DTI001 22_11_17

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Call to save curlew from Yorks project

Curlew JonHawkinsTHE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT of a £200m business energy park in Yorkshire could affect at-risk curlews, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) warns.

The YWT has issued an objection to East Riding of Yorkshire Council to the proposed Yorkshire Energy Park development near Hedon, which is home to more than 220 curlews. The species was added to the UK red list for conservation concern in December 2015, after studies had revealed that habitat loss due to development, pollution and climate change were behind its decline.

The YWT says the site earmarked by developers is an important foraging area for curlew and that its loss would have a significant negative impact on the species’ population.

The YWT’s Lauren Garside said: “The proposed development land at Hedon is functionally linked to the Humber Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) because of its importance in supporting the threatened curlew. It should therefore be offered the same protection as land within the SPA. For this very reason the Trust is of the opinion that the planning application at the very least undergoes an assessment under the Habitats Regulations.”

If the development goes ahead, as compensation, the developers are offering to set aside 46 hectares for the species, but the YWT says that this would be a significant loss of habitat as curlew currently use 88 hectares of the site.

Ms Garside added: “We also do not regard it as appropriate to speculate that the curlew utilising the site could be effectively displaced to other habitats as has been suggested. There simply is a lack of suitable habitat elsewhere.” The YWT’s objection also extends to the impact on other species, such as golden plover and lapwing.

As we went to press, the YWT is waiting on a Habitats Regulations Assessment, which is being carried out by the developers.

● Locals are encouraged to have their say as soon as possible. To comment, visit: https://newplanningaccess.eastriding.gov.ukhttps://newplanningaccess.eastriding.gov.uk and search for reference 17/01673/ STOUTE. Note: you need to register to comment.

● See Letters, page 7 for a statement from Yorkshire Energy Park.

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