Newlands, West of Waterlooville: Habitats Regulations Assessment and Quality Assurance Review of Ecological Impact Assessment, Environmental Statement Biodiversity Chapter, and Evidence to inform a Habitats Regulations Assessment
Client: Winchester City Council & Havant Borough Council
In 2011 staff from Urban Edge Environmental Consulting coordinated work on behalf of the planning authorities, Winchester City and Havant Borough Councils, to provide technical advice in support of their consideration of a hybrid application for a residential-led Major Development Area west of Waterlooville.
The brief consisted of two main elements. Firstly to review the sections on biodiversity in the Environmental Statement required in support of the application, to assess their soundness against current legislation and good practice, and provide a commentary on their effectiveness in protecting habitats and species known to be present on site, including ancient woodland, barn owl, dormouse, badger, otter and great crested newt.
Secondly, to assess all the relevant work undertaken to date (particularly the proponent’s HRA Screening Assessment), consultation with appropriate statutory and non-statutory nature conservation bodies and, where necessary, carry out additional work required in order to undergo stage one HRA (screening), to determine whether proposals for 2,550 dwellings either alone or in combination with other plans and projects would be likely to have a significant effect on any European site, and subsequently whether stage two Appropriate Assessment is required.
The site is within 5km of internationally designated nature conservation areas at Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester Harbours. The contract required extensive liaison with the proponent, Councils, Natural England, the County Ecologist and other nature conservation bodies.
Following receipt of additional information from the applicant, we were further instructed to undertake an HRA Screening Assessment on behalf of the Councils.
The application was successfully consented.