Environmental impact

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Proposed methodology for EIA

The landowner has commissioned ecologists Wild Frontier Ecology Limited to undertake detailed ecological surveys to determine ecological interests on the site to assess predicted impacts. Natural England and the RSPB are already liaising with Wild Frontier Ecology re the ornithology methodology.

In accordance with the guidelines produced by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, 2006, the ecological survey work will allow an ecological evaluation of the proposed site to be undertaken, along with an assessment of potential impacts and their significance.

Whilst the aim is for potential mitigation measures to be inherent within the site design wherever possible, where further measures are required the study will lead to the identification of these measures. It is also proposed that where practical and in line with farm practices and any mitigation and avoidance measures proposed for the development, the potential for further habitat enhancement be considered.

As of April 2010, work to date  is as follows:

  • A biological records search with Nottinghamshire Biological and Geological Records Centre has been completed.
  • Breeding bird surveys have commenced on site in 2010 following guidelines detailed by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in their Common Birds Census (CBC) (Gilbert et al, 1998).
  • Wintering bird surveys have been completed for the 2009/2010 season utilising vantage point survey techniques as advised by SNH, 2005.
  • In addition, an extended Phase 1 habitat survey will be undertaken, based on the Nature Conservancy Council guidelines (NCC, 1990), but extended to include a general evaluation of the site in terms of any rare or protected species likely to be present. This includes for mammal, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
  • It is proposed that a full season of bat surveys be undertaken in 2010.
  • A survey for Great Crested Newts has begun on site, as has a reptile survey. A badger survey has also been completed.
Throughout the survey process, particular attention has and will continue to be paid to (a) protected animal species [e.g. badgers and bats], (b) Red Data Book (RDB) species and (c) Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.

The results of these surveys will be formulated into a full impact assessment following the ‘Guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessment’ (IEEM, 2006). This assessment will also consider the impacts on designated wildlife sites in the vicinity
of the proposal.

Wild Frontier Ecology seeks the input of Natural England and the RSPB to confirm the scope of assessment work necessary for this site. Wild Frontier Ecology also seek the views of local interest wildlife groups including the Wildlife Trust as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Proposed Format of EIA Report

It is proposed that the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment are presented within a four-volume Environmental Statement (ES) consisting of:
  • Volume 1: Non-Technical Summary – summarising the key issues and findings in a format which is easily accessible to a non-technical audience;
  • Volume 2: Written Statement – the detailed Environmental Statement, containing the independent specialist assessments, mitigation, anticipated residual impacts, concluding statement and appendices;
  • Volume 3: Figures – An A3 document containing the site layout figures, construction figures, chapter specific figures, and
  • Volume 4: Visualisations – An A2 document containing photowires, wireframe images and photomontages and a description of how best to read them.
In addition to the four volume ES, the Developer will also submit a Planning Appraisal. Whilst not forming part of the ES, the Planning Appraisal will be a key document within the overall submission summarising the National, Regional, County and District policies relevant to the development.

The Developer proposes to submit printed copies of the ES, as well as a CD version. The Developer will seek advice from the Local Authority with respect to the number of copies required of both media.