Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Comment ID 21314273//13
Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Banwell Garden Village Q11. Do you agree with the principles set out for Banwell Garden Village and would you suggest any changes to these? We consider that establishing the principles is a fundamental step towards developing the detail for development in these areas. [View all comments on this section]
Respondent Avon Wildlife Trust [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018

Whilst we strongly support the principle of addressing ecological issues both through on-site measures as well as through a more strategic solution which considers wider ecological networks and the landscape scale, we also think that not all ecological issues can be dealt with in this manner. If significant negative ecological effects are associated with the creation of Banwell Garden Village and its’ associated infrastructure then we suggest that the quantum of development in this location should be capped at a level where this can be avoided.
The transport schemes required to support the development in Banwell Garden Village is primarily based on building new roads in very ecologically sensitive areas. The land take required for these new road has to potential to destroy ecological rich habitat in the North Somerset Levels and Moors which provides 3% of the remaining wetland habitat in the UK. These new roads also have the potential to cause significant severance of greater and lesser horseshoe bat commuting routes. These routes are particularly sensitive in this location as they provide links between winter hibernation sites and summer maternity roosts.
All development proposed in the local plan must be compliant with North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Guidance on Development: Supplementary Planning Document.
Many of the waterbodies in North Somerset are failing to achieve the environmental targets set for them in the Water Framework Directive. It is vital that any new development does not have an adverse impact on the surrounding waterbodies WFD status.

Quantum of development should be capped at a level where ecological impacts can be avoided. Road mitigations have potential to cause severance to important bat commuting routes.