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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 13/06/2006
Miniplan for the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area



APPENDIX P
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 13TH JUNE 2006

REFERRED FROM THE Environment AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY Committee - 23RD mAY 2006
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Title:
MINIPLAN FOR THE THAMES BASIN HEATHS SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA
[Wards Affected: All]
Summary and purpose:

A Miniplan has been devised to show how mitigation open space could compensate for the impact of additional housing in Farnham, in accordance with the English Nature Delivery Plan for the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.


Environmental implications:

The Miniplan will show how the mitigation open space needed to compensate for new development in Farnham can be provided.

Social / community implications:

There are no direct social or community implications arising from this report.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There has been joint working with Woking Borough Council on this project.
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The Purpose of the Miniplan

1. The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area is a wildlife site of European importance for woodlark, Dartford Warbler and nightjar. English Nature has produced a Delivery Plan for the site. This requires that development can only be permitted when mitigation open space is provided to counteract the additional population using the Special Protection Area for walking and dog walking.

2. The part of the Special Protection Area in Waverley is an area of 80 ha to the north of Farnham. English Nature has defined three zones: from the Special Protection Area boundary to 400m; 400m to 2km; and 2km to 5km. In these zones English Nature has identified different levels of mitigation open space that will be required. (See the Table on Page 2 of the Miniplan, attached at Annexe 1).

3. The Miniplan sets out how developers could provide mitigation space in the short term. Currently it is anticipated that the District Councils directly and indirectly affected by the Special Protection Area (15 in all) will produce Supplementary Planning Documents that will be based on the English Nature Delivery Plan and set out how the mitigation requirements will be met. This may take several years to complete. Until that time, it is necessary to have a Plan to show how the open space could be provided, otherwise all the housing applications in the three zones will have to be refused. This would seriously affect the Borough’s ability to meet its housing requirements.

The proposed approach

4. There are three ways developers could meet the mitigation requirements:

provide new land themselves;

buy into provision of new land assembled by the local authority;

buy into the upgrading of an existing site owned by the local authority.

5. The first approach is an unknown. The second approach could only be a long term option, but the third way: buying into the upgrading of an existing site owned by the Borough, is a feasible option, because of the scope offered by Farnham Park.

The Borough’s role

6. The Miniplan at Annexe 1 sets out how the Park could provide mitigation land for a period of years. Developers would make a contribution to the enhancement of the Park in lieu of providing mitigation land themselves.

Observations of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee

7. The Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this report at its meeting on 23rd May and wished to make the following observations to the Executive:-

Conclusion

8. The Miniplan shows that the Park could provide mitigation for new housing development in Farnham to 2018.

Recommendation

It is recommended to the Council that the Miniplan be approved and submitted to the Secretary of State with the Appropriate Assessment and the Core Strategy.

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Background Papers (DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Geraldine Molony Telephone: 01483 523296
E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk




G/Bureau/comms/exec/2006-07/023.doc