Detailed Rook Farm Refusal
On April 25th were added Officer Reports on Rook Farm's Habitat Regulation Assessment and an excerpt is provided below. Please note the importance, which some of us gave in our own comments, of Conservation and species' habitats here on Hayling and particularly as yet undeveloped farm land. Please see either
https://planningpublicaccess.havant.gov.uk/online-applications/ and type in Rook Farm, then click on the first entry 'Outline Planning ......' Rook Farm, then Documents or
If these appear not to work, the usual Havant.gov then Planning, View Planning, enter Rook Farm in simple search bar gets you to the first entry 'Outline Planning ....' Rook Farm...' then click on Documents.
Please note that the excerpt below is from Appendix B whilst the Delegated Report in the online Documents covers the explanation and detail regarding all the other factors taken into account and is well worth reading for future reference.
Test 1: the significance test – is the proposal likely to have a significant adverse effect on the Chichester and Langstone Harbour SPA / Ramsar site and SAC under Regulation 61.(1)(a)
The proposed development is situated in southern central Hayling Island, and Langstone Harbour and Chichester Harbour are approximately 1 kilometre (km) to the west and east of the site respectively. These two harbours make up the areas designated as Chichester & Langstone Harbours SPA. The SPA boundary is identical to the boundary of the Chichester & Langstone Harbours Ramsar site. Both the SPA and Ramsar qualifying features include a range of over- wintering bird species including dark-bellied brent geese.
The proposed application site has been shown to support large numbers of SPA and Ramsar qualifying feature bird species, most notably dark-bellied brent geese.
The latest Solent Waders & Brent Goose Strategy update (SWBGS) (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Mach 2017) includes details of monthly counts of dark-bellied brent geese between January 2013 and January 2017. These data are provided as Appendix 1 below. A total of 45 positive counts of dark-bellied brent geese have been made at the application site within that period, with an average flock size of 360 and peak counts of 1000 noted in December 2016 and January 2017. There is clear evidence of a regular pattern of use of the application site by significant numbers of dark-bellied brent geese.
The submitted ecological assessment has not included an investigation of SWBGS data and has consequently underestimated the importance of both the application site and the wider landscape of Hayling Island for SPA / Ramsar bird species. It has long been recognised that Havant Borough
and the wider Solent landscape contain areas of land lying beyond the boundaries of European sites but which provide functional linkage in terms of supporting populations of organisms for which those sites were designated. For Chichester & Langstone Harbours SPA and Ramsar site, areas of ‘functionally-linked land’ include grasslands and arable crops within Hayling Island.
As such, the proposed development would result in the loss of an important site for overwintering dark-bellied brent geese. No avoidance or mitigation measures have been proposed by the applicant to address this. As a result, it cannot be ruled out that this proposal would not have a significant adverse effect on the Chichester & Langstone Harbours SPA / Ramsar site due to the unmitigated loss of supporting habitat.
Natural England have commented on this application (letter dated 16th February 2017) and have concurred with the Borough Council that insufficient information has been provided to demonstrate that there would not be a significant adverse effect: