National Special Amenity Area at North Bull Island

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A National Special Amenity Area is a designation for a landscape of national importance for its aesthetic/recreational value.

Planning authorities are empowered (under section 202 of the Planning and Development Act 2000), to make a Special Amenity Area Order (SAAO) for reasons of outstanding natural beauty or its special recreational value and having regard to any benefits for nature conservation.  The purpose is to preserve/enhance landscape character and to prevent/limit development.

North Bull Island is one of three National Special Amenity Areas in Ireland. It was designated by Special Amenity Area Order (SAAO’s) of the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1994 and confirmed by Order (S.I. No. 70/1995) of the Minister for the Environment in 1995.  This followed several years of efforts by the local community, their elected representatives and the Council to make the case and secure the designation. It was reviewed by DCC in 2001 and 2009. 

All SAAO’s in Ireland are in Dublin – North Bull Island, Howth Head and Liffey Valley

Dublin City Council implements an SAAO Management Plan on an ongoing basis. The Plan has been updated and renewed to reflect changes to the Island and nature conservation legislation. Download the 2009 SAAO Management Plan here.