Crouch wildlife project imminent

Plans to build one of Europe's largest wetland habitats will not have a detrimental effect on the River Crouch say authorities

The Crouch Harbour Authority (CHA) says it is working with interested parties to ensure the creation of the proposed £20m Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project causes minimum disruption to river users.

The CHA is in discussions with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Crossrail to ensure the proposed Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project will not cause chaos on the river.

Plans to build the RSPB-owned and managed habitat are well underway, despite protest from local boaters who are concerned that it could lead to the river silting up, causing problems with navigation.

The idea behind the 750-acre conservation area is to create a saltmarsh wildlife habitat by artificially raising the level of the island using recovered tunnelled material from London’s Crossrail Project.

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John Archer, chairman of CHA, said, “We believe that the finished project will be a big asset for our river – a wild and beautiful place for boaters to enjoy. Our prime consideration is that the process is safe and to ensure river users are inconvenienced to the minimum extent.”

Subject to the licence being granted, work will begin in early 2010.

A public meeting on the progress of the project will be held at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on 17 April at 7.30pm.