CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Commercial and industrial - Causeway found harmful to nature conservation

Enforcement action against a causeway on the Kent coast has been upheld after an inspector ruled that it caused harm to a site of special scientific interest and an area of local landscape importance.

The structure had been authorised for a temporary period to allow the removal of two wrecks. The appellants argued that following completion of this exercise, the causeway should be retained to enable the loading and offloading of plant and machinery onto a working barge used in conjunction with a nearby port.

The Environment Agency and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds objected on the basis that the causeway would interfere with important feeding and roosting areas and the sightlines of birds. The inspector concluded that it was a significant intrusion into the local landscape and harmed an intertidal habitat. This harm was not outweighed by any commercial shipping benefit because a nearby marina would provide compensatory opportunities, he decided.

DCS No: 55893154; Inspector: Andrew Kirby; Written representations.

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