Agricultural Land Use and Recreation of the PEIR considers the potential effects of the Project on agricultural land use and recreational resources, including areas of public open space, public rights of way and other linear recreational routes during its construction and operational phases. Specifically, the chapter assesses the potential effects on the following resources during the construction and operational stages of the Project:

  • agricultural land quality and soils;
  • farm holdings;
  • public rights of way;
  • national cycle routes;
  • other walking, cycling and horse riding routes; and
  • public open space.

Assessment Methodology

THA desk study has been undertaken in relation to soils, agricultural land classification, farm holdings and recreational resources within the study area.

In addition to the desk study information on agricultural land use and soils, the assessment has been informed by site visits and detailed agricultural land classification survey work in agricultural areas.

Current Baseline Environment

The agricultural land affected by the Project comprises predominantly poorly drained clayey soils. These soils are limited in their agricultural quality by a wetness and workability limitation. According to the Agricultural Land Classification Guidelines they are graded entirely as lower quality Subgrade 3b agricultural land, with no land being defined as the best and most versatile (Grades 1, 2 or 3a) land.

There is a network of public rights of way within the Project site boundary.  A recreational survey undertaken indicates that it is a well-used resource by local residents and workers.

Mitigation Measures

A number of measures have been designed in to the Project to reduce the potential for impacts on agricultural land use and recreation. Mitigation measures include:

  • implementation of a soil management strategy, including monitoring, to ensure the conservation of all soils;
  • provision of pedestrian route linkages; and
  • implementation of management measures to maintain safe public access along public rights of way.

Potential Significant Effects

During the initial construction phase  a long term temporary loss of approximately XX hectares of lower quality Subgrade 3b land. The significance of this temporary loss of this low quality agricultural land is assessed to be moderate adverse.

For both temporary and permanent land take, this effect is not considered to be significant, as no best and most versatile land resource (grades 1, 2 or 3a land) would be affected.

No other effects on agricultural land use are anticipated to be significant during the construction and operational phases of the Project.

In terms of effects to recreation, the assessment identified a long term moderate adverse and significant effect. However, taking the mitigation measures into account, it is likely that there would be a permanent minor beneficial effect long term.

No further effects on recreational resources are anticipated to be significant.

The assessment identified that the Project is not anticipated to contribute to any significant cumulative effects.


Agricultural Land Use and Recreation 

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