Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) (Feb 2021)

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Support

Supporting Documents of the Draft Bradford District Local Plan - Preferred Options (Feb 2021)

Representation ID: 19925

Received: 01/04/2021

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

Natural England notes that the evidence informing the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) which has been published for Regulation 18 consultation in support of the Draft Local 3.2 Plan is currently under review, and that following the consultation the HRA will progress with further detailed evidence gathering and assessment to inform the preparation of the Local Plan at Regulation 19 stage.

We note that the scope of impact pathways identified is acceptable, and that the overall approach taken within HRA is robust in terms of referencing up-to-date case law, definitions, and guidance.

3.1 Natural England notes that the evidence informing the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) which has been published for Regulation 18 consultation in support of the Draft Local 3.2 Plan is currently under review, and that following the consultation the HRA will progress with further detailed evidence gathering and assessment to inform the preparation of the Local Plan at Regulation 19 stage.

We note that the scope of impact pathways identified is acceptable, and that the overall approach taken within HRA is robust in terms of referencing up-to-date case law, definitions, and guidance.

Full text:

Dear Local Plan Team

Thank you for consulting Natural England on the above. Please find attached our response to the Draft Bradford District Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) February 2021 including the Draft South Pennine Moors SPA/SAC Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal.

If you have any further questions about this response please do not hesitate to contact me.

Object

Supporting Documents of the Draft Bradford District Local Plan - Preferred Options (Feb 2021)

Representation ID: 19926

Received: 01/04/2021

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

We note that evidence to inform the assessment of traffic emissions on the South Pennine Moors SAC and Phase 2 SPA has not been undertaken at this stage. We recommend that this evidence is gathered and the assessment undertaken at the earliest opportunity as it may impact on the soundness and legal compliance of the proposed growth targets and spatial distribution.

Full text:

Dear Local Plan Team

Thank you for consulting Natural England on the above. Please find attached our response to the Draft Bradford District Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) February 2021 including the Draft South Pennine Moors SPA/SAC Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal.

If you have any further questions about this response please do not hesitate to contact me.

Support

Supporting Documents of the Draft Bradford District Local Plan - Preferred Options (Feb 2021)

Representation ID: 19927

Received: 01/04/2021

Respondent: Natural England

Representation:

We welcome the approach taken to assessing both the loss of functionally linked land for South Pennine Moors (phase 2) SPA birds and recreational disturbance and urban edge effects on the SPA and South Pennine Moors SAC.

Natural England would wish to be consulted on a revised version of the HRA when it is available.

Full text:

Dear Local Plan Team

Thank you for consulting Natural England on the above. Please find attached our response to the Draft Bradford District Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) February 2021 including the Draft South Pennine Moors SPA/SAC Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal.

If you have any further questions about this response please do not hesitate to contact me.

Object

Supporting Documents of the Draft Bradford District Local Plan - Preferred Options (Feb 2021)

Representation ID: 24897

Received: 24/03/2021

Respondent: CEG Land Promotions Ltd

Agent: Lichfields

Representation:

In summary, there are a number of errors which need to be addressed reflected in the next iteration of the HRA including:
1 Incorrect references in Table 3, page 47, to proposed allocated site BU/H (Sun Lane) as having a risk of likely significant effects upon the South Pennine Moors SAC/SPA, based on the presumption that the site is considered to have suitable supporting habitat types that could be used by the SPA birds. This assessment is incorrect as it has been established on the basis of objective evidence that the land is not used by SPA birds for foraging.
2 Lack of reference within the HRA of the draft Local Plan to the HRA adopted by the Secretary of State for application 16/07870/MAO, which was based on empirical evidence. Vantage Point surveys by Baker Consultants found no movement of birds between the SPA and the development site (or the surrounding land) and consequently, the SoS’s HRA of the Sun Lane development concluded the following basic principles which must be acknowledged in future iterations of the HRA:
i That land can only be supporting habitat if it is regularly used by SPA birds (i.e. those birds which are breeding on the SPA). The presence of SPA species on a development site does not prove that the development site contains supporting land as many of the species are widespread and are not associated with the SPA. If for example, the birds present are breeding on the land then they cannot, by definition, originate from the SPA and the land cannot, therefore, be considered as supporting habitat. This was established in the SoS’s HRA of Sun Lane.
ii That if birds such as golden plover are feeding on a development site, but they are not birds that are associated with the SPA, then the land is not supporting habitat for the SPA. Again, this point was established in the SoS’s HRA of Sun Lane where vantage point surveys established no movement of birds to and from Sun Lane and the SPA.

Full text:

See attachments of CEG’s representation to the Draft Bradford District Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) Consultation. This includes:
-Appendix 1 Assessment of the Housing Requirement proposed within Policy SP8
-Appendix 2 Commentary on Evidence Base Documents
-Appendix 3 The Secretary of State’s decision and Inspector’s Report regarding application
16/07870/MAO (reference APP/W4705/V/18/3208020)
-Appendix 4 Burley-in-Wharfedale Alternative Site Assessment (2016)
-Appendix 5 Burley-in-Wharfedale Updated Alternative Site Assessment (April 2019)
-Appendix 6 Scalebor Park Land Registry Extract
-Appendix 7 Response to the HRA, associated policies and the South Pennine Moors
SPA/SAC Planning Framework SPD (prepared by Baker Consultants

Object

Supporting Documents of the Draft Bradford District Local Plan - Preferred Options (Feb 2021)

Representation ID: 27679

Received: 24/03/2021

Respondent: Persimmon Homes (West Yorkshire)

Agent: Lichfields

Representation:

Impacts from urban edge effects have been overstated in the HRA and no evidence is presented to demonstrate how these effects may be manifest on a large moorland site such as the South Pennine Moors. Our specific comments on this aspect of the HRA of the
draft Local Plan are set out below:
• Paragraph 4.3: It is incorrect to state that all allocated sites within 400m can cause fragmentation effects. It is the SPA/SAC which is protected not the surrounding land. Given that no development is proposed within the SPA/SAC it is impossible to see how fragmentation could be a potential impact pathway.
• Paragraph 4.12-13: The evidence provided for ‘urban edge effects’ is entirely related to lowland heathland sites. No evidence relevant to large moorland and other upland habitats is presented.
• Paragraph 4.14: The evidence regarding the impacts of domestic cats is entirely unproven, there is no evidence whatsoever to show that domestic cats affect birds at the population level.

The draft Local Plan HRA impact assessment of the loss of functionally linked land is therefore fundamentally flawed as it is not the presence of a certain type of habitat that is important, but the presence of SPA birds. This basic principle (tested in the case of Sun Lane) must be acknowledged in future iterations of the HRA. Given the various surveys that have now been carried out it is questionable whether the policy protecting land outside the SPA is necessary at all as there is no evidence of even sporadic (never mind regular) movement of birds from the SPA to surrounding land.

Full text:

These representations have been prepared by Lichfields on behalf of Persimmon Homes (West Yorkshire) (“Persimmon”) to the public consultation on the Draft Bradford District Local Plan – Preferred Options (regulation 18) consultation draft (February 2021).

The representation is made specifically in relation to land at Bolton Road, Silsden where Persimmon have an option agreement to purchase land for development, and where preapplication discussions are ongoing regarding the site’s development for housing.

PLEASE REFER TO THE SUBMISISON FILES IN THE ATTACHMENTS