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Fears over dredging plans

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 05 July 2010

Plans to extend dredging off the East Anglian coast could accelerate coastal erosion and even endanger banks protecting Sizewell nuclear power station, it was claimed yesterday.

Plans to extend dredging off the East Anglian coast could accelerate coastal erosion and even endanger banks protecting Sizewell nuclear power station, it was claimed yesterday.

Concerned residents and coastal campaigners who attended a public meeting about the latest dredging proposals also voiced fears that gravel extraction was already decimating fishing stocks by destroying spawning grounds.

The newly-formed Anglian Offshore Dredging Association of dredging companies held a series of presentations at Yarmouth racecourse to outline its plans.

Representatives of the association explained how it was embarking on an environmental assessment of a wide area of East Anglian coastal waters as the first stage in applying for the renewal of existing dredging licences and for new ones to extend the area of dredging activity.

Dr Andrew Bellamy, scotched the idea that dredging could accelerate coastal erosion, insisting it was carried out too far out to sea and in too deep water to have any effect.

But prospective Green MEP Rupert Read said he felt further dredging represented “a dire risk to further damaging our fragile coastline”.

Pat Gowen, a spokesman for the local coastal protection group Marinet, said proposed new dredging near Sizewell could pose a serious danger to the power station if the banks protecting it were eroded.

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