Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Safeguarding places for Wildlife and Nature Ashdown Forest Policy 5 - Ashdown Forest [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP780
Respondent Natural England (Natural Engla… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 19 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)

Natural England concurs with the conclusions drawn in the HRA, which state that no adverse effect
on integrity of Ashdown Forest is expected to result from development provided by the Sevenoaks
Local Plan, even in combination with other plans and projects. However, we note that the wording of
the HRA appears to confuse the terms ‘likely significant effect’ and ‘adverse effect on integrity’. The
conclusions refer to likely significant effects, although adverse effects on integrity are discussed in
the Appropriate Assessment chapter. The conclusions should be updated to reflect this, and it should
be ensured that consistent wording is used throughout the HRA.

Nevertheless, we support the precautionary approach confirmed in Policy 5 (Ashdown Forest) which
states although all site allocations are a minimum of 11 km from the Ashdown Forest SPA/SAC, any
new housing within the 7km zone will contribute to the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring
(SAMMs) mitigation scheme adopted by the relevant councils (of which Sevenoaks is one). We also
support the indication in the HRA that any windfall development within 7km will contribute to SAAMS
scheme, however we would advise that these are considered under an appropriate assessment at
project level.