A ruling by the European Court of Justice on the Shannon LNG project will have significant repercussions.
That’s according to Friends of the Irish Environment, who were reacting to the decision by a High Court judge that he couldn’t deliver a ruling on a case involving extending planning permission for the development on the Tarbert-Ballylongford landbank.
Instead the case will be sent to the European Court of Justice for determination.
Shannon LNG say they remain fully committed to advancing the project.
Friends of the Irish Environment took a case to the High Court against a decision last year by An Bórd Pleanala to grant a five-year extension to the planning permission to the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Tarbert-Ballylongford landbank.
Mr Justice Garrett Simons today said he couldn’t deliver a ruling and sent the case for a determination to the Courts of Justice of the European Union.
Friends of the Irish Environment say they challenged the decision because of new scientific information leading to the site in North Kerry being declared a critical area for the bottle nosed dolphin in 2012.
They say An Bord Pleanála decided to extend permission without reassessing the project’s impact, and the terminal can’t now be built until the European Court of Justice determines if it must be assessed under the Habitats Directive – it’s believed this could take between one and two years.
They add that the ruling will have significant repercussions in Ireland and throughout the EU as to how member states protect the environment.
Meanwhile Shannon LNG are reviewing today’s judgment; they say the terminal would keep Ireland at the forefront of the integration to a low-carbon economy, and also provide significant economic benefits to north Kerry.