Schedule of Sites Consultation Document (February 2015)
Representation ID: 2167
Respondent: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
DWT most strongly recommend that the following sites hold significant and probably substantive nature conservation resources; Recommend that they are not taken forward as housing land allocations;
ECK/902 & ECK1603 - sites are contiguous;abut two Local Wildlife Sites (NE187 Smithy Brook/Margins; BO179 Smithy Brook,Bolsover) ; significant part of site is identified as semi-natural grassland of biodiversity value and may on further assessment also qualify as a Local Wildlife Site. Development of western end of ECK1603 likely to be acceptable and DWT would recommend that boundary of this potential site is redrawn to exclude the semi-natural habitats of biodiversity value.
I am responding as the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on the above consultation, rather than under the terms of the SLA we have with the Council.
Under the terms of the SLA we have been working with Sharon Williams on the assessment of sites and have provided details of our initial views to her to inform the work that is being undertaken for sites which have passed your phase 1 assessment.
The comments below are based on our current knowledge of the site conditions and substantive nature conservation issues that exist on these sites.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust most strongly recommend that the following sites hold significant and probably substantive nature conservation resources and we would recommend that they are not taken forward as housing land allocations;
CX/1501 - supports a Local Wildlife Site Cavel Drive Meadows (NE375) which occupies the majority of the potential housing allocation.
CAL/1601 - supports a Local Wildlife Site Land North of Somerset House (NE380). Derbyshire Wildlife Trust objected to the planning application on this site in 2011 and continues to maintain that object despite damage having been caused to the site.
MOR/1601 - DWT has been involved in substantial habitat works on this site (Gosforth Valley) along with local community groups including Lea Valley. The site although not Local Wildly Site value is an important part of the ecological network and green corridor within a highly urban setting. In addition, the site is designed to accommodate flood water and attenuates for high flow rates. This is likely to be required in the future as a result of increasingly flashy flows and unpredictable storm events.
ECK/902 & ECK1603 - these two sites are contiguous with each other and abut two Local Wildlife Sites (NE187 Smithy Brook and Margins and BO179 Smithy Brook in Bolsover) in addition a significant part of the site is identified as semi-natural grassland of biodiversity value and may on further assessment also qualify as a Local Wildlife Site. Development of the western end of ECK1603 is likely to be acceptable and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust would recommend that the boundary of this potential site is redrawn to exclude the semi-natural habitats of biodiversity value.
In addition to these sites DWT would advise that we have considerable concern regarding the boundary of the following sites as they support features of biodiversity value which would have a significant impact on the design and layout of any proposal for residential development;
UN/1701 - This is a large site which requires some further assessment. However, part of the area is already recognised as supporting features of biodiversity value; Local Wildlife Site Ousle Bank Wood & Gorse (NE099) and potential LWS Ousle Bank Complex (pNE098)
WW/1607 - This large site wholly encompasses the woodland Local Wildlife Site Nether Speighthill Wood (NE039).
Where sites abut Local Wildlife Sites Derbyshire Wildlife Trust would expect that these biodiversity resources are suitably buffered as part of the ecological network and according to policies guidance as presented in the government's White Paper (The Natural Choice 2012) and the NPPF. Any allocation and future design brief should recognise such valuable features. This is particularly relevant to both allocations (WW/1609 and WW/704) adjacent to Sutcliffe & Hanging Bank Woods Local Wildlife Site (NE046).
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust officers will continue to work alongside the Council under the terms of the SLA to avoid, reduce, mitigate and compensate for impacts on biodiversity and will where necessary will raise or maintain objections to proposals on behalf of the membership and as an organisation.
I hope that the Council will be able to consider our comments positively and remove or adjust the boundaries of potential allocations as we have highlighted.