We have instructed a range of specialist consultants who are currently undertaking surveys to inform the design and planning application.
Landscape & Visual
We have completed a Landscape Appraisal and are currently undertaking a full Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) which will accompany the planning application. Key viewpoints from the surrounding area will be assessed within the LVIA.
The site benefits from existing mature trees and hedgerows and is set away from sensitive receptors. There are two existing overhead electrical lines that run east-west and north-south across the proposed development area.
Agricultural Land Quality
An agricultural land classification survey has been completed which confirms that the site comprises 37% Grade 3a and 63% Grade 3b land. Most of the development site is therefore not Best and Most Versatile land.
Archaeology and Heritage
A Historic Environmental Desk-Based Assessment has been completed, which considered the potential impact on archaeological assets and built heritage.
The assessment has not identified any designated archaeology which will be negatively impacted by the proposed development. There are three Listed Buildings in the vicinity of the site, however the assessment concluded that the significance of these assets will not be impacted by the proposed development.
The Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area is c. 50m to the north and Twyford Conservation Area c. 540m to the south-west. The assessment concluded that the Canal Conservation Area does not derive significance from the proposed development site as part of its setting, and the proposed development will not impact the significance of the Conservation Area. Twyford Conservation Area will also be preserved from any impacts; there is no intervisibility with the site due to the distance and interstitial screening from hedges and trees, and the proposed development site does not contribute to the significance of the Conservation Area.
A Preliminary Ecology Appraisal (PEA) has been completed, which confirmed the site comprises a large arable field with small field margins and a smaller triangular field comprising neutral grassland. The site is bounded by wet ditches and hedgerows. The PEA confirmed that the proposals are unlikely to impact designated sites which are sufficiently distance from the site and recommended the following surveys, of which the majority have now been completed:
- Breeding birds: An assemblage of birds typical of arable and wetland habitats were present, with the majority of these were making use of the site boundaries and/or the smaller triangular field.
- Otter and water vole: The ditches surrounding the site are suitable for foraging and commuting otter and to a lesser extent, water vole, however, no evidence of either species has been recorded.
- Bats: A low number of common species were recorded, which forage and commute along the site boundaries in low numbers. There is no evidence of roosting within the site.
- Badger: Historical outlier setts were identified on the field boundaries which are now disused.
- Great Crested Newt: Great crested newts are absent from the boundary ditches but may be present within the wider landscape. We will apply to enter South Derbyshire’s District Level Licensing (DLL) scheme, which results in lots of high value, secure ponds for newts which are managed and monitored for the long term.
A 10m buffer from the development fence line to hedgerows has been incorporated into the design to ensure their interest is maintained and to provide improved connectivity for foraging and commuting wildlife currently making use of the site.
Habitats of high biodiversity value including species-rich grassland will be incorporated within the buffers and small field and managed over 30 years to deliver biodiversity net gain in the short and long-term.
Our ecology consultant is currently undertaking wintering birds’ surveys and preparing a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) strategy; the proposals will secure at least 10% BNG. All survey results and mitigation strategies will be included within an Ecological Impact Assessment submitted as part of the planning application.
The site is in Flood Zone 1, meaning it has a low probability of flooding from rivers and the sea. However, because the proposed development is greater than one hectare, the application must be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment to demonstrate that it will not present an increase in flood risk both on and off site. Planning guidance also requires major developments to include Sustainable Drainage Systems.
We have conducted percolation testing to determine the most suitable drainage solution for the site. As infiltration rates were poor, an attenuation drainage method is appropriate. Attenuation basin locations are shown on the site layout; these will connect to the drainage ditch on the northern boundary which then feeds into a stream.
We are preparing a Noise Impact Assessment of the site, which has identified the closest noise receptors and informed the proposed layout. We are currently liaising with our noise consultants to determine the requirement for any noise mitigation measures.