FAMILIES are being urged to have their say on plans to protect birds from development on the coast.

New planning guidance for developers is being drawn up to ensure wildlife is protected from additional human and dog visits caused by new housing developments.

All 12 local authorities in Essex, including Tendring Council, are working together to introduce the advice to ensure areas of the coastline, recognised as internationally important for bird life, are protected from the indirect impacts of house building.

Nick Turner, chairman of the council’s planning policy and Local Plan committee, encouraged people to take part in the consultation.

He said: “Thousands of birds come to the Tendring coastline to breed and feed, and new housing will lead to more people visiting the coast for leisure, such as dog walking.

“With an increase in visitor numbers comes the potential to cause more disturbance, and research shows this will affect the birds’ survival unless mitigation measures are put in place.

“These measures come at a cost, and the Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy means that those who build homes, pay to reduce the impact which housing will have on our coastal environment.”

To have your say, go to bit.ly/2t5s4e6.