In a nutshell...
Portsmouth City Council have proposed to drain and concrete over a large area of Portsmouth Harbour to create a ‘super-peninsula’ on which to build 3,500 new houses and a marine hub.
Portsmouth Harbour is one of the largest expanses of mudflats and tidal creeks on the south coast of Britain and provides vital feeding grounds for internationally important populations of dark-bellied brent geese, dunlin and black-tailed godwits, as well as other wintering waders. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site in recognition of its importance.
The proposals will destroy more than 27ha of Portsmouth Harbour's protected intertidal habitats, as well as 3ha of protected land which is used by roosting birds and an additional area of undesignated but 'functionally linked' grassland used by foraging brent geese. These habitats are already under increasing pressure from coastal squeeze, rising sea level and poor water quality.
Providing significant new housing within Portsmouth is challenging as there is limited land available and the existing infrastructure is already under pressure. However, to destroy part of Portsmouth's natural assets is unsustainable and would be to the detriment of the people of Portsmouth. This is a fantastic natural asset and should be valued not just for its intrinsic value but for its importance to people.
We are in a climate and ecological emergency. In addition to their value for nature these habitats provide an important function helping to protect Portsmouth from erosion and provide natural carbon storage. Given the threats of climate change and rising sea levels these proposals are wholly inappropriate and would be extremely costly both financially and environmentally.