Search

Eastern Bavants sea defences

PUBLISHED: 09:51 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 05 July 2010

IN celebrating the achievements of the admirable Peter Boggis many articles have missed the point about the subject of the court case, its outcome, and the role of Natural England .

IN celebrating the achievements of the admirable Peter Boggis many articles have missed the point about the subject of the court case, its outcome, and the role of Natural England .

Natural England designated the Easton Bavents area in Suffolk as a site of national geological importance because it patently is one - as Justice Blair entirely agreed in Friday's High Court judgment.

The court disagreed with Mr Boggis's claim that Natural England had misdirected itself in notifying the SSSI for the reasons it did. The only area of Mr Boggis's claim which was upheld by the court was his view that the notification was a “plan or project” under the Habitat Regulations and therefore needed an “appropriate assessment” of the impacts of the SSSI designation on other wildlife interests.

The other misrepresentation is that this case was about whether Mr Boggis can protect his home by constructing a sea defence.

The SSSI does not stop Mr Boggis building a sea defence. In fact, another owner has already been granted consent to do so. It simply means that the planning authority, and any other decision-making body, should take account of the impacts of such a development on the SSSI features.

The principle of sustainable development is that environmental, social and economic factors should be given due consideration. If Waveney District Council feels that the social and economic benefits of a sea defence outweigh the negative impacts on a conservation site then they can authorise its construction.

To date, Waveney District Council has not been able to make this choice as Mr Boggis has not made a full application for planning permission. He also needs to approach the Environment Agency for a licence if he intends to put waste on the beach to construct his defence.

Natural England wishes to continue working with Mr Boggis and other agencies to find a solution. We believe the planning system is the right place to balance the public interests of the conservation site and the private interests of adjacent homeowners and we would encourage Mr Boggis to make use of it.

This is a difficult case and our admiration for Mr Boggis's determination to defend his home is matched only by our frustration at the misrepresentation of the facts in the way it has recently been reported.

SHAUN THOMAS

Regional director East of England

Natural England

Shaftesbury Road

Cambridge

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists