Save Swanscombe Marshes Planning Action Taken

Swanscombe Marshes (c) Daniel Greenwood

The application to build the London Resort theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula has now been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and will be examined as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) this year. This is hot on the heels of Natural England declaring that it should be declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), confirming it as one of our country’s best wildlife sites. So it is now more important than ever that we make sure the Planning Inspectorate, and ultimately the Secretary of State, understand just how important the Swanscombe Peninsula is for its precious wildlife and the local communities that depend on it.

Help Buglife, Kent Wildlife Trust, RSPB and CPRE Kent highlight the value of this wildlife haven by registering as an ‘Interested Party’ and emailing your comments to the Planning Inspectorate. It will only take five minutes and will make sure that your voice is heard in this important battle to save the site. You had until Wednesday 31st March to speak up for the amazing wildlife at Swanscombe.

Simply visit the Planning Inspectorate website here and select ‘I am completing this form for myself to give my own personal views’. You will then be given space to voice your concerns, but try to limit any comments to only 500 words. NSIPs are a complicated process, but don’t worry, you are able to submit a representation here without any obligation to engage with it further.

Here’s some advice to complete your representation:

  • Make it personal- from our experience, this is what makes comments stand out. The examiners don’t want to look at hundreds of comments which say exactly the same thing!
  • Keep your comments simple, make clear statements and keep it to under 500 words.
  • Swanscombe Peninsula supports an outstanding range of wildlife- tell them how important it is for the wildlife depends on it. Pick out what concerns you most about the habitats and species at Swanscombe and say why. To help you write your comments, here are some headlines to guide you:
    • Swanscombe is a unique open mosaic of coastal habitats, grasslands, scrub and wetlands that have developed as a result of the site’s complex human history.
    • Natural England have recommended Swanscombe be declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest- we must protect our most important wildlife sites from being lost.
    • It supports over 250 invertebrate species of conservation concern, including the Critically Endangered Distinguished jumping spider (Attulus distinguendus), which is found on only one other site in the UK. Swanscombe is home to nationally rare and endangered bees, spiders, beetles, wasps and a host of other invertebrates that make the site of national importance.
    • Its rich breeding bird assemblage includes 15 red-listed Birds of Conservation Concern and 12 Species of Principal Importance- including Marsh harriers, Bearded tit, Nightingales and Black redstart.
    • 13 nationally scarce vascular plant species have been found at Swanscombe, including 5 red-listed species such as the Man orchid.
    • It also has locally important populations of reptiles, bats, Water vole and Otter.
    • If you want to go into greater detail on Swanscombe’s value for wildlife, please see the “Rationale for the SSSI designation of the Swanscombe Peninsula” which was presented to Natural England in February.
  • If you live locally to Swanscombe- say so and tell them how you feel about the development as a member of the local community who depends on the Peninsula for your recreation, passions, health and wellbeing. Tell them about your experiences walking around and spending time on the Peninsula.
  • Highlight your concerns that wildlife across the country is in drastic decline, and that it is more important than ever to spare our national treasures!
  • The Swanscombe Peninsula is simply the wrong place for a theme park- we must value our precious wildlife more than we do a theme park.

Thank you for your continued support for our efforts to Save Swanscombe. If you haven’t already done so, please sign and share our petition, which has already been signed by over 22,400 people-

Attulus distinguendus (c) Roman Willi

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