Monday, 1 February 2016

For major development where dormice are present…

Aggregate Industries already plans to rip out 2km of ancient hedgerows. No significant acceptable mitigation has yet been planted.

On the issue of habitat connectivity, look at the results of the dormouse survey below. AI’s new access plans are based at Little Straitgate. It obviously thinks it can rip out more hedgerows and chop down more mature trees to build a site access big enough to cope with up to 200 44-tonne HGVs a day. However, back in 2013, "survey results indicated two clusters of dormouse activity", one of which was:
A change of access arrangements would now put that cluster of a European Protected Species firmly inside the proposed site boundary.

Further hedgerows and habitat connectivity would also be lost to any internal haul road to this point.

AI will no doubt plough on regardless. The company is running out of options. However, the NPPF says:
When determining planning applications, local planning authorities should aim to conserve and enhance biodiversity by applying the following principles: if significant harm resulting from a development cannot be avoided (through locating on an alternative site with less harmful impacts), adequately mitigated, or, as a last resort, compensated for, then planning permission should be refused 118