Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dungeness under threat ... again

Hello friend of Dungeness!

Thank you for your previous objections and comments regarding the proposal to excavate shingle from the Dungeness nature reserve (made via the website). Your involvement in our campaign has helped keep the application at bay thus far (thank you); however, the applicants continue to pursue their quarry and recently submitted additional information to Kent County Council regarding their plans [1]. This information once again reveals that the applicants haven’t changed their plans at all. More alarmingly, the applicants also conceded at a recent public meeting that the twelve-year term of their planning application could be insufficient, and they may want to extend the operational life of the quarry beyond this! [2]
Dungeness is the world’s largest shingle structure and is the most diverse and extensive stable vegetated shingle in Europe. Excavating shingle from Dungeness would damage this internationally important and environmentally diverse habitat for generations. Both Lydd Town Council and New Romney Town Council have twice opposed the application for a quarry at Dungeness due to the fact that it is flawed—and, with some 70 lorry movements expected across the Dungeness nature reserve each day when the quarry is operational, our local MP (Mr Damian Collins) has stated that we are “right to be concerned about the number of proposed vehicular movements”.

We only have a couple of days to voice our concerns with the new information and reconfirm our objections to the quarry—and it would help enormously if you could send Kent County Council a message too. You can do so via our website (or email Kent County Council: 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 quarry. Please share this email with anybody you think may be interested (or alert them via our website).

[1] 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 and click on the “Documents” tab. The new information has a filing date of November 2013.
[2] From the Meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, New Romney on Wednesday, 25 September. Minutes available online at

Draft response to Kent County Council (use as you please)
I write to oppose planning application KCC/SH/0381/2011, which seeks permission to excavate shingle from Dungeness in Kent, and to object to the recent submission made by the applicants (as published on the Authority’s website with a filing date of 5 November 2013).
The applicants’ state in their recent submission that their proposal will have only “Minor/negligible” effects and result in a “Low/negligible” magnitude of change on the Dungeness nature reserve. If the proposal is allowed to proceed, large-scale shingle extraction operations will clearly be heard and visible from across the nature reserve and the 70 lorry movements proposed per day will dangerously crowd the narrow road that winds through it. The quarry will obviously have more significant effects and greater impacts than the applicants’ suggest on this fragile Natura 2000 site, which is protected by the Habitats Regulations and the Authority’s own planning policies.
Dungeness is internationally important for its physiography, flora and fauna. Whether standing on its vast stone beaches surrounded by intense light and bright blue skies, or walking in the low coastal mist that makes the sky and the stones appear completely grey, the experience is always exhilarating and breath-taking. Permitting a quarry in this special environment—which is heavily protected by national and international nature conservation designations—would rob Kent of one of the jewels in its crown and set an extremely worrying precedent for other special and supposedly protected areas in Britain.
It is clear from both the application and the applicants’ remarks at a recent public meeting that the proposal to excavate shingle in Dungeness is poorly considered and inappropriate. (The applicants even acknowledged at a Meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee held in New Romney on Wednesday, 25 September, that the twelve-year term of their planning application could be insufficient, and they may want to extend the operational life of the quarry in the Dungeness Nature Reserve beyond this.) The proposed quarry would 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.

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