ECOLOGY CONSULTANCY & ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING IN BRIGHTON & SUSSEX

Whitehill Bordon Eco-Town

Client: Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

Project: Whitehill Bordon Eco-Town

Urban Edge Environmental Consulting team members were first appointed by the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town team in early 2009.  The brief was to carry out a visitor survey of internationally important nature conservation sites and other greenspaces around the town, to inform the development masterplan, provision and enhancement of greenspaces, and supply data for use in a Habitats Regulations Assessment.

The eco-town proposal was in response to a release of garrison land by the Ministry of Defence, and a need to regenerate the town to create a sustainable town.

The focus of the HRA was on the relationship between an increasing population as a result of residential proposals, and growing recreational pressure on protected sites.  Effects from a suite of urban edge effects (such as cat predation, fire, fly-tipping, trampling and erosion) and atmospheric pollution through road traffic and energy generation were also analysed.

Extensive visitor surveys were carried out in 2009, and visitor activity data was used to model the effects of spatial housing options on designated sites.  It also informed designs for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces intended to offset disturbance effects.

The project involved an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement to help ensure that a diversity of local and national interests groups could feed into the study.

The three study outputs – HRA Report, Land Management Report, and Air Quality Assessment – will be used as evidence in support of the Core Strategy for East Hampshire, as well as to help redraw the masterplan in response to recommendations.

We coordinated the project with technical input from a number of specialists.  The visitor survey was carried out in association with the University of Brighton.  The HRA was undertaken in association with Jonathan Cox Associates.  Greenspace planning and recreation management were explored in conjunction with JPC Strategic Planning and Leisure, and Steve Jenkinson Access and Countryside Management.  Atmospheric pollution modelling was carried out by Air Quality Consultants.

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