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Specialist Forums > Conservation Forum > Cornwall - threat to eel grass beds
posted : April 6, 2006 Post subject: Cornwall - threat to eel grass beds
Dear Friends,

For those of you that dive regularly in Cornwall and particularly around the far west such as Penzance.
MDL Developments Ltd want to remove nearly half a million tons of armourstone from Penlee Quarry which is situated between Mousehole and Newlyn for the development of Newlyn Harbour. The stone is to be ‘stored’ on the north side of the quarry and then removed by road using a fleet of massive trucks; they will shuttle back and forth continuously for up to two or three years! They hope to use the cycleway/footpath along the foreshore, and build a massive ramp to access it – it will be publicly unusable for the duration.

There is some concern about the effect on the varied wildlife within the quarry; some quite rare including peregrines. There is bound to be an effect from all the blasting (noise and dust) and there may well be some harmful sediment drain into the sea. This would damage the delicate eelgrass beds and marine habitats off Roskilly, which some might know as great spot for an accessible shallow shore dive in between doing the deeper wreck dives in the bay or further west.

I myself have done a few dives from Roskilly beach and would hate to see the marine habitat damaged. If any divers out there are concerned find out more about it and/or you could write to Cornwall County Council at the address below and voice your concerns about:

1. Not enough time being given to consider the application – ask for more.
2. Ask that an independent Ecological EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) be conducted (as is recommended in the report accompanying MDL’s submission).
3. Say how concerned you are about the many heavy lorries using the coast road (delays, congestion, danger, noise, loss of the cycleway, impact on business and tourism, visual intrusion etc). The stone could be brought from several other sources by sea.

If you feel so inclined, raise your additional concerns about all, or any, of the following:

4. The impact on wildlife. There are several rare species in the quarry, some protected.
5. What methods are being used to stop poisonous sediment being drained to sea?

Send your letter BY THE 18th APRIL (or later, even if you miss the deadline) to:

Assistant Director: Spatial Planning, Planning Transportation and Estates Department, Cornwall County Council, County Hall, Truro, TR1 SAY

Please copy and circulate this appeal to other divers and diving businesses and thank you for your support – it's needed!

In order to get an objective view here are two web sites giving both views on the development:

posted : April 11, 2006 Post subject: Cornwall - threat to eel grass beds
I know nothing of the area you refer about, however, anyone wishing to submit an objection should do so with specific issues.

It is vital local groups get together an get the issues/concerns publicised in local media (TV, radio and newspapers).

Some ideas on concerns:
Merely stating concern the work will have a detremental effect is not good enough to influence any decision.

Any objection should state specifics, such as (and I have no knowledge of local specifics):

Constructing the access road will remove the nesting sites for protected birds xxx

Removal of materila from xxx will destroy the habitat for xxx which is a rare/protected species as declared by....

Blasting rock on the shore of ........ with result in rock debris and dust being washed into the sea. Such contamination will result in xx tons (of cub metres) of dust particles of size xxx being washed into tthe shallow waters. Such material will carpet the local sea bed in large quantities of sediment which will not be washed away due to the lack of significant tidal movement (quote figures). Such sediment will destroy rare sea grasses crucial in the survival of ...........sea creatures (fish etc etc).

An environmental impact study is required to assess the impact of the development on the shore and in the sea due to .....(eg removal of breeding area, damage to habitat, disrution of the food chain for....)

Good luck - if you want some ideas how a local (to me) pressure group is dealing with Canatax who are planning deposit millions of tons of salt brine following creation of salt caverns to store gas at Pilling in Lancashire have a look for Canataxx on Google

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