Why increasing the height of the causeway matters

SMSW appreciates that the causeway linking the island to the mainland (not contained within the footprint of the existing lighthouse infrastructure) is in need of repair; however, the construction method proposed will increase the height of the existing causeway, change the causeway covering and uncovering times and have a detrimental impact the way wildlife makes use of the island.

Causeway, at the turn of the tide

When access onto the island is restricted due to the causeway being flooded the island becomes an essential sanctuary for a diverse range of wildlife. Raising the causeway level even by 250mm will extend the time the island is accessible. Increasing the times this habitat is accessible will extend the time the wildlife is subjected to the very high levels of disturbance seen on this site and see a so far unaccounted-for increase in disturbance levels to the wildlife the island supports.

Reducing the time the wildlife has on the reserve undisturbed, along with other issues associated with this development will be devastating to this struggling site and all the wildlife it supports. It ought to be possible for the causeway to be repaired without increasing its height; we hope that North Tyneside Council will put the wildlife at the forefront of its decision-making and find a way to address this issue.

All documentation attached to the application case ref: MLA/2017/00296 and 17/01146/FUL referencing the repairs to the causeway specifies that the new concrete cast over the existing surface will be a minimum of 250mm thick. No finished level has been provided therefore it is impossible to determine the final height increase to the causeway level as a result of repair work.

It is our belief that:

  • This development would potentially impact on Natura 2000 feature species as well as SSSI and BAP feature species through residual disturbance caused by prolonged and increased footfall.
  • The applicant has failed to provide adequate information to undertake a vigorous assessment as to the potential impacts of the proposal upon a number of designated sites and their associated interest/notified features.
  • Information provided lacks supporting evidence and the applicant has failed to provide sufficient information to allow the MMO to undertake a robust assessment as to the potential impacts of the proposal.
  • Potential impacts have not been mitigated adequately.
  • Alternative construction method whereby there is no increased height to the causeway level is possible.

There is only so much pressure the wildlife on this site can endure. Please help protect it before it is too late.