Fears over the “significant loss” of mudflats, potentially caused by dredging and development on a River Medina site, have seen Natural England advise against plans for the proposed Kingston Marine Park on the Isle of Wight.
However, the Isle of Wight Council says it has active interest in the site, from marine companies based on and off the Island.
Although it has been earmarked as a potential base for marine-related employment, according to legislation prospective developers must first demonstrate there are no less-damaging alternatives and that the economic case for the development outweighs the loss of habitat.
After claims from a local councillor that the plans were “dead in the water”, the Isle of Wight Council said,
“Natural England has raised concerns about the level of dredging connected with previous proposals for a hoist dock to be provided at the site, so the size and type of vessels that can access the water and therefore be constructed there will be more limited than originally anticipated.”
The East Cowes site, adjacent to Hawthorn Meadows, was hailed as alternative deep water access for marine businesses under threat and potentially displaced by the granting of planning permission for large-scale developments in both East and west Cowes.
Natural England told Isle of Wight Radio it had not been formally asked for an update on the site, which is a Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation.
Internationally protected, it supports bird life and the tentacled lagoon worm.