Supporting Documents to Waterbeach New Town SPD
Representation ID: 167564
Respondent: Natural England
HABITATS REGULATIONS ASSESSMENT
Generally satisfied with HRA prepared in accordance with Regulations and taken into consideration EU judgement, but outline areas of mitigation to address effects of increased recreational pressure.
Note the 'no likely significant effects' conclusion based on SPD making no material changes to site area to the site assessed in Local Plan.
Section 3.4.5 implies uncertainties remain with regard to effects on Wicken Fen through increased recreational pressure and should be addressed through planning application stage. Do not agree it should be deferred to the detailed stage. Habitats Regulations require uncertainty to be addressed through precautionary principle. HRA should conclude significant effect is likely and proceed to Appropriate Assessment.
Imperative revised HRA / AA consider delivery of more than 8-9,000 homes - applications total c.11,000. Crucial to understand scale and effect of visitor pressure on Wicken Fen was not widely recognised when Local Plan prepared. Local Plan HRA 5km 'zone of influence' for visitor pressure erroneous - more likely tens of km.
Section 3.4.3 in not correct - Wicken Fen is not access by permit only, numerous PROW. Access via major trails continues to grow and further grow with new town. Associated increasing resources being put into management of the Fen and Wicken Vision Area by National Trust.