February 26, 2011

Fears over loss of acres of farmland for wildlife mudflat

www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 26 February 2011

Residents have spoken of their fears over plans to turn hundreds of acres of land into a mudflat.

Concerns have been raised about plans to turn up to 400 acres of farmland into a wildlife mudflat at Cherry Cobb Sands, near Keyingham.

It would compensate for the loss of a wildlife marsh on the opposite bank of the Humber to a marine energy park at Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.

Residents were given their say on the £400 million green scheme, which will create 4,000 jobs, at a public consultation in Keyingham village hall.

Visitors were supportive of Able UK’s renewable energy development, but sought assurances about its impact on the north bank environment.

Graham Harness, of St Martins Road, Thorngumbald, said: “I welcome new industry which has the potential to provide jobs for my kids and grandchildren.

“Wind energy is a big thing for the future, but developers have to be careful that they don’t harm the environment and people’s amenities.

“I am concerned that breaching the flood bank at Cherry Cobb Sands to create the mudflat could have the effect of raising the water table and causing flooding elsewhere.

“We already have flooding problems in Thorngumbald, and I hope that Able UK will take this onboard when they are finalising their plans.”

Land at Cherry Cobb Sands had already been identified as a wildlife site in the Environment Agency’s 2008 Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Natural England and bird charity the RSPB called for the new mudflat for birds to compensate for the loss of habitat to the Able UK development.

Farmers have complained about the loss of productive arable land, but negotiations are now underway to compensate them.

Bryan Mallinson, of Goxhill, near Hornsea, said: “I am seeking assurances that the compensatory mudflat scheme will be properly managed.

“We will be losing farmland, and Able need to make sure there is no impact on wildlife, the environment and the landscape.”

Mr Mallinson said he welcomed any scheme that helped to reduce carbon emissions, but it must not be at the expense of other world resources.

“I think it could be a very good development for the future of off-shore wind energy, but there are concerns to be taken into consideration,” he said.

Able UK is holding a series of public consultation events before submitting its plans to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).

It wants to transform a 2,000 acre site in to a facility for manufacturing and installing offshore wind turbines.

Richard Cram, the project’s design director, said: “Communicating with he public and statutory regulators is part of good planning process.

“We want to show the benefits, and allay any fears that people may have about the project.

“We want people to look at the bigger Humber picture, and not just north and south bank developments, because it can become the European centre for offshore wind turbines.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/02/26/fears-over-loss-of-acres-of-farmland-for-wildlife-mudflat/