Ecology and Nature Conservation of the PEIR identifies and assesses the potential effects of the Project on the ecology and nature conservation interest of the Project site and surrounding receptors.

Assessment Methodology

Information on ecology and nature conservation was collected through a data gathering exercise to obtain information relating to statutory and non-statutory nature conservation sites, priority habitats and species, and legally protected and controlled species.

Records of protected or otherwise notable species have been requested from the local records centres within a 2 km radius of the Project site boundary, except for bats and otter where a larger 10 km radius has been used in accordance with relevant guidance.

A number of site-specific surveys were also undertaken to assess the Project site conditions. The following surveys were conducted:

  • phase 1 habitat survey;
  • hedgerow survey;
  • badger survey;
  • bat activity, emergence and trapping surveys;
  • breeding bird survey; 
  • wintering bird survey; 
  • dormouse survey; 
  • great crested newt survey; 
  • reptile survey; 
  • water vole and otter survey; 
  • national vegetation classification survey; and 
  • invertebrate habitat appraisal.

Current Baseline Environment

There are XX statutory designated sites located within the search area.

There are no statutory designated sites within site boundary.

A total of XX non-statutory designated sites were identified within 5 km of the site boundary through the desk study.

In terms of species, the baseline study and surveys identified XX species of wintering bird and XX species of breeding bird within the Project site, XX of which were confirmed to be breeding within the Project site. Grass snakes were recorded within the Project site in two distinct areas. Great crested newts, smooth newts, common toad and common frogs were also recorded.

The desk study search provided records for at least XX bat species and at least XX bat species were recorded across the survey area, including rare species. One building was identified as having suitable features present to support roosting bats. However, no bats were recorded emerging and bat activity was generally very low during the emergence surveys.

No signs of dormice, otters or water voles were recorded within the Project site boundary.

Terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate and fish survey results will be included in the Environmental Statement.

Mitigation Measures

A number of measures have been designed into the Project to reduce the potential for impacts on ecology and nature conservation. These measures include:

  • avoidance of development at designated sites, areas of woodland (including ancient woodland) and other sensitive habitats wherever practicable;
  • protection of retained woodland, trees, scrub and hedgerows; 
  • suitable timing of required vegetation clearance to reduce impacts to breeding birds; 
  • translocation of reptiles and amphibians; 
  • creation of new, high value habitats comprising woodland, tree, shrub and scrub planting, grassland and wetlands/ponds; 
  • provision of bat roost features; 
  • replacement of non-native hedgerow with native species-rich hedgerow; 
  • tree and scrub planting to reinforce habitat connectivity; 
  • creation of new habitats for great crested newts, grass snake and terrestrial invertebrates.

Potential Significant Effects

In terms of effects on habitats the Project would require the removal of species-poor hedgerow and loss of plantation woodland and scrub habitat. The loss of these habitats would result in moderate adverse and significant effects that would not be mitigated for until the end of the Project. 

The assessment is based on the maximum design scenario and as such assumes all habitats would be lost within the Project boundary.

Based on the information available regarding other proposed developments at this stage, no potential for significant cumulative effects has been identified.


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