Owners face land buy-up for wildlife

THOUSANDS of acres of private land in Suffolk and Essex could be compulsory purchased for salt marshes and wildlife habitats to compensate for a tidal power scheme in Wales.

Russell Claydon

THOUSANDS of acres of private land in Suffolk and Essex could be compulsory purchased for salt marshes and wildlife habitats to compensate for a tidal power scheme in Wales.

Proposals for a barrage in the Severn estuary, to generate renewable electricity, could have implications for the areas around estuaries in Suffolk and north Essex, it has emerged.

Land owners bordering the water ways in the two counties are being warned about the possible threat after it was revealed the purchase of their property could be forced through.


You may also want to watch:


The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) - an organisation for owners of rural land, property and businesses - are warning land owners of the Government orchestrated plans.

Nicola Currie, the CLA eastern region director, voiced her fears a Severn barrage could wipe out private land surrounding estuaries of the Orwell, Stour, Deben, Harwich and Hamford Water, which are all on a list of suitable sites.

Most Read

“This could have far reaching implications for land owners in these areas as any land required will be acquired under compulsory purchase,” she said last night. “There is a long way to go before final decisions are made, and indeed the compensatory habitat may well be in other areas. Nonetheless we are advising any land owners who think that they might be affected to ensure they have registered their riparian rights (with the Land Registry).”

Riparian rights are those belonging to land alongside rivers and estuaries and include rights such as access for boating, swimming, fishing and oyster farms.

The current plans on a barrage contain a requirement to create up to 100,000 hectares of compensatory habitats to offset land lost to nature, and the areas could be sited outside the immediate area of the Severn.

Preliminary studies are already underway into a Severn Barrage, with the prospect of it being capable of supply 5% of the UK's total electricity needs.

The energy facility would have the effect of raising water levels and drowning intertidal habitats on the banks of the Severn estuary, a wetland site of international importance and also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

A spokesman for the DECC said: “We have not got any plans yet as to where compensatory habitats would be located and we have not made any decisions to go ahead with the tidal scheme anyway.

“However, we are consulting and we want to hear people's views, including people from Suffolk and Essex.

“They can get in touch with us through the website: www.severntidalpowercosultation.decc.gov.uk”.

Anyone wishing to get involved in the consultation process can also contact the CLA regional office for more details on: 01284 789201. The initial consultation has a deadline of April 23.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus