Our coasts and estuaries are amongst the most productive habitats for biodiversity in the world, and their value is recognised through legal designations, including under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives. They are also international shipping routes and perform a wider range of ecosystem functions including flood mitigation. Historically, planning decisions for new port developments have often hinged on the impacts on designated habitats and species, and the adequacy of compensation measures. The successful establishment of intertidal habitat for a number of new port developments in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, coupled with a new regulatory system and collaborative approaches by port developers and stakeholders has helped to overcome conflicts.
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