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Nature Reserves: West Sussex

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the effect of the Environment Agency's Managed Realignment proposals on the recently acquired RSPB Nature Reserve behind the Medmerry frontage. (200022)

The Environment Agency is currently developing the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy.

A strategic environmental assessment of the options is currently being completed and will be published with the draft and made available for public consultation. This will assess the impacts of many options, including managed realignment on the RSPB Nature Reserve and neighbouring land.

The Environment Agency will continue to discuss these potential options with the RSPB and other landowners in developing the strategy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the effect of the Managed Retreat losses under options (a) one and (b) two of the Environment Agency's proposals (i) in the Chichester Harbour area and (ii) at Selsey. (200023)

The Environment Agency has not yet published any proposals as part of the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy. The strategy is currently being drafted. It will make an assessment of the impacts of all options, including any losses as a result of managed realignment, in accordance with DEFRA guidance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to relocate the lost grazing marsh in Medmerry. (200025)

There are currently no plans to relocate any habitat as the Environment Agency has not yet concluded its investigations as part of the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy.

The grazing marsh behind the Medmerry sea defences forms part of the Bracklesham Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Environment Agency is working closely with Natural England and others to develop a Regional Habitat Creation Programme which will consider how best to offset potential habitat losses across the south east, such as that which could occur at Medmerry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether Selsey’s £1 billion asset value was taken into consideration when calculating the Cost Benefit Analysis on the frontage at Medmerry. (200057)

The Environment Agency is currently drafting a Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy. The cost benefit analysis for the Medmerry frontage does take into account the full asset value for Selsey and has been calculated in accordance with DEFRA guidelines.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the area of grazing marsh that will be lost to the sea under options (a) 1 and (b) 2 of the Environment Agency's Managed Retreat proposals. (200159)

The Environment Agency has not yet published any proposals as part of the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy. Options one and two were indicative outlines highlighted within the initial consultation document, which was published in November 2006.

The draft strategy is currently being prepared and a number of different options are being investigated, including realignment. The potential impacts of these options on the coastal hinterland, including the area of grazing marsh, will be fully assessed in the strategy.