Protection of birds on Minquiers maintained

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PLANS to carry out work on a property on the Minquiers throughout the summer have been rejected due to concerns over the impact on birds during the breeding season.

The proposals, submitted by James Pointer, requested permission to remove the condition that no works be allowed to take place on the islands between 1 March and 31 July to allow him to replace the concrete pointing with lime pointing on his property – which sits on the reef’s Maîtresse Île.

However, the application was refused as the works were ‘likely to cause disturbance to native birds on Les Minquiers during peak nesting season, contrary to Policy NE1 of the Bridging Island Plan 2022’.

Five public comments had been submitted to the government’s planning website objecting to the plans.

One of those was from John Le Gresley, chair of the Maîtresse Île Residents Association, who said that due to ‘lengthy nesting activity’, work on the property should not begin between the restricted months.

‘Different species nest at different times, starting with shags and cormorants, then herring gulls, followed later by greater black-backed gulls,’ he said.

‘Oystercatchers definitely have nestlings in situ as late as early August and these birds in particular are especially vulnerable to gull depredation if disturbed.’

Mr Le Gresley added that in previous years, those who had carried out building activity on the islands had not always cleared away at completion.

The government’s Natural Environment Team also objected to the plans.

They said: ‘Land Resource Management does not support this application to remove Condition one from the permit, due to the likely detrimental impacts that will be had on protected bird species during the critical breeding season.’

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