Proposals that enhance coastal habitats where important in their own right and/or for ecosystem functioning and provision of goods and services will be supported. Proposals must take account of the space required for coastal habitats where important in their own right and/or for ecosystem functioning and provision of goods and services and demonstrate that they will, in order of preference:
c) mitigate for net loss of coastal habitat.
- Proposals that enhance coastal habitats and/or their associated ecosystem services should include information demonstrating how this will be achieved. An example of enhancement could include the creation of saltmarsh habitat as part of a coastal realignment scheme, which can provide natural flood and erosion defence while acting as important habitat for wading birds.
- Proposals that offer enhancement must also assess adverse impacts in line with relevant legislation and regulations including Habitats Regulations Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and other national legislation. Enhancement is not a substitute for avoidance, protection or mitigation measures Proposals must include evidence of the identification and assessment of the potential for the net loss of coastal habitat. Where there are gaps in the evidence they may need to provide specific evidence. This should include, but not be limited to, the following habitats:-
- salt marshes
- intertidal mudflats
- sand and shingle beaches
- Proposals must avoid, minimised or mitigate the direct or indirect impacts to coastal habitats in the South plan marine area. For example this could include, reductions in the duration and intensity of proposals, the co-location of activities (see S-CO-1), use of sediment curtains to prevent siltation or, where a proposal is not permanent, taking steps to rehabilitate coastal habitats post decommissioning.
- Proposals should include a map of the location of their activity in relation to coastal habitats.
- Natural England can provide more information and advice on coastal habitats, and proposals should include any discussion or consultation with Natural England.