Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Natural England's concerns not addressed

Natural England has now responded to Aggregate Industries' latest plans and reports, but complains that none of its previous concerns have been answered: "The Hydrological Position Statement… makes no reference to the Natural England response [to the June 2012 consultation]". NE's previous concerns were that:
...dewatering would create an unacceptable impact on the waterways leading to Cadhay Bog ancient woodland. Mitigation in the form of recharge ponds… appeared not to be viable; the Airport Authorities require no ponds in the vicinity or continued pond maintenance to ensure that they are biodiversity free to avoid the significant potential impact of bird-strike. Such water features, devoid of biodiversity, due to chemical in-balances, are unlikely to be suitable to recharge a wetland and moreover continued permanent maintenance long after extraction ceases, does not seem viable as would be required for a permanent recharge pond.
Natural England comments that whilst AI's Hydrological Position Statement does recognise the need to maintain groundwater flows it is unsure how this would be achieved, and, as with the Environment Agency, it has been left looking for further answers.