Monday, June 17, 2013
Support Dungeness Nature Reserve ....
Photo Kent Wildlife Trust
Please restate your objection to the quarry at Dungeness...
If you have previously submitted objections to Kent County Council about the proposal to excavate shingle from the Dungeness Nature Reserve then you should have received a letter from them recently, as the applicants have submitted further information on their plan*. Despite many more pages of information, the applicants haven’t actually changed their plan in any material way... They still intend to operate heavy machinery and to excavate shingle from a beautiful open section of the Kent coastline—and their plans now clash with a Coastal Access Path that Natural England is developing to join Camber to Folkestone so that we can enjoy many more miles of coastline.
We only have a couple of days to restate our objections to the proposal—and it would help our campaign enormously if you could send Kent County Council another message too. You can do so via our website at http://www.lovedungeness.org/add-your-voice/options/1306/ (or email Kent County Council directly at email@example.com). Feel free to use the email we’ve drafted to Kent County Council below, regarding the latest information from the applicants.
Thanks again for your help protecting the Dungeness Nature Reserve from the proposed shingle excavation works. Please share this email with anybody you think may be interested (or alert them to our campaign via our website at http://www.lovedungeness.org/add-your-voice/tell-others/).
*In case you missed it, the new information is available to view online – just search for the application number “KCC/SH/0381/2011” on Kent County Council’s website at http://tinyurl.com/kentplanning and click on the “Documents” tab. The new information has filing dates spanning May and June 2013.
Draft response to Kent County Council (use as you please)
I write to state my objection to planning application KCC/SH/0381/2011, which seeks permission to excavate shingle from the shore of Dungeness in Kent.
The applicants' state in their "new" information, as recently published on Kent County Council's planning website, that they discounted extracting shingle from the beach in front of the power station as it is designated within the Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The applicants say that one purpose of the SSSI designation is to protect the special coastal processes that occur in this area - and they note that the SSSI status of the beach in front of the power station can be verified via the mapping tools available on Natural England's website. What the applicants fail to mention, however, is that the very maps that they are now using to define the boundaries of the SSSI also show that the entire site of their proposed quarry in Dungeness is also within the SSSI and the Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Therefore the location cannot be regarded as suitable, as the unique coastal processes that occur where the quarry would be located are also clearly protected. It would set a very worrying precedent if private businesses and corporations (such as EDF Energy, as one of the applicants) are permitted to take material from such a heavily protected conservation area and to disturb such a valuable natural public amenity.
Natural England has also begun work on a Coastal Access Path joining Camber to Folkestone (which is expected to open next year, in 2014). This path will include the Dungeness foreshore and nature reserve, including the very section of coastline where the applicants propose to site their quarry. The benefits of Natural England's coastal path to the public are clear (including the economic benefits that Natural England notes such schemes bring to local communities) - and the coastal path will be a remarkable attraction for residents and visitors to Kent to enjoy all year round. However, it will be blighted by a noisy quarry, where dangerous heavy machinery operates, if the applicants are allowed to excavate shingle from the Dungeness foreshore as they propose.
Dungeness is a varied landscape of international scientific and environmental importance. It is one of only four outstanding Special Areas of Conservation in the United Kingdom that support annual vegetation drift lines, and it hosts a remarkable and unique variety of wildlife, including more than 600 different types of plant (a third of all found in Britain) and many rare insects (some of which aren't found anywhere else in Britain).
The documents recently submitted by the applicants do not materially alter their previous proposals - the proposed quarry would still change the unique character of Dungeness for generations to come and won't provide local communities with the effective long-term flood protection they need. I ask you to reject the application and to push the applicants to pursue a more effective and sustainable alternative that does not involve Dungeness.