Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 3: Spatial Policies Living Within Environmental Limits CS3: Environmental Risk Management CS3: Environmental Risk Management [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 2862209/CSCD/12
Respondent Natural England [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 16 Mar 2010
Current Status Accepted
We are broadly supportive of this draft policy which identifies and responds to a number of key environmental risks.

Pollution is already an important issue in North Somerset and there is a need for a robust policy to guard against future risks. For some forms of pollution these are likely to be exacerbated in future by climate change.

We recommend the authority consider tightening the wording of the policy a little to ensure that it is robust. In particular we recommend "would" in place of "could" before "be mitigated to an acceptable level" so that it would be necessary to demonstrate that mitigation measures are not just possible but would be put into effect.

The word "acceptable" is also open to interpretation and we would prefer firm criteria wherever possible. In respect of pollution we would see "acceptable" as meaning that alone, and in combination with the effects of other inputs, the level of pollution from any given development would remain within accepted environmental thresholds.

We support the reference to light pollution in paragraph 3.45. While outside the scope of legislation enforced by the authority there is no doubt that planning has a significant role to play in avoiding unacceptable intrusion. In our view this extends to both landscapes and wildlife. The horseshoe bats mentioned in Policy CS4: Nature Conservation are particularly light sensitive. We recommend the addition of "or disturbance to wildlife" at the end of the sentence.