Tipner ‘super-peninsula’ is a no go for nature.

© Deryn Hawkins

The Wildlife Trust opposes plans, put forward by Portsmouth City Council, to build 4000 new homes on reclaimed land at Tipner West.

In an attempt to squeeze even more homes onto Portsea Island, Portsmouth City Council have made public their plans to build a ‘car-free’ super-peninsula on the ‘protected’* mudflats of Portsmouth Harbour.

But these plans would destroy precious, vibrant natural habitats – seriously harming the Solent’s wildlife and undermining Portsmouth’s own stated ambitions to tackle environmental issues.

The mudflats themselves are alive with wildlife and provide a nursery ground for fish like Bass. They also form a network of feeding areas crucial for the thousands of birds which flock here every autumn and winter.  Portsmouth boasts internationally important populations of black-tailed godwit, brent geese and other waterbirds. The Tipner area in particular is known to be a point of connection between Portsmouth and Langstone Harbours for these birds, so it plays a particularly special role.

On top of this, disturbance of the mudflats risks releasing carbon currently locked away and reduces the ability to store more.  The loss of natural habitat will increases the danger of erosion, while additional housing here will also inevitably increase the strain on our already struggling water treatment infrastructure, limited water supplies and increase recreational pressure on Portsmouth’s few green patches.

Even more fundamentally, the plan to build a defended new urban area in this location is highly unsustainable, given the inevitable rises in sea-level. 

Tipner

Commenting on the planned development, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “The climate emergency and threat of ecological collapse must surely demand a different approach to development.   It’s just not good enough to keep squeezing nature until there’s no where for it to go. 

“Our cities will quickly become inhabitable for both wildlife and people. We need to re-think sustainable development at a local and national level. Instead of trashing our precious natural assets, we should be protecting and strengthening a Nature Recovery Network across our counties and our country.”