Some of the latest progress with the ongoing saga unfolding in the Broads.
- NE’s controversial biomanipulation project includes the erection of barriers in the broads to prevent access for bream. It does not include dealing with the sources and causes of pollution including sewage and agriculture.
- NE received planning permission for the scheme in 2016 but with the proviso in the projects Environmental Statement that it would not proceed if it caused a significant impact to the fishery.
- The impact that it will have is obvious because it will stop fish getting access to their spawning grounds.
- NE applied for a Flood Risk Activity (FRAP) Permit in 2020 and were granted it despite the EA unlawfully withholding information from the public including the EA fisheries teams objections on the basis that it would cause a significant impact on the fishery.
- BASG, AT and FL then successfully challenged the decision by way of judicial review and the FRAP permit decision was quashed.
- Meanwhile, two barriers were erected in the broads without a FRAP permit. The EA said that they would send their file to the enforcement team.
- The EA lead Broads fisheries specialist resigns from the agency as his position had become untenable.
- Then the Broads Authority confirmed that these barriers required planning permission but did not have it.
- NE are therefore in breach of both permitting and planning control
- NE have put in another application for a permit and, again, the EA consultation website is incomplete and misses out the EA fisheries teams views, as in 2020.
Justin Neal, solicitor at FL said, “it is extraordinary that the body responsible for the protection of sensitive sites has been caught putting in fish barriers without permits and planning permission. When will NE begin to use its position and budget in a sensible way by concentrating on stopping the causes of pollution, rather than chasing an unproved and damaging project?”
Kelvin Allen Chair of BASG states, “We continue the journey and saga over this issue and as the recent saline incursion proves the need that successful fish recruitment is critical to the sustainability of the broads fish stock with it’s challenges from nature, let alone man with this proposal.”
Image left dead fish at Martham in early April 2021, following the tidal surge w/c 5th April.
For more information see Broads fish and ecolgy threatened by Salt Surge