Plans for 3,500 houses and a marine hub at Tipner West, would tear through legally protected habitats, setting a dangerous precedent for all protected sites across the country.
The proposal is part of Portsmouth City Council’s Local Plan, and despite overwhelming public opposition to the idea, a consultation has now been launched and is running until the 31st of October.
The area is hugely important for wildlife and as a result, it has the highest possible level of protections for nature. It’s designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and a Ramsar Site in recognition of its internationally important value for wildlife.
Yet, if the current plans go ahead, 50 football pitches worth of legally protected mudflats, saltmarshes, tidal creeks and 5 football pitches of protected coastal grassland, used as vital high-tide roosts for wintering birds, would be destroyed.
Earlier this year, more than 24,000 people joined the RSPB and the Trust in signing a petition opposing the super-peninsula, telling Portsmouth City Council #DontGoThere.
Portsmouth’s Local Plan consultation could decide the fate of wildlife at Tipner and the public has their best chance to halt the development.
The wildlife charities have created an easy-to-use, online platform which allows the public to object to the super-peninsula proposals in the Local Plan and have their say on the future of Portsmouth’s wild spaces.
Portsmouth City Council must take every response into account, so the public’s voice can no longer be ignored.
Nick Bruce-White, RSPB Operations Manager – Southern England said:
“The vast expanses of mudflats at Tipner West and threatened coastal land provide vital habitat relied on by many species, including dark bellied brent geese and black-tailed godwit.
“Not only that, but Tipner West is also a great escape for local people to connect with nature and take a moment out from their busy lives – greatly benefiting the physical and mental health of those who visit.
“We are outraged at the possibility of building on such an important wildlife site. We strongly encourage people to make their objections heard by using our e-action platform. Every voice counts in making Portsmouth City Council hear this incredibly important message. Together we can make a difference and speak for wildlife by saying no to the super-peninsula development at Tipner West.”
Commenting on the proposed super-peninsula included in Portsmouth’s Local Plan, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said:
‘’Portsmouth’s super-peninsula development proposal is frankly unacceptable in the context of the climate and nature crisis that we face. The level of nature destruction this would cause locally is unprecedented and furthermore, it will set a dangerous precedent that could open the floodgates for concreting over legally protected sites across the country.
“This consultation is one of our last opportunities to make our voice heard: we must draw a line in the sand and stop the decline of nature before it is too late. Let’s reject nature’s destruction and create a wilder future for Portsmouth and for all of us.”