be put on public display for comments and observations from interested parties. After public comments have been received, a final version of the plan will be prepared and adopted.
I am arranging to provide the Deputy with lists documenting the progress of management plan preparation for the SACs and SPAs involved.
Dáil Éireann 546 Written Answers. Special Areas of Conservation.