Yesterday a group of campaigners from the Dover and Deal area handed in a petition of 11,677 signatures to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. The petition opposes plans by Dover Harbour Board (DHB) to dredge 2.5million cubic metres of aggregate from the Goodwin Sands over the next 3 – 4 years. The aggregate will be used in the massive £200 million Dover Port expansion project which begins next year.
Campaigners argue that dredging on this huge scale will damage the unique marine habitat of the Goodwin Sands and will threaten the survival of a broad range of sea life which depend upon it including a colony of 350 grey seals and the Thornback Ray. It is also argued that the removal of a large chunk of the sands will reduce the level of protection provided by the Goodwins to the East Kent coastline and could result in greater erosion and increased tidal flooding. Finally, the Goodwin Sands are the location of many historic shipwrecks and the remains of countless Battle of Britain aircraft. As someone committed to protecting the environment and conserving our history, I think this large scale dredging is wrong and I support the campaigners and
|Save Goodwin Sands Petition Handed in to Number 10 Yesterday. |
Picture Goodwin Sands SOS Facebook Group
I believe that Brett’s Ramsgate Port expansion proposals are directly linked to, and timed to coincide with, DHBs plans to undertake the massive and damaging dredging of the Goodwin Sands. Having a modern state of the art aggregate washing plant conveniently located at a port close to Dover would place Brett’s in a very strong position to successfully tender for the lucrative aggregate processing contracts which DHB might be letting during the construction of the expanded port. Brett, though its joint venture companies Britannia Aggregates and Volker Dredging (2) already have substantial experience of marine dredging making them an even stronger contender to become DHBs partner of choice to dredge the Goodwin Sands and process the extracted aggregate”.
Its inconceivable that TDC and KCC are unaware of the link between Brett’s expansion proposals at the Port of Ramsgate and DHBs plans to dredge 2.5 million cubic metres from the Goodwin Sands. To allow Brett to expand their operations at Ramsgate makes KCC and TDC complicit in an act of unprecedented environmental and historic vandalism on a massive scale. I publically call upon Ramsgate Port owners Thanet Council and its leader Chris Wells to refuse, in the interest of environmental protection, to give Brett Aggregate Ltd permission to locate their aggregate washing facility at the Port of Ramsgate