Is there a
We believe there is...
So what does this Directive 2009/147 EC (wild birds) state?
1. The species mentioned in Annex I shall be the subject of special conservation measures concerning their habitat in order to ensure their survival and reproduction in their area of distribution.
2. Member States shall take similar measures for regularly occurring migratory species not listed in Annex I, bearing in mind their need for protection in the geographical sea and land area where this Directive applies, as regards their breeding, moulting and wintering areas and staging posts along their migration routes. To this end, Member States shall pay particular attention to the protection of wetlands and particularly to wetlands of international importance.
4. In respect of the protection areas referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States shall take appropriate steps to avoid pollution or deterioration of habitats or any disturbances affecting the birds, in so far as these would be significant having regard to the objectives of this Article. Outside these protection areas, Member States shall also strive to avoid pollution or deterioration of habitats.”
The Official Solent and Southampton Water SPA Description
From the JNCC (Joint Nature and Conservation Committee; who state the following about their work ") we have the following official SPA Description, of which the Upper Hamble Estuary and Woods is a constituent SSSI part of: -
“This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
During the breeding season;
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, 267 pairs representing at least
2.2% of the breeding population in
Little Tern Sterna albifrons, 49 pairs representing at least
2.0% of the breeding population in
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, 2 pairs representing
at least 20.0% of the breeding population in
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, 2 pairs representing at least
3.3% of the breeding population in
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis, 231 pairs representing at
least 1.7% of the breeding population in
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, 1,125
individuals representing at least 1.6% of the wintering
Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla, 7,506 individuals representing at least 2.5% of the wintering Western Siberia/Western Europe population (5 year peak mean, 1992/3-1996/7)
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, 552 individuals representing at least 1.1% of the wintering Europe/Northern Africa - wintering population (5 year peak mean, 1992/3-1996/7)
Teal Anas crecca, 4,400 individuals representing at least
1.1% of the wintering
Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
Over winter, the area regularly supports 53,948 individual waterfowl, 5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6 including:
Gadwall Anas strepera,Teal Anas crecca, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa islandica, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla, Wigeon Anas penelope, Redshank Tringa totanus, Pintail Anas acuta, Shoveler Anas clypeata, Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Curlew Numenius arquata,Shelduck Tadorna tadorna.
Please read that last section again...
"Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year"
Seems pretty simple doesn't it and we have checked with a Senior Advisor, International Site Designations, from Natural England - and it does mean exactly what it says...which includes all the species listed above...ALL OF THEM...WHENEVER THEY OCCUR IN THE SPA!
The developers' reasoning as to why these 3000+ homes can be built here is that this part of the SPA only has SPA interest birds in the Winter so breeding season etc is 'fair game' - obviously they have not looked at the bird count data or the real site description.
We have...there is a breeding season presence and SPA interest and therefore must have exclusion zones similar to Thames Basin Heaths from this proposed development to prevent a significant detriment to the site - to do otherwise would be unlawful!
Surprisingly (or not) ALL the assumptions made about this site's suitability are therefore flawed - even 6 years down the line from the first time WCC proposed it. And yet we are meant to believe that all the environmental issues were considered at the time...
So if the assumptions about the SPA are incorrect where does this put the proposed development, the Core Strategy and any planning application?
I mean to get something THAT basic wrong?
Nigel Farage has been the only MEP to answer our email on this EU protected site- his response can be seen here
The Conservatives are still somewhat silent!
Do we actually have any Conservative MEPs out there?
PUSH on their website say (PUSH GI Strategy adopted June
2010): point 2.3 "A zone of influence around the European sites
within which alternative greenspace is required to offset
recreational pressures arising from new housing;" and a few
lines later "Appropriate alternative
greenspace quality guidelines for LPAs (similar
to Natural England’s quality guidelines for the Thames Basin Heaths,
based on visitor perception
surveys);" then later in "4.4 THEME II: Maximising biodiversity opportunities, adapting to change and protecting
European sites" and a moment later...under Objective 5:
"Contribute to the mitigation of the impacts of growth on European sites using buffer zones, providing alternative recreation destinations and reducing the effects of coastal squeeze by providing new habitat sites."
SPA/SAC/Ramsar European Protected sites, Planning Protection - does it really exist?
An example of why protection barriers/zones are needed for SPAs etc - seen in Suttons Copse (SINC) 26/6/11 at 14.27hrs (sorry they didn't stay around to pose - they disappeared rather quickly so knew what they were doing was a bit 'iffy'!) :
Read the report for all the planned chaos here:-
website updated 5 August 2011