The Goodwin Sands could become one of the Government’s first designated Highly Protected Marine Areas following our campaign.
A special review published this week sets out how new system of protected zones should work. It recommends that dredging and other forms of extraction should be prohibited, and that the Government should consider Goodwin Sands when it selects up to five pilot zones.
It all follows a bitter battle which saw the Port of Dover granted a licence in 2018 to dredge aggregate from the Sands to use in its Western Docks development. Shortly after being elected in December, I met with local campaigners and promised to seek greater long-term protections for the Sands. I have since held meetings with several Ministers including the Environment Secretary.
Because protecting the marine environment is so important for areas like ours. It affects not just us but our children and grandchildren. That’s why this week’s news is so encouraging – a system of fresh protections and two sites in our area put forward for further review.
I’m pleased our concerns are being listened to and I’ll be working with local groups to make the best possible case for our Sands in the next stage. I’ll also continue the work with them on management and mitigation strategies around the planned dredging work.