FPCR have the pleasure of announcing the approval of another outline planning permission, at appeal. The proposals in this case were for the development of up to 450 dwellings with open space and infrastructure including a safeguarded route for a potential strategic link road at Land at Youngwood Lane, Nailsea submitted on behalf of McTaggart & Mickel Homes Ltd.
Kurt Goodman, FPCR Ecology Director, appeared as Ecological Witness for the Appellant at inquiry. North Somerset District Council alleged that without the strategic mitigation recommended in the Joint Spatial Strategy (JSP) for the South West it wasn’t possible to provide the adequate mitigation to ensure the integrity of the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC), approximately 2Km from Site, and the application should be refused.
Despite engagement with Natural England during both the determination and appeals process the council view was also supported by Natural England. The opinion of these parties was maintained despite the Planning Inspectorate finding the JSP unsound several weeks before the appeal.
Notwithstanding the strategic mitigation strategy included in the JSP, FPCR demonstrated that through the application of appropriate mitigation and using the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) as recommended in the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Guidance on Development: Supplementary Planning Document (Adopted January 2018) it was possible to fully mitigate the potential effects of the proposals within the Site.
Through granting outline planning permission, the Inspector has accepted that until a strategic mitigation package has been found to be sound, sites with positive HEP scores have satisfied the requirements of the Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2017. This follows the conclusions of the shadow Habitat Regulations Assessment and shadow Appropriate Assessment FPCR submitted to the appeal.
As well as the appeal, FPCR were involved from the project’s inception providing full impact assessments for Ecology and Arboriculture, and the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.