Plans to dredge Goodwin Sands "makes a mockery" of protected status, say campaigners

Plans to dredge Goodwin Sands "makes a mockery" of protected status, say campaigners Credit: ITV Meridian

Campaigners against plans to dredge millions of tonnes from the Goodwin sands off the Kent coast say the project makes a mockery of its protected status.  

The Goodwins were designated as a marine conservation zone last year - but this doesn't stop them being dredged.

Plans to extract up to 3 million tonnes of sand and gravel have been slammed by campaigners.

The aggregate will be used to redevelop Dover's docks - with a new marina pier and cargo terminal creating hundred of jobs.

Campaigners say there has to be a change in attitude. Credit: ITV Meridian

There's got to be a change in attitude, Goodwins was designated in 2019, but the protection policy and the management plans still haven't been drawn up, and to make it worse, the licensing authority, the Marine Management Organisation, can issue licences that can damage the seabed so it makes them completely meaningless

Joanna Thomson, Goodwin Sands SOS

Campaigners warn that dredging risks the already eroding coastline at Kingsdown and could affect the hundreds of seals using the Goodwins.  

Campaigners warn that dredging could impact the local seals. Credit: ITV Meridian

The Marine Management Organisation, which approved the dredging licence, said the application was subject to extensive public consultation and that it remains satisfied that the decision is based on the best available evidence, is proportionate and complies with relevant policy.  

Watch Abigail Bracken's report here: