plans for new Steart Peninsula wildlife habitat unveiled
major planning application has been formally submitted by the
Environment Agency this week which involves 488 acres of coastline
near Burnham-On-Sea being transformed into a huge new wildlife
proposals would see a large area of land on the Steart Peninsula
being flooded to create a huge new wetlands site, complete with
walkways, bridleways and cycle paths for visitors.
Environment Agency's planning application has been submitted to
Sedgemoor District Council over the past week following a period
of consultation in 2011.
application requests "the construction of wetland habitat
comprising intertidal and freshwater areas, accompanied by set-back
banks as flood defences, improvements to existing defences, walkways,
observation points and hides, car parking and landscaping."
major scheme - which will cost over £20million - will be
considered in detail by members of Sedgemoor's development control
committee during the next few months.
plans have been put forward as a 'community gain' after Bristol
Port Authority was last year granted planning consent to build
a huge new container terminal in Avonmouth to accommodate larger
the new container terminal will involve reclaiming some of the
foreshore on which birds currently feed and roost, therefore the
Port has been requested to create new 'compensatory habitat' for
wetland birds and other wildlife in the Bristol Channel. The port
company will be helping to fund the Steart work and also improve
flood defences in the area.
Environment Agency says: "The Environment Agency has to find
alternative areas to create habitats to replace those that are
being lost through the effects of new hard flood defences
and rising sea levels. We are combining this with developing measures
to manage flood risk around the Severn Estuary. The Steart Peninsula
is an area of low-lying agricultural land, with 14 residential
"The area is at risk of flooding and the existing sea defences
offer a low level of flood protection. The area has long been
identified as a site where there is potential to realign the sea
defences. This would mean moving the flood defences back from
their existing position to create a more sustainable way to manage
flood risk at the same time as creating important intertidal habitat."
the proposals are granted approval, there are hopes that the new
habitat will help attract more visitors to the Burnham-On-Sea
area, possibly giving a boost to accommodation providers.