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Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010) HRA Report - Revised

Client:

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

Report No.:

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

Status:

Final, Revised

Date:

November 2011

Author:

JRC/NEJP

Checked:

NEJP

Approved:

NJD

Main cover image:

Woolmer Pond at dawn

Suggested citation:

Cox JC and Pincombe NEJ (2011): Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010). A report by UE Associates and Jonathan Cox Associates on behalf of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town.


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HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP_LOW-RES

Contents Executive Summary

i

E1

Introduction

i

E2

Assessment Findings

ii

E3

Conclusions regarding Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces

ii

E4

Recommendations

iii

Introduction

1

1 1.1

Background

1

1.2

Legal and Planning Framework

2

1.3

The Habitats Regulations Assessment Process to Date

2

1.4

Structure of this Report

5

2

The Draft Masterplan for Assessment

7

2.1

Introduction

7

2.2

Draft Masterplan Housing Allocation

7

2.3

Other Policies of the Draft Masterplan

8

3

European Sites Conservation Objectives

11

3.1

Sites included for Assessment

11

3.2

SPA and SAC Conservation Objectives

13

3.3

Ramsar Site Conservation Objectives

17

4

Review of Ecological Data and Attributes of Habitats and Species

19

4.1

Introduction

19

4.2

European Dry Heaths

19

4.3

Northern Atlantic Wet Heaths with Erica tetralix

20

4.4

Transition Mires and Quaking Bogs

22

4.5

Depressions on Peat Substrates of the Rhynchosporion

23

4.6

Bog Woodland (Priority Feature)

24

4.7

Natural Dystrophic Lakes and Ponds

25

4.8

Tilio-Acerion Forests of Slopes, Screes and Ravines

26

4.9

Asperulo-Fagetum Beech Forests

26

4.10

Taxus baccata Woods of the British Isles (Priority Feature)

27

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4.11

Semi-Natural Dry Grasslands of Scrubland Facies on Calcareous Substrates (Festuco-

Brometailia) and similar Important Orchid Sites (Priority Feature)

27

4.12

28

5

Bird Populations of the Wealden Heaths SPA Baseline Conditions

35

5.1

Introduction

35

5.2

Urban Pressures

35

5.3

Effects of Urban Development on Annex 1 Bird Numbers and Density

38

5.4

Effects of Cats and Dogs

40

5.5

Water Abstraction

42

5.6

Management Issues (tree / scrub removal and grazing)

42

5.7

Evidence of Air Pollution Impacts to European Site Features

42

6

Predicting Effects on European Site Features

45

6.1

Introduction

45

6.2

Calculating Future Human Population Levels

45

6.3

Calculating Increased Visitor Numbers to European Sites

46

6.4

Modelling Increased Atmospheric Pollution Emissions

50

7

Analysis of Draft Masterplan Measures for Offsetting Visitor Pressure

55

7.1

Introduction

55

7.2

Hogmoor Inclosure

57

7.3

Bordon Inclosure

62

7.4

Standford Grange Farm

65

7.5

Summary of SANGs Provision Assessment

69

7.6

Other Greenspaces and potential for ‘Offsite Impacts’

71

8

Analysis of Atmospheric Pollution from Traffic and Energy Generation

77

8.1

Introduction

77

8.2

Characterisation of the Baseline

77

8.3

Predicted Pollutant Concentrations and Fluxes

78

8.4

Discussion

84

9

Impact Assessment

91

9.1

Introduction

91

9.2

Wealden Heaths SPA

91

9.3

Woolmer Forest SAC

95

9.4

Shortheath Common SAC

99

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9.5

East Hampshire Hangers SAC

103

9.6

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC and Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar Site

104

9.7

Limitations and Variables

106

10

Determining Effects on Integrity

109

10.1

Assessment Method for Determining Effects on Site Integrity

109

10.2

Wealden Heaths SPA

110

10.3

Woolmer Forest SAC

111

10.4

Shortheath Common SAC

112

10.5

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC

113

10.6

Summary

114

11

Additional Offsetting Measures that may help Avoid Adverse Effects

115

11.1

Introduction

115

11.2

Hogmoor Inclosure

115

11.3

Bordon Inclosure

118

11.4

Small Sites within the Built-up Area

118

11.5

Summary of Future Extended SANG Provision

119

11.6

Offsetting Measures to Reduce or Remove Atmospheric Pollution Effects

121

12

Recommendations

123

12.1

Introduction

123

12.2

High Level Recommendations

123

12.3

Recommendations on the Provision of SANG

126

12.4

Recommendations on the Management of SANG

127

12.5

Recommendations on the Management of European Sites

128

12.6

Recommendations for Atmospheric Pollution

129

12.7

Recommendations for Further Research and Monitoring

130

13 13.1

Conclusion

133

Summary

133

References and Bibliography

135

Appendix I: Calculations for Establishing Visitor Pressure

A

Appendix II: Whitehill Bordon SANG Qualitative Assessment Framework and Results

C

Appendix III: Capacity and Discounting Calculations for SANG

G

Appendix IV: Analysis and Modelling of Bordon Inclosure Survey Data

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List of Tables and Figures Table 3.1: European and international wildlife sites within the scope of the assessment

11

Table 3.2: Qualifying features of European and international wildlife sites around Whitehill Bordon

14

Table 3.3: Typical species of Annex 1 habitat types present within SAC (* denotes priority feature)

18

Table 4.1: Nightjar population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2004

30

Table 4.2: Dartford warbler population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2006

32

Table 4.3: Woodlark population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2006

34

Table 5.1: Summary of SSSI* condition status, April 2011

36

Table 5.2:

Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near

Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011

37

Table 5.3: Total prey caught by cats per 1,000 households per annum (estimated from Woods et al (2003) and Howes (2002) as reported in Underhill-Day (2005))

40

Table 6.1: Cumulative population increase as a result of the draft masterplan *

46

Table 6.2: Current patterns of visiting activity for residents in GU350 and GU359

46

Table 6.3: Current and predicted use of site patches (visitors per year)

47

Table 6.4: Current and predicted visitor numbers to each heathland patch under each housing density scenario

48

Table 7.1: Draft framework masterplan cumulative phases of housing delivery, associated population and required / proposed SANG provision (average occupancy = 2.36)

56

Table 7.2: Hogmoor Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage

61

Table 7.3: Draft framework masterplan phases of housing delivery, estimated additional visitor pressure and required visitor density for currently proposed (undiscounted) SANG

61

Table 7.4: Hogmoor Inclosure density-based contribution to offsetting additional SAC/SPA visits, after discounting for nature conservation value and allowing for development growth

62

Table 7.5: Bordon Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting for assumed current visitor patronage

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Table 7.6: Standford Grange Farm area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting for nature conservation and agricultural use

68

Table 7.7: Assessment of relative SANGs contributions to the 8ha/1,000 head of population target, following discounts

70

Table 7.8: ‘Global’ estimates of required SANG area or density performance

70

Table 7.9: Assessment of greenspace SINC criteria

73

Table 8.1: Summary of maximum annual mean NOx process contributions at each site

79

Table 8.2:

Summary of maximum predicted annual mean NOx concentration at specific receptor

locations within each site

79

Table 8.3: Area (ha and %) over which annual NOx objective will be exceeded, cf 2026 base

80

Table 8.4: Summary of maximum annual mean nutrient nitrogen deposition fluxes at each site

81

Table 8.5: Area (ha & %) over which nutrient nitrogen deposition fluxes will increase by >1% of the relevant critical load (compared to 2026 baseline)

82

Table 8.6: Summary of maximum annual mean acid nitrogen deposition fluxes at each site

82

Table 8.7: Area (ha & %) over which acid nitrogen deposition fluxes will increase by >1% of the relevant critical load (compared to 2026 baseline) Table 11.1:

Extended Hogmoor Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG

requirement, after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage Table 11.2:

83

117

Extended Bordon Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG

requirement, after discounting current visitor patronage

118

Table 11.3: Small sites’ area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement

119

Table 11.4: Assessment of relative SANGs contributions to the 8ha/1,000 head of population target, following discounts, but including extended areas and small sites

120

Table 11.5: ‘Global’ estimates of required SANG density performance, after extensions

120

Table 11.6: Mitigation measures for reducing or removing atmospheric pollution effects from road traffic (Source: Transport & Travel Research, 2005)

121

Table 12.1: HRA Monitoring Framework

132

Figure 2.1: Draft framework masterplan proposed residential allocations

10

Figure 3.1: European and international sites around Whitehill Bordon

12

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Figure 4.1: Extent of heathland and other habitats around Whitehill Bordon (Source: HBIC and Natural England. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright (2011))

21

Figure 4.2: Annex 1 bird territories on heaths around Whitehill Bordon, 2004 and 2006

31

Figure 5.1:

Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near

Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011 Figure 5.2:

38

Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near

Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011

39

Figure 6.1: Scope of roads assessed for emission impacts on European sites (blue lines show roads included, yellow labels relate to links within the MVA/Amey traffic model, and green areas show the European sites (includes Crown copyright data 2011 © under license 100046099)

53

Figure 7.1: Draft framework masterplan proposed SANGs

55

Figure 7.2: Draft outline design for Hogmoor Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011

58

Figures 7.3a, b and c: Existing nature conservation interest at Hogmoor Inclosure (Source: S. Miles) 60 Figure 7.4: Draft outline design for Bordon Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011

64

Figure 7.5: Draft outline design for Standford Grange Farm received from Halcrow on 9 May

66

Figure 7.6: Greenspace and nature conservation designations around Whitehill Bordon

72

Figure 8.1: Modelled acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at East Hampshire Hangers SAC

84

Figure 8.2: Modelled acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Shortheath Common SAC

85

Figure 8.3: Modelled NOx exceedance, acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Woolmer Forest SAC 87 Figure 8.4: Modelled NOx exceedance, and acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Kingsley and Broxhead Commons

88

Figure 8.5: Modelled NOx exceedance at Hindhead Common

89

Figure 8.6: Modelled NOx exceedance at Thursley and Witley Commons

90

Figure 11.1: Draft framework masterplan proposed SANGs

116

Figure 11.2: Masterplan plots used to identify potential SANG extensions; hatched areas (Source: AECOM, 2010)

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Abbreviations BAP

Biodiversity Action Plan

BOSC

Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club

CRoW

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

DCLG

Department for Communities and Local Government

DCO

Dog Control Order

EHDC

East Hampshire District Council

FCT

Favourable Condition Table

GOSE

Government Office for the South East

HBIC

Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre

HCC

Hampshire County Council

HRA

Habitats Regulations Assessment

JNCC

Joint Nature Conservation Committe

keq/ha/yr Kilograms equivalent per hectare per year kg/ha/yr Kilograms per hectare per year MoD

Ministry of Defence

NOx

Oxides of nitrogen

NVC

National Vegetation Classification

OS

Ordnance Survey

SAC

Special Area of Conservation

SANG

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace

SINC

Site of Importance to Nature Conservation

SPA

Special Protection Area

SSSI

Site of Special Scientific Interest

TRO

Traffic Regulation Orders

μg/m3

Micrograms per cubic metre

Visits/ha/yr Visitors per hectare per year

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Executive Summary E1

Introduction

E1.1

This report is part of the continuing process of Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. It is one of a trio of reports which together provide assessments and recommendations for the Draft Framework Masterplan (AECOM, June 2010); the others are:  Land Management Report (UE Associates, 2011); and  Atmospheric Pollution Dispersion Modelling Report (Air Quality Consultants, 2011).

E1.2

This November 2011 edition of the HRA Report takes account of changes to the outputs of the traffic assessment, and subsequent re-runs of the atmospheric dispersion model. It follows from the interim HRA report prepared by UE Associates and published in November 2009. That earlier document sought to assess a May 2009 draft version of the masterplan in relation to likely significant effects identified during a screening exercise carried out in spring 2009. The purpose of the HRA is to establish whether or not the draft masterplan will lead to adverse effects on the integrity of the following internationally important nature conservation sites:  East Hampshire Hangers Special Area of Conservation (SAC);  Shortheath Common Special Area of Conservation;  Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham Special Area of Conservation;  Woolmer Forest Special Area of Conservation;  Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site; and  Wealden Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA).

E1.3

Since that time, several additional studies have been carried out and new analyses undertaken on visitor survey data from designated and other sites around the town. These studies include a Detailed Water Cycle Study (Peter Brett Associates, 2011), Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011), Energy Feasibility Study (LDA Design, 2011), Transport Assessment (MVA / Amey 2011), and Atmospheric Pollution Modelling (Air Quality Consultants, 2011).

E1.4

The HRA Report uses this new data to analyse draft masterplan proposals in relation to potentially adverse effects from increasing recreational pressure and disturbance, air pollution, the incidence of other urban edge effects, such as invasive species, fly-tipping and fire, and impacts to species in off-site areas (i.e. outside of designated sites). Currently the majority of the sites are in unfavourable condition, but several of them are classed as ‘recovering’ because they are under appropriate management regimes that aim to return them to favourable conservation status.

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E2

Assessment Findings

E2.1

Overall, the HRA concludes that the draft masterplan proposals as envisaged in June 2010 would lead to adverse effects on the integrity of Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SAC, Shortheath Common SAC and Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC. Adverse effects are not considered likely for East Hampshire Hangers SAC and Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site.

E2.2

Despite the assessment conclusions, it should be remembered that the eco-town team have continued working on their proposals since the June 2010 masterplan was prepared. The intention is to use the new evidence collected to help re-draw the masterplan, continuing the iterative plan-making process to devise a deliverable masterplan that meets the considerable regeneration opportunities that will be presented when or if the MoD vacates the garrison. This provides the opportunity to make a number of recommendations for a new masterplan, to try and resolve the issues raised throughout this assessment.

E3

Conclusions regarding Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces

E3.1

The assessments demonstrate that, using the Thames Basin Heaths standard for the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at 8 hectares per 1,000 head of population, the draft masterplan provides, or has the potential to provide for sufficient SANGs for phase 1 of proposed development (1,700), after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage. It could also provide for around 92% of the area of SANG required for phase 2 (4,000 dwellings) but only 70% for phase 3 (5,300 dwellings. Development phases are cumulative not additional.

E3.2

The full SANG requirement for phase 2 can be achieved by extending the current limits of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to include adjacent areas and also providing small SANGs (2ha – 4ha) within the built up area. This would provide around 111% of the SANG needed for 4,000 homes, but only 84% of that needed for phase 3.

E3.3

The assessment also shows that, if the draft masterplan was to aim to fully offset the predicted additional visits to European sites, the currently proposed SANGs would need to cater for 1,658 visits per hectare per year under phase 1 development, 3,902 visits/ha/yr under phase 2 development and 5,087 visits/ha/yr under phase 3 development.

By comparison, locally

visited European sites are estimated to be receiving a mean of 1,007 visits/ha/yr. However, Bordon Inclosure is estimated to already be receiving 1,784 visits/ha/yr, whereas at Hogmoor Inclosure current level of use is assessed as 484 visits/ha/yr. E3.4

These target densities can be reduced by extending the current limits of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to include adjacent areas and also providing small SANGs (2ha – 4ha) within the built up area. Amendments within a new masterplan could also be made to the scale and distribution of proposed residential development, or indeed exploring the potential of additional nearby sites to designate as SANG.

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E4

Recommendations

E4.1

Chapter 12 sets out an extensive suite of recommendations to maximise the opportunity presented by re-drawing the masterplan, drawing on the findings of preceding chapters, as well as summarising the numerous recommendations made through the accompanying Land Management and Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Reports. These include:

E4.2

An Integrated Access Management Group should be established and maintained to ensure a cohesive, well planned and joined-up approach to managing all types of access and user demand in areas local to the European sites assessed. This recommendation would stand regardless of progress with the masterplan, as it is clear that the fragmented nature of sites, multiple landholdings, varied site management objectives, and lack of consistent information, are all leading to inappropriate behaviours at some sites in the current day.

E4.3

The Group should include all parties with an interest in access management; MoD Defence Training Estates, all other landholders, nature conservation organisations, local ramblers, the Kennel Club, equestrian groups, as well as existing and future rangers and groups with responsibility for any type of access land, be it European site or SANG. This will help to build a sense of engagement with various groups’ priorities, ensure no single groups’ needs are overlooked, and develop communal understanding while encouraging self-policing.

E4.4

Associated with this Group, Integrated Access Information Provision should be offered throughout the area local to European sites. This would take the form of coherent on-site signage and ‘branding’ that advertises desired behaviours and seasonal changes thereof, and should be supplemented with an online resource that can provide tailored, frequently updated and easily disseminated information.

E4.5

Focusing on potential future eco-town residents, specific actions should be taken regarding information provision to encourage responsible behaviour from the outset.

This would

include provision of information packs when considering buying a property, in home-buying packs (and a website), when in residence, and when planning a visit. E4.6

The A325 should retain its current alignment. Re-routing through traffic from the current alignment to the proposed relief road shifts severance from one location to another, but has the added disadvantage of severing proposed new residential areas from their closest SANG. Revisions to the draft masterplan will need to consider these implications.

E4.7

Retention of the rail corridor and siting of a rail station require careful consideration, and will be explored through a forthcoming GRIP3 Rail Study. Similar severance (from residence to SANG) issues apply, and affect different residential areas in differing ways dependent on the final route. The issue is surmountable via the installation of wide, open land bridges to link areas, and sinking the rail line into cutting (or tunnelling).

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E4.8

Regarding the energy generation options being considered through the energy feasibility study, atmospheric dispersion modelling at the present stage suggests that option 2 (central CHP plant burning biogas produced by anaerobic digestion) is the least attractive in relation to impacts at European sites. However, the effects of this option are diminutive in comparison to traffic emission impacts.

E4.9

In order to prevent illegal rat-running on Shortheath Common SAC, a Traffic Regulation Order should be imposed, and options explored to support this through installation of a permanent or temporary barrier (while ensuring valid rights of access are maintained). This would also help to reduce future increases in air pollutant emissions at the site.

E4.10

A series of projects should be considered for implementation by the Integrated Access Management Group, including: 

Responsible recreation project: to work with ramblers association, schools, kennel club, equestrian groups, veterinarians;

Wildfire project: to work with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, schools, youth groups, supermarkets (to discourage selling of disposable BBQs), caterers and visitor centres (for the provision of BBQ’d foods);

Off-roaders project: to work with police, schools, youth groups, 4x4 clubs, cycling clubs, equestrian centres; and

Waste management project: to work to reduce charges at waste processing centres (especially for small/micro businesses), and offer free collection of garden waste from households (new and existing).

E4.11

The Integrated Access Management Group should be tasked with establishing a unified ranger service, funded in perpetuity through eco-town development, and operating across both SANGs and European sites.

E4.12

Several further recommendations are made that specifically relate to increasing the provision of SANG, managing SANG, adjusting the management of European sites, reducing or removing atmospheric pollution effects, and carrying out additional research and monitoring.

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1

Introduction

1.1

Background

1.1.1

In 2003, in response to an announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the proposed closure of Bordon Garrison under the Defence Training Review, the Whitehill Bordon Opportunity as established. Led by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), the aim was to produce a masterplan for the future of the area which would bring about regeneration of the town, making best use of surplus MoD land following the departure of the military. In 2006 EHDC adopted the Green Town Vision for the Whitehill and Bordon area which put environmental considerations at the heart of the masterplanning process.

1.1.2

In July 2007 EHDC began to prepare a bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for eco-town status for Whitehill Bordon, as the parameters set out in the Eco-towns Prospectus (DCLG, 2007) were closely aligned with the Green Town Vision. In April 2008 DCLG announced that Whitehill Bordon had been included on its long list of possible locations for eco-towns. By July 2009, DCLG was satisfied that the Whitehill Bordon opportunity offered sufficient potential to meet the sustainability and deliverability requirements for a successful eco-town to warrant inclusion on its shortlist of four initial ecotown locations (DCLG, 2009).

1.1.3

In June 2010, following an earlier community and stakeholder engagement programme, the Council published its Draft Framework Masterplan Report (AECOM, 2010) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. This was supported by a targeted survey of visitor activity on accessible natural greenspaces around the town (UE Associates, 2009a) which itself informed interim work on a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the draft masterplan (UE Associates, 2009b). Further consultation revealed concern that the magnitude and quality of alternative greenspace proposed by the draft masterplan could not be relied upon to offset the effects of increasing visitor pressure at internationally important nature conservation sites around the town. Further work on the HRA has been carried out to investigate this issue, among others, in more detail.

1.1.4

The draft masterplan envisages the development of a total area of 310 hectares of land within the town. This comprises around 230 hectares of land to be vacated by the MoD together with a further 60 hectares owned principally by Hampshire County Council (HCC) and East Hampshire District Council. The EHDC bid to DCLG in September 2008 identified four areas in which Whitehill Bordon would seek to excel: biodiversity, water neutrality, carbon neutrality and transportation.

The draft masterplan carries this forward and provides an innovative

framework for Whitehill Bordon to become an international exemplar of sustainable community development for the 21st century.

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1.2

Legal and Planning Framework

1.2.1

The application of Habitats Regulations Assessment to plans and projects is a requirement of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, the UK’s transposition of European Union Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive). HRA aims to assess the potential effects of a plan or project against the conservation objectives of any sites designated for their nature conservation importance as part of a system known collectively as the Natura 2000 network of European sites.

1.2.2

European sites provide ecological infrastructure for the protection of rare, endangered or vulnerable natural habitats and species of exceptional importance within the European Union. These sites consist of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs, designated under the Habitats Directive) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs, designated under European Union Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (the Birds Directive)). Meanwhile, Government policy (PPS9 (ODPM, 2005a) and Circular 06/05 (ODPM, 2005b)) recommends that Ramsar sites (designated under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, UNESCO, 1971) are treated as if they are fully designated European sites for the purposes of considering development proposals that may affect them.

1.2.3

Regulation 61 of the Habitats Regulations (2010) requires that any plan or project likely to have a significant effect should be subject to an appropriate assessment undertaken by the relevant competent authority. This report will review the proposals for the development of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town proposed in the 2010 draft masterplan and will provide East Hampshire District Council, the competent authority, with the necessary information for it to conclude its assessment of the plan at this stage. However, this report is not seen as an end point, but a further step within an iterative process that will result in further refinement and detailed design of the masterplan proposals.

1.2.4

Regulation 61 of the Habitats Regulations (2010) is reproduced in Box 1.

1.3

The Habitats Regulations Assessment Process to Date

1.3.1

This report presents the findings and recommendations of a Habitats Regulations Assessment of the latest version of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010). It follows from the interim HRA report prepared by UE Associates and published in November 2009. That earlier document sought to assess a May 2009 draft version of the masterplan in relation to three likely significant effects identified during a screening exercise carried out in spring 2009 (UE Associates, 2009c), namely:  Atmospheric pollution from road traffic and energy generation;  The effects of visitor activity (recreation, and dog walking in particular); and  Loss or degradation of supporting habitats.

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Box 1: Regulation 61 – Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 61.—(1) A competent authority, before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for, a plan or project which— (a) is likely to have a significant effect on a European site or a European offshore marine site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), and (b) is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of that site, must make an appropriate assessment of the implications for that site in view of that site’s conservation objectives. (2) A person applying for any such consent, permission or other authorisation must provide such information as the competent authority may reasonably require for the purposes of the assessment or to enable them to determine whether an appropriate assessment is required. (3) The competent authority must for the purposes of the assessment consult the appropriate nature conservation body and have regard to any representations made by that body within such reasonable time as the authority specify. (4) They must also, if they consider it appropriate, take the opinion of the general public, and if they do so, they must take such steps for that purpose as they consider appropriate. (5) In the light of the conclusions of the assessment, and subject to regulation 62 (considerations of overriding public interest), the competent authority may agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site or the European offshore marine site (as the case may be). (6) In considering whether a plan or project will adversely affect the integrity of the site, the authority must have regard to the manner in which it is proposed to be carried out or to any conditions or restrictions subject to which they propose that the consent, permission or other authorisation should be given. 1.3.2

The screening assessment also considered the risk of other urban edge effects, and changes in water levels or quality as a result of the draft masterplan. The latter were excluded from the assessment on the basis of an Outline Water Cycle Study (Halcrow, 2009, updated by a full study in 2011 by Peter Brett Associates) which found that sufficient water supply and sewerage capacity was available to support the eco-town.

1.3.3

In relation to urban edge effects, the screening assessment explored secondary data and practice elsewhere regarding the possible impacts of cat predation, fire and fly-tipping. It concluded that the draft masterplan’s proposal to exclude residential development from within a 400m buffer to all European sites was sufficient to protect the sites from this group of impacts. However, consultation in late 2009 suggested that urban edge effects could be more widespread than initially thought around Whitehill Bordon, and perhaps particularly in relation to European qualifying features in off-site areas (i.e. outside of European sites). In response to this concern, consideration of urban edge effects has been brought back into the current HRA, and additional data on their incidence collected through focus group workshops from site managers, the MoD and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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1.3.4

The findings of the 2009 HRA regarding atmospheric pollution were inconclusive because there was insufficient data available to fully investigate the effects, pending the outcome of a traffic assessment and energy feasibility studies. This is now complete (MVA/Amey, 2011) and traffic flow data has been combined with information on options from the Energy Feasibility Study (LDA Design, 2011) to inform atmospheric pollution modelling (Air Quality Consultants, 2011) and determine the nature of impacts on European site features. This November 2011 edition of the HRA Report takes account of changes to the outputs of the traffic assessment, and subsequent re-runs of the atmospheric dispersion model.

1.3.5

In relation to effects from increasing recreational pressure, the 2009 HRA report concluded that: “It is clear that the draft masterplan will lead to adverse effects on the ecological integrity of the Wealden Heaths SPA in particular, and also Shortheath Common SAC, if allowed to proceed unchecked. Avoidance and/or mitigation measures are required to remove or reduce the effects to the point of insignificance.” UE Associates, 2009b, p.25

1.3.6

It went on to set out an avoidance strategy centred on the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANG), supported by additional mitigation measures including access management within European sites and a monitoring regime. In its statement on the HRA, the Council made the following observations: “East Hampshire District Council, as Competent Authority, is committed to the delivery of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) as an integral part of the masterplan, which is crucial to the avoidance and mitigation strategy required under the Habitats Regulations. Based on the studies it has carried out to date, EHDC is confident that there is clear and significant potential for the development of SANG to substantially improve both the carrying capacity and accessibility of land allocated for this use. Future work on the masterplan and its implementation strategy will set out detailed terms of reference for the quality, design and long-term management of SANG, and to secure arrangements for funding and ownership.”

1.3.7

The 2009 HRA highlighted that the measures were as yet untested and pointed to the need for SANG design guidance and assessment of proposed SANG under the guidance. The current HRA further analyses the nature, scale and distribution of visitor pressure expected to result from the draft masterplan, and explores the provision, quality, design, accessibility and carrying capacity of proposed SANGs in greater detail, drawing on the Green Infrastructure Strategy for the town (Halcrow, 2011).

The latter addresses funding and ownership

arrangements. 1.3.8

Finally, based on data available at the time, the 2009 HRA concluded that no adverse effect was likely to occur to features of Wealden Heaths SPA due to loss or degradation of supporting habitats (off-site areas). However, since that time further breeding bird surveys of off-site areas has been undertaken (Cox and Combridge, 2010a,b,c,d) and the issue is reexamined in the current HRA.

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1.3.9

This HRA was commissioned by EHDC in December 2010 with the following objectives in mind:  To ensure the draft Whitehill Bordon Masterplan conforms to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (‘the Habitats Regulations’);  To provide a robust assessment evidence base to support the Core Strategy Examination process; and  To consider recommendations from the draft masterplan consultation process and build them into the HRA.

1.3.10

To meet these objectives a set of eight discrete work packages were identified. UE Associates proposed that these should be considered through the preparation of three separate but interrelated reports:  Atmospheric Pollution Dispersion Modelling Report (Air Quality Consultants, 2011);  Land Management Report (UE Associates, 2011); and  Habitats Regulations Assessment Report.

1.3.11

The HRA Report was identified as a way of drawing together the results of the other reports to ensure the draft masterplan can conform to the Habitats Regulations.

It will reflect

consultation on the draft masterplan and comments made on the 2009 HRA.

1.4

Structure of this Report

1.4.1

The remaining chapters address the following items:  Chapter Two: describes the plan or project to be assessed; the draft masterplan;  Chapter Three: identifies conservation objectives for the European sites;  Chapter Four: reviews the ecological attributes of relevant habitats and species;  Chapter Five: describes baseline conditions within the European sites;  Chapter Six: introduces methods for predicting effects of the draft masterplan;  Chapter Seven: analyses how recreational and urban edge effects may be offset by measures provided within the plan;  Chapter Eight: analyses the extent and severity of atmospheric pollution effects;  Chapter Nine: presents the impact assessment;  Chapter Ten: identifies adverse effects on site integrity;  Chapter Eleven: considers additional mitigation or offsetting measures;  Chapter Twelve: sets out recommendations and a monitoring framework; and  Chapter Thirteen: concludes the document.

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2

The Draft Masterplan for Assessment

2.1

Introduction

2.1.1

To undertake an HRA requires that the plan or project to be assessed is defined. For some projects, such as the construction of a single building or structure, it is relatively easy to define what the project consists of and hence assess its likely effects on European sites. As projects get more complex they may comprise elements that are likely to have significant adverse effects on European sites as well as aspects that will have beneficial effects on those sites, either directly for example by improving the ecological robustness of the sites or indirectly by diverting pressures away from them.

At the scale of a strategic plan, such as the draft

masterplan, there may be many proposals that have negative as well as positive influences on European sites. 2.1.2

To define the features of the draft masterplan that are considered likely to have significant negative effects, the 2009 HRA undertook some detailed scoping and consultation based on the information then available. This concluded that visitor pressure and air quality posed likely significant effects on European sites. This view was endorsed by Natural England in their detailed comments on the 2009 HRA report. Additional effects were however identified by other consultees in particular the range of urban edge effects on heathland habitats that have been recognised since the early 1990s.

2.1.3

As regards defining the features of the draft masterplan that could generate these effects, the housing allocation is considered to be the source of impacts relating increasing visitor pressure and the incidence of urban edge effects.

It will also be main the source of

atmospheric pollution by increasing the car owning population of the town. However, the floorspace area and location of employment and retail facilities, as well as the type and location of energy generation options proposed through the energy feasibility study, will also affect the extent of additional emissions.

2.2

Draft Masterplan Housing Allocation

2.2.1

The South East Plan (Regional Spatial Strategy; RSS) was published by GOSE in May 2009. This set the strategic planning framework for the development of the Whitehill Bordon Ecotown. Although the coalition government has confirmed its intention to abolish all the RSS, it is important to recognise the policy context in which the eco-town was initially developed. The South East Plan identified Whitehill Bordon as a new strategic development area in Policy AOSR3 as reproduced in Box 2. This refers to the development of up to 5,500 dwellings together with employment, improved facilities and services, a ‘modal shift’ from private cars and provision of green infrastructure to ‘support local biodiversity and promote recreational opportunities’.

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Box 2: South East Plan Policy AOSR3 (GOSE, 2009) POLICY AOSR3: THE WHITEHILL/BORDON OPPORTUNITY Local development documents for East Hampshire District will allocate land and set out planning objectives for a new strategic development area at Whitehill/Bordon. This will include provision for the delivery of up to 5,500 dwellings (net), in accordance with Policy H1. Objectives should include: i. a mix of housing types and tenures should be provided to help promote a balanced and sustainable community ii. new employment opportunities should be provided to support the local community iii. new green infrastructure to support local biodiversity and promote recreational opportunities iv. new development should contribute to improved town centre facilities and services v. improved access to town centre facilities, including increased modal shift from private cars to other forms of transport. The housing provision figure for this site is based on ongoing work including a water cycle study to assess and manage the integrated water environment and Habitats Regulations Assessment work, and should be regarded as an indicative figure.

Should additional constraints or opportunities

become apparent then a different scale of development should be identified and pursued through the local development framework. In the event that the site cannot be released for the delivery of up to 5,500 dwellings, there is no expectation that equivalent land elsewhere in East Hampshire District will be allocated to meet the overall district figure set out in Policy H1. 2.2.2

This policy has evolved through the preparation of the Whitehill Bordon Draft Framework Masterplan (AECOM, June 2010), the latest iteration of which states: “A key element of the master planning process has been to test the capacity of the site using this policy (from the South East Plan) as a starting point. This plan has identified capacity for approximately 4,000 new homes principally located on MoD surplus land. However, we recognise that by including sites in the remainder of the town and planning for potential windfall sites during the Local Development Framework plan period that this figure may rise to a maximum of 5,300 new homes, and this figure was assessed as part of a Habitats Regulations Assessment.” AECOM, 2010, p.28

2.2.3

In summary, the draft masterplan provides for the elements listed in Box 3, while the residential allocation of the draft masterplan is placed in context by Figure 2.1.

2.3

Other Policies of the Draft Masterplan

2.3.1

Some elements of the draft masterplan should have indirect benefits for biodiversity and the conservation of European sites, for example, improved energy efficiency and use of biomass to create heat and power, and improvements to existing houses and businesses to enhance energy and water efficiency. Others, such as the provision of new housing and, potentially, new business and retail provision could have adverse effects on European protected sites whilst these may be offset by proposals for the provision of SANGs.

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Box 3: Summary of Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June, 2010)  A new mixed use town centre with around 30,000 sqm of retail and a range of supporting uses  Up to three new primary schools and early years centres and a new children’s centre  Re-building of Mill Chase Community Technology College on a new site with room for later expansion  Skills training and further education facilities  Sites for new commercial leisure facilities  Around 4,000 new homes within identified new residential neighbourhoods and the town centre built to a zero carbon standard  A public sports hub with leisure centre and pitches  Local healthcare and emergency services  Around 70,000 sqm Eco-business park floorspace and opportunities across the masterplan for the creation of approximately 5500 jobs  Around 127 hectares of new public greenspaces which provide Suitable Accessible Natural Greenspace (SANGs) to mitigate against human impacts on nearby European protected habitats  A central public transport hub and modern public transport systems including a safeguarded rail corridor  Retrofitting of existing homes and businesses to improve energy and water efficiency and reduce utilities bills  A biomass powered combined heat and power plant (CHP) expanded recycling centre and community ‘swapshop’

2.3.2

To assess the impacts of new housing, three phases of development are addressed; a first phase of 1,700 dwellings, the proposed masterplan option of 4,000 dwellings (phase 2), and an upper limit of 5,300 (phase 3). The draft masterplan seeks to provide opportunities to promote the conservation of biodiversity but also acknowledges this level of development could have a number of adverse effects on nature conservation, including:  “Disturbance to green infrastructure and habitats – the Green Town Vision promotes a net gain in indigenous biodiversity which will be achieved through the protection and enhancement of existing green spaces within the town, the replacement of existing MoD hardstanding areas with a mix of homes, gardens and parks and the creation of wildlife and blue corridors to increase habitats and habitat connectivity.  “Increased visitors to nearby European habitats (SPAs/SACs), predation of protected species by domestic cats, and increased air pollution resulting in a degraded environment. A Habitats Regulations Assessment has been carried out to assess the draft masterplan and ensure that the necessary provision of mitigation measures is in place within the masterplan. Mitigation includes the provision of publicly accessible SANGs and a restriction on residential development within 400m of the masterplan. Further HRA work is required to assess the impacts of the development on air pollution and agree the required mitigation measures to address this.” AECOM, 2010, p.100

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3

European Sites Conservation Objectives

3.1

Sites included for Assessment

3.1.1

The 2009 HRA identified six European or international wildlife sites that are in relative proximity to Whitehill Bordon and could potentially be affected by the proposals within the draft masterplan.

These are listed in Table 3.1 and depicted in Figure 3.1.

Distances

between the European sites and proposed residential development are given as a straight line between closest points. Table 3.1: European and international wildlife sites within the scope of the assessment

1

Site name

Approximate distance from proposed housing

Designation

East Hampshire Hangers

2.2 km to the west

SAC1

Shortheath Common

0.5 km to west

SAC1

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham

5.5 km to the north east

SAC1

Woolmer Forest

0.6 km to the south

SAC1

Thursley and Ockley Bogs

12 km to north east

Ramsar site2

Wealden Heaths (Phase 1 & 2)

Between 0.5 km to the north, 0.6 km to south and extending up to over 15 km to the north east (includes Thursley SAC & Ramsar listed above).

SPA3

= Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Designated in accordance with the EU Habitats Directive for habitats and species of

European Importance. SAC can include one or more Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). 2

= Ramsar Site.

Sites listed in accordance with the Ramsar Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of International

Importance. Not European sites and hence not subject to the same legislation as SAC or SPA but UK policy is to treat Ramsar Sites as if they were European sites. 3

= Special Protection Area (SPA). Classified in accordance with the EU Birds Directive to conserve the habitats of birds of European

importance. SPA can include one or more SSSI and may overlap with SAC and/or Ramsar sites.

3.1.2

A screening assessment was undertaken as part of the 2009 HRA to identify those sites that were likely to be subject to a significant effect in the context of regulation 61(a) (Box 1). This concluded that the East Hampshire Hangers SAC was not likely to be affected by air pollution, but that all six sites were likely to be significantly affected by recreational pressures arising from proposed development at Whitehill Bordon, and hence were subject to an appropriate assessment in accordance with regulation 61(b) (Box 1).

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Figure 3.1: European and international sites around Whitehill Bordon


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3.1.3

Since the conclusion of that assessment, further formal consultation has taken place which revealed concern about the incidence of urban edge effects, which had previously been screened out of the assessment in consultation with Natural England. A series of focus group workshops and meeting with the MoD has resulted in the collation of a considerable volume of information on the current range of urban edge and recreational impacts affecting the management and conservation of all six of the sites listed in Table 3.1. Information from the focus groups is reviewed in detail within the Land Management Report (UE Associates, 2011). From this we have concluded that all six sites are likely to be significantly affected by the proposals within the draft masterplan (2010) and should be subject to appropriate assessment in accordance with regulation 61(b).

3.1.4

As the development proposed in the draft masterplan is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of these European sites, an appropriate assessment is required of the implications of the development ‘in view of the site’s conservation objectives’. It is therefore necessary to carefully define and fully understand these objectives. Conservation objectives are published by Natural England for the component SSSI within European and Ramsar sites.

These relate to site interest features (the range of habitats and species

populations) for which the sites have been classified, designated or listed under the appropriate Directive or Convention. The list of international sites, their component SSSI and the European and Ramsar site features which they support are listed in Table 3.2.

3.2

SPA and SAC Conservation Objectives

3.2.1

The Habitats Directive requires that Member States maintain or where appropriate restore habitats and species populations of European importance to favourable conservation status. Guidance from the EC (2000; p.19) states: “The conservation status of natural habitat types and species present on a site is assessed according to a number of criteria established by Article 1 of the Directive. This assessment is done both at site and network level”. In the UK, the term favourable condition has been used to differentiate the status of a site as compared to that of the wider network of European sites.

The overarching conservation objectives

defined by Natural England for SAC and SPA around Whitehill Bordon are given in Box 4. Box 4: Conservation objectives for European sites around Whitehill Bordon Special Protection Area Subject to natural change, to maintain the habitats in favourable condition, with particular reference to any dependent component special interest features (habitats, vegetation types, species, species assemblages, etc.) for which the land is designated (SSSI, SPA, Ramsar). Maintenance implies restoration if the feature is not currently in favourable condition. Special Areas of Conservation Subject to natural change, to maintain the habitats in favourable condition, with particular reference to any dependent component special interest features (habitats, vegetation types, species, species assemblages, etc.) for which the land is designated (SSSI, SAC, Ramsar). Maintenance implies restoration if the feature is not currently in favourable condition.

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Table 3.2: Qualifying features of European and international wildlife sites around Whitehill Bordon European/International Site

Component SSSI

Site Interest Features

East Hampshire Hangers

      

Wealden Edge Hangers Noar Hill Selborne Common Coombe Wood and the Lythe Upper Greensand Hangers, (Empshott to Hawkley) Upper Greensand Hangers, (Wyck to Wheatley) Wick Wood and Worldham Hangers

     

Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests Taxus baccata woods of the British Isles * (Priority feature) Semi-natural dry grasslands of scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometailia) Semi-natural dry grasslands of scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometailia) (important orchid sites) * (Priority feature) Early gentian Gentianella anglica

Shortheath Common

Shortheath Common

  

Transition mires and quaking bogs European dry heaths Bog woodland * (Priority feature)

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham

   

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons Ash to Brookwood Heaths Colony Bog & Bagshot Heath Chobham Common

  

Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix European dry heaths Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest

    

Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds European dry heaths Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix Transition mires and quaking bogs

Thursley and Ockley Bogs

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

 Ramsar criterion 21 Supports a community of rare wetland invertebrate species including notable numbers of breeding dragonflies  Ramsar criterion 3 It is one of few sites in Britain to support all six native reptile species. The site also supports nationally important breeding populations of nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and woodlark Lullula arborea

Wealden Heaths (Phase 1 & 2)

    

Devil's Punch Bowl Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons Broxhead & Kingsley Commons Bramshott & Ludshott Commons Woolmer Forest

Qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive: During the breeding season;  Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata, 123 pairs representing at least 7.7% of GB breeding population  Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, 103 pairs representing at least 3.0% of GB breeding population  Woodlark Lullula arborea, 105 pairs representing at least 7.0% of the GB breeding population

1

From the Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS): http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/RIS/UK11074.pdf

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3.2.2

Regulation 61(b) requires that an appropriate assessment is made of the implications for each site in view of the site’s conservation objectives. To make such an assessment, it is necessary to understand in more detail the features of the sites that contribute to their favourable condition or conservation status.

Natural England has published detailed Favourable

Condition Tables (FCT) in which various attributes of the habitat and species populations are defined for assessing site condition (Box 5). These have been developed from the definition of Favourable Conservation Status provided in Article 1 of the Habitats Directive (Box 6).

Box 5:

Attributes of the Wealden Heaths SPA adapted from Natural England Favourable

Condition Tables Three principle attributes have been identified for the component SSSI within the Wealden Heaths SPA; the extent of habitat, the populations of birds for which the SPA is classified and the condition of the habitat. 1

The extent of the habitat: Favourable condition requires the maintenance of the extent of

each habitat type (either designated habitat or habitat supporting designated species). Maintenance implies restoration if evidence from condition assessment suggests a reduction in extent. 2

Population balance: Favourable condition requires the maintenance of the population of

each designated species. Maintenance implies restoration if evidence from condition assessment suggests a reduction in size of population or assemblage. 3

Maintenance of the Lowland dry heath in favourable condition. Favourable condition is

defined in terms of a number of site-specific standards including; Vegetation structure (growth phase composition of ericaceous cover); Bare ground (%); Indicators of local distinctiveness e.g. transitions, pools or notable species; Vegetation composition (bryophytes and lichens); Vegetation composition (dwarf shrubs); Vegetation structure (% cover of dwarf shrubs); Vegetation structure (% cover of Ulex spp.); Vegetation composition (graminoids); Vegetation composition (desirable forbs); Negative indicators (Species and signs of disturbance). For the SAC listed in Table 3.2 the objective is to maintain (or restore) all the qualifying habitats and species populations for which the sites have been selected in favourable condition.

3.2.3

For the populations of birds within the Wealden Heaths SPA, favourable conservation status can be defined by reference to Article 1(i), and for the habitats within the SAC by reference to Article 1(e). Conservation objectives for the Wealden Heaths SPA would therefore be:  Objective 1: Maintain the population of each of the three Annex 1 bird species as a viable component of their natural habitats on a long-term basis;  Objective 2: Maintain the range (geographic extent) of the population of each of the three Annex 1 bird species for the foreseeable future; and  Objective 3: Maintain sufficient area of suitable habitat to maintain the populations of each of the three Annex 1 bird species on a long term basis.

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Box 6: Extract from Managing Natura 2000 Sites (EC, 2000) Conservation status is defined in Article 1 of the Habitats Directive. For a natural habitat, Article 1(e) specifies that it is: ‘the sum of the influences acting on a natural habitat and its typical species that may affect its long-term natural distribution, structure and functions as well as the long-term survival of its typical species …’. For a species, Article 1(i) specifies that it is: ‘the sum of the influences acting on the species concerned that may affect the long-term distribution and abundance of its population …’ The Member State has therefore to take into account all the influences of the environment (air, water, soil, territory) which act on the habitats and species present on the site. Favourable conservation status is also defined by Article 1(e) for natural habitats and Article 1(i) for species. For a natural habitat, it occurs when: 

‘its natural range and areas it covers within that range are stable or increasing;

the specific structure and functions which are necessary for its long-term maintenance exist

and are likely to continue to exist for the foreseeable future; and the conservation status of its typical species is favourable’.

For a species, it occurs when: 

‘the population dynamics data on the species concerned indicate that it is maintaining itself on a long-term basis as a viable component of its natural habitats;

the natural range of the species is neither being reduced nor is likely to be reduced for the foreseeable future; and

there is, and will probably continue to be, a sufficiently large habitat to maintain its populations on a long-term basis’.

The favourable conservation status of a natural habitat or species has to be considered across its natural range, according to Articles 1(e) and 1(i), i.e. at biogeographical and, hence, Natura 2000 network level.

Since, however, the ecological coherence of the network will depend on the

contribution of each individual site to it and, hence, on the conservation status of the habitat types and species it hosts, the assessment of the favourable conservation status at site level will always be necessary. The conservation status of natural habitat types and species present on a site is assessed according to a number of criteria established by Article 1 of the Directive. This assessment is done both at site and network level. 3.2.4

For the SAC habitats listed in Table 3.2, the conservation objectives developed from the definition of favourable conservation status are:  Objective 4: The geographical distribution of the habitats and their overall area within the sites should be maintained or increased;  Objective 5:

The mix of species (their species structure) and the ecological inter-

relationships between these and other environmental and management factors (ecological function) which are needed for the long-term maintenance of the habitats should be likely to continue to exist;

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 Objective 6: The conservation status of the habitats’ typical species are maintained in terms of their population size, range and habitat extent. 3.2.5

Some of the typical species of each Annex 1 habitat are listed in Table 3.3. These are derived from a combination of sources, including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Annex 1 habitat accounts (see also Chapter 4) and the Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats (EC, 2007).

3.3

Ramsar Site Conservation Objectives

3.3.1

Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site is listed under Criteria 2 and 3 of the Ramsar Convention, which state:  Criterion 2: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities; and 

Criterion 3: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.

3.3.2

The reference to populations of reptiles and birds within the context of criterion 3 is curious as these are not typically wetland species. However, the Ramsar Convention criteria for which Thursley and Ockley Bogs are listed largely overlap with Conservation Objectives for the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC and the Wealden Heaths SPA and no additional conservation objectives are defined to assess these features.

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Table 3.3: Typical species of Annex 1 habitat types present within SAC (* denotes priority feature) Annex 1 Habitat Type

SAC in which it occurs

Typical species

European dry heaths

Shortheath Common; Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham; Woolmer Forest

Bell heather Erica cinerea, Dwarf gorse Ulex minor, European stonechat Saxicola rubicola, tree pipit Anthus trivialis, Hobby Falco subbuteo, Reptiles (adder, common lizard, sand lizard, smooth snake), Ants, bees and wasps (Hymenoptera), Mottled bee-fly Thyridanthrax fenestratus

Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham; Woolmer Forest

Cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, Sphagnum compactum, Deer grass Trichophorum cespitosum, Silver studded blue butterfly Plebejus argus

Transition mires and quaking bogs

Shortheath Common; Woolmer Forest

White sedge Carex curta and Bottle sedge C. rostrata, Marsh cinquefoil Potentilla palustris, Marsh St John’s wort Hypericum eloides, Small red damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum

Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham; Woolmer Forest

White beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba, Marsh clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata, Oblong leaved sundew Drosera intermedia, Round leaved sundew Drosera rotundifolia, Bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos

Bog woodland *

Shortheath Common

Downy birch Betula pubescens, Grey willow Salix cinerea, Sphagnum mosses, Yellow Horned moth Achlya flavicornis, Orange underwing moth Archiearis parthenias

Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds

Woolmer Forest

Bulbous rush Juncus bulbosus var. fluitans, Bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., black darter Sympetrum danae, Spangled Water Beetle Graphoderus zonatus

Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines

East Hampshire Hangers

Field maple Acer campestre, Wych elm Ulmus glabra, Lime Tilia spp. Herb paris Paris quadrifolia

Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests,

East Hampshire Hangers

Beech Fagus sylvatica, Spurge laurel Daphne laureola, White helleborine Cephalanthera damasonium, violet helleborine Epipactis purpurata, green-flowered helleborine E. phyllanthes and Italian lords-and-ladies Arum italicum

Taxus baccata woods of the British Isles *

East Hampshire Hangers

Yew Taxus baccata, Whitebeam Sorbus aria

Semi-natural dry grasslands of scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (FestucoBrometailia),

East Hampshire Hangers

Meadow oat-grass Avenula pratensis, Quaking-grass Briza media, Common rock-rose Helianthemum nummularium, Salad burnet Sanguisorba minor ssp. minor, Small scabious Scabiosa columbaria, Dwarf thistle Cirsium acaule and Squinancywort Asperula cynanchica.

Calcareous grasslands of scrubland facies (Festuco-Brometailia) (important orchid sites) *

East Hampshire Hangers

As above with important orchids such as musk orchid Herminium monorchis

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4

Review of Ecological Data and Attributes of Habitats and Species

4.1

Introduction

4.1.1

The following Annex 1 habitat accounts, which occur within the SAC around Whitehill Bordon, are based upon descriptions published by the JNCC2.

4.2

European Dry Heaths

4.2.1

European dry heaths typically occur on freely-draining, acidic to circumneutral soils with generally low nutrient content. Ericaceous dwarf-shrubs (heathers) dominate the vegetation. The most common is heather Calluna vulgaris, which often occurs in combination with gorse Ulex spp and bell heather Erica cinerea, though other dwarf-shrubs are important locally. Nearly all dry heath is semi-natural, being derived from woodland clearance that may have started in the Mesolithic and continued apace through the Bronze Age.

4.2.2

Traditionally, most dry heaths were managed by a combination of controlled burning and extensive grazing with livestock although over much of southern England these traditional management practices were abandoned during the latter part of the 20 th century. Long term sustainable management of heathland requires the restoration of these traditional management techniques and initiatives to restore extensive grazing to heathlands have been promoted across the heathlands of Dorset, the Thames Basin and Weald as well as elsewhere in lowland Britain.

Further details about SAC selection for this habitat can be found at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H4030. 4.2.3

Dry heaths support a distinctive and much threatened fauna including many specialist insects, reptiles and birds. Amongst the invertebrate fauna are many species of bee and wasp which construct nest burrows in patches of bare sandy ground and low sand banks. Dry heathland supports all six native species of reptile found in Britain (common lizard, sand lizard, smooth snake, grass snake, adder and slow worm) with all six species occurring within the heathlands around Whitehill Bordon.

Dry heathland also provides the prime nesting habitat for an

assemblage of birds. Three species (woodlark, nightjar and Dartford warbler) are of European importance and the Wealden Heaths are classified as a SPA specifically to conserve these birds. In addition, dry heathland also attracts several other species, such as tree pipit and linnet that are listed on the red or amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern (Eaton et al, 2009). 4.2.4

Dry heathland is vulnerable to lack of appropriate management and becomes colonised by scrub and woodland if left unmanaged. Burning may remove encroaching scrub from dry heathlands but leaves them vulnerable to domination by other species such as bracken.

2

JNCC habitat accounts: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/SAC_habitats.asp

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Extent and distribution 4.2.5

Dry heathland dominates the central area of Woolmer Forest SAC and covers wide areas of Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham Commons SAC. On these two sites, extensive tracts of dry heathland with transitions to other heathland and grassland types create some of the few remaining lowland heathland landscapes in southern England. On Shortheath Common, this Annex 1 habitat type is more fragmented and confined to localised patches in a mosaic with areas of dry acid grassland with transitions to mire vegetation. Further extensive tracts of dry heathland occur outside of the SAC boundaries in East Hampshire, with notable dry heathland landscapes within Ludshott Common, Longmoor and Weavers Down, while smaller more fragmented dry heathlands occur on Kingsley Common and Broxhead Common (all within Wealden Heaths SPA).

4.2.6

The extent of dry heathland within the SAC has not been accurately mapped in recent years. Much of the Phase 2 (NVC) vegetation survey within Hampshire is now quite old and does not take account of the programme of heathland restoration that has been undertaken in recent years. Phase 1 habitat mapping was undertaken more recently using aerial photographic interpretation but this is less accurate in differentiating heathland types. An estimate of the area of dry heathland within Hampshire SAC and SPA for the purposes of assessment was made using BAP priority habitat mapping data provided by the Hampshire Biological Records Centre (HBIC) [Surrey data were unavailable]. A total of 496ha of dry heathland occur within the Hampshire part of the Wealden Heaths SPA, with almost half of this (236ha) within Woolmer Forest SAC; see. Only a relatively small area of 4.3 ha occurs within Shortheath Common SAC.

4.3

Northern Atlantic Wet Heaths with Erica tetralix

4.3.1

Wet heathland often occurs in association with other Annex 1 heathland habitat types. Typically, wet heath occurs in transitions with dry heathland occupying areas of impeded drainage low down on valley sides or across valley bottoms. As with dry heathland, soils are acid and nutrient poor and occur over shallow peats or sands. The vegetation is characterised by the distinctive pale pink flowers and grey-green leaves of cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix which grows with a mixture of other heathers, grasses, sedges and Sphagnum bog-moss. The increased abundance of grasses and sedges in wet heaths, particularly the purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea, makes these areas important in sustaining heathland livestock grazing.

4.3.2

Wet heaths often contain localised areas of bare ground caused by vehicle movements, livestock trampling or other small scale disturbance. These small areas provide important niches for a number of rare and threatened plant species including the nationally scarce species such as all seed Radiola linoides and coral necklace Illecebrum verticillatum. The fauna of wet heaths is also distinctive with the silver studded blue butterfly Plebejus argus being particularly characteristic of this habitat. Further details about SAC selection for this habitat can

be

found

at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?

FeatureIntCode=H4010.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 4.1: Extent of heathland and other habitats around Whitehill Bordon (Source: HBIC and Natural England. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright (2011)) Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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4.3.3

Wet heathland is vulnerable to wild fires as well as colonisation with scrub and secondary woodland. Regular fires in the absence of livestock grazing results in the loss of characteristic heather species leading to the dominance of dense tussocks of purple moor-grass and a significant loss of associated biodiversity. Extent and distribution

4.3.4

Wet heath is largely confined to Woolmer Forest with a total area of 28.4ha in the SAC. Here it forms some extensive stands particularly associated with valley mire systems and around Woolmer Pond. A small area of wet heath extending to only 0.3ha occurs on Shortheath Common. Outside of the SAC, wet heath appears to be very scarce, with the most extensive patches at Longmoor. However, this may reflect difficulty of air photograph interpretation and more detailed field survey may reveal greater areas of the habitat type present, particularly on Blackmoor, Passfield Common and The Slab. The total area of wet heath mapped in the Hampshire part of the Wealden Heaths SPA is 31.9ha.

4.4

Transition Mires and Quaking Bogs

4.4.1

Mires and bogs are wetland habitats where a combination of water quality and soil type has a critical influence on the type of habitat that develops. Transition mires and quaking bogs occur in situations that are transitional between acid valley mire and bog and alkaline fens. The vegetation in these situations ranges from markedly acidic to slightly base-rich and consists of a rich diversity of acidophile and calciphile or basophile species. A distinctive feature of these mires is that they are very unstable underfoot so that they can be made to undulate or quake when walked on, giving the name quaking bog. Further information on SAC selection for this habitat can be found at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SAC selection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H7140.

4.4.2

The finest example of this habitat in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon occurs on Shortheath Common where a valley mire forms the focal point of the site. This is thought to have formed over former peat digging where the mire vegetation has spread over the surface of former open water pools and ponds. These floating rafts of vegetation are highly unstable underfoot and can also be made to undulate and quake when walked on.

4.4.3

The northern strip of the mire on Shortheath Common is the most mesotrophic and has much grey willow Salix cinerea but also a rich ground-flora with abundant sedges such as white sedge Carex curta and bottle sedge C. rostrata, soft rush Juncus effusus, marsh cinquefoil Potentilla palustris and the bog-moss Sphagnum recurvum. An oligotrophic area to the south is dominated by S. recurvum with cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, common cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium, purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea and round-leaved sundew Drosera rotundifolia. It is notable for its high cover of cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos. Other bog-mosses such as Sphagnum capillifolium and S. papillosum are also present, and the whole forms a floating raft over much of the mire. Other examples of the habitat occur on Woolmer Forest with a fine example within Linchborough Park to the north east of the Forest. The habitat also occurs on The Warren where it is outside of both the SSSI and SAC.

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4.4.4

The examples of this habitat in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon are characterised by an abundance of cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccus. Nationally, this is not a rare or scarce species, but in the lowlands of southern Britain it is extremely uncommon. The fauna of these mires is also particularly characteristic and includes a number of uncommon invertebrate species. Most obvious of these are the dragon and damselflies including species such as the nationally scarce small red damselfly Ceriagrion tenellem and the black darter Sympetrum danae. Other less conspicuous species include the bog bush-cricket Metrioptera brachyptera and the raft spider Dolomedes fimbriata.

4.4.5

This habitat is acutely sensitive to changes in water quality and water levels. Slight increases in nutrient status and changes in acidity can have dramatic effects on the flora with consequent loss of nature conservation value. Extent and distribution

4.4.6

Data obtained from HBIC has been used to determine the extent of ‘fen’ vegetation within Woolmer Forest SAC and Shortheath Common SAC. However, further survey work is needed to determine whether all the fen habitat conforms to this Annex 1 habitat type. They are fragmentary in nature and scattered, with the largest concentrations occurring on Shortheath Common and between Woolmer Pond and Cranmer Pond on the western side of Woolmer Forest. The total area of fen within Woolmer Forest is mapped as 4.8ha with a further 5.0ha on Shortheath Common. This would appear to give a reasonable estimate of the area of this Annex 1 habitat type within Hampshire SAC.

4.5

Depressions on Peat Substrates of the Rhynchosporion

4.5.1

This curiously named habitat type occurs on peat substrates and forms complex mosaics with lowland wet heath and valley mire vegetation, in transition mires. The vegetation is typically very open, usually characterised by an abundance of white beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba, often with well-developed algal mats, the bog mosses Sphagnum species and round-leaved sundew Drosera rotundifolia.

4.5.2

On lowland heaths in southern and eastern England this habitat occurs on humid, bare or recently exposed peat in three distinct situations:  In and around the edges of seasonal bog pools, particularly on patterned areas of valley mire;  In flushes on the edges of valley mires in heathlands; and  In areas that are artificially disturbed, such as along footpaths and trackways and in old peat cuttings and abandoned ditches.

4.5.3

Further

information

on

SAC

selection

for

this

habitat

can

be

found

at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H7150.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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4.5.4

Examples of this habitat occur in all three of these locations on the heathlands of Woolmer Forest where it provides the key habitat for the nationally scarce marsh clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata. Examples of the habitat also occur outside of the SAC within The Slab and Warren.

4.5.5

This habitat occupies a niche that is dependent upon a degree of disturbance as well as impeded drainage and appropriate soil type. Slight changes to any of these aspects of its habitat will result in its loss or degradation.

Too much disturbance and the habitat is

destroyed whilst too little and it will become overgrown with grasses and dense heathland vegetation. Of all the heathland habitat types, it is the most dependent upon extensive stock grazing. Where is has survived in the absence of this activity it is dependent upon other forms of disturbance such as the occasional passage of military vehicles. Extent and distribution 4.5.6

This Annex 1 habitat type forms a micro-habitat within larger areas of valley mire and wet heath vegetation. To map its extent would require detailed field survey and this has not been undertaken. Information on the distribution of the habitat can be obtained by mapping the typical species of the habitat, in particular the white beaked-sedge Rhychospora alba, oblong leaved sundew Drosera intermedia and the marsh clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata. Records for Rhychospora alba and Lycopodiella inundata were obtained from HBIC and suggest that, within the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon, this habitat occurs only on Shortheath Common SAC, Woolmer Forest SAC and The Slab.

4.6

Bog Woodland (Priority Feature)

4.6.1

Under certain combinations of physical circumstances in the UK, scattered trees can occur across the surface of a bog in a relatively stable ecological relationship as open woodland, without the loss of bog species. This true bog woodland is a much rarer condition than the progressive invasion of bogs by trees, through natural colonisation or afforestation following changes in the drainage pattern which leads eventually to the loss of the bog community. The habitat type has not previously been well described in the UK, and consequently knowledge of its ecological characteristics is limited.

4.6.2

Although this is a priority habitat type, it occurs only as a fragmentary stand within Shortheath Common and was not a habitat for which the site was primarily selected as a SAC. It is dominated by scattered and often dead or dying birch Betula pubescens and willow Salix cinerea. These colonise the open transition mire vegetation but as they grow they depress the floating mats of vegetation into the underlying water and peat, causing them to die. As a consequence the structure and function of this habitat type is finely balanced between tree growth and bog development.

4.6.3

Tree growth in bog woodland is always slow (or the trees would take over the bog); the trees are likely to be widely-spaced (because much of the surface area is too wet for them to establish), and dead trees may be common even among the fairly small individuals (because their weight depresses the peat locally leading to waterlogging and death).

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4.6.4

Although stunted in form these trees may be of considerable age, with the oldest individuals in bog woodland in Scotland estimated at 350 years old.

Secondary birch woodland on

degraded bogs, and woodland encroachment resulting from falling water tables, are excluded from the Annex I definition. Further information on SAC selection for this habitat can be found at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode= H91D0. Extent and distribution 4.6.5

The area mapped as ‘wet woodland’ on Shortheath Common that is most likely to conform to the bog woodland habitat type extends to 2.4ha.

4.7

Natural Dystrophic Lakes and Ponds

4.7.1

Dystrophic lakes and ponds most frequently occur on in the uplands of Britain in association with blanket bogs or may be found on raised bogs situated mainly on plains and valley bottoms. None of these bog systems occur in the south of England so that the example of a natural, acid nutrient poor (dystrophic) lake found at Cranmer Pond in Woolmer Forest is of particular ecological interest.

4.7.2

The water in dystrophic ponds has a high humic acid content and is usually stained dark brown through exposure to peat. Most examples are small (less than 5ha in extent), shallow, and contain a limited range of flora and fauna.

Some dystrophic lakes have developed a

‘schwingmoor’ where bog-mosses are found in association with cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium that form floating rafts of vegetation that extend out over the pond surface. The pools are naturally species-poor and a littoral zone is often absent. Fringing vegetation is characteristic of the habitat in which the pools occur. Several notable scarce dragonfly species are associated with dystrophic lakes and ponds. 4.7.3

Cranmer Pond is the only example of a dystrophic pond within the UK SAC network that occurs in southern England. It is set within an area of Northern Atlantic wet heath with Erica tetralix and depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion.

The aquatic flora is

comprised of bulbous rush Juncus bulbosus var. fluitans, which grows submerged and forms dense mats at the margins, and bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. which grow in shallower areas. Further

information

on

SAC

selection

for

this

habitat

type

can

be

found

at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H3160. Extent and distribution 4.7.4

This 8ha pond is thought to originate from peat-cutting, and has an average depth of 1m. To the north and south of Cranmer Pond are areas of transition mire and quaking bogs.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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4.8

Tilio-Acerion Forests of Slopes, Screes and Ravines

4.8.1

Tilio-Acerion ravine forests are woods of ash Fraxinus excelsior, wych elm Ulmus glabra and lime (mainly small-leaved lime Tilia cordata but more rarely large-leaved lime T. platyphyllos). Introduced sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is often present and is a common part of the community in mainland Europe, where it is native.

The habitat type typically occurs on

nutrient-rich soils that often accumulate in the shady micro-climates towards the bases of slopes and ravines. Therefore it is found on calcareous substrates associated with coarse scree, cliffs, steep rocky slopes and ravines, where inaccessibility has reduced human impact. It often occurs as a series of scattered patches grading into other types of woodland on level valley floors and on slopes above, or as narrow strips along stream-sides. More extensive stands occur on limestone and other base-rich rocks. 4.8.2

The habitat type is ecologically variable, particularly with respect to the dominant tree species. To the north and west, ash and wych elm assume increasing importance in the canopy, and lime may be completely absent. Floristic differences due to variations in slope, aspect and nature of the substrate add to the diversity of the habitat. The ground flora can be very varied, but the following elements are usually present: fern banks (particularly hart’s-tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium, soft shield-fern Polystichum setiferum and buckler-ferns Dryopteris spp.); stands of ramsons Allium ursinum in the moister zones; dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis and enchanter’s-nightshade Circaea spp. on drier but still base-rich soils; wood avens Geum urbanum, and natural ‘disturbance communities’ comprising common nettle Urtica dioica, herb-Robert Geranium robertianum and cleavers Galium aparine associated with scree and cliff-bases. A wide range of other basiphilous herbs and grasses may occur within these stands.

4.8.3

The East Hampshire Hangers represents an unusual occurrence of Tilio-Acerion forests in the south of England. It has areas of small-leaved lime Tilia cordata on the steepest parts of the Upper Greensand scarp, associated with low sandstone cliffs and scree slopes, which are locally calcareous. The bryophyte flora is richer than on the chalk examples and includes several species that are rare in the lowlands, such as Campylostelium saxicola, which has its strongest population in England here. The site is ecologically similar to sites selected in the Welsh Borders, despite its geographic location. Further information on SAC selection for this habitat

type

can

be

found

at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/

habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H9180.

4.9

Asperulo-Fagetum Beech Forests

4.9.1

This Annex I habitat type occurs on circumneutral to calcareous soils. In the UK it mostly corresponds to NVC type W12 Fagus sylvatica – Mercurialis perennis woodland, but more calcareous stands of NVC type W14 Fagus sylvatica – Rubus fruticosus woodland may also conform to this habitat type.

The two NVC types often occur together on a site.

Each

community has a different associated suite of species which change according to slope and soil type.

As slopes become steeper, there is a shift from relatively deep, moist and

moderately base-rich soils to thin, dry and strongly base-rich profiles.

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4.9.2

There is an associated floristic gradient in the woodland understorey, with dense cover of bramble Rubus fruticosus on the shallowest slopes gradually being replaced by frequent dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis as the gradient increases, and then by sanicle Sanicula europaea, wall lettuce Mycelis muralis and wood melick Melica uniflora. Rare plants associated with this form of woodland in the UK include red helleborine Cephalanthera rubra, wood barley Hordelymus europaeus, coral-root Cardamine bulbifera and box Buxus sempervirens.

4.9.3

While many sites have a core of ancient woodland, planting of beech Fagus sylvatica and its natural spread on to adjacent grassland under reduced grazing pressures have led in places to an expansion of this habitat over the 20th century. Sites, including East Hampshire Hangers, often have a complicated history.

The beech dominance in particular has often been

emphasised by past silvicultural treatment. 4.9.4

The East Hampshire Hangers represents Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests in south-east England. The site is extremely rich in terms of vascular plants, including white helleborine Cephalanthera

damasonium,

violet

helleborine

Epipactis

purpurata,

green-flowered

helleborine E. phyllanthes and Italian lords-and-ladies Arum italicum. The woods include areas with old pollards on former wood-pasture as well as high forest. There are also transitions to Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines. Further information on the selection of SAC for this habitat can be found at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/ habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H9130.

4.10

Taxus baccata Woods of the British Isles (Priority Feature)

4.10.1

Yew Taxus baccata woodland occurs on shallow, dry soils usually on chalk or limestone slopes, but in a few areas stands on more mesotrophic soils are found. Within this community, yew tends to be overwhelmingly dominant and is usually associated with a very sparse shrub and tree layer.

Only a few species, such as dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis, can survive

beneath the dense shade cast by the canopy of mature yew trees. Association with beech Fagus sylvatica and holly Ilex aquifolium is less common than in mainland Europe. 4.10.2

This habitat occurs within the East Hampshire Hangers, but was not a primary reason for site selection.

Further information on SAC selection for this habitat can be found at

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/ProtectedSites/SACselection/habitat.asp?FeatureIntCode=H91J0.

4.11

Semi-Natural Dry Grasslands of Scrubland Facies on Calcareous Substrates (FestucoBrometailia) and similar Important Orchid Sites (Priority Feature)

4.11.1

These two Annex 1 habitat types are calcareous grasslands referred to as the FestucoBrometalia. They are found on thin, well-drained, lime-rich soils associated with chalk and limestone. They occur predominantly at low to moderate altitudes in England and Wales, extending locally into upland areas in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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4.11.2

Most of these calcareous grasslands are maintained by grazing. A large number of rare plants are associated with this habitat, including purple milk-vetch Astragalus danicus, dwarf sedge Carex humilis, spotted

cat’s-ear Hypochaeris maculata, spring

cinquefoil Potentilla

tabernaemontani, pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris, bastard-toadflax Thesium humifusum and the Annex II species early gentian Gentianella anglica, as well as various bryophytes and lichens. The invertebrate fauna is also noteworthy, and includes rarities such as the adonis blue Lysandra bellargus and silver-spotted skipper Hesperia comma. 4.11.3

The priority habitat type comprises Festuco-Brometalia calcareous grasslands containing important orchid assemblages and/or rare orchids. ‘Important orchid sites’ are defined in the Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats as localities (EC, 2007) which meet one or more of the following criteria:  The site hosts a rich suite of orchid species;  The site hosts an important population of at least one orchid species considered not very common on the national territory; or  The hosts one or several orchid species considered to be rare, very rare or exceptional on the national territory.

4.11.4

The East Hampshire Hangers are particularly notable for their populations of one rare orchid species, known as the musk orchid Herminium monorchis. This nationally scarce species is confined to dry calcareous grassland in southern England. The East Hampshire Hangers also have populations of more widespread orchid species including pyramidal orchid, frog orchid, common spotted-orchid, bee orchid and autumn lady’s-tresses.

4.12

Bird Populations of the Wealden Heaths SPA

4.12.1

The Wealden Heaths SPA extends to an area of 3,923.8ha across the counties of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex. In Hampshire it comprises the extensive heathlands of Woolmer Forest (including Longmoor Inclosure, Weavers Down, Conford Moor and Passfield Common), Ludshott and Bramshott Commons and the more fragmented heathlands of Broxhead and Kingsley Commons. Within Surrey, the SPA includes the heathlands around Hindhead within the dramatic Devil’s Punchbowl SSSI and, to the north of this, the large complex of heathlands between Frensham and Witley known as the Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons SSSI. At its nearest extent this SSSI is some 5km from the proposed Whitehill Bordon Eco-town policy area.

4.12.2

This large SPA has been classified to conserve populations of three species of bird listed on Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive; woodlark Allula arborea, nightjar Caprimulgus europeaus and Dartford warbler Sylvia undata. The ecology of these birds within their heathland habitat and the effects of urban development and disturbance upon their breeding success has been the subject of a number of research studies.

Further information about this SPA can be

obtained from the JNCC website at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=2049.

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Nightjar Habitat and ecology 4.12.3

Nightjars are summer visitors, migrating from sub-Saharan Africa to arrive in Britain in May and returning in August and September.

Nightjars are nocturnal, roosting in daytime on the

ground or sometimes on the low branches of a tree. Their cryptic (camouflaged) coloration helps conceal them from predators at these times. Birds emerge from their roosts at dusk to display and feed on flying insects, mainly moths. Male nightjars have a highly distinctive night time call consisting of a prolonged purring or churring.

This churring sound is used by

ornithologists to survey nightjar numbers within an area, on the assumption that each churring bird represents a single nightjar territory or pair. 4.12.4

Nests are built on the ground in areas that are bare or sparsely vegetated, usually on freely draining soils. Traditionally they have been associated with the light sandy soils of heathlands and other agriculturally unimproved land. As heathland habitat has been lost to development and/or changed in habitat structure, there has been a shift to nesting in recently felled conifer plantations.

In these situations, nightjars nest on the dead debris left by tree felling

operations, but will not nest on the growing vegetation which quickly establishes. For this reason, nest sites in conifer plantations are ephemeral in nature and the maintenance of nightjar populations in conifer forests relies upon a constant felling programme to sustain continued nesting habitat. 4.12.5

By contrast, nightjars nesting on heathland sites can return to the same territory for many years.

Nightjars tend to nest within a distinctive micro-habitat on heathland sites, oftern

occurring at the edge of open heathland areas where there is a transition from heath to scrub and woodland. Sites where this transition is punctuated by a series of sheltered bays or woodland edge glades are generally most attractive (Gibbons et al, 1993). Work undertaken by the RSPB at its Minsmere reserve to increase the total length of woodland/heathland edge and create localised areas of bare heathland resulted in the nightjar population increasing from five pairs in 1982 to 40 in 1989 (Burgess et al, 1990). 4.12.6

Although the nesting habitat of nightjars is quite specific, the birds can feed widely over adjacent areas of heathland, woodland, wetland and other insect rich countryside. Research from Dorset found nightjar to be feeding at sites up to 7km with average range distance of 3.1km from their nesting territory (within Wareham Forest); the preferred habitat was deciduous woodland, orchards, village gardens, ponds, streams and water meadows (Alexander and Cresswell, 1990).

Birds were often found to be using the same area on

subsequent nights and birds that were not radio tagged were occasionally seen in these areas, although none were ever heard to chur there. However, other studies of foraging nightjar have not found such large foraging distances. For example, nightjars in Thetford Forest were found to be foraging up to 2km from their nesting area, with most flights being less than 1km (Bowden and Green, 1994). A range of other studies have found that nightjars forage mainly within their nesting territories (Lack, 1930; Koenig, 1952; Schelgel, 1967; Wichmann, 2004) although most of these were undertaken without the aid of radio telemetry.

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Population 4.12.7

A national nightjar survey was undertaken in 2004 (pers. comm., 2009). This identified a national UK population of 4,605 males, representing a 36% increase from the previous national survey undertaken in 1992. The continued increase in the national population was attributed to habitat protection, management and restoration of heathlands, and the continued availability of clear-fell/young plantations in conifer forests.

4.12.8

At the time of classification (1998), the Wealden Heaths SPA supported a population of 103 pairs representing at least 3.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain. The 2004 survey found this to have increased to 133 males, roughly in line with the national trend. These were spread across the component SSSI within the SPA as described in Table 4.1 and illustrated on Figure 4.2. Table 4.1: Nightjar population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2004

SSSI name

Number of males

Woolmer Forest

43

Broxhead and Kingsley Commons

6

Ludshott and Bramshott Commons

12

Devil’s Punch Bowl

7

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

65

Total 4.12.9

133 Additional nightjar were also identified from sites outside of the SPA near to Whitehill Bordon with 3 males on The Slab and Warren and a further 10 males within Alice Holt Forest. Subsequent survey of sites near to Whitehill Bordon have found a further pair on Shortheath Common (Frost, 2010) where they have not previously been recorded. Surveys of The Slab and Warren in 2010 (Cox & Combridge, 2010a) found between 6 and 11 calling males at this site. Nightjar habitat in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon

4.12.10 The largest area of habitat for breeding nightjar occurs on the heathlands of Woolmer Forest including Longmoor Inclosure. A second concentration of nesting territories occurs within the extensive area of dry heathland on Ludshott Common. Smaller numbers of birds are present on the more fragmented heathlands of Broxhead and Kingsley Commons. Outside of the SPA, there are recent records of nightjar nesting on The Warren, Shortheath Common and possibly The Slab. It is interesting that there are no records of nightjar from the National Trust heathlands of Passfield Common or Conford Moor.

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Figure 4.2: Annex 1 bird territories on heaths around Whitehill Bordon, 2004 and 2006 4.12.11 There is no information available on the use of supporting habitats around Whitehill Bordon by foraging nightjar. To provide this information would require considerable survey effort and use of radio tracking (radio telemetry) surveys. However, it might be assumed that birds will potentially be feeding in any invertebrate rich habitats within the vicinity of their breeding territories, with wetlands along the Oakhanger Stream to the north and west of Whitehill Bordon, and the Hollywater and River Wey catchment to the east, being likely to provide potentially good foraging habitat. Dartford warbler Habitat and ecology 4.12.12 Unlike most other British warbler species, the Dartford warbler is largely resident in this country. The relatively cold winters of Britain are not to the taste of this small bird which is more at home in the heat of Mediterranean latitudes.

In Britain, Dartford warblers have

become synonymous with dry heathland that is almost exclusively their habitat. Their nest may be within a gorse bush or sometimes in tall mature heather. This latter habitat is used particularly on Woolmer Forest and other sites where populations can become high following a succession of mild winters. Gorse provides the predominant feeding habitat as it is richer in invertebrate food than heather.

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4.12.13 The extensive heaths of the New Forest and Dorset hold the nucleus of the British Dartford warbler population. The Wealden Heaths population is located in a relatively colder part of the country and is towards the edge of the species’ British range. These populations are more vulnerable than the coastal counties to the west and are susceptible to significant losses in cold winters. After the cold winter of 1961 the county was totally depopulated and did not recover its Dartford Warblers until the late 1960s. The spell of heavy snow in February 2009 appears to have resulted in an 88% decrease in population on the Thames Basin and Wealden Heaths SPAs, with a decline from 1,001 pairs in 2008 to 117 in 2009 (Clark and Eyre, 2009), while further snowfalls in the winter of 2010-11 will likely have led to additional losses. Population 4.12.14 The national population of Dartford warblers has been sufficiently small for many years to attract significant attention by ornithologists. National surveys were undertaken from the early 1960s and are summarised in Gibbons et al (1993). The national survey undertaken in 1994 recorded a population of 1,800 pairs, showing a continued increase in the population from previous years. The last national survey was undertaken in 2006 when the UK population was estimated at 3,214 territories (95% CL; 2,878–3,591), an increase of 70% since 19943. 4.12.15 The 2006 survey found a total of 275 Dartford warbler territories within the Wealden Heaths SPA (8.5% of GB population), more than twice as many present at the time the SPA was classified in 1998 when 123 pairs were recorded (representing 7.7% of the British population); see Table 4.2 (pers. comm., 2009). Table 4.2: Dartford warbler population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2006 SSSI name

Number of pairs

Woolmer Forest

83 pairs

Ludshott and Bramshott Commons

33 pairs

Broxhead and Kingsley Commons

13 pairs

Devil’s Punch Bowl

10 pairs

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

136 pairs

Total

275 pairs Dartford warbler habitat in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon

4.12.16 Dry heathland is the prime habitat for Dartford warbler and the extensive dry heathlands around Whitehill Bordon provide ideal habitat for this bird. The lack of common gorse on much of Woolmer Forest was a deterrent to Dartford warblers in the 1980s but the development of much mature dry heathland particularly around the centre of the Forest was progressively colonised during the early 1990s and Woolmer Forest now supports a strong population of this species.

As reported by the RSPB: http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/projects/details/219231-national-woodlark-and-dartford-warblerscarabbs-surveys-in-2006 3

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4.12.17 Elsewhere in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon, Ludshott Common and Broxhead Common provide the ideal mix of open dry heathland and gorse scrub for this species to thrive. There are no records of Dartford warblers nesting sites outside of the SPA boundary within the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon although a small number of pairs were recorded in 2006 from Chapel Common in West Sussex, to the south of Longmoor Inclosure. Woodlark Habitat and ecology 4.12.18 The name woodlark is a misnomer as it requires only a few scattered trees to act as song posts. It is a species of open heathland landscapes, forestry clearings and tree nurseries, and in some ways these are similar habitats to those utilised by nightjar. However, nightjars are very much a species of woodland/heathland edge habitats whilst woodlarks are birds of more open countryside.

Research has shown that within this general habitat the presence of

suitable micro habitat for foraging is the main limiting factor. This is provided by areas of bare ground or short vegetation in which woodlarks can hunt for their insect prey, often characterised by grazed, mown or burnt heathland and grassland vegetation. Research in the New Forest (Burges, 1991) has shown that grazed heathland provides the most attractive of these foraging habitats, followed by mown and finally recently burnt vegetation. 4.12.19 In the UK, woodlark is a species of high to moderate conservation concern and subject to a national Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).

Woodlarks on the Hampshire/Surrey border are

largely sedentary remaining throughout the year, whilst populations further to the east in Breckland for instance, tend to migrate to warmer areas during the winter. 4.12.20 Woodlarks nest on the ground in areas of tussocky grassland or heathland vegetation. A mosaic of open short vegetation for foraging with associated low vegetation in which to conceal the nest is therefore the preferred habitat of woodlark. Population 4.12.21 A series of intensive woodlark surveys were undertaken in the late 1980s and early 1990s, revealing a population at that time of around 350 pairs. The severe gales during the late 1980s and early 1990s created many new forestry clearings that increased available habitat throughout the woodlark’s British range.

Combined with a series of mild winters, these

resulted in a further expansion of woodlark populations so that by 1997 the national population stood at 1,552 pairs. 4.12.22 A national survey was again undertaken in 2006, which provided an estimate of 3,064 territories (95% CL; 2,472–3,687), an increase of 88% since 19974.

In addition the 10km

square range increased from 90 in 1997 to 133 in 2006, an increase of 48%. The sedentary populations of the Hampshire/Surrey border are more susceptible to cold winters and hence the population in this area suffered significantly due to the cold winter of 1981/82 with a decline from 163 to 61 pairs.

As reported by the RSPB: http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/projects/details/219231-national-woodlark-and-dartford-warblerscarabbs-surveys-in-2006 4

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4.12.23 Data from the most recent cold winters of 2009 and 2010 have not yet been made available but it is likely that numbers will have declined in a similar way to those of Dartford warbler. The 2006 survey found a total of 104 woodlark territories within the Wealden Heaths SPA representing 3.4% of the national population. The distribution of these across the constituent SSSI is shown in Table 4.3 (pers. comm., 2009). Table 4.3: Woodlark population distribution on Wealden Heaths SPA, 2006 SSSI name

Number of territories *

Woolmer Forest

36

Ludshott and Bramshott Commons

6 (1)

Boxhead and Kingsley Commons

5 (2)

Devil’s Punch Bowl

50 (7)

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

7 (4)

Total

114 (128) pairs * Numbers in brackets refer to additional territories outside of the SPA but within 500m of the SPA boundary

4.12.24 Unlike the Dartford warbler, a number of woodlark territories were recorded just outside of the SPA boundary during the 2006 survey. Most of these edge territories were around the Thursley, Hankley and Fresham Commons SSSI where an additional seven territories occurred within 500m of the SPA. Taking the Wealden Heaths SPA as a whole, a total of 114 woodlark territories were recorded during the 2006 survey within the SPA with a further 14 territories within 500m of the SPA boundary.

In addition to these edge territories, a further three

woodlark territories were recorded at Shortheath Common SSSI and one on The Slab in 2006. 4.12.25 Surveys undertaken by Cox and Combridge in 2010(a) also recorded a woodlark territory on The Slab. Hampshire County Council undertook surveys of Shortheath Common and the part of Broxhead Common in their ownership in 2010, which showed at least one woodlark territory and possibly two on Shortheath Common and an additional two or possibly three territories on Broxhead Common. These figures are roughly in line with the data from the 2006 national survey. Woodlark habitat in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon 4.12.26 Concentrations of woodlark territories occur within the SPA to the north and south of Whitehill Bordon. The largest of these populations is within the Woolmer Forest SSSI to the south of the town, with territories spaced widely across the MoD heathland of both Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure. No woodlark were recorded from the National Trust parts of the SSSI within Passfield Common or Conford Moor. To the north of the town, further woodlark territories occur on Broxhead and Kingsley Commons. A few woodlark also occur outside of the SPA to the west of Whitehill Bordon with up to three territories on Shortheath Common and a further one on The Warren.

East of Whitehill Bordon, the extensive heathlands of

Ludshott and Bramshott Commons have a lower density of woodlark territories than the other sites.

This may reflect the influence of higher visitor numbers to this SSSI or insufficient

heathland with the appropriate vegetation structure. Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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5

Baseline Conditions

5.1

Introduction

5.1.1

Assessing the impact of a plan or project on a European site requires an understanding of the current condition of that site. Sites that are already under environmental stress are less likely to be able to withstand increased pressure than those that are less stressed. Such stressed sites may therefore be closer to a tipping point where additional pressure changes them from favourable to unfavourable condition and consequent adverse effect on site integrity. It is very difficult to predict the capacity of sites to absorb additional pressure without pushing them beyond this theoretical tipping point.

As a consequence, it is important to take a

precautionary approach to such assessment and only countenance a conclusion of no adverse effect where there is strong evidence to show that the condition (conservation status) of a site will not be reduced. 5.1.2

Natural England undertakes periodic condition monitoring of SSSI which is published on the Natural England website. Table 5.1 summarises the condition assessment for the SSSI nearest to Whitehill Bordon. It shows that most sites are in unfavourable but recovering condition. Reasons for unfavourable condition include scrub and woodland encroachment, invasive plant species, or lack of structural diversity and woodland management.

5.2

Urban Pressures

5.2.1

Heathlands situated close to urban development are subject to a number of pressures that threaten their condition. These arise from a range of factors that have been reviewed by a number of studies (see for example Underhill-Day, 2005). The 2009 visitor survey of European sites in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon revealed how much the open, remote and natural features of these heathlands are appreciated by the local population and make them attractive for a range of recreational uses, particularly walking and dog walking although horse-riding, cycling, jogging, picnicking and bird watching were also identified as regular activities. However, these recreational uses also place the habitats and the breeding birds they support under pressure.

This can arise from disturbance to nesting birds leading to chilling or

predation of eggs or young, trampling and erosion of heathland vegetation and soils, increased risk of accidental or intentional fire, nutrient enrichment and eutrophication of heathland soils from dog fouling. 5.2.2

In addition to recreational pressure, urban edge heathlands are also subject to a number of additional pressures from people’s use and abuse of these areas of land. This includes lighting fires (intentionally or accidentally), fly-tipping, dumping of garden waste leading to the introduction of invasive/alien plants, off road vehicles and disturbance to grazing livestock.

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5.2.3

Consultations have revealed a snapshot of the extent of fire on European sites over recent years. Monitoring has not always been carried out uniformly, but site managers logged two incidences of fire on Shortheath Common in 2010, with none in the preceding two years. The total area of Shortheath Common lost to wildfire in 2010 was 0.92 hectares, representing about 1.6% of the site, much of which is not heathland (pers. comm., 2011). On Broxhead Common, four fires were logged between 2008 and 2010, totalling 5.60 hectares.

This

represents about 13.3% of the total site area, but again much of this is not heathland (ibid.). Several fires have been recorded on Frensham Common, the largest destroying almost 60ha of habitat. Over the last five years Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service logged 273 fires in semi-natural areas attended by Bordon Fire Station, including many within the urban area of Whitehill Bordon.

Seventeen of these incidents were recorded at Broxhead / Kingsley

Commons, seven at Shortheath Common, six at Woolmer Forest and one at Ludshott / Bramshott Commons. Table 5.1: Summary of SSSI* condition status, April 2011 Area favourable

Area unfavourable, recovering

Area unfavourable, no change

Area unfavourable, declining

Area destroyed / part destroyed

2.04%

0.00%

0.00%

0.09%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Shortheath Common (SAC) 0.00%

97.96%

Woolmer Forest (Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA) 3.16%

93.55%

3.21%

Broxhead and Kingsley Commons (Wealden Heaths SPA) 55.67%

44.33%

0.00%

Bramshott and Ludhsott Commons (Wealden Heaths SPA) 4.13%

95.87%

0.00%

Devil’s Punch Bowl (Wealden Heaths SPA) 1.43%

98.57%

0.00%

Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons (Wealden Heaths SPA; Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC,; Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar) 47.14%

52.75%

0.11%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Selborne Common (East Hampshire Hangers SAC) 100.00%

0.00%

Noar Hill (East Hampshire Hangers SAC) 100.00%

0.00%

Wealden Edge Hangers (East Hampshire Hangers SAC) 94.19%

5.81%

0.00%

* For sites further away from Whitehill Bordon, representative samples of SSSI condition are given rather than summaries for all component SSSI

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5.2.4

Increased traffic also leads to additional pressures, either by causing additional air pollution emissions (see section 5.7) or via rat-running along minor roads and tracks. A recent survey found that, during 24 survey hours over a two week period, 143 vehicles were recorded using tracks on Shortheath Common.

After accounting for legitimate access, this can be

extrapolated to estimate the rate of cut-throughs at 7,446 annually between 7am and 7pm. The peak time was found to be between 3pm-5pm weekdays (suggesting a possible correlation with the school run), and 1pm-3pm weekends, (Hampshire County Council, 2011). 5.2.5

A review of the existing urban pressures on the heathlands around Whitehill Bordon was undertaken using data gathered from focus group workshops and meetings with the MoD. The results of this review are summarised in Table 5.2, Figure 5.1 and Figure 5.2. Note that not all these incidents occurred within European sites, and fire records in particular cover a longer time period (five years) with a high number of incidents in the urban area. Table 5.2: Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011

Impact type

Incidence

Camping

9

Disturbance

28

Dog fouling

21

Fly-tipping

72

Impact caused by animal (e.g. dogs/horses)

10

Invasive Plants

10

Litter

5

Livestock issue

5

Mixed impacts

11

Off-road vehicles

32

Pollution

10

Rat-running

4

Theft or poaching

11

Unlawful digging / building

2

Vandalism

1

Wildfire or arson

83

Total 5.2.6

314 The results of the focus group workshops, which are presented in more detailed in the accompanying Land Management Report, fit closely with the findings of studies undertaken by Liley et al (2006a) and Underhill-Day (2005).

The range of effects that people and the

proximity of urban development have on the conservation of heathland sites have become known as ‘urban pressures’ and present the greatest single impact of development on the conservation of these often fragmented and vulnerable areas of habitat.

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Figure 5.1: Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011

5.3

Effects of Urban Development on Annex 1 Bird Numbers and Density

5.3.1

Research undertaken by Liley and Clark (2003) provided some of the first clear evidence of a relationship between urban development and nightjar numbers and density. They found a correlation between the numbers of nightjars and the degree of urban development within 500m around a heathland ‘patch’, with patches surrounded by a high degree of developed land supporting fewer nightjars.

However, no such trend was detected for woodlark or

Dartford warbler. Heathland patches were categorised according to whether public access was restricted within part of the patch or not. No significant effect of restricting public access was found on either nightjar or Dartford warbler densities but there was a significant effect for woodlarks. 5.3.2

More detailed analysis was undertaken to compare the location of nightjar territory centres and random points. This found a significant difference between nightjar territory centres and random points when compared with the distance to the nearest house. However, there was no significant difference between nightjar territories and random points when compared with the distance to the nearest edge of the patch or the nearest road.

A similar analysis

comparing nightjar territories and random points with the distance to the number of paths within 100m also showed a significant reduction in the number of nightjar territories with an increase in the number of paths.

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5.3.3

Mallord et al (2007) assessed the impacts of recreational disturbance on woodlark at a population scale. They found that across all sites studied, woodlark density (per hectare of suitable habitat) was lower in sites with higher levels of disturbance.

Within sites with

recreational access, the probability of suitable habitat being colonized was lower in those areas with greater disturbance; this was reduced to below 50% at around eight disturbance events per hour. 5.3.4

Less research has been undertaken into the effects of recreational disturbance on Dartford warbler. In general, these birds appear to be more tolerant of people but their nest site choice within gorse scrub and tall heather makes them particularly vulnerable to impacts of fire. In urban edge heathlands with heightened incidents of fire the availability of suitable Dartford warbler nesting habitat might be reduced, and on small sites, totally lost as a result of fire. This effect may be the underlying reason for the results of research undertaken by van den Berg et al (2001) who found a negative effect on the distribution of Dartford warbler territories from fragmentation (isolation and area of a heath), and the proximity of woodland, urban areas and intensive agriculture.

5.4

Effects of Cats and Dogs

5.4.1

An important impact of urban development is that arising from the use of heathlands by domestic cats and dogs. These are generally included within the wider mix of urban pressures considered above, but some more detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which they impact on heathland wildlife is necessary to both understand the current pressure on the European sites from existing urban areas and to predict increased impacts from proposed further development.

5.4.2

The effects of cat predation are reviewed in detail by Underhill-Day (2005). Prey items taken by hunting cats have been collated from a number of studies and show that small mammals make up the greatest proportion of prey items (49–91%). Birds are next most commonly predated group making up between 5% and 30% of prey items. Amphibians, reptiles and fish make up the next most frequently preyed upon group with between 0.4% and 9.4% of prey items. Using this data, Underhill-Day (2005) estimates total numbers of prey caught by cats per 1,000 households per annum, as reproduced in Table 5.3. Table 5.3:

Total prey caught by cats per 1,000 households per annum (estimated from

Woods et al (2003) and Howes (2002) as reported in Underhill-Day (2005)) Species group

Estimated numbers

Estimated percentages

Mammals

6,735

72.7

Birds

2,075

22.4

Herpetofauna and fish

251

2.7

Invertebrates

140

1.5

Unidentified

6

0.7

9,261

-

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5.4.3

The impact of cat predation on species populations is more difficult to assess. Mead (1982) could find no evidence of cats affecting the population of the eighteen bird species most commonly reported as having been taken by cats. However, cat predation was a significant cause of death for most of the species examined and accounted for 25% of all recoveries (ringed birds found dead) in six species. That such levels of predation may be sustainable for common and widespread species may not apply to small populations found on localised or specialist habitat such as Dartford warbler or sand lizard.

5.4.4

Cats can range widely from their home, and again a number of studies have addressed this ranging distance. In all studies, male cats range more widely than females. The distances they range vary considerably, from 80-400m for Cornish farm cats to 1,107m (Âą 589m) for male feral cats in Avonmouth Docks (from Underhill-Day, 2005). Radio tracking studies have also looked at the size of cat home ranges, and again show larger home ranges for male cats ranging in size from 615ha for cats in Australia to 134ha for cats in New Zealand. Using an average home range size for male cats from all studies of 365ha and assuming a circular home range gives a mean ranging radius of 1,078m.

5.4.5

The impact of cat predation on heathland wildlife is difficult to assess. There are no quantifiable records of lowland heathland birds being taken by cats; although cats have been recorded taking some heathland species including linnet, yellow hammer and Dartford warbler, it is not recorded if these were killed on heathland or other habitats. There are also many records of cats seen hunting on heathlands although again, no records of prey have been identified.

5.4.6

Despite the inconclusive data of the impact of cats on heathland wildlife, the evidence shows that cats kill a large number of animals including birds and reptiles and that cats range widely from their homes with male cats ranging up to 1,107m. There is also evidence that cats will hunt on heathland where Annex 1 birds and typical dry heathland species are at risk of predation. There is less information on the impact of cat predation on the populations of these species, but small populations found on localised or specialist habitat such as the Dartford warbler or sand lizard may be most at risk.

5.4.7

Dogs have been recorded preying on ground nesting birds and studies have shown nightjars to have been flushed from their nest by dogs. Studies have also shown birds to be warier of dogs and people with dogs than people alone, with birds flushing (flying away) more readily, more frequently and at greater distances and staying longer off the nest when disturbed (Langston et al., 2007).

5.4.8

Other studies (Underhill-Day, 2005) have shown dog fouling to cause changes in heathland vegetation with a reduction in heather and increase in grass abundance due to the effects of nutrient enrichment (eutrophication). Dogs also chase and worry livestock. As a consequence, conservation grazing schemes can be affected due to graziers not being prepared to graze sites with access to dog walkers.

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5.5

Water Abstraction

5.5.1

Concern was expressed during the focus group workshops over the effects of water abstraction on the wetland habitats within Woolmer Forest. Further work is being undertaken as part of a Water Cycle Study (Peter Brett Associates, 2011) in support of the draft masterplan that will help to inform this and enable predictions over future effects of development on the internationally important wetlands within the European sites around Whitehill Bordon.

5.6

Management Issues (tree / scrub removal and grazing)

5.6.1

Extensive consideration is given to management issues, particularly those relating to walkers with dogs, within the Land Management Report that supports the HRA (UE Associates, 2011). However, some specific items warrant discussion here too.

The current unfavourable but

recovering condition of many of the SSSI in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon is based on the fact that extensive livestock grazing has been or is planned to be reintroduced to the sites. Livestock grazing has been shown to be the most sustainable way of restoring and maintaining the biodiversity of heathlands (Lake et al, 2001, and English Nature, 2005). 5.6.2

However, reintroducing land-managing livestock on urban edge heathlands presents a number of practical problems. This includes overcoming public opposition to the presence of livestock on previously ungrazed and unfenced heathlands, the availability of suitable livestock to graze heathland sites, sufficient supporting land to provide ‘back up’ grazing and production of fodder (hay and silage) to support heathland grazing, and facilities (farm buildings, storage for forage and shelter) from which to operate heathland grazing systems. This range of features was typically found on small heathland edge farms and small holdings where a significant number of livestock could be sustained on a relatively small area of better quality enclosed agricultural land by using the much more extensive areas of lower quality grazing found on the nearby heathland. This is the system that still operates in the New Forest National Park and is the focus of much conservation effort to protect and sustain the area.

5.7

Evidence of Air Pollution Impacts to European Site Features

5.7.1

The heathlands around Whitehill Bordon are already subject to the impact of atmospheric nutrient nitrogen deposition and predictions have been made of the changes in nutrient nitrogen deposition from vehicle use and power generation plant proposed as part of the ecotown development (Air Quality Consultants, 2011).

The principal pollutant of concern

associated with traffic emissions that might affect sensitive habitats is nitrogen oxides (NOx). Road traffic emissions may increase ambient NOx concentrations to which vegetation is exposed. 5.7.2

NOx emissions may also, following chemical conversion in the air to form nitrogen dioxide, deposit nitrogen (mainly via uptake through the stomata). This nitrogen deposition may affect the habitats by causing nutrient enrichment and also by acidifying the soils.

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5.7.3

The principal pollutant of concern associated with the energy generation options is also NOx. Some energy generation options may also emit small amounts of sulphur oxides; the amount of sulphur emitted is dependent on the sulphur content of the fuel burnt, but most commercial sources of wood biomass used in the UK have a very low sulphur content.

5.7.4

Nitrogen (N) and occasionally phosphorous (P) are essential plant nutrients which commonly limit plant growth in temperate ecosystems. The addition of N and in some cases P to such ecosystems has the effect of increasing plant growth leading to the dominance of a few species and a loss of species diversity. This enrichment of ecosystems by plant nutrients is termed eutrophication.

5.7.5

Research has shown that grasses are replacing heather as the predominant plant species of heathlands and moorlands in parts of the UK and continental Europe.

Changes both in

traditional management practices and increased nitrogen pollution from the atmosphere may be contributing to this. Terry et al (2004) developed a model which can be used it to predict the critical deposition rate (critical load) of nitrogen above which major changes in vegetation occur, the rate at which vegetation composition changes in response to changes in nitrogen deposition, and the type of management regimes that are most effective at reducing the impact of nitrogen pollution. 5.7.6

The model showed that nitrogen deposition above 30kg nitrogen per hectare per year initially increased heather biomass (this is borne out by field experiments), but after several decades, the heather lost its dominance. The timing of outbreaks of heather beetle Lochmaea suturalis, which can cause localised destruction of mature Calluna canopies, is strongly affected by the balance between heather and grass species.

5.7.7

A number of mowing, burning and grazing regimes were modelled to predict rates of recovery following a reduction in N deposition to 10kg/ha/yr.

Although different

managements altered the rate of recovery, all the model’s scenarios restored heather dominance several decades after a step reduction in nitrogen deposition.

The model

predicted that heather in lowland heaths would recover its dominance within two or three decades under high intensity management, but this would take at least five decades under low intensity management. 5.7.8

Further details on the atmospheric dispersion modelling methods are given in section 6.4, while the findings are analysed in Chapter 8 and applied to the assessment in Chapter 9.

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6

Predicting Features

Effects

on

European

Site

6.1

Introduction

6.1.1

The above review of existing pressures on the European sites in close proximity to Whitehill Bordon demonstrates that these sites are already under environmental pressure. However, the Annex 1 bird and condition assessment data suggest that the sites are mostly being restored to favourable condition (conservation status), largely due to agreement of appropriate management regimes. But the continued restoration of these sites depends on the ability to manage woodland and scrub, control introduced alien plant species and increase habitat structural diversity through restoration of extensive grazing regimes.

The

development proposed through the eco-town draft masterplan has the potential to both place greater environmental pressure on the European sites and to reduce the effectiveness of the measures being taken to restore them to a favourable condition (conservation status). 6.1.2

This section of the assessment considers how these effects may operate and describes how future contributions to the impacts were predicted.

6.2

Calculating Future Human Population Levels

6.2.1

The construction of new urban areas of Whitehill Bordon proposed within the eco-town draft masterplan will increase the human population of the town. Estimates of the size of increase have been calculated using a standard occupancy rate of 2.36 people per dwelling in the south east of England (Census, 2001). This is considered a reasonable and precautionary rate. The new population will have the potential to increase environmental pressures on European sites in the same way as the present population, the mechanisms for which were reviewed in the previous chapter of this report.

6.2.2

The urban pressures currently affecting the European sites, listed in Table 5.2, are nearly all likely to increase as a consequence of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town development unless measures are taken to offset them. The eco-town has been designed to ensure a minimum 400m distance between new development and the European sites. In practice, the proposed new residential development is all in excess of 500m from the nearest European site. This is designed to reduce the incidence of urban edge impacts and in particular potential for cat predation of Annex 1 birds and other typical dry heathland species such as reptiles.

6.2.3

Estimates of the population increase within Whitehill Bordon were calculated using three phases of housing development, and are given in Table 6.1. It is important to note that these phases are cumulative i.e. phase 2 would add 2,300 dwellings to the 1,700 provided through phase 1, rather than delivering 4,000 homes in addition to the 1,700 proposed for phase 1. The maximum number of dwellings proposed is therefore 5,300 altogether.

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Table 6.1: Cumulative population increase as a result of the draft masterplan * Phase

Number of dwellings

Expected population

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

* Assuming a standard occupancy rate of 2.36 people per dwelling

6.3

Calculating Increased Visitor Numbers to European Sites

6.3.1

Numbers of additional visitors to European sites were estimated using data derived from the visitor surveys undertaken in 2009. The numbers of visitors likely to visit each of the European sites were calculated using current patterns of use of the existing residents of the town (post code areas GU350 and GU359). This was a complex process, the method and results of which are provided in Appendix I. Table 6.2 summarises the current (2009) patterns of visiting activity according to the number of groups recorded at each patch from post code areas within which development is proposed. Table 6.2: Current patterns of visiting activity for residents in GU350 and GU359

Groups to Patches

GU350

GU350

GU359

GU359

Shortheath Common

1

1.37%

12

12.50%

Kingsley Common

9

12.33%

26

27.08%

Broxhead Common

33

45.21%

4

4.17%

The Slab / The Warren (not EU site)

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hogmoor Inclosure (not EU site)

1

1.37%

24

25.00%

Standford Grange Farm (not EU site)

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Woolmer Forest

18

24.66%

29

30.21%

Longmoor Inclosure

1

1.37%

1

1.04%

Ludshott Common / Waggoners Wells

5

6.85%

0

0.00%

Bramshott Common / Chase

5

6.85%

0

0.00%

Royal / Bagmoor Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Thursley / Ockley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hankley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Frensham Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hindhead Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Witley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Selborne Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Noar Hill

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

73

100

96

100

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6.3.2

This analysis shows that a number of European sites initially considered likely to be affected by the draft masterplan during the screening process were found from the visitor survey to attract no visitors from post code areas within which development is proposed. Although this does not imply no residents of Whitehill Bordon will visit these sites (either now or in the future), it is impossible to assess what this level of use is likely to be without more intensive levels of visitor survey at these sites. In the absence of this data it is assumed that the number of visitors likely to visit these sites from Whitehill Bordon will be very low and will be unlikely to change the conclusions of the HRA. It is also important to note the number of people currently visiting Hogmoor Inclosure; although it is not a European site, its proposed use as a SANG means that we return to its current use throughout the assessment that follows.

6.3.3

Table 6.3 identifies the estimated current number of visitors per year to each heathland patch from all sources recorded during the 2009 survey (column two). It goes on to show the predicted increase in visitors per year from Whitehill Bordon post code areas (GU359 and GU350) under the three phases of proposed residential development. There are uncertainties associated with these predictions, and these are addressed at section 9.7. A summer 2011 survey of Bordon Inclosure allowed estimates of current visiting activity (48,487 visits per year) and predicted eco-town visits at this site. Phase 1 is expected to contribute 8,346 additional visits per year, with phases 2 and 3 cumulatively adding 19,637 and 28,969 respectively. Table 6.3: Current and predicted use of site patches (visitors per year)

Patch

Current use *

Phase 1: 1,700

Phase 2: 4,000

Phase 3: 5,300

GU350

GU359

GU350

GU359

GU350

GU359

Shortheath Common

56,979

1,148

11,075

2,702

26,060

3,985

29,563

Kingsley Common

151,214

3,333

12,553

7,842

29,536

11,568

33,507

Broxhead Common

179,155

21,851

2,444

51,413

5,750

75,846

6,523

Woolmer Forest

387,896

20,471

31,117

48,168

73,215

71,059

83,057

Longmoor Inclosure

312,289

740

952

1,742

2,240

2,570

2,542

Ludshott / Waggoners

453,641

2,504

0

5,893

0

8,693

0

Bramshott Common/Chase

297,222

7,487

0

17,615

0

25,987

0

Hogmoor Inclosure

33,877

180

7,625

423

17,940

624

20,352

* Current use is from all sources recorded during the 2009 visitor survey, as opposed to all other figures which are predicted increases of proposed Whitehill Bordon development

6.3.4

Summing these predicted increases across all the European site patches, the total number of additional visitors per year resulting from the three housing density scenarios are:  Phase 1: 115,675 additional visits per year from 1,700 dwellings;  Phase 2: 272,177 additional visits per year from 4,000 dwellings; and  Phase 3: 354,898 additional visits per year from 5,300 dwellings.

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6.3.5

Table 6.4 summarises the distribution of these additional visitors per patch for each phase, and compares them to the current visitor pressure for each patch, expressed as visits per hectare per year. Table 6.4:

Current and predicted visitor numbers to each heathland patch under each

housing density scenario Site / phase

Increase in visitors

Existing use

Total visitors

% increase

Shortheath Common (area = 58.67ha; current use = 971 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

12,223

56,979

69,202

21.45%

Phase 2

28,762

56,979

85,741

50.48%

Phase 3

33,548

56,979

90,527

58.88%

Kingsley Common (area = 38.59ha; current use = 3,918 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

15,886

151,214

167,100

10.51%

Phase 2

37,378

151,214

188,592

24.72%

Phase 3

45,075

151,214

196,289

29.81%

Broxhead Common (area = 65.63ha; current use = 2,730 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

24,295

179,155

203,450

13.56%

Phase 2

57,163

179,155

236,318

31.91%

Phase 3

82,369

179,155

261,524

45.98%

Woolmer Forest (area = 811.08ha; current use = 478 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

51,588

387,896

439,484

13.30%

Phase 2

121,383

387,896

509,279

31.29%

Phase 3

154,116

387,896

542,012

39.73%

Longmoor Inclosure (area = 480.37ha; current use = 650 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

1,692

312,289

313,981

0.54%

Phase 2

3,982

312,289

316,271

1.28%

Phase 3

5,112

312,289

317,401

1.64%

Ludshott Common / Waggoners Wells (area = 252.35ha; current use = 1,798 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

2,504

453,641

456,145

0.55%

Phase 2

5,893

453,641

459,534

1.30%

Phase 3

8,693

453,641

462,334

1.92%

Bramshott Common / Chase (area = 118.79ha; current use = 2,502 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

7,487

297,222

304,709

2.52%

Phase 2

17,615

297,222

314,837

5.93%

Phase 3

25,987

297,222

323,209

8.74%

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Site / phase

Increase in visitors

Existing use

Total visitors

% increase

Hogmoor Inclosure (area = 70.02ha; current use = 484 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

7,805

33,877

41,682

23.04%

Phase 2

18,363

33,877

52,240

54.20%

Phase 3

20,976

33,877

54,853

61.92%

Bordon Inclosure (including Alexandra Park area = 27.18ha; current use = 3,271 visits/ha/yr) Phase 1

8,346

48,487

56,833

17.21%

Phase 2

19,637

48,487

68,124

40.50%

Phase 3

28,969

48,487

77,456

59.75%

6.3.6

The results of the visitor analysis demonstrate the potentially significant increase in visitor pressure on the three heathland SSSI closest to the development. By the completion of phase 3, Shortheath Common would potentially attract an additional 33,548 visitors per year (a 58.88% increase), Kingsley Common an additional 45,075 annual visits or a 29.81% increase and Broxhead Common an increase of 82,369 visits per year or a 45.98%. Woolmer Forest could attract the greatest number of additional visitors per year (154,116) representing a 39.73% increase on current visitor numbers.

6.3.7

Heathland sites slightly further away would have a much less significant increase in visitor numbers with a maximum increase of 5,112 to Longmoor Inclosure (1.64% increase), 8,693 visitors to Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells (1.92% increase) and 25,987 to Bramshott Common / Chase (8.74% increase).

6.3.8

Looking at the total numbers of additional visits to European sites from the proposed development, the greatest unmitigated increase would result on completion of phase 3 with 354,898 additional visits per year and the lowest would result from phase 1 with an additional 115,675 visits per year. Phase 2 would result in an increase of 272,177 visits per year.

6.3.9

Although not part of the Natura 2000 network, predicted changes in visitor numbers to Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures were calculated on the same basis as the European sites. These sites are identified as potential SANGs in the draft masterplan with the intention that they will provide alternative visitor destinations to the protected heathland sites.

The

predictive model suggests they will attract large increases in visitor numbers from the ecotown development, with Hogmoor Inclosure rising from 33,877 visits per year by some 20,976 visits representing a 61.92% increase in visitor use by completion of phase 3.

Bordon

Inclosure’s use would rise from 48,487 by 28,969 over the same period, an increase of 59.75%. To provide an alternative destination for visitors to the European sites, Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures would have to attract even higher numbers of visitors over and above the predicted increase they will receive regardless of their treatment as SANG.

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6.4

Modelling Increased Atmospheric Pollution Emissions Assessment criteria

6.4.1

There is no official guidance in the UK on how to describe the nature of air quality impacts nor to assess their significance. The approach provided by the Environment Agency for assessing whether industrial emissions may give rise to significant impacts has thus been used. The Agency has considered potential impacts from industrial and boiler emissions in its H1 guidance (Environment Agency, 2010).

This explains that, regardless of the baseline

environmental conditions, a process can be considered as insignificant if:

the long-term

(annual mean) process contribution is <1% of the long-term environmental standard. It should be recognised that this criterion determines when an impact can be screened out as insignificant. It does not imply that impacts will necessarily be significant above this criterion, merely that there is a potential for significant impacts to occur that should be considered using a detailed assessment methodology, such as a detailed dispersion modelling study (as has been carried out for this study in any event). 6.4.2

This criterion is also used in guidance issued by the Environment Agency and JNCC on applying the Habitats Regulations in relation to air quality impacts (Environment Agency, 2005). This states that: "Where the concentration within the emission footprint in any part of the European site is less than 1% of the relevant benchmark, the emission is unlikely to have a significant effect irrespective of the background levels."

6.4.3

The approach taken in the assessment is to apply a detailed dispersion modelling study in the first instance, and to apply the Environment Agency screening criteria to the model outputs. Where predicted concentrations and deposition rates are shown to be below these screening criteria (which are defined in detail in the accompanying Atmospheric Pollution Dispersion Modelling Report; AQC, 2011), the impacts are judged to be insignificant regardless of the ambient background levels. Only if this initial screening shows the potential for significant impacts, is account taken of the total concentrations and fluxes. Methodology

6.4.4

Existing air quality conditions within the study area were defined using a number of approaches. Background NOx and nitrogen dioxide concentrations across the study area were defined using the national pollution maps published by Defra (2011)5. These cover the whole country on a 1x1km grid. Separate maps have been published for each year up to 2020.

The maps for 2020 have been used to represent conditions in 2026 which is a

conservative approach. The 1x1km grid concentrations have been interpolated across the study area in order to derive ‘smoothed’ receptor-specific concentrations.

Background

deposition fluxes to each European site have been obtained from APIS (2011) 6; these represent average fluxes across each site. APIS provides these data for 2005 and 2020 but does not provide projections for subsequent years. The assumption has been made that the critical loads which are exceeded in 2020 will also be exceeded in 2026. 5 6

Defra Air Quality Website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/air/airquality/ Air Pollution Information System database: www.apis.ac.uk

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6.4.5

Meteorological data used for dispersion modelling were for the most recent complete year (2010) of hourly data from the Meteorological Office monitoring station at Farnborough, which is considered suitable for this area.

6.4.6

Predictions have been made for a grid of 22,000 receptors spread across the study area. Outside of the European sites, a relatively coarse (1km x 1km) Cartesian grid of receptors was used. Within each European site, the grid resolution was increased to 200m x 200m. These Cartesian grids were supplemented with an “intelligent” grid of receptors with eight rows of receptors spaced between 6m and 160m from the centre of each road within and near to each European site, as well as a large number of additional receptors positioned at the edges of those sites nearest to the town and nearest to the proposed energy centre.

6.4.7

The result of this approach is that sufficient receptors have been included to allow the worstcase impacts of the various transport and energy options to be identified and compared, while also allowing contour isopleths to be drawn across each of the European sites. Road traffic impacts

6.4.8

Predictions of ambient NOx concentrations were made for a base year (2010), and the proposed year of scheme completion (2026). For 2026, predictions have been made both assuming that the eco-town development does not go ahead (2026 Base), as well for a selection of MVA/Amey traffic model scenarios chosen to represent the variety of potential impacts that could occur depending on the eventually adopted transport strategy, as follows: 

2026 Sc4: transport model “Scenario 4”: 2026 Option 2 (5,300 dwellings), 50% car mode share, 50% trip containment, A325 ‘traffic management’;

2026 Sc13: transport model “Scenario 13”: 2026 Option 1 (4,000 dwellings), 75% car mode share, 30% trip containment, A325 ‘do nothing’;

2026 Sc3: transport model “Scenario 3”: 2026 Option 1 (4,000 dwellings), 50% car mode share, 50% trip containment, A325 ‘traffic management (the closest representation of the draft masterplan (June 2010)); and

2026 Sc17: transport model “Scenario 17”: 2026 Option 1 (4,000 dwellings), 75% car mode share, 30% trip containment, A325 ‘public transport only’.

6.4.9

Predictions have been carried out using the ADMS-Roads dispersion model (version 3), which uses Defra’s latest emission factors as published in the Emission Factor Toolkit (version 4.2.2) (Defra, 2011). These emission projections on go as far as 2025, so 2025-specific emissions have been applied to 2026.

6.4.10

Amey provided the revised traffic model outputs for key junctions associated with each scenario.

These report the total peak hour flow, as well as a flow of “goods”.

MVA

subsequently provided a set of factors to derive 12-hour flows from the peak-hour data; as well as a set of factors to predict the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) within the “goods” dataset.

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6.4.11

It was assumed that these HGV flows represent the Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) flows required by ADMS-Roads.

24-hour flows were calculated from the 12-hour predictions using the

national average diurnal flow profile published by the DfT (2011) 7.

Traffic speeds were

estimated from local speed restrictions and take account of the proximity to a junction. The scope of roads from which traffic model data are used in the assessment is illustrated by Figure 6.1. The ADMS-Roads model has been verified against local measurements made within Bordon. Energy emission impacts 6.4.12

Ambient NOx concentrations arising from seven energy generation options were predicted using the ADMS-4 dispersion model. A range of energy options were considered, as advised by LDA Design which is preparing an Energy Feasibility Study for the masterplan (LDA Design, 2011). These are: 

Option 1: Central CHP plant burning solid wood;

Option 2: Central CHP plant burning biogas produced by anaerobic digestion;

Option 3: Central CHP with gasification plant;

Option 4: Central CHP with decentralised biomass boilers serving the rest of the town;

Option 5: Decentralised boilers burning solid wood;

Option 6: Decentralised boilers burning biogas produced by gasification; and

Option 7:

Baseline with future development (i.e. typical gas condensing boilers

throughout). 6.4.13

Emission rates of NOx for each energy option were obtained from published sources. Emission rates for biomass and natural gas (Options 1, 4, 5 and 7) were taken from the European Environment Agency (EEA) air pollutant emission inventory guidebook (EMEP/EEA, 2009). Emission rates for combustion of biogas from anaerobic digestion (Option 2) were taken from research conducted by the Danish Gas Technology Centre (DGTC, 2004). Emission rates for combustion of biogas from gasification (Options 3 and 6) were taken from research carried out by Evergreen State College, Washington (USA) (ESC, 2011). The total predicted annual thermal and electrical outputs for each option were provided by LDA Design.

6.4.14

It should be recognised that while the emission rates have been derived from the best available information currently available, they are based on current technologies and may not accurately represent actual emissions in 2026.

Furthermore, because of the range of

technologies considered, some of the emission factors are likely to be more reliable than others; data from the European Environment Agency can, for example, be considered more robust than those derived from a single research study.

DfT 2011 Department for Transport statistics, Table TRA0307 available at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/roads/traffic 7

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Figure 6.1: Scope of roads assessed for emission impacts on European sites (blue lines show roads included, yellow labels relate to links within the MVA/Amey traffic model, and green areas show the European sites (includes Crown copyright data 2011 Š under license 100046099) 6.4.15

The centralised CHP plant (Options 1-4) has been modelled as a single point source at the site of the Louisburg Barracks (NGR478585,136600), which was identified as the preferred site in the energy options appraisal provided by LDA Design. In addition to the centralised plant location, the decentralised plant (Options 4-7) have been modelled as a single area source which covers the entire Whitehill Bordon Eco-town area (i.e. including both the existing and proposed urban areas).

6.4.16

The findings of atmospheric pollution dispersion modelling are analysed and discussed in Chapter 8.

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7

Analysis of Draft Masterplan Measures for Offsetting Visitor Pressure

7.1

Introduction

7.1.1

The draft masterplan identifies the location of three areas to be designated as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm; see Figure 7.1.

These are intended to offset the potential

recreational and urban edge effects of the plan by providing alternative locations for people to visit.

Figure 7.1: Draft framework masterplan proposed SANGs 7.1.2

The concept of SANG was developed through the passage of the South East Plan to provide offsetting measures at a strategic level for housing development around the Thames Basin Heaths SPA. The government appointed assessor at the South East Plan examination rejected advice from Natural England for two rates of SANG provision and instead proposed a standard rate of 8 hectares of SANG per 1,000 head of new population within 5km of the SPA.

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7.1.3

This was based on a simple arithmetical calculation in which it was estimated that there would be an increase in the population within the vicinity of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA of 3,419 people per year over the plan period. From visitor studies it was calculated that each person makes 4.58 visits to the SPA per year and a hectare of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA absorbs 638 visits per year.

From these figures it was possible to calculate that 24.5ha/year of

additional open space would be required to absorb this additional population which equates to 490ha to be provided over the 20 year plan period. This gives a mitigation standard of 7.16ha/1,000 head of population. The figure was rounded up to the 8ha per 1,000 SANG standard which was subsequently widely adopted across the Thames Basin. 7.1.4

Using this approach, the three cumulative phases of residential development considered in this assessment would require the provision of the following areas of SANG (Table 7.1). Table 7.1: Draft framework masterplan cumulative phases of housing delivery, associated population and required / proposed SANG provision (average occupancy = 2.36)

Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

Diff. (+/-)

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

123.50

+ 91.40

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

123.50

+ 47.98

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

123.50

+ 23.44

7.1.5

Logically, the Thames Basin figures can also be used to calculate a target visitor density for SANGs in terms of number of visits/ha/year. If 1,000 people each visit the SPA 4.58 times per year they would generate 4,580 visits. If these were all to the 8 hectares of SANGs instead of the SPA that would give a SANGs visitor density of some 572.5 visits/ha/year.

7.1.6

To be termed SANG an area of land needs to conform to a number of criteria devised by Natural England (draft, 2008). These assume that an area of SANG is either unused or only lightly used for public access. The guidance appreciates that in some instances, SANGs may be well used as accessible natural greenspace but that these areas have capacity for improved levels of access following the implementation of various management measures.

In such

instances, Natural England advises that a reduction needs to be made on the area of SANG a site can contribute – this has been termed discounting. Other features of a SANG may also need to be taken into account that would further reduce their SANG value, for instance, the conservation of biodiversity on the site. 7.1.7

Design improvements for Whitehill Bordon SANGs to enhance their ability to draw in additional visitors are being considered through a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the town (Halcrow, 2011). A detailed review of the likely attractiveness of the three SANGs has been undertaken in the Land Management Report (UE Associates, 2011). This assesses both their current potential as SANG (i.e. if they were opened up to full public access today) and their future potential under a different management regime and drawing on the Halcrow designs. The assessment concludes that there are constraints on the ability of all three SANG areas to fully meet the 8ha/1,000 standard based on a qualitative assessment using a framework of criteria derived from Natural England guidance and local visitor survey data – as reproduced in Appendix II.

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7.1.8

The following review of each of the three proposed SANGs begins by summarising the outputs from the Land Management Report in this respect. It goes on to consider what level of discounting should be applied to each site to preserve its nature conservation value. It then investigates the current visitor patronage of each site, to determine what remaining capacity exists to absorb additional visits once converted to SANG. Two approaches are taken here; firstly a straightforward comparison to the area requirements of the Thames Basin Heaths standard.

7.1.9

The second approach, termed a density-based approach, draws on the same principles as established in relation to the Thames Basin Heaths, but applies locally relevant visitor survey data.

Under this approach, we use estimations of the total increase in visitor numbers

expected at the locally visited European sites, and determine the density of visits per hectare per year that currently proposed SANGs would need to absorb to fully cater for these. We then consider what remaining capacity each of the proposed SANGs has once existing patronage is taken into account, and assess the contribution each can make to fully offsetting the visitor pressure generated by the draft masterplan. 7.1.10

Both approaches use a benchmark to estimate the carrying capacity of a Whitehill Bordon SANG.

The benchmark used is the mean number of visits per hectare per year (1,007)

estimated to be currently visiting local European sites, from all sources. It should be noted that some local heathland patches receive far higher numbers than the mean, for instance Broxhead Common received an estimated 2,730 visits per hectare in 2009. It may be that proposed SANGs can accommodate higher numbers than 1,007 visits/ha/yr, but this is used as a guide in the assessment because SANGs aim to replicate European sites.

7.2

Hogmoor Inclosure

7.2.1

Hogmoor Inclosure is an area of mostly dense conifer woodland intersected by a complex of heavily eroded sandy tracks created by military vehicles. A few small heathland glades occur and many of the tracks retain narrow heathland verges that support a diverse invertebrate fauna, often associated with exposures of bare but stable sand.

Hogmoor Inclosure is

designated as SINC for its existing and potential value as a heathland and for its populations of important species, but currently hosts no Annex 1 bird species due to its highly disturbed nature (Cox and Combridge, 2010b). Summary of qualitative assessment 7.2.2

The area is well placed in relation to proposed development areas and, notwithstanding some potentially significant future severance issues (i.e. proposed rail corridor and station, and A325 relief road; see Figure 7.2), has sufficient scope in terms of size and proximity to the new developments to become a SANG as illustrated by the assessment framework findings; it meets 21 out of 23 qualitative criteria.

7.2.3

Indeed, current usage by walkers with dogs confirms this. The visitor model developed to assess existing and current levels of use of Hogmoor Inclosure estimates a current use of 33,877 annual visits or 92.75 visits/day.

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Figure 7.2: Draft outline design for Hogmoor Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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7.2.4

Taking the existing SINC area as a whole (which is larger than the proposed area of SANG) this equates to a current rate of 484 visits/ha/year. This is less than the average visitor rate for the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (638 visits/ha/year) and is substantially less than the mean visitor rate (1,007 visits/ha/yr) across Shortheath Common SAC and the Wealden Heaths SPA patches nearest to Whitehill Bordon (those visited by current residents of GU350 and GU359 in 2009, i.e. Kingsley, Broxhead, Ludshott and Bramshott Commons, Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure) – see also section 9.7.

7.2.5

Comparing the available SANG area to the mean route length and penetration distances for walkers with dogs from the visitor survey (2.7km and 784m respectively), this site appears to be able to meet the circular (if slightly meandering) route length requirement. It does not meet the penetration distance from all approaches, but then neither do all of the European site patches, and its wooded nature helps to absorb people and give a greater sense of naturalness per unit area than an open landscape. Discounting for nature conservation value

7.2.6

However, there is also a requirement to meet biodiversity objectives for the SINC which would necessitate the removal of a significant proportion of the conifer woodland to restore an open heathland landscape with scattered groves and clumps of pine.

This might result in the

restoration of open heathland over about 40% – 60% of the site. Existing heathland and bare ground areas of importance to invertebrates cover about 10% of the SINC (as revealed through focus group workshops; see Figures 7.3) and would be vulnerable to any increased level of disturbance and so, while it would not be possible to fully prevent access over these areas while meeting SANG objectives, a conceptual discount needs to be applied. 7.2.7

The proposed Hogmoor Inclosure SANG would be 55.86ha in size. Its current annual visitor use (484 visits/ha/yr) is approximately half (48%) the number per hectare for the SPA and SAC sites in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon (1,007 visits/ha/yr) and 76% of the annual number per hectare for the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (638 visits/ha/yr). Assuming no visitor increase on the 10% of the area needed to conserve existing heath and specialist bare ground invertebrates would reduce the potential area of SANG for increased use by some 5.6ha leaving an effective SANG area of 50.27ha. Area-based capacity assessment

7.2.8

If the current visitor use equates to 48% of the rate at the SPA/SAC sites, it might be assumed that this could be increased by 52% without affecting the biodiversity value of the site. This would give an area-based capacity of 50.27ha x 52% = 26.11ha of effective SANG. The full workings for these calculations are given in Appendix III. Viewing the site in isolation, Table 7.2 summarises the site’s contribution to the draft masterplan SANG requirement.

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Table 7.2:

Hogmoor Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG

requirement, after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

26.11

81.35%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

26.11

34.57%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

26.11

26.09%

Density-based capacity assessment 7.2.9

An alternative approach to assessing the requirement for offsetting measures is to consider the total predicted number of visitors per year to the SPA/SAC sites that would need to be catered for by proposed SANGs. Table 7.3 gives the number of additional visits per year expected under each phase of housing and demonstrates the density of visits per hectare per year that currently proposed (undiscounted) SANGs would need to absorb. Table 7.3:

Draft framework masterplan phases of housing delivery, estimated additional

visitor pressure and required visitor density for currently proposed (undiscounted) SANG Phase

Dwellings

New visits

Proposed SANG

Visits/ha/yr

Phase 1

1,700

115,675

123.50

937

Phase 2

4,000

272,177

123.50

2,204

Phase 3

5,300

354,898

123.50

2,874

7.2.10

To avoid any net increase in use of the SPA/SAC sites, sufficient offsetting measures need to be provided to absorb this additional number of visitors.

To calculate this requires

information on current visitor use of the proposed SANG areas. This is available for Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures; Standford Grange Farm has no public access. 7.2.11

The Hogmoor Inclosure SANG might have the capacity to increase visitor use from current levels of 484 visits/ha/year to 1,007 visits/ha/year (the current use of the SPA/SAC sites used by residents of Whitehill Bordon). There are other ways of looking at this data; see section 9.7. This gives an estimated capacity of 523 additional visitors per ha/year. The area of designated SANG is 50.27ha after discounting for nature conservation value. Using a rate of 523 visits/ha/year gives a capacity of 26,293 additional visits (numbers may not sum due to rounding). This equates to 22.7% of the visits likely to be generated by phase 1 residential development, 9.7% of the visits from phase 2, and 7.4% of those from phase 3. A breakdown of these figures is given in Appendix III.

7.2.12

It might be argued that the growth in number of visitors to Hogmoor Inclosure (and indeed Bordon Inclosure) generated by the eco-town development given in section 6.3 above should be subtracted from this capacity. These are the additional new eco-town residents that will go to the sites based on current visitor patterns regardless of their treatment as SANG (i.e. over and above the visits to SPA/SAC sites that Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures would be expected to help accommodate if they were SANGs).

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7.2.13

To provide an alternative to the SPA/SAC would require Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to attract more visitors over and above the numbers expected to use the sites following existing visitor patterns. Table 7.4 considers the potential capacity for Hogmoor Inclosure to absorb visitors otherwise going to the European sites from Whitehill Bordon, after accounting for this growth. The third column gives the predicted capacity of the SANG using the mean visitor density for the European sites as a ceiling (1,007 visits/ha/yr). Column four gives the number of additional (development growth) visitors to Hogmoor Inclosure predicted from the visitor survey model under the three housing scenarios. These are the predicted number of visitors to Hogmoor Inclosure from the eco-town development assuming current access patterns are maintained, regardless of whether it is used as SANG. Column five indicates the remaining capacity of Hogmoor Inclosure to absorb additional visitor numbers at each phase, by subtracting column four from column three, while the final column expresses this as a percentage of the total predicted number of visits to European sites that need to be offset.

7.2.14

These figures demonstrate that, in order to cater for current visitors to the site, and future residents who would probably visit the site according to current visiting patterns, as well as fully absorbing the visits expected at European sites, the SANGs will need to be exceptionally well designed to successfully provide for a high density of visitors. Table 7.4: Hogmoor Inclosure density-based contribution to offsetting additional SAC/SPA visits, after discounting for nature conservation value and allowing for development growth

Phase

Predicted visits/ha/yr

Provided visits/ha/yr

Devt. growth

visits/ha/yr

Remaining capacity

% of req.

Phase 1

115,675

26,293

7,805

18,488

15.98%

Phase 2

272,177

26,293

18,363

7,930

2.91%

Phase 3

354,898

26,293

20,976

5,317

1.50%

7.3

Bordon Inclosure

7.3.1

Bordon Inclosure comprises the riverine woodlands along the valley of the River Wey. Although not ancient woodland, it includes a number of veteran oaks along old inclosure banks. The SANG area also includes some more recent conifer plantations established on former heathland, fragments of which remain. There are no records of Annex 1 bird species on the site (Cox and Combridge, 2010c) and there is no particular requirement to discount for current nature conservation value. Summary of qualitative assessment

7.3.2

While Bordon Inclosure is close to proposed areas of housing, a particular challenge with this proposed SANG is its proximity to Broxhead Common (part of Wealden Heaths SPA), which is already popular with walkers with dogs, is within the 2.7km mean walking distance from several proposed residential areas, and is also a only short car drive away. For it to be a successful SANG will require exceptionally good site management at both sites to discourage ‘overspilling’ from the SANG to the SPA.

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7.3.3

Bordon Inclosure’s ability to accommodate the mean walking distance, and in particular the penetration distance, to reflect current visitor patterns within the SPA/SAC is more limited than at Hogmoor. Existing adjacent housing, current use and, depending on its future design, the sewage treatment works (see Figure 7.4) also detract from its potential to provide a feeling of remoteness and naturalness. The currently enclosed and at times intimidating feel could be reduced by sensitive felling, more open sightlines, path provision, greater public use and removal or reduction of urban infrastructure, particularly at site access points.

7.3.4

The site is surrounded on three sides by existing residential development, and has unconstrained access in contrast to the managed access at Hogmoor Inclosure. A summer 2011 survey of visitor activity at the site (which included Alexandra Park, rather than focusing on the smaller area of SANG proposed by the draft masterplan; see Appendix IV) revealed that the site is already highly used. Across the 27.18ha of SANG + Alexandra Park, 48,487 visits per year are estimated, giving it a current rate of 1,784 visits/ha/yr.

This limits its

capacity to operate as SANG. 7.3.5

The site currently suffers from severance from the most adjacent areas of proposed housing due to the A325 Farnham Road, although the latter could be remedied by the proposed traffic management measures and green walking routes.

The high usage of nearby Broxhead

Common (2,730 visits/ha/yr; see Table 6.4) illustrates that a great deal of change is needed for this to become an effective SANG. For this reason, it is recommended that dog friendly infrastructure such as an activity trail and/or enclosed training area(s) are provided here. 7.3.6

The site’s future potential has been assessed as meeting 16 out 23 possible qualitative criteria. On this basis it is suggested the SANG should be enlarged to the south and east; see also Chapter 11. Area-based capacity assessment

7.3.7

Notwithstanding this, it is necessary to evaluate the capacity of Bordon Inclosure to attract additional visitors in order to fully assess the draft masterplan. The paths along the river valley are clearly well used as they link to Alexandra Park to the south of the proposed SANG and residential areas on either side of the valley. This use is largely from local residents (83.9%) and, among all visitors interviewed, dog walking was the most popular activity (69.7%).

7.3.8

Comparing Bordon Inclosure’s (plus Alexandra Park; total area = 27.18ha) current use of 1,784 visits/ha/yr to the mean level of use of local European sites (1,007 visits/ha/yr) suggests that the SANG, which is a smaller area than was surveyed in 2011 (17.88ha), does not have available capacity to absorb additional visitors and reduce pressure at the European sites. For the purposes of this assessment, therefore, it cannot be counted as contributing to the overall SANG requirement. Viewing Bordon Inclosure in isolation, Table 7.5 summarises the site’s contribution to the draft masterplan SANG requirement. See Appendix III for the detailed calculations.

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Figure 7.4: Draft outline design for Bordon Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Table 7.5: Bordon Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting for assumed current visitor patronage Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

0

0.00%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

0

0.00%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

0

0.00%

Density-based capacity assessment 7.3.9

The visitor density approach to assessing the requirement for offsetting measures also assumes a ceiling for annual SANG visits equivalent to the yeaarly visits received by local European sites (1,007 visits/ha/yr). Given that Bordon Inclosureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current use is already much higher than this at 1,784 visits/ha/yr, the site does not appear to have any available capacity to successfully attract visitors away from European sites.

7.3.10

It might be argued that Bordon Inclosure could be managed to attract a higher density of visitor use than the mean density for the SPA/SAC sites. The highest densities of visitor use found from the visitor survey were from Kingsley and Broxhead Commons, with a mean for these two sites of 3,324 visits/ha/year. If Bordon Inclosure is able to increase its use from an estimated 1,784 visits/ha/year to this level of use would provide SANGs for 27,535 additional visits/year across its 17.88ha area, or 7.8% of the Phase 3 requirement. Given the character and shape of the SANG, this seems rather an unrealistic level of use, but is used to illustrate the theoretical maximum contribution this site could make to the overall SANGs requirement.

7.4

Standford Grange Farm

7.4.1

Standford Grange Farm is an area of traditional lowland farmland comprising a mix of ancient and mostly semi-natural woodland (Eveley Wood SINC), a series of hedged fields, farm buildings and a system of farm tracks; see Figure 7.5. There are no current records of Annex 1 bird species using the site (Cox and Combridge, 2010d). As a working farm it provides a source of livestock able to graze and help restore the local SPA/SAC heathlands to favourable condition.

This is a vital function of small mixed farms in conserving lowland heathland

landscapes. In the New Forest National Park, farms such as this are considered vital to the continued functioning of the commoning system that maintains the heathlands of the Forest. Summary of qualitative assessment 7.4.2

Standford Grange Farm can play a significant role in terms of greenspace and recreational amenity provision, as well as supporting management of livestock used for conservation grazing. The site scores well against the assessment framework, meeting 21 out 23 qualitative criteria if it is fully converted to SANG, or 18 criteria if it maintains an element of agriculture.

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Figure 7.5: Draft outline design for Standford Grange Farm received from Halcrow on 9 May Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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7.4.4

However, its distance of at least 1km from proposed new housing areas, limits its relevance to new residents as an area for the regular daily dog walk (and thus as a SANG). The majority of visitors to international sites arrive by car when travelling from further than around 1.5km away, which may make it unlikely that they would choose to visit Standford Grange Farm over a range of alternatives. This becomes more apparent when issues of traffic congestion, and the relative distance of international sites by comparison, are taken into account. However, it should also be noted that local European sites of a similar size such as Shortheath and Kingsley Commons, for instance (58.7ha and 38.6ha respectively) successfully attract Whitehill Bordon visitors from an average 2.1km and 1.9km away.

7.4.5

Good design for this SANG will be particularly important; it may be able to draw in existing residents who live close by, which could reduce the total numbers ultimately visiting European sites. We suggest that a rotational combination of uses between SANG and ‘eco-farm’ is likely to be most successful in this respect.

Hence the site has an interesting role to play in

promoting the eco-town ethos and providing overwintering sites for conservation grazing herds, while accessibility can be improved by providing permanent wide, linear access routes. Discounting for nature conservation value 7.4.6

The current nature conservation interests at Eveley Wood SINC need to be discounted from any capacity assessment for the site. Detailed ecological data are not available, but the site is notified as being an example of NVC community W10. Ground flora within the woodland areas, such as bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta and wood anemone Anemone nemorosa, are likely to be the species most susceptible to increasing visitor pressure, while exhibiting above-ground growth (approximately February to July). During these six months of the year, therefore, it would be preferable for visitors not to stray off the network of paths, which we assume covers around 10% of the site, therefore leading to a 90% conceptual discount during the summer months within the SINC. For the other six months of the year it is assumed full accessibility within the SINC would be acceptable.

7.4.7

The area of woodland is 15.87ha, of which 13.58ha is designated as SINC. To apply a 90% discount in the summer months, but no discount during winter, equates to an annualised discount of 45%, giving an available accessible area within the SINC of 7.47ha. Informal liaison with Natural England has indicated that this level of discounting might in fact be a little high but, given the potential loss of parts of Hogmoor Inclosure SINC to development, the overall aim of biodiversity gain, and need for further ecological survey of the site, we suggest protection and management of Eveley Wood SINC with a 45% discount on its SANG potential is appropriate and viable within the SANG suite. Discounting for agricultural use

7.4.8

Natural England has confirmed that future agricultural uses such as back-up grazing for heathland conservation would not be in conflict with Standford Grange Farm’s management as SANG, so long as visitors are able to choose to visit parts of the site without grazing, and there is sufficient path network infrastructure and signposting. Traditionally, farms such as this would be used to provide better quality grazing land in the winter months and a harvest of hay to provide supplementary feeding.

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7.4.9

Most livestock would be de-pastured on the heathlands during the summer months. Accordingly, the site could remain a series of fenced and gated fields under seasonal management, while access through and across the site is improved via an enhanced permanent (year-round) network of wide, linear routes between the fields. Areas (fields) not required for agricultural use could be given over to use as ‘pure’ SANG on a rotational, seasonal basis, while it would also be possible to visit these areas when grazed.

7.4.10

However, this combination of uses will need to be supported by exceptionally good information management, both pre-visit and while on site. Advance warning of grazed areas will be necessary, particularly for visitors with dogs, so they can choose which areas to visit and act accordingly, while responsive and directional signing (e.g. ‘traffic light’ system) on site can ensure that livestock are not encountered if that is the desired experience.

7.4.11

Under this type of management approach, therefore, the site would not require discounting for agricultural use. Any future buildings (either agricultural or visitor centre) which might fall within the SANG would need to be discounted from the available area, but current farm buildings fall outside of the SANG boundary as currently proposed. There is currently no public access to Standford Grange Farm and it could be counted as a new greenspace, 33.89ha of which is currently in agricultural use. Summary of discounting

7.4.12

Over the course of a year Standford Grange Farm would provide the following SANG contribution:  Annualised available SINC area: 7.47ha;  Year round availability of agricultural area: 33.89ha  Year round availability of non-SINC woodland: 2.29ha  Overall annualised available SANG area: 43.65ha

7.4.13

Calculations for these workings are given in Appendix III. Area-based capacity assessment

7.4.14

Standford Grange Farm has no current public access, and so the whole of this 43.65ha can be put to SANG use. Table 7.6 summarises this contribution to the draft masterplan SANG requirement. Table 7.6:

Standford Grange Farm area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG

requirement, after discounting for nature conservation and agricultural use Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

43.65

136.00%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

43.65

57.80%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

43.65

43.62%

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Density-based capacity assessment 7.4.15

Using the visitor density approach to assessing the requirement for offsetting measures, we estimate that Standford Grange Farm could provide capacity for 1,007 visits/ha/yr (to equate its use to the current mean use of SPA/SAC in the vicinity). Applying this across its available area suggests the following offsetting capacity (numbers may not sum due to rounding): 1,007 x 43.65ha = 43,955 visits/ha/yr.

7.4.16

This equates to 38.0% of the visits likely to be generated by phase 1 residential development, 16.5% of the visits from phase 2, and 12.4% of those from phase 3. A breakdown of these figures is given in Appendix III.

7.5

Summary of SANGs Provision Assessment

7.5.1

Assessing the ability of the proposed SANGs to attract visitors from the SPA/SAC sites in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon is difficult due to the many variables involved.

However, to

provide a good indication of the effectiveness of the proposed SANGs two assessment methods have been used. The first of these is an area based assessment using the standard 8ha of SANGs/1,000 head of population developed for the Thames Basin Heaths SPA. This figure has been discounted for the three SANGs to take account of existing visitor use and the need to conserve biodiversity. 7.5.2

Table 7.7 summarises the contribution each SANG makes to the overall requirement. Using the area based approach with the 8ha/1,000 standard SANGs target, the three currently proposed SANGs would provide more than enough area for phase 1 (1,700 dwellings) development. They would provide 92.4% of the target for phase 2 (4,000 dwellings) and 69.7% of the target for Phase 3 (5,300 dwellings). See also Chapter 11.

7.5.3

The second approach uses visitor densities to calculate the effectiveness of the proposed SANGs. The results of the visitor survey have been used to calculate the existing use of the SPA/SAC sites to generate a density of visitor density in terms of visits/ha/year. This type of calculation was used for the Thames Basin Heaths SPA to determine 8ha of SANGs/1,000 standard.

7.5.4

The density approach uses a mean annual density of 1,007 visits/ha/yr for the SPA/SAC sites currently used by residents of Whitehill Bordon.

If SANGs are to provide an alternative

greenspace to the SPA/SAC sites, it might be assumed that they would attract a similar visitor density, particularly if they are to replicate the ‘remoteness’ quoted by visitors as a key factor in site selection. Remoteness (or a lack of people) came high among the reasons given for choosing the site at which respondents were interviewed during the 2009 visitor survey, second only to ‘natural beauty’, and coming ahead of ‘birds/wildlife’, ‘openness/views’, and ‘proximity’.

‘Busyness’, on the other hand, came second only to ‘dogs on lead’ among

reasons for not finding alternative sites attractive, although there were differences between walkers with dogs and other users in this respect (busyness came first for those without dogs).

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7.5.5

Using the visitor density approach, the proposed SANGs would not meet the requirements to fully offset draft masterplan visitor numbers under any of the housing phases. We estimate there would be sufficient SANG to offset 60.7% of phase 1 development, 25.8% of phase 2, and 19.8% of phase 3. However, using the density approach to assessment it is possible to determine a ‘global’ calculation of (a) the total area of (undiscounted) SANG that would be required to fully offset eco-town visitor pressure, or (b) the number of visits per year that currently proposed SANGs would need to cater for (after discounting). These estimates are presented in Table 7.8. Table 7.7: Assessment of relative SANGs contributions to the 8ha/1,000 head of population target, following discounts

Phase

Effective SANG area

Target SANG area ha

Percentage of target

(following discount) ha

Hogmoor Inclosure Phase 1

26.11

32.10

81.35%

Phase 2

26.11

75.52

34.57%

Phase 3

26.11

100.06

26.09%

Phase 1

0.00

32.10

0.00%

Phase 2

0.00

75.52

0.00%

Phase 3

0.00

100.06

0.00%

Phase 1

43.65

32.10

136.00%

Phase 2

43.65

75.52

57.80%

Phase 3

43.65

100.06

43.62%

Phase 1

69.76

32.10

217.35%

Phase 2

69.76

75.52

92.37%

Phase 3

69.76

100.06

69.71%

Bordon Inclosure

Standford Grange Farm

All SANGs

Table 7.8: ‘Global’ estimates of required SANG area or density performance Summary of undiscounted SANGs area required to fully offset visitor pressure Phase

Target visits/yr

Current mean density

Area SANG required

Phase 1

115,675

1,007

114.87

Phase 2

272,177

1,007

270.29

Phase 3

354,898

1,007

352.43

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Summary of required density performance for currently proposed SANGs after discount Phase

Target visits/yr

SANG area

post discount

Required density

Phase 1

115,675

69.76

1,658

Phase 2

272,177

69.76

3,902

Phase 3

354,898

69.76

5,087

7.6

Other Greenspaces and potential for ‘Offsite Impacts’

7.6.1

In addition to the SANGs identified specifically to attract visitors away from the SPA/SAC, the draft masterplan also includes provision for a network of green infrastructure including additional areas of natural greenspace. It is not intended that these will be managed as SANGs, but they will inevitably be used by the new residents of Whitehill Bordon. It is thus important to consider their biodiversity value and role in supporting the conservation status of European sites.

7.6.2

In addition to the natural greenspaces within the town that are identified through the draft masterplan, there are significant areas of greenspace adjacent to Whitehill Bordon that have restricted public access. These are areas owned by the MoD and used for military training. However, the MoD training estate allows for public access where this does not conflict with military training in accordance with local byelaws. Much of the SPA/SAC that is currently used by residents of the town is owned by the MoD and managed in this way, including the heavily visited Kingsley Common and part of Broxhead Common. New residents of Whitehill Bordon will use these military training areas for recreation in much the same way as they do at present. Apart from the proposed Hogmoor Inclosure SANG, there is no visitor survey data for these areas of MoD land.

7.6.3

However, it is known that some of these areas are of high biodiversity value and support the breeding birds for which the SPA has been classified (either as breeding or potentially feeding areas) and examples of Annex 1 habitat types for which the SAC have been selected. Much of this area is designated as Sites of Importance to Nature Conservation.

7.6.4

Table 7.9 identifies the extent and SINC criteria of the various parcels of green infrastructure and areas of the MoD training estate land shown on Figure 7.6. It is clear that several areas may have the potential to provide supporting habitat to the SPA and SAC. Most important of these is the Slab and the Warren where additional visitor pressure could have a serious adverse effect on its value to support ‘offsite’ SPA bird populations (i.e. Annex 1 birds occurring outside of SPA areas).

7.6.5

Other open or arable areas may also have a role in providing feeding habitat for nightjar from the SPA but might also be able to absorb some additional visitor pressure without causing damage to this function. Further work is needed to both assess the level of constraints posed by existing biodiversity value and methods of managing expected increases in visitor pressure on these areas, and their potential to absorb some additional public access away from the European sites without forming a part of the avoidance and mitigation strategy. This might include additional visitor survey and ecological appraisal.

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Table 7.9: Assessment of greenspace SINC criteria Greenspace

Area

SINC name and area

SINC criteria

SINC criteria explained: habitats

SINC criteria explained: notable species

Hogmoor Corridors

28.5 ha

Hogmoor Inclosure

3Bi/3Bii/6A/6B

3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have

6A Sites which support one or more notable

succeeded to woodland

species. 6B Sites which regularly support a significant population of a species which has a restricted distribution or has substantially declined in population or range. Carex arenaria (Sand Sedge) [CS]; Filago vulgaris (Common Cudweed) [NI]; Genista anglica (Petty Whin) [NI]

Walldown

10 ha

Walldown & Woodlea

3A/3Bi

3A Areas of heathland vegetation; including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub. 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

Deadwater Valley

17 ha

Deadwater Valley

1Cii/2A/3Bi/6A

1C Other semi-natural woodland if; (ii) they

6A Sites which support one or more notable

comprise important community types of restricted

species. Impatiens noli-tangere (Touch-Me-Not

distribution in the County, such as yew woods and

Balsam) [NS]; Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) [nHR]

alder swamp woods; 2A Agriculturally unimproved grasslands; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

Alexandra Park

9.3 ha

Alexandra Park

1Cii/3A/3Bi

1C Other semi-natural woodland if; (ii) they

Carex rostrata (Bottle Sedge) [CS]

comprise important community types of restricted distribution in the County, such as yew woods and alder swamp woods; 3A Areas of heathland vegetation; including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

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Broxhead South and West Oxney Farm Woodland

40.8 ha

71 ha

Broxhead Common South & West

3A

Oxney Farm Woodland (50.43 ha)

1B/1Cii/3Bi/6A

3A Areas of heathland vegetation; including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland 1B Other woodland where there is a significant

6A Sites which support one or more notable

element of ancient semi-natural woodland

species. Carex curta (White Sedge) [CS]; Regulus

surviving; 1C Other semi-natural woodland if; (ii)

ignicapillus (Firecrest) [NR]

they comprise important community types of restricted distribution in the County, such as yew woods and alder swamp woods; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

Free Piece West, Oxney Farm (7.22 ha)

5A/5B/6A

5A Areas of open freshwater (eg. lakes, ponds,

6A Sites which support one or more notable

canals, rivers, streams and ditches) which support

species. Ceriagrion tenellum (Small Red Damselfly)

outstanding assemblages of floating/submerged/

[HBAP]; Natrix natrix (Grass Snake) [UKBAP]

emergent plant species, invertebrates, birds or amphibians. 5B Fens, flushes, seepages, springs, inundation grasslands etc. that support a flora and fauna characteristic of unimproved and waterlogged (seasonal or permanent) conditions.

Oxney Farm

137 ha

Oxney Farm Grassland (10.75 ha)

2A/3A/6A

Bordon Mineral Site (10.86 ha)

3A/3Bi/6A

2A Agriculturally unimproved grasslands; 3A Areas

6A Sites which support one or more notable

of heathland vegetation; including matrices of

species.

dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub;

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

3A Areas of heathland vegetation; including

6A Sites which support one or more notable

matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley

species. Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry) [CR]

mires and scrub; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

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Oxney Stream Woodland & Meadows (14.83 ha)

1Cii/2B/5B/6A

1C Other semi-natural woodland if; (ii) they

6A Sites which support one or more notable

comprise important community types of restricted

species. Emberiza schoeniclus (Reed Bunting)

distribution in the County, such as yew woods and

[UKBAP]; Vipera berus (Adder) [UKBAP]; Zootoca

alder swamp woods; 2B Semi-improved grasslands

vivipara (Common Lizard) [UKBAP]

which retain a significant element of unimproved grassland. 5B Fens, flushes, seepages, springs, inundation grasslands etc. that support a flora and fauna characteristic of unimproved and waterlogged (seasonal or permanent) conditions.

Slab and Warren

133.7 ha

The Slab North (62.85 ha)

3Bi/3Bii/6A

3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have

6A Sites which support one or more notable

succeeded to woodland

species. Carex curta (White Sedge) [CS]; Carex rostrata (Bottle Sedge) [CS]; Lullula arborea (Woodlark) [CI]; Rhynchospora alba (White BeakSedge) [nHR]; Sylvia undata (Dartford Warbler) [CI]

The Slab South (31.86 ha)

3A/6A

3A Areas of heathland vegetation; including

6A Sites which support one or more notable

matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley

species. Caprimulgus europaeus (European

mires and scrub;

Nightjar) [CI]; Cuscuta epithymum (Dodder) [nHS]; Eriophorum vaginatum (Hair's-Tail Cottongrass) [CS]; Lullula arborea (Woodlark) [CI]; Sylvia undata (Dartford Warbler) [CI]; Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry) [CR]

The Warren, Selborne (39.3 ha)

1Cii/3A/3Bi/6A

1C Other semi-natural woodland if; (ii) they

6A Sites which support one or more notable

comprise important community types of restricted

species. Carex curta (White Sedge) [CS]; Carex

distribution in the County, such as yew woods and

rostrata (Bottle Sedge) [CS]; Hypochaeris glabra

alder swamp woods; 3A Areas of heathland

(Smooth Cat's-Ear) [NR]; Lullula arborea (Woodlark)

vegetation; including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid

[CI]; Sylvia undata (Dartford Warbler) [CI]

grassland, valley mires and scrub; 3B Areas of heathland which are afforested or have succeeded to woodland

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8

Analysis of Atmospheric Pollution from Traffic and Energy Generation

8.1

Introduction

8.1.1

The draft masterplan proposes development of a town scale energy centre based on combined production of heat and power (CHP) at a centralised location at Louisburg Barracks. It identifies other energy options that could also contribute to the overall goal of reducing carbon emissions, such as photovoltaic panels and small scale wind turbines, and acknowledges that further investigation is required through an Energy Feasibility Study.

8.1.2

The transport strategy included in the draft masterplan aims to improve public transport provision within, to and from the town, as well as enhancing walking and cycling links. It refers to a number of supporting studies including for park and ride, local buses, rail feasibility, and traffic modelling and assessment. It also addresses a number of options for transport mode share and trip internalisation (i.e. eco-town self-sufficiency) which will both be influenced by the findings of supporting studies.

8.1.3

Both energy generation and development-related traffic will contribute locally to air pollutant emissions and, as part of the HRA, an atmospheric pollution dispersion model was prepared to analyse the extent of possible impacts to European sites from both sources. The model, which focuses on oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and its toxic, eutrophic and acidifying effects, was informed by the Energy Feasibility Study (LDA Design, 2011) and traffic model (MVA/Amey, 2011).

The methodological approach to atmospheric pollution modelling is described in

Chapter 6.

8.2

Characterisation of the Baseline Baseline NOx concentrations

8.2.1

The proposed eco-town and surrounding European sites lie south of the A31 and, mostly, north of the A3. The A325 runs through the centre of the proposed eco-town and across the study area.

There are no significant sources of industrial emissions in the area and the

principal source of NOx emissions is road traffic.

Background NOx concentrations,

representing conditions well away from roads or other local emission sources, were mapped across the study area, and show concentrations are well below the objective in 2010 (30Îźg/m3 annual mean) and are predicted to be even lower in 2026. 8.2.2

The ADMS-Roads model was run to predict annual mean NOx concentrations across each European site in 2010 and 2026, without the proposed scheme (2026 Base). The results show the maximum predicted concentrations in 2010 were predicted to exceed the critical load at the kerbside within each of the European sites.

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8.2.3

Within the Wealden Heaths SPA, annual mean NOx concentrations at the kerbside are predicted to be 214μg/m3; with this maximum occurring adjacent to the A3 at Hindhead Common. It should be recognised that these are the maximum concentrations at the kerbside and that levels reduce very rapidly on moving further back from the carriageway. The areas of exceedance typically extend no more than about 50m from roads in 2010, with concentrations approaching background levels within 200m from roads. Baseline deposition fluxes

8.2.4

Unlike the NOx concentrations, which are site-specific maxima, these values represent the average flux across each European site. The background deposition fluxes, obtained from APIS (2011), take account of local emissions but are dominated by inputs from further afield, with local roads only accounting for a relatively small proportion of the totals. Comparing the data shows that all of the lower-bound nutrient nitrogen and acid nitrogen critical loads are predicted to be exceeded in 2020. Background deposition fluxes in 2020 are lower than those in 2005. Given that the critical loads are all estimated to be exceeded in 2020 it is likely that exceedances will persist in future years. The assumption has been made that the critical loads will continue to be exceeded across each site in 2026 without the proposed Eco-town.

8.3

Predicted Pollutant Concentrations and Fluxes Future NOx concentrations

8.3.1

Table 8.1 sets out the maximum predicted annual mean NOx process contribution within each European site associated with each individual energy option and traffic scenario considered in the model. It should be recognised that these show the maxima from all 22,000 receptors; which for traffic impacts are at the very edge of the A325 at Broxhead Common. Further from the carriageway, the predicted impacts are much smaller than shown and, where a process contribution represents less than 1% of the relevant objective, impacts can be discounted as insignificant. Those values which represent more than 1% of the objective are shown in amber and bold. Note that the revised traffic modelling outputs for Scenario 3 (the draft masterplan scenario) increase moderately across the board, taking a previously insignificant increase in NOx concentration at the Thursley sites over the significance threshold.

8.3.2

The only energy option which would give rise to a potentially significant impact to any of the European sites is Option 2 (Central CHP plant burning biogas produced by anaerobic digestion). Even this option only contributes 0.32μg/m3 (1.1% of the objective) at the edge of the Wealden Heaths SPA (Phase 2).

8.3.3

Table 8.2 shows the maximum predicted annual mean NOx concentrations within any of the European sites under a range of scenarios. All of the predicted concentrations in 2026 are significantly lower than those for 2010. The objective is predicted to be exceeded across the Wealden Heaths SPAs and two of the SACs whether the proposed scheme proceeds or not. Scenario 17 is predicted to cause the objective to be marginally exceeded within the Shortheath Common SAC; it would otherwise not be exceeded. It is clear that even the worstcase energy option (Option 2) has very little influence on these predicted concentrations.

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Table 8.1: Summary of maximum annual mean NOx process contributions at each site Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ash… SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Maximum energy generation process contribution to annual mean NOx (μg/m3) Opt 1

0.01

0.02

0.02

0.01

0.01

0.19

Opt 2

0.01

0.03

0.04

0.01

0.01

0.32

Opt 3

0.01

0.01

0.02

0.01

0.01

0.15

Opt 4

0.01

0.02

0.02

0.01

0.01

0.19

Opt 5

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Opt 6

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Opt 7

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Maximum incremental increase in road NOx (μg/m3) (cf. 2026 baseline) Sc4

4.18

6.83

4.62

0.46

0.46

21.79

Sc13

3.40

7.62

8.68

0.82

0.82

24.72

Sc17

3.00

7.41

13.04

1.32

1.32

20.93

Sc3

3.15

6.13

3.45

0.46

0.46

19.17

Objective

30

Table 8.2:

Summary of maximum predicted annual mean NOx concentration at specific

receptor locations within each site Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ash… SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

2010

43.9

91.1

41.5

187.9

187.9

214.2

2026 Base

22.8

33.3

19.8

53.1

53.1

58.9

Traffic Scenarios Without Energy Contribution 2026 Sc4

21.6

40.1

24.4

53.3

53.3

72.9

2026 Sc13

22.0

40.9

28.5

53.9

53.9

75.8

2026 Sc17

22.1

40.7

32.8

54.4

54.4

72.1

2026 Sc3

21.3

39.4

23.2

53.3

53.3

70.3

Traffic Scenarios Plus Energy Option 2 Sc4+Opt2

21.7

40.1

24.4

53.3

53.3

73.0

Sc13+Opt2

22.0

40.9

28.5

54.0

54.0

75.9

Sc17+Opt2

22.1

40.7

32.9

54.4

54.4

72.1

Sc3+Opt2

21.3

39.4

23.3

53.3

53.3

70.4

Objective Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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8.3.4

Table 8.3 shows the area of each European site over which the annual mean NOx objective is predicted to be exceeded. The areas of exceedance represent very small fractions of each site in 2026 under all four scenarios, and are substantially smaller than those predicted in 2010. It should also be recognised that these exceedance areas represent relatively narrow (typically c.10m wide) strips along the edges of roads. The lower half of the table expresses the increase in the predicted exceedance area (comparing each scenario plus energy Option 2 against the 2026 baseline) as a percentage of the total area of each European site. It shows that, while the eco-town proposals will increase the area over which the objective is predicted to exceed, these increases all represent extremely small (<0.1%), but not necessarily insignificant, fractions of each site. Table 8.3: Area (ha and %) over which annual NOx objective will be exceeded, cf 2026 base

Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ashâ&#x20AC;Ś SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Area (ha) over which annual mean NOx objective will be exceeded 2010

0.2

22.2

<0.1

40.6

40.6

88.4

2026 Base

-

0.5

-

6.5

6.5

6.9

Sc4+Opt2

-

0.6

-

6.6

6.6

7.8

Sc13+Opt2

-

0.7

-

6.7

6.7

8.4

Sc17+Opt2

-

0.7

<0.1

6.9

6.9

8.4

Sc3+Opt2

-

0.6

-

6.6

6.6

7.6

Total area of site

572

670

59

3,288

1,880

2,057

Change in extent of NOx Exceedance (cf. 2026 Base) as % of site area Sc4+Opt2

-

0.01%

-

<0.01%

<0.01%

0.07%

Sc13+Opt2

-

0.03%

-

0.01%

0.01%

0.09%

Sc17+Opt2

-

0.03%

<0.01%

0.01%

0.02%

0.09%

Sc3+Opt2

-

0.01%

-

<0.01%

<0.01%

0.04%

Future nutrient nitrogen deposition 8.3.5

Table 8.4 sets out the maximum predicted nutrient nitrogen deposition flux associated with each individual energy option and traffic scenario within each site. It should be recognised that these show the maxima from all 22,000 receptors, which for traffic-related fluxes are at the very edge of the road. Further from the road, the predicted deposition fluxes are much smaller than shown here.

Where a process contribution represents less than 1% of the

relevant environmental standard, impacts can be discounted as insignificant. Those values which represent more than 1% of the lower bound of the critical load range are shown in amber and bold. All of the energy options, individually, are judged to have an insignificant impact with regards to nutrient nitrogen deposition. All of the traffic scenarios considered have the potential to impact upon nearby European sites. Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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8.3.6

Note that, in the majority of traffic scenarios, the revised traffic model outputs show very little difference to earlier dispersion modelling results.

The exception is Scenario 3 (the draft

masterplan) which shows moderate increases in deposition across all sites. Loads are now exceeded at the Thursley sites under scenario 17, were they were not exceeded previously; but this is because the critical load has been revised downward. Table 8.4: Summary of maximum annual mean nutrient nitrogen deposition fluxes at each site Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ashâ&#x20AC;Ś SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Maximum energy generation contribution to nutrient nitrogen deposition (kg/ha/yr) Opt 1

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.01

Opt 2

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.02

Opt 3

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.01

Opt 4

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.01

Opt 5

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Opt 6

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Opt 7

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Maximum incremental increase in nutrient nitrogen deposition (kg/ha/yr) (cf. 2026 baseline) Sc4

0.23

0.35

0.25

0.03

0.03

1.01

Sc13

0.19

0.39

0.46

0.04

0.04

1.13

Sc17

0.17

0.38

0.69

0.06

0.06

0.97

Sc3

0.18

0.31

0.19

0.03

0.03

0.89

5

5

10

5

5

5

Critical load 8.3.7

Table 8.5 shows the area over which the combined influence of energy Option 2 and each traffic scenario will increase fluxes by more than 1% of each site-specific critical load. The lower half of the table shows these areas as a percentage of each European site. Under Scenario 17, significant impacts cannot be discounted across 13.6% of Shortheath Common SAC, and across 2.6% of Wealden Heaths SPA (Phase 2, particularly at Broxhead Common). Future acid nitrogen deposition

8.3.8

Table 8.6 sets out the maximum predicted acid nitrogen deposition fluxes. All of the energy options, individually, are judged to have an insignificant impact with regards to acid nitrogen deposition. All of the traffic scenarios considered have the potential to impact upon nearby sites. Table 8.7 shows the area over which the combined influence of energy Option 2 and each traffic scenario will increase fluxes by more than 1% of the site-specific critical load; the lower half of the table shows these areas as a percentage. Under Scenario 17, there is the potential for significant impacts across 26.4% of Shortheath Common SAC, across 2.9% of Wealden Heaths SPA (Phase 2, particularly at Broxhead Common), and across 1.9% of Woolmer Forest.

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Table 8.5: Area (ha & %) over which nutrient nitrogen deposition fluxes will increase by >1% of the relevant critical load (compared to 2026 baseline) Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ash… SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Combined impacts of traffic and (worse case) energy option; ha Sc4+Opt2

0.8

9.4

0.6

-

-

37.7

Sc13+Opt2

0.5

11.7

4.8

-

-

55.9

Sc17+Opt2

0.4

10.6

8.0

0.9

0.9

52.5

Sc3+Opt2

0.4

7.8

0.1

-

-

31.0

Total area of site

572

670

59

3,288

1,880

2,057

Combined impacts of traffic and (worse case) energy option; % of site Sc4+Opt2

0.1%

1.4%

0.9%

-

-

1.8%

Sc13+Opt2

0.1%

1.7%

8.2%

-

-

2.7%

Sc17+Opt2

0.1%

1.6%

13.6%

<0.1%

<0.1%

2.6%

Sc3+Opt2

0.1%

1.2%

0.1%

-

-

1.5%

5

5

10

5

5

5

Critical load

Table 8.6: Summary of maximum annual mean acid nitrogen deposition fluxes at each site Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ash… SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Maximum energy generation contribution to acid nitrogen deposition (keq/ha/yr) Opt 1

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.001

Opt 2

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.002

Opt 3

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.001

Opt 4

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.001

Opt 5

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Opt 6

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Opt 7

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Maximum incremental increase in acid nitrogen deposition (keq/ha/yr) (cf. 2026 baseline) Sc4

0.017

0.025

0.018

0.002

0.002

0.071

Sc13

0.014

0.028

0.033

0.003

0.003

0.081

Sc17

0.012

0.027

0.049

0.004

0.004

0.069

Sc3

0.013

0.022

0.013

0.002

0.002

0.063

0.14

0.32

0.32

0.14

0.14

0.32

Critical load

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8.3.9

Note that, for acid deposition too, the revised traffic modelling outputs for Scenario 3 (the draft masterplan scenario) also increase moderately across the board, taking a previously insignificant increase in acid deposition at the Thursley sites over the significance threshold. Unlike with nitrogen deposition, changes to the lower-bound critical loads for acidification does not lead a previously insignificant load to become significant at any site. Table 8.7: Area (ha & %) over which acid nitrogen deposition fluxes will increase by >1% of the relevant critical load (compared to 2026 baseline)

Scenario

EH Hangers SAC

Woolmer Forest SAC

Shortheath Cmn SAC

Thursley, Ashâ&#x20AC;Ś SAC

Wealden Hths 1 SPA

Wealden Hths 2 SPA

Combined impacts of traffic and (worse case) energy option; ha Sc4+Opt2

1.8

11.1

6.4

<0.1

<0.1

43.5

Sc13+Opt2

1.6

13.7

11.3

7.4

7.4

63.3

Sc17+Opt2

1.5

12.5

15.6

14.6

14.6

60.4

Sc3+Opt2

1.4

9.3

3.6

<0.1

<0.1

36.0

Total area of site

572

670

59

3,288

1,880

2,057

Combined impacts of traffic and (worse case) energy option; % of site Sc4+Opt2

0.3%

1.7%

10.9%

<0.1%

<0.1%

2.1%

Sc13+Opt2

0.3%

2.0%

19.2%

0.2%

0.4%

3.1%

Sc17+Opt2

0.3%

1.9%

26.4%

0.4%

0.8%

2.9%

Sc3+Opt2

0.2%

1.4%

6.2%

<0.1%

<0.1%

1.7%

Critical load

0.14

0.32

0.32

0.14

0.14

0.32

Summary of revisions to traffic flow outputs and atmospheric dispersion modelling 8.3.10

Overall, therefore, the revised modelling outputs, prepared on the basis of newly available traffic flow data, show a moderately worse degree of impact from NOx concentrations, nitrogen deposition and acid deposition for traffic Scenario 3 (the draft masterplan scenario) than the previous results indicated across all European sites. The new results show both a higher intensity of impact and larger areas of the sites over which the impact will be experienced.

8.3.11

However, the locations of exceedances are still generally confined to narrow corridors close to the road (Broxhead Common is a notable exception to this). Additionally, the new traffic data indicate that the 2026 baseline situation will also lead to a greater extent of exceedance than the previous data showed, meaning that the area of comparative change as a result of ecotown development is slightly reduced in some cases.

Scenario 17 still presents a higher

degree of impact to all sites than Scenario 3, with the exception of East Hampshire Hangers SAC where Scenario 3 is more impactful than Scenario 17. Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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8.4

Discussion

8.4.1

Contour isopleths were generated for each pollutant wherever the model revealed both a change of >1% of the relevant long-term lower bound environmental standard, and where that change led to an overall exceedance of >100% of the standard relevant to the most sensitive habitat in any part of each site. These outputs were mapped in relation to traffic scenario 3 (the draft masterplan) and energy option 2 (the only option likely to lead to significant effects), and overlain with habitat data where available, to illustrate the extent of possible impacts at each European site, as discussed below. East Hampshire Hangers SAC

8.4.2

The Hangers will not be affected by traffic scenario 3 or energy option 2 as a result of increased atmospheric concentrations of NOx. However, a very small part of the site near Wick Hill and Hartley Park, west of Oakhanger, will experience an increase in nutrient nitrogen deposition (<0.1% of the site) and acid nitrogen deposition (0.2% of the site); see Figure 8.1.

Figure 8.1: Modelled acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at East Hampshire Hangers SAC Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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8.4.3

The calcareous substrate across most of the site will provide good buffering capacity against this increase, and the woodland habitats are likely to be robust enough to withstand this relatively small change without deleterious effects. Shortheath Common SAC

8.4.4

The Common will not be affected by significant increases in NOx concentrations as a result of traffic scenario 3 and energy option 2.

The only traffic scenario which would cause an

exceedance of the critical level is scenario 17 which involves the closure of the A325 to through traffic. But parts of the site, including areas of dry heath and acid grassland close to the road, will be affected by increases in nutrient nitrogen deposition (0.2%) and acid nitrogen deposition (6.1%); see Figure 8.2.

Figure 8.2: Modelled acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Shortheath Common SAC

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Woolmer Forest SAC 8.4.5

Woolmer Forest, which is also part of Wealden Heaths SPA (see below) will experience exceedance of the critical load/level for atmospheric NOx, and nutrient and acid nitrogen deposition as a result of traffic scenario 3 and energy option 2, as shown in Figure 8.3. The NOx level will be exceeded across 0.01% of the site at the south west corner, which does not appear to include any heathland, mire or Rhynchosporion habitat. However, interpreting this area against mapped habitat data is complicated by data limitations; phase 1 habitat layers were provided by HBIC, but these do not accord exactly with EU defined habitats, were based on interpretation of aerial photography, and were prepared some time ago (1996).

8.4.6

The modelling also shows that 1.2% of the site would be affected by nutrient nitrogen increases over the critical load, while 1.4% would be affected by exceedance of the critical acid load. These include a number of small areas of wet and dry heathland close to the A325, and possibly a small area of fen at Blackmoor, which may represent Rynchosporion communities. Wealden Heaths SPA

8.4.7

Figure 8.3, Figure 8.4, Figure 8.5 and Figure 8.6 show the extent of atmospheric NOx, and nutrient and acid nitrogen deposition exceedances at Wealden Heaths SPA as a result of traffic scenario 3 and energy option 2.

8.4.8

Across the whole of this composite site, 0.36% of the land area would be affected by exceedance of the critical NOx level.

Small areas close to the A325 at Woolmer Forest

(without heathland) and Broxhead Common (with a little dry heath) are affected, while Kingsley Common would be unaffected. Habitat data were not available for parts of the site in Surrey, but this would include extents close to the A3 at Hindhead, Thursley and Witley Commons.

It should be noted that the A3 Hindhead Tunnel opened in summer 2011,

meaning that future assessments of air pollution impacts at the Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Punch Bowl would lead to different results. 8.4.9

Across the site, 0.92% would be affected by acid deposition in excess of the critical load. Areas of wet or dry heathland close to the A325 at Woolmer Forest are affected. Substantial parts of Broxhead Common including areas of dry heath, and a moderate extent of Kingsley Common that does not appear to include any heathland would be affected as well. Hindhead, Thursley and Witley Commons are unaffected.

8.4.10

Across the site, 0.79% would experience exceedance of the critical nutrient nitrogen load. This includes a small area of dry heath at Woolmer Forest close to the A325, and a moderate area of dry heath at Broxhead Common close to the A325 and B3004. A moderate area of Kingsley Common would also be affected, but this does not appear to include any heathland. Hindhead, Thursley and Witley Commons are unaffected.

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Figure 8.3: Modelled NOx exceedance, acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Woolmer Forest SAC Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 8.4: Modelled NOx exceedance, and acid and nutrient nitrogen deposition at Kingsley and Broxhead Commons Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 8.5: Modelled NOx exceedance at Hindhead Common Thursley, Hankley, Frensham and Chobham SAC, Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar 8.4.11

This SAC, which is also part of Wealden Heaths SPA (see above) will experience exceedance of the critical level for atmospheric NOx as a result of traffic scenario 3 and energy option 2 at Thursley and Witley Commons, as shown in Figure 8.6. No habitat data were received for sites in Surrey so it is difficult to gauge the extent of ecological impacts, but 0.2% of the site would be affected which may still be significant. A very small area of the site (<0.005%) would also experience an exceedance of the critical load for acid.

8.4.12

The modelling outputs indicate that Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar would not be affected by any pollutant changes under any of the traffic or energy options.

8.4.13

The limitations and uncertainties associated with these findings are set out in section 9.7, as well as towards the end of chapter five of the accompanying Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Report (AQC, 2011).

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Figure 8.6: Modelled NOx exceedance at Thursley and Witley Commons

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9

Impact Assessment

9.1

Introduction

9.1.1

The sections below present an assessment of the draft masterplan against the conservation objectives defined in Chapter 3, and considers these against the range of recreation, urban edge and atmospheric pollution effects described and analysed in Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8, for each of the European sites considered likely to be significantly affected. For sites where the analysis of visitor data show an increasing number of visits from the new residents of Whitehill Bordon, the results of the SANG assessment have been taken into account in the following impact assessment.

9.2

Wealden Heaths SPA Objective 1: Maintain the population of each of the three Annex 1 bird species as a viable component of their natural habitats on a long-term basis Atmospheric pollution

9.2.1

The atmospheric pollution modelling has shown that traffic scenario 3 (the closest match to the draft masterplan) will cause exceedance of the critical level for NOx concentrations (30µg/m3) within Wealden Heaths SPA at the south west corner of Woolmer Forest adjacent to the A325, at the eastern edge of Broxhead Common adjacent to the A325, at the Devil’s Punch Bowl adjacent to the A3, and at Thursley and Witley Commons adjacent to the A3. The opening of the A3 Hindhead Tunnel in summer 2011 will reduce or remove potential impacts at the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Nitrogen and acid deposition exceedances are expected in similar locations at Woolmer Forest, Broxhead Common, as well as further north along the A325 at Woolmer Forest (Blackmoor) and on the B3004 at Kingsley Common, with extensive acid exceedance at Broxhead Common.

9.2.2

Interpreting this area against mapped habitat data is complicated by data limitations; phase 1 habitat layers were provided by HBIC, but these do not accord exactly with EU defined habitats, were based on interpretation of aerial photography, and were prepared some time ago (1996). However, such as the data shows, a small area of lowland heathland would be affected by NOx exceedance at Broxhead Common (see section 8.4). A much greater area is shown for nutrient and acid deposition, but nonetheless this is considered unlikely to significantly affect the populations of Annex 1 birds which would likely continue to utilise the site despite increases in grass dominance that may occur.

9.2.3

It would be beneficial to ground-truth the habitat data by carrying out new habitat surveys within the SPA as part of the eco-town’s monitoring programme, to better establish the probable extent of impacts.

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Recreation including dog walkers 9.2.4

The visitor survey analysis suggests an increase in visitor numbers to the Wealden Heaths SPA of between 103,452 (phase 1) and 321,350 (phase 3) each year as a result of eco-town development.

SANGs will reduce recreational impacts but when discounted for existing

recreational use and biodiversity value, there will be insufficient SANGs to offset impacts from phase 3 residential development using the area approach (see also Chapter 11). Using the density approach, there would be insufficient SANG for all three phases. This will result in a significant threat to Annex 1 bird populations and habitat viability on already heavily used parts of the SPA, in particular Kingsley Common, Broxhead Common, Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure. There is also a threat of offsite impact on Shortheath Common, The Slab and The Warren. 9.2.5

The value of Oxney Farm as offsite feeding habitat for nightjar needs further assessment to conclude if increased recreational use of this area would have an adverse effect on these birds. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrians and off-road vehicles

9.2.6

Increased visitor use has the potential to increase erosion, but this is unlikely to affect bird populations or habitat viability. Fire

9.2.7

There is an increased risk of fire to heathlands as a result of increased recreational use, resulting in a significant threat particularly to Dartford warbler nesting habitat. Areas most at risk are Broxhead Common, Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.2.8

No impact on bird population. Dog fouling

9.2.9

No impact on bird population. Cat predation

9.2.10

There is a slight risk of far-ranging cats reaching Broxhead Common and Woolmer Forest from residential areas within 1,000m of the SPA boundary. This could result in population reduction or a reduction in habitat viability. Disturbance to livestock

9.2.11

The draft masterplan is unlikely to threaten viability of existing livestock grazing on heathlands (particularly if continued use of Standford Grange Farm for back-up grazing can be ensured), however future expansion of conservation grazing schemes to parts of the SPA may be compromised by increased recreational use.

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9.2.12

This might be particularly important on Ludshott Common and Conford Moor where restoration of favourable condition requires conservation grazing.

Lack of conservation

grazing on these heathlands could reduce their long term viability to sustain or restore Annex 1 bird populations. 9.2.13

Loss of supporting farm holdings such as Standford Grange Farm to provide SANGs would also threaten the viability of existing and future heathland conservation grazing schemes. The SANGs assessment has assumed that this function will be maintained on Standford Grange Farm. Objective 2: Maintain the range (geographic extent) of the population of each of the three Annex 1 bird species for the foreseeable future Atmospheric pollution

9.2.14

Interpretation of pollution modelling data against habitat mapping shows a small area of lowland heathland would be affected by NOx exceedances at Broxhead Common. Greater areas are affected by nutrient and acid deposition, but are unlikely to affect the range of Annex 1 birds which would continue to utilise the site despite increases in grass dominance that may occur. Recreation including dog walkers

9.2.15

SANGs areas will reduce recreational impacts but when discounted for existing recreational and other uses, there will be insufficient SANGs to offset impacts from phase 3 residential development using the area approach.

Using the density approach, there would be

insufficient SANG for all three phases. This will result in a significant threat to the range of Annex 1 birds within the SPA, particularly at sites where there is likely to be range contraction such as Kingsley Common, Broxhead Common, Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure. There is also a threat of offsite range retraction from Shortheath Common, The Slab and The Warren. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles 9.2.16

Although there is a risk of increased erosion, this is unlikely to affect the range of Annex 1 birds. Fire

9.2.17

An increased risk of heathland fire poses a significant threat of range retraction, particularly to Dartford warblers. Areas most at risk are Broxhead Common, Woolmer Forest and Longmoor Inclosure. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.2.18

No impact on range of Annex 1 birds.

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Dog fouling 9.2.19

No impact on range of Annex 1 birds. Cat predation

9.2.20

The slight risk of cat predation from far-ranging cats reaching Broxhead Common and Woolmer Forest from residential areas within 1,000m of SPA boundary could result in range contraction. Disturbance of livestock

9.2.21

Unlikely to affect the range of Annex 1 birds species. Objective 3: Maintain sufficient area of suitable habitat to maintain the populations of each of the three Annex 1 bird species on a long term basis Atmospheric pollution

9.2.22

Interpretation of pollution modelling data against habitat mapping shows a small area of lowland heathland would be affected by NOx exceedances at Broxhead Common. Greater areas are affected by nutrient and acid deposition, which could lead to long-term changes in habitat composition and species diversity, in turn possibly affecting territory choice by Annex 1 birds and reducing the viability of site in maintaining population numbers. Recreation including dog walkers

9.2.23

Area of habitat not likely to be changed by recreational use except as described under path erosion below. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.2.24

Increased path and track erosion due to recreation and urban edge effects may slightly reduce habitat extent but this is unlikely to be significant. However, many of the breeding woodlark are associated with short mown heather and acid grassland found along fire breaks that form natural pathways. heathlands.

These are widespread on Woolmer Forest and other MoD managed

Increased recreational use of these tracks could cause significantly increased

disturbance to birds using this particular habitat. Fire 9.2.25

Increased risk of fire could significantly reduce the area of available Annex 1 bird nesting habitat, particularly for Dartford warbler. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.2.26

Unlikely to have a significant effect on the extent of Annex 1 bird habitats.

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Dog fouling 9.2.27

Unlikely to have a significant effect on the extent of Annex 1 bird habitats. Cat predation

9.2.28

Although cats could theoretically reach the SPA from the nearest housing allocation, this would not affect the extent of bird habitat. Disturbance of livestock

9.2.29

Unlikely to have a significant effect on the extent of Annex 1 bird habitats. Overall assessment against conservation objectives

9.2.30

The extent of nutrient and acid deposition at Broxhead Common in particular, although a relatively small part of the SPA as a whole, could ultimately reduce the likelihood of Annex 1 birds successfully nesting at this heathland patch.

9.2.31

SANGs are unlikely to be large enough, and Standford Grange Farm not in an optimum location, to fully offset recreational impacts. This risks reducing Annex 1 bird populations, habitat viability and range. There is also a threat of off-site impacts on bird populations and range, particularly within Shortheath Common and The Slab and The Warren.

9.2.32

Increased risks of fire could reduce extent and viability of Annex 1 bird nesting habitat, particularly for Dartford warbler.

There is a slight risk of cat predation affecting bird

populations and range within Broxhead Common and possibly Woolmer Forest. 9.2.33

There is a risk that increased visitor use could reduce the potential to restore conservation grazing to the SPA, particularly on the National Trust’s Ludshott Common and Conford Moor.

9.3

Woolmer Forest SAC Objective 4: The geographical distribution of the habitats and their overall area within the sites should be maintained or increased Atmospheric pollution

9.3.1

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown that traffic scenario 3 (the closest match to the draft masterplan) will cause exceedance of the critical level for NOx concentrations (30µg/m3) within Woolmer Forest SAC at the south west corner of Woolmer Forest adjacent to the A325. Nutrient nitrogen deposition exceedances will occur at the same location, as well as further north around Blackmoor, with both of these locations also exceeded for acid deposition.

9.3.2

Interpreting this area against mapped habitat data is complicated by the limitations of this data. However, the data shows a number of small areas of wet and dry heathland would be affected, possibly leading to changes in habitat composition and species diversity over an extended period of time. An area of fen at Blackmoor, which may represent Rynchosporion communities, also falls within the nutrient and acid deposition contours.

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Recreation including dog walkers 9.3.3

The visitor survey analysis suggests an increase in visitor numbers to Woolmer Forest of between 13.3% (phase 1) and 39.7% (phase 3). The distribution and area of Annex 1 habitats within this SAC should not be reduced as a result of recreational use other than as a consequence of erosion and fire risk discussed below. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.3.4

There is little threat of increased erosion to the SAC due to pedestrians or off-road vehicles as this area is within the Woolmer Range Danger Area. Fire

9.3.5

The SAC habitats are highly vulnerable to fire and increased visitor pressure is likely to increase the threat of fires. These may well be started outside of the SAC boundary but could spread into the site from adjacent forestry plantations. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.3.6

Fly tipping and invasive species can result in a loss of habitat extent and distribution, particularly where small micro-habitats are overwhelmed by invasive species. There is a risk that the extent and distribution of some habitats could be reduced due to colonisation of the alien New Zealand pigmy weed Crassula helmsii and other alien species, although this threat is not significantly increased by the eco-town development proposals. Dog fouling

9.3.7

Unlikely to affect habitat extent or distribution within the SAC. Cat predation

9.3.8

Cat predation would not affect the extent of the SAC Annex 1 habitats. Disturbance of livestock

9.3.9

There is potential for increased disturbance to grazing livestock within the SAC, although this is controlled by the presence of the Range Danger Area and unlikely to affect the extent or distribution of any of the Annex 1 habitats. Objective 5: The mix of species (their species structure) and the ecological interrelationships between these and other environmental and management factors (ecological function) which are needed for the long-term maintenance of the habitats should be likely to continue to exist

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Atmospheric pollution 9.3.10

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown exceedances against the critical level for NOx concentrations within Woolmer Forest SAC at the south west corner of Woolmer Forest adjacent to the A325.

Nutrient nitrogen deposition exceedances will occur at the same

location, as well as further north around Blackmoor, with both of these locations also exceeded for acid deposition. 9.3.11

The areas of fen and wet and dry heathland that would be affected by these changes are likely to experience changes in habitat composition and species diversity over an extended period of time, with nitrophilous species outcompeting other varieties. Recreation including dog walkers

9.3.12

Recreational use is unlikely to have a direct effect on the structure or function of any of the Annex 1 habitats within the SAC. However, should Standford Grange Farm be used solely as a SANG the viability of maintaining conservation grazing schemes on the heathlands in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon including the SAC will be reduced (the SANG assessment currently assumes the continued use of this site as a viable agricultural holding to support management of the surrounding heathlands).

Extensive livestock grazing is vital to maintaining the

ecological structure and function of Annex 1 habitats within the SAC, principally, Depressions in peat substrate, Northern Atlantic wet heaths, Dry heaths and Transition mires and quaking bogs. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles 9.3.13

Path erosion within the SAC is unlikely to increase due to the restriction of the Range Danger Area and the currently very well defined network of mown tracks and fire-breaks across the site. Fire

9.3.14

Increased risk of fire creates a significant threat to the ecological structure and function of several Annex 1 habitats within the SAC. Habitats most at risk are Dry heaths and Northern Atlantic wet heaths. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.3.15

Threats of fly tipping and the introduction of garden waste are increased with rising urban pressures. Annex 1 habitats within Woolmer Forest SSSI (outside of the SAC) are already damaged and in unfavourable condition due to the invasive alien species Crassula helmsii. There is an increased risk of this species colonising the Annex 1 Dystrophic lake habitat and the Depressions in peat substrate habitat (Rhynchosporion) within the SAC. Dog fouling

9.3.16

Levels of dog fouling within the SAC may increase as a consequence of increased visitor pressure, but this is likely to be controlled by the presence of the Range Danger Area which significantly limits the times the SAC is open to public access (see Land Management Report).

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Cat predation 9.3.17

Cat predation will not affect the structure and function of the SAC Annex 1 habitats. Disturbance of livestock

9.3.18

There is potential for increased disturbance to grazing livestock within the SAC, although this is controlled by the presence of the Range Danger Area and unlikely to affect the structure and function of any of the Annex 1 habitats. Objective 6: The conservation status of the habitats’ typical species is maintained in terms of their population size, range and habitat extent Atmospheric pollution

9.3.19

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown exceedances against the critical level for NOx concentrations within Woolmer Forest SAC at the south west corner of Woolmer Forest adjacent to the A325.

Nutrient nitrogen deposition exceedances will occur at the same

location, as well as further north around Blackmoor, with both of these locations also exceeded for acid deposition. 9.3.20

The areas of fen and wet and dry heathland that would be affected by these changes are likely to experience changes in habitat composition and species diversity, with their range and extent becoming compromised over an extended period of time. Recreation including dog walkers

9.3.21

Recreational disturbance could have adverse effects on a number of typical species, particularly those associated with European dry heaths. Species most at risk are breeding birds and reptiles. Path erosion – pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.3.22

The visitor survey results identify the potential for a significant increase in recreational pressure on Woolmer Forest, but this will be tempered by the effect of the Range Danger Area. However, a significant increase in recreational pressure would threaten a number of typical species associated with the mown and sandy paths and fire breaks that cross the SAC. This includes typical European dry heath species, particularly sand lizards that bask and egglay along track sides, other reptiles, burrowing bees and wasps and their associated mottled bee-fly. Excessive trampling could also damage localised patches of the Depressions in peat substrate habitat – in particular typical species such as the marsh clubmoss and sundews. Fire

9.3.23

Increased fire risk could have a significant effect on a number of typical species within the SAC. Species most at risk are the reptiles, breeding birds and dry heath plant species – dwarf gorse and bell heather. Typical species of Northern Atlantic wet heath are also threatened – particularly cross leaved heath and silver studded blue butterfly.

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Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species 9.3.24

There is a potential threat to water quality within Woolmer Pond and its associated pools from fly-tipping. This may be remote, but even localised pollution from fly-tipping could have significant effects on rare species such as the spangled water beetle that are associated with these habitats. Dog fouling

9.3.25

Unlikely to have an effect on typical species. Cat predation

9.3.26

The nearest new development is some 740m from the northern boundary of the SAC and is within the theoretical range distance of domestic cats.

However this residential area is

separated from the SAC by the A325 and a number of other more minor roads together with the urban area of Bordon which is likely to be well populated by cats. Although there are plans to divert traffic away from the A325 to an alternative route, it seems unlikely that cats from the new housing will wish to traverse this distance to reach the SAC given the much easier access to Hogmoor Inclosure which is immediately to the west of this housing area. It is not thought that cat predation will affect typical species of the SAC Annex 1 habitats. Disturbance of livestock 9.3.27

There is potential for increased disturbance to grazing livestock within the SAC, although this is controlled by the presence of the Range Danger Area and unlikely to affect the structure and function of any of the Annex 1 habitats. Overall assessment against conservation objectives

9.3.28

There is a risk of loss of habitat extent, structure and function due to increased threat of fire and atmospheric pollution. There is also an increased risk of the spread of alien plant species and the typical plants of nutrient poor habitats being outcompeted by nitrophilous species. Increased recreational use, increased fire risk and risks from fly tipping and disposal of garden waste threatens disturbance and damage to typical species of Annex 1 habitats.

9.4

Shortheath Common SAC Objective 4: The geographical distribution of the habitats and their overall area within the sites should be maintained or increased Atmospheric pollution

9.4.1

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown that traffic scenario 3 (the closest match to the draft masterplan) will not cause exceedance of the critical level for NOx concentrations (30Âľg/m3) within Shortheath Common SAC, although scenario 17 would do so because it involves the closure of the current A325 to through traffic, causing people to take different route selections.

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9.4.2

However, nutrient nitrogen deposition exceedances will occur at Shortheath Common close to the road under scenario 3, while the same location is also exceeded for acid deposition. Although there is no modelling data to predict the emission contributions from rat-running vehicles, unmitigated they would be likely to add to the impact.

9.4.3

Interpreting this area against mapped habitat data is complicated by the limitations of this data. However, the data shows a small area of lowland heathland would be affected by acid deposition, with larger areas of associated acid grassland also being affected by both acid and nitrogen deposition.

These extents may experience changes in habitat composition and

species diversity over an extended period of time. The area of wet woodland, the closest interpretation to Bog woodland (a priority feature under the Habitats Directive) appears unaffected, but up to date habitat mapping would help to confirm this. Recreation including dog walkers 9.4.4

The visitor survey analysis suggests an increase of visitor numbers to Shortheath Common of between 21.45% (phase 1) and 58.88% (phase 3). SANGs will reduce recreational impacts but when discounted for existing recreational use and biodiversity value, there will be insufficient SANGs to offset impacts from phase 3 residential development using the area approach (see also Chapter 11). Using the density approach, there would be insufficient SANG for all three phases. The increase in visitor numbers predicted may not result in a reduction in the area or distribution of the Annex 1 habitats within this SAC, but is likely to have a number of other effects considered below. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.4.5

Off-road vehicle use of the Common already causes problems for the conservation of this SAC. An increased level of use could exacerbate these problems leading to increased track erosion across the Common, particularly if it becomes established as a short-cut for off-road vehicles. This could result in a loss of habitat area and distribution. Fire

9.4.6

There is a significant threat of fire that could damage the area and distribution of Annex 1 habitat on this site, particularly the area of European dry heath. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.4.7

Fly tipping and invasive species are not a particular threat to the area or distribution of Annex 1 habitats. Dog fouling

9.4.8

Unlikely to have a significant effect on the area of distribution of Annex 1 habitats. Cat predation

9.4.9

Cat predation would not affect the extent of SAC Annex 1 habitats.

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Disturbance of livestock 9.4.10

Livestock grazing is important to the conservation of this SAC although problems with maintaining/restoring livestock grazing is not likely to alter the area or distribution of Annex 1 habitats. Objective 5: The mix of species (their species structure) and the ecological interrelationships between these and other environmental and management factors (ecological function) which are needed for the long-term maintenance of the habitats should be likely to continue to exist Atmospheric pollution

9.4.11

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown exceedances against the critical loads for nutrient and acid deposition within Shortheath Common SAC. The area of lowland heathland that would be affected by these changes are likely to experience changes in habitat composition and species diversity over an extended period of time, with nitrophilous species outcompeting Ericaceous varieties in particular. Recreation including dog walkers

9.4.12

Recreational disturbance is unlikely to have a direct effect on the structure or function of any of the Annex 1 habitats within the SAC. However, other impacts associated with recreational use are considered below. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.4.13

There is a significant risk of increased track and path erosion caused by off-road vehicles on the Common. This could have a significant effect on the structure and function of Annex 1 habitats, particularly areas of European dry heathland. Fire

9.4.14

Increased fire damage could seriously threaten the structure and function of the European dry heath habitat. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.4.15

The easy access to this site for vehicles using tracks across the Common makes it particularly vulnerable to fly tipping and the introduction of alien species. This could include aquatic and semi-aquatic species such as Crassula helmsii as well as a number of other species of drier heathland habitats. The introduction of alien species could seriously damage the structure and function of all Annex 1 habitats on the site. Dog fouling

9.4.16

Levels of dog fouling within the SAC may increase as a consequence of increased visitor pressure.

This could cause localised damage to habitat structure and function due to

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Cat predation 9.4.17

Cat predation would not affect the extent of SAC Annex 1 habitats. Disturbance of livestock

9.4.18

There is potential for significant increased levels of visitor disturbance that will prevent/reduce the effectiveness of livestock grazing. This could be sufficient to have a significant effect on the structure and function of the small and fragmented patches of heathland found on the site.

The Transition mire and quaking bog is also in need of livestock grazing to

improve/maintain its structure and function. Objective 6: The conservation status of the habitats’ typical species is maintained in terms of their population size, range and habitat extent Atmospheric pollution 9.4.19

Atmospheric pollution modelling has shown exceedances against the critical loads for nutrient and acid deposition within Shortheath Common SAC. The areas of lowland heathland that would be affected by these changes are likely to experience changes in habitat composition and species diversity, with their range and extent becoming compromised over an extended period of time. Recreation including dog walkers

9.4.20

Recreational disturbance could have adverse effects on a number of typical species, particularly those associated with European dry heaths. Species most at risk are breeding birds and reptiles. Path erosion – pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.4.21

Path and track erosion and damage due both the pedestrians and vehicles could damage the habitat for a number of typical dry heathland species, in particular reptiles and burrowing bees and wasps. Fire

9.4.22

Increased fire risk could have a significant effect on a number of typical species within the SAC. Species most at risk are the reptiles, breeding birds and dry heath plant species – dwarf gorse and bell heather. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.4.23

Although fly tipping and invasive species threaten the structure and function of habitats in this SAC, it is less likely that they will adversely affect the typical species of these habitats. Dog fouling

9.4.24

Dog fouling is unlikely to have an effect on typical species.

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Cat predation 9.4.25

The nearest point of Shortheath Common is only some 510m from the proposed housing at BOSC.

This is within the theoretical range distance of cats, but given the several water

courses separating the two areas and the more attractive cat hunting habitat immediately in the vicinity of the proposed housing development it seems unlikely that cats from this area will threaten the typical species of Annex 1 habitats found on this SAC. Disturbance of livestock 9.4.26

Livestock disturbance may affect the ability to graze/restore grazing to Shortheath Common but is unlikely to have an effect on the typical species associated with the Annex 1 habitats. Overall assessment against conservation objectives

9.4.27

A predicted increased in visitor use could cause damage to Annex 1 habitat from path and track side erosion, particularly as a result of off road vehicles. There is also an increased fire risk that would damage habitat extent, structure and function and typical species. There is a risk of increased levels of fly tipping and disposal of garden waste, as well as atmospheric pollution, which threaten the Annex 1 habitats’ structure and function. Levels of dog fouling may also increase with consequent damage to the structure and function of dry heathland habitat. Increased recreational use may create conflicts with conservation management and in particular conservation grazing schemes.

9.5

East Hampshire Hangers SAC

9.5.1

The assessment for this SAC considers each of the impact pathways against all three of the relevant conservation objectives concurrently: Objective 4: The geographical distribution of the habitats and their overall area within the sites should be maintained or increased Objective 5: The mix of species (their species structure) and the ecological interrelationships between these and other environmental and management factors (ecological function) which are needed for the long-term maintenance of the habitats should be likely to continue to exist Objective 6: The conservation status of the habitats’ typical species is maintained in terms of their population size, range and habitat extent Atmospheric pollution

9.5.2

Atmospheric pollution modelling found an increase in NOx concentrations of >1% of the critical level under all traffic scenarios, but none of these lead to an exceedance of that level. Nitrogen deposition exceedance is predicted to occur, however, affecting <0.1% of the site.

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9.5.3

Scenario 3 also leads to a >1% increase in acid deposition, and causes exceedance of the critical load, over 0.2% (1.4ha) of the site. The calcareous substrate across most of the site will provide good buffering capacity against this increase, and the woodland habitats are likely to be robust enough to withstand this relatively small change without deleterious effects. Recreation including dog walkers

9.5.4

There is currently no evidence for an increase in recreational use or dog walking on this SAC from the eco-town development. This may be due to a lack of visitor survey data but at present it would not appear that recreational pressures will affect this SAC. Path erosion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.5.5

There is current evidence of path and byway erosion, as supplied by the site manager during focus group workshops, however as with recreational disturbance, there is currently no evidence that these impacts would increase as a result of the draft masterplan. Fire

9.5.6

Habitats on this site are unlikely to be damaged by increased fire risk as a result of development. Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species

9.5.7

There is a potential threat to this SAC from these impacts, but there is currently no evidence that visitors from the eco-town will make significant use of this SAC. Dog fouling

9.5.8

Unlikely to be significantly increased. Cat predation

9.5.9

The SAC is beyond the range of cats living in the proposed residential development. Disturbance of livestock

9.5.10

Unlikely to be significantly increased. Overall assessment against conservation objectives

9.5.11

It is concluded that the proposals within the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010) would not conflict with the conservation objectives for this SAC.

9.6

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC and Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar Site

9.6.1

The assessment for this SAC considers each of the impact pathways against all three of the relevant conservation objectives concurrently:

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Objective 4: The geographical distribution of the habitats and their overall area within the sites should be maintained or increased Objective 5: The mix of species (their species structure) and the ecological interrelationships between these and other environmental and management factors (ecological function) which are needed for the long-term maintenance of the habitats should be likely to continue to exist Objective 6: The conservation status of the habitats’ typical species is maintained in terms of their population size, range and habitat extent Atmospheric pollution 9.6.2

None of the potentially significant impacts described by the air pollution assessment are within the Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site.

9.6.3

Atmospheric pollution modelling found an increase in NOx concentrations of >1% of the critical level under all traffic scenarios except scenario 3 (the draft masterplan option), with these increases adding to the already exceeded NOx level in 2026, including under scenario 3. The area over which this exceedance will be experienced is very small (0.2% under scenario 3) and confined to the margins of the A3 at Thursley and Witley Commons. However, in the absence of mapped habitat data, it is not possible to determine the scope of adverse effects through changes in species structure, ecological function and habitat extent.

9.6.4

Only scenario 17 would cause an exceedance of the nutrient nitrogen critical load in 2026. All of the scenarios lead to a >1% increase in acid deposition in 2026, with scenario 3 causing this exceedance to affect >0.005% of the site’s area. Recreation including dog walkers

9.6.5

There is currently no evidence for an increase in recreational use or dog walking on this SAC from the eco-town development. This may be due to a lack of visitor survey data but at present it would not appear that recreational pressures will affect this SAC or Ramsar. Path erosion – pedestrian and off-road vehicles

9.6.6

As with recreational disturbance, there is currently no evidence that these impacts would increase as a result of the draft masterplan. Fire

9.6.7

Habitats on this site are vulnerable to the threat of fire. However, fire risk is thought to be related to the proximity of housing and numbers of visitors. As there is no evidence of a predicted increase in visitor numbers to this SAC from the eco-town development and the proposed new housing development is around 5.5km (direct line between nearest points) from the SAC boundary it is concluded that there will not be an increased risk of fire on this SAC or Ramsar.

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Fly-tipping and garden waste / invasive species 9.6.8

There is a threat to the SAC and Ramsar from these activities, but there is currently no evidence that visitors from the eco-town will make significant use of the sites. Dog fouling

9.6.9

Unlikely to be significantly increased. Cat predation

9.6.10

The SAC/Ramsar are beyond the range of cats living in the proposed residential development. Disturbance of livestock

9.6.11

Unlikely to be significantly increased. Overall assessment against conservation objectives

9.6.12

It is concluded that the proposals within the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010) would not conflict with the conservation objectives for the Ramsar.

9.6.13

However, it is not possible to properly assess the extent of impacts from atmospheric pollution, and so it must be assumed that adverse effects could occur.

9.7

Limitations and Variables

9.7.1

There are numerous assumptions regarding the way in which the data were interpreted and applied during the impact assessment. In particular, several key variables within calculations of visitor capacity could be altered if they were approached in a different way, and these are likely to influence the outcomes of an assessment. They include: 

Whether estimates of additional visitor pressure at European sites as result of proposed residential development would come to pass; a lesser increase would require less land for SANG, more visitors would require more SANG (section 6.3 and Appendix I).

Whether 1,007 visits/ha/yr is the best or most appropriate ceiling for determining visitor capacity within proposed SANGs (sections 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4). The figure, which represents the mean visitor density (from all sources) across all SAC/SPA sites visited by residents of GU350 and GU359 during the 2009 visitor survey, is higher than that derived during development of the Thames Basin Heaths standard (638) and lower than currently experienced on some of the local heathland patches (e.g. Broxhead Common is estimated to receive 2,730 visits/ha/yr).

Whether calculations of existing visitor use of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures (484 and 1,784 visits/ha/yr respectively) are correct (sections 7.2 and 7.3). This affects the notional capacity of proposed SANG.

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Whether the number of access points at each heathland patch was accurately estimated. This was undertaken with the assistance of site managers and Ordnance Survey data, but some sites are very fragmented (and cryptically so in the case of East Hampshire Hangers SAC) while others are directly abutted to residential areas or roads where it is practically possible to enter along lengthy permeable stretches. The number of access points to European sites is a key multiplication factor in estimating additional visitor use as a result of the draft masterplan (section 6.3 and Appendix I).

Whether all access points receive visitors at equal rates. It has been assumed so in visitor pressure modelling to simplify the analysis, and a range of types was sampled. The 2009 visitor survey report did not reveal any particular numeric bias to this, although there were differences in the distance travelled and mode of transport to access points of various types.

Whether the development-related future growth in visits to currently accessible greenspaces (such as Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures) as a result of eco-town proposals should be calculated and deducted from the capacity of these areas to receive more visits in the future. A calculation of this has been made for Hogmoor Inclosure, but was not deducted from the site’s notional future capacity (section 7.2).

Whether management measures for European sites would be successful in fully offsetting urban edge effects (Chapter 12), assuming for a moment that all other impacts are resolvable. This could be informed by monitoring results from Thames Basin Heaths, which began in summer 2011.

Whether the area-based or density-based approach to determining SANG capacity should be adopted for use in planning masterplan SANGs (Chapter 7 and Appendix III). The area-based approach has the benefit of being a practical, defendable solution as it has been developed and implemented according to local circumstances in the Thames Basin. Conversely, the density-based approach is based on factors local to Whitehill Bordon, while drawing on similar principles as used in the Thames Basin, but requires further study and data to fully explore its implications.

9.7.2

In relation to the atmospheric pollution dispersion modelling, the following limitations apply (AQC, 2011) to section 6.4 and Chapter 8.

9.7.3

The emission rates derived for the various energy options have been based on current technologies and may not accurately represent actual emissions in 2026, which may reasonably be expected to be lower. Furthermore, because of the range of technologies considered, some of the emission factors are considered more reliable than others. Despite these limitations, the emission factors used are considered to represent the best information available at this time. The impacts associated with the energy options are also influenced by the assumed location of the plant, as well as the release parameters assumed.

9.7.4

In terms of road traffic emissions, as the model is required to simplify real-world conditions into a series of algorithms, an important stage in the process is model verification. The level of confidence in the verification process is necessarily enhanced when data from an automatic analyser have been used, as has been the case for this assessment.

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9.7.5

The monitoring data against which the model has been verified relate to an urban location, but most of the European sites are outside of urban areas. The ADMS-Roads model is known to perform differently in different environments and adjustment factors derived in urban settings are likely to give precautionary results in more rural environments. The predictions for 2010 may thus over-estimate concentrations.

9.7.6

Furthermore, the model used in this assessment is dependent upon the traffic data that have been input, which will have inherent uncertainties associated with them.

9.7.7

Recently a disparity between the road transport emission projections and measured annual mean concentrations of nitrogen oxides and nitrogen dioxide has been identified by Defra. This applies across the UK, although the effect appears to be greatest in inner London; there is considerable inter-site variation. Whilst the emission projections suggest that both annual mean nitrogen oxides and nitrogen dioxide concentrations should have fallen by around 1525% over the past 6 to 8 years, at many monitoring sites levels have remained relatively stable, or have even shown a slight increase.

9.7.8

The precise reason for this disparity is not known, but is thought to be related to the actual on-road performance of diesel vehicles when compared to the calculations based on the Euro standards.

It may therefore be expected that nitrogen oxides and nitrogen dioxide

concentrations will not fall as quickly in the near future as the current projections indicate. By 2026, it is expected that much of the fleet will be Euro 6 or above. Current evidence suggests that such vehicles will provide the benefits that Defra and the DfT have predicted. It should, however, be recognised that the projections for 2026 cannot expect to take full account of the vehicle technology that will be in use at that time.

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10 Determining Effects on Integrity 10.1

Assessment Method for Determining Effects on Site Integrity

10.1.1

Chapter 9 considered the impact pathways against the conservation objectives of each of the European sites and concluded that the habitats and species populations for which four of the sites (Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SAC, Shortheath Common SAC, and Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC) were classified or designated could be damaged by the proposals within the draft masterplan. The following assessment considers how these impacts would affect the integrity of these sites.

10.1.2

English Nature (2004; now Natural England) produced guidance on determining site integrity which includes a ‘simple, pragmatic checklist’ for assessing likely effect on integrity. This requires the competent authority to pose a series of five questions to consider whether the appropriate assessment has shown: 

That the area of Annex 1 habitats (or composite features) will not be reduced?

That there will be no direct effect on the population of the species for which the site was designated or classified?

That there will be no indirect effects on the populations of species for which the site was designated due to loss or degradation of their habitat (quantity/quality)?

That there will be no changes to the composition of the habitats for which the site was designated (e.g. reduction in species structure, abundance or diversity that comprises the habitat over time)?

That there will be no interruption or degradation of the physical, chemical or biological processes that support habitats and species for which the site was designated or classified?

10.1.3

The guidance suggests that if the answer to all of these questions is ‘Yes’ then it is reasonable to conclude that there is not an adverse effect on integrity. If the answer is ‘No’ to one or more of the questions then further site-specific factors need to be considered in order to reach a decision. Such factors include: 

Scale of impact;

Long term effects and sustainability;

Duration of impact and recovery/reversibility;

Dynamic systems;

Conflicting feature requirements;

Off-site impacts; and

Uncertainty in cause and effect relationships and a precautionary approach.

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10.1.4

This two-step process is used to consider the impacts reviewed in Chapter 9 on the integrity of the SPA and SAC sites.

10.2

Wealden Heaths SPA Step one tests

Has the appropriate assessment shown:

Y/N

That the area of annex I habitats (or composite features) will not be reduced?

No

That there will be no direct effect on the population of the species for which the site was designated or classified?

No

That there will be no indirect effects on the populations of species for which the site was designated or classified due to loss or degradation of their habitat (quantity/quality)?

No

That there will be no changes to the composition of the habitats for which the site was designated (eg reduction in species structure, abundance or diversity that comprises the habitat over time)?

No

That there will be no interruption or degradation of the physical, chemical or biological processes that support habitats and species for which the site was designated or classified?

No

Step two tests Site-specific factors:

Comment

Scale of impact

Widespread, significant adverse effects on at least two SPA component SSSI

Long term effects and sustainability

Long term and unsustainable

Duration of impact and recovery/reversibility

Long term impact most acute during summer months. Potentially reversible but very unlikely

Dynamic systems

No impact on natural ecological dynamics of site but could impact on future management options (conservation grazing / tree/scrub removal)

Conflicting feature requirements

There are no relevant conflicting feature requirements

Off-site impacts

Potential for offsite impacts on feeding nightjar and nesting nightjar outside of site (Shortheath Common, Slab & Warren, Oxney Farm)

Uncertainty in cause and effect relationships and a precautionary approach

Much uncertainty over effectiveness and extent of SANGs requirement and magnitude of visitor impact. Precautionary approach has been taken

Conclusion 10.2.1

It cannot be concluded that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of the Wealden Heaths SPA.

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10.3

Woolmer Forest SAC Step one tests

Has the appropriate assessment shown:

Y/N

That the area of annex I habitats (or composite features) will not be reduced?

No

That there will be no direct effect on the population of the species for which the site was designated or classified?

N/A*

That there will be no indirect effects on the populations of species for which the site was designated or classified due to loss or degradation of their habitat (quantity/quality)?

No**

That there will be no changes to the composition of the habitats for which the site was designated (eg reduction in species structure, abundance or diversity that comprises the habitat over time)?

No

That there will be no interruption or degradation of the physical, chemical or biological processes that support habitats and species for which the site was designated or classified?

No

* SAC not designated for any Annex 2 species ** Considered as typical species for the purposes of the assessment; see Table 3.3

Step two tests Site-specific factors:

Comment

Scale of impact

Impacts are potentially widespread but difficult to quantify in terms of size

Long term effects and sustainability

Sustainability of Annex 1 habitats is threatened due to risks of fire, atmospheric pollution, recreational disturbance and introduction of alien species

Duration of impact and recovery/reversibility

Impacts are likely to be long term, although air pollution impacts are potentially reversible

Dynamic systems

Natural ecological dynamics of site are likely to be affected by pollutant deposition

Conflicting feature requirements

There are no relevant conflicting feature requirements

Off-site impacts

Offsite impacts are unlikely

Uncertainty in cause and effect relationships and a precautionary approach

Considerable uncertainty over effectiveness and extent of SANGs and magnitude of visitor impact. Precautionary approach has been taken

Conclusion 10.3.1

It cannot be concluded that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of Woolmer Forest SAC.

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10.4

Shortheath Common SAC Step one tests

Has the appropriate assessment shown:

Y/N

That the area of annex I habitats (or composite features) will not be reduced?

No

That there will be no direct effect on the population of the species for which the site was designated or classified?

N/A*

That there will be no indirect effects on the populations of species for which the site was designated or classified due to loss or degradation of their habitat (quantity/quality)?

No**

That there will be no changes to the composition of the habitats for which the site was designated (eg reduction in species structure, abundance or diversity that comprises the habitat over time)?

No

That there will be no interruption or degradation of the physical, chemical or biological processes that support habitats and species for which the site was designated or classified?

No

* SAC not designated for any Annex 2 species ** Considered as typical species for the purposes of the assessment; see Table 3.3

Step two tests Site-specific factors:

Comment

Scale of impact

Impacts from erosion and fire are potentially widespread but difficult to quantify in terms of size; pollutant deposition impacts are widespread relative to the size of the site

Long term effects and sustainability

Sustainability of Annex 1 habitats is threatened due to risks of erosion, fire, atmospheric pollution, recreational disturbance, dog fouling, introduction of alien species and conflicts with conservation management

Duration of impact and recovery/reversibility

Impacts are likely to be long term, although air pollution impacts are potentially reversible

Dynamic systems

Natural ecological dynamics of site are likely to be affected by pollutant deposition

Conflicting feature requirements

There are no relevant conflicting feature requirements

Off-site impacts

Offsite impacts are unlikely

Uncertainty in cause and effect relationships and a precautionary approach

There is considerable uncertainty over effectiveness and extent of SANGs requirement and magnitude of visitor impact. A precautionary approach has been taken

Conclusion 10.4.1

It cannot be concluded that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of Shortheath Common SAC.

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10.5

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC Step one tests

Has the appropriate assessment shown:

Y/N

That the area of annex I habitats (or composite features) will not be reduced?

No

That there will be no direct effect on the population of the species for which the site was designated or classified?

N/A*

That there will be no indirect effects on the populations of species for which the site was designated or classified due to loss or degradation of their habitat (quantity/quality)?

No**

That there will be no changes to the composition of the habitats for which the site was designated (eg reduction in species structure, abundance or diversity that comprises the habitat over time)?

No

That there will be no interruption or degradation of the physical, chemical or biological processes that support habitats and species for which the site was designated or classified?

No

* SAC not designated for any Annex 2 species ** Considered as typical species for the purposes of the assessment; see Table 3.3

Step two tests Site-specific factors:

Comment

Scale of impact

Atmospheric pollution is likely to affect 0.2% of the site

Long term effects and sustainability

Sustainability of habitats is threatened over a lengthy period, albeit within a limited area

Duration of impact and recovery/reversibility

Impacts are likely to be long term, although air pollution impacts are potentially reversible

Dynamic systems

Natural ecological dynamics of site are likely to be affected by pollutant deposition

Conflicting feature requirements

There are no relevant conflicting feature requirements

Off-site impacts

Offsite impacts are unlikely

Uncertainty in cause and effect relationships and a precautionary approach

The predicted extent of impacts is based on sound modelling, however, higher or lower volumes of traffic flowing past the site would influence the nature of impacts. A precautionary approach has been taken

Conclusion 10.5.1

It cannot be concluded that there will be no adverse effect on the integrity of Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC.

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10.6

Summary

10.6.1

The draft framework masterplan (AECOM, June 2010) does not meet the tests of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, and cannot proceed in its current form.

10.6.2

Despite the negative assessment conclusions reached during the HRA, it is important to remember that the draft masterplan assessed was prepared in 2010. The eco-town team have continued working on their proposals since this time, and commissioned an array of supporting studies, including a further iteration of the HRA. The intention is to use the new evidence collected to help re-draw the masterplan, continuing the iterative plan-making process to try and devise a deliverable masterplan that meets the considerable regeneration opportunities that will be presented when or if the MoD vacates the garrison. Changes to the masterplan could include amendments to the scale and distribution of residential development, as well as expanded offsetting measures including SANGs. This provides the opportunity to make a number of recommendations for a new masterplan, to try and resolve the issues raised throughout this assessment.

10.6.3

Given that currently proposed SANGs provide for around 92.4% of visitors associated with phase 2 housing development (under the area-based approach), it may be possible to proceed with a masterplan that proposes around 4,000 dwellings.

However, using the

density-based approach suggests that current SANGs would only offset around 25.8% of expected visits to European sites from this level of housing. Some initial ideas on how to extend the currently proposed SANGs are explored in Chapter 11. It may also be necessary to investigate the potential of additional areas in close proximity to proposed residential development. Ultimately it will be for the competent authority, in consultation with Natural England, to decide on the most appropriate approach when revising the draft masterplan. 10.6.4

Chapter 12 sets out an extensive suite of recommendations to maximise the opportunities presented by re-drawing the masterplan, informed by the findings of preceding chapters, as well as summarising the numerous recommendations made through the accompanying Land Management and Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Reports (UE Associates, 2011, and AQC, 2011).

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11 Additional Offsetting Measures that may help Avoid Adverse Effects 11.1

Introduction

11.1.1

The Habitats Regulations Assessment cannot conclude that the currently proposed Whitehill Bordon Eco-town development will not have an adverse effect on four European sites (Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SAC, Shortheath Common SAC and Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC). A variety of irreversible impacts arise from a combination of recreation and urban edge effects, while effects from atmospheric pollution will also occur.

11.1.2

Proposals to offset recreation and urban edge effects through the provision of SANGs within the eco-town draft masterplan have been assessed using two approaches; an area-based approach drawing on the 8ha/1,000 head of population standard used in the Thames Basin, and a density-based approach generated from current visitor survey data for the European sites in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon that are visited by residents of the town.

11.1.3

Both of the approaches to SANG assessment show a significant shortfall in provision for proposed housing phase 3 (5,300 dwellings), while there is a smaller deficit at phase 2 (4,000 dwellings). The density based approach to assessing visitor numbers also shows insufficient SANGs for phase 1. To meet this shortfall in alternative greenspace, consideration has been given to the use of additional areas of land within the draft framework masterplan. This is described in the following sections, which address alternative approaches to:

11.1.4

Hogmoor Inclosure;

Bordon Inclosure; and

Small sites within the built up area of the proposed eco-town.

When the draft masterplan is revisited, it may also be appropriate to explore opportunities for SANG provision on areas of land not currently within gift of the draft masterplan, but which offer good SANG potential and would in any case be likely to receive additional visitors, and therefore require additional management, whether they are used as SANG or not. Exploring such areas falls outside of the brief for carrying out this study.

11.2

Hogmoor Inclosure

11.2.1

Comments made during the focus group workshops suggested that Hogmoor Inclosure SANG could usefully be expanded beyond the extent currently shown on Figure 11.1, particularly by extending the area used as SANG northwards to include the Croft, currently quite densely wooded with some good areas of dwarf shrub heath. Other comments suggested maintaining the current extent of the SINC and designating the entire site as SANG (the SINC currently extends to 70.02ha whereas the SANG is 55.86ha).

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Figure 11.1: Draft framework masterplan proposed SANGs 11.2.2

The eco-town team has indicated that, on revisiting the masterplan in the future, Hogmoor Inclosure SANG could feasibly be extended by including the following areas, as illustrated by Figure 11.2:

11.2.3

The Croft (polygon CR1):

3.75ha

Woodland at BOSC (B4):

4.92ha

To add these to the currently proposed extent of SANG would give an area of 64.53ha, or 58.08ha after discounting for nature conservation in the same way as described in section 7.2.

Area-based capacity assessment 11.2.4

If the current visitor use equates to 48% of the rate at the SPA/SAC sites, it might be assumed that this could be increased by 52% without affecting the biodiversity value of the site. This would give an extended area-based capacity of 58.08ha x 52% = 30.16ha of effective SANG. The full workings for these calculations are given in Appendix III. Viewing the site in isolation, Table 11.1 summarises the site’s contribution to the draft masterplan SANG requirement.

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Figure 11.2: Masterplan plots used to identify potential SANG extensions; hatched areas (Source: AECOM, 2010)

Table 11.1: Extended Hogmoor Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

30.16

93.98%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

30.16

39.94%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

30.16

30.14%

Density-based capacity assessment 11.2.5

Using the visitor density approach to assessing the requirement for offsetting measures, we estimate that Hogmoor Inclosure could approximately double its current use, thus providing capacity for 52% x 1,007 visits/ha/yr = 523 visits/ha/yr (to equate its use to the current mean use of SPA/SAC in the vicinity). Applying this across its newly extended area suggests the following offsetting capacity: 523 x 58.08 = 30,374 visits/ha/yr. This would provide sufficient capacity to offset 26.3% of phase 1 visitors, 11.2% of phase 2 visitors, and 8.6% of visits from phase 3 development.

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11.3

Bordon Inclosure

11.3.1

The eco-town team has indicated that, on revisiting the masterplan in the future, Bordon Inclosure SANG could feasibly be extended by including the following area, as illustrated by Figure 11.2, giving a total area of 27.18ha, equal to the extent surveyed in 2011: 

Alexandra Park:

9.30ha

Area-based capacity assessment 11.3.2

There is no requirement to discount for biodiversity at Bordon Inclosure. Comparing Bordon Inclosure’s (plus Alexandra Park) current use of 1,784 visits/ha/yr to the mean level of use of local European sites (1,007 visits/ha/yr) suggests that the SANG does not have available capacity to absorb additional visitors and reduce pressure at the European sites. For the purposes of this assessment, therefore, it cannot be counted as contributing to the overall SANG requirement. Table 11.2 summarises the site’s contribution to the draft masterplan SANG requirement. Table 11.2: Extended Bordon Inclosure area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement, after discounting current visitor patronage

Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

0.0

0.00%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

0.0

0.00%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

0.0

0.00%

Density-based capacity assessment 11.3.3

Similarly, using the visitor density approach, estimates of current visiting activity suggest that Bordon Inclosure does not have additional capacity to successfully draw visitors away from local European sites.

11.4

Small Sites within the Built-up Area

11.4.1

Comments made during the focus group workshops suggested that small SANGs, for example ranging between 2ha and 4ha in size, should be provided on the door step of new residential areas. Such sites could work well in providing for a short daily dog walk, and therefore add value to the SANG suite, while having the further benefit of being highly accessible. The ecotown team has indicated that, on revisiting the masterplan in the future, provision for small sites in the built up area could be made for up to around 10ha of SANG, although the exact location, size and design is not currently known.

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Area-based capacity assessment 11.4.2

New small SANGs would neither require discounting for nature conservation nor existing visitor use because they are entirely new sites. They would therefore count in full toward the SANG target using the area-based approach, as shown in Table 11.3. Table 11.3: Small sites’ area-based contribution to draft masterplan SANG requirement

Phase

Dwellings

Population

Req. SANG

Prop. SANG

% of req.

Phase 1

1,700

4,012

32.10

10.00

31.16%

Phase 2

4,000

9,440

75.52

10.00

13.24%

Phase 3

5,300

12,508

100.06

10.00

9.99%

Density-based capacity assessment 11.4.3

Using the visitor density approach, for consistency we assume small sites could provide capacity for a full 1,007 visits/ha/yr. Applying this across their area suggests the following offsetting capacity:

1,007 x 10.00 = 10,070 visits/ha/yr.

This would provide sufficient

capacity to offset 8.7% of phase 1 visitors, 3.7% of phase 2 visitors, and 2.8% of visits from phase 3 development.

11.5

Summary of Future Extended SANG Provision

11.5.1

Adding together the additional SANG provision gained by extending Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures, and providing new small sites in the built up area, Table 11.4 summarises the overall contributions to meeting SANG requirements. Using the area-based approach with the 8ha/1,000 standard SANGs target, the total area of potential SANGs would provide more than sufficient area for phase 1 (1,700 dwellings) and phase 2 (4,000 dwellings) residential development. They would provide 83.8% of the target for phase 3 (5,300 dwellings).

11.5.2

Using the visitor density approach, the proposed SANGs would not meet the requirements to fully offset draft masterplan visitor numbers under any of the housing phases; 73.0% of visits from phase 1 residents could be catered for, 31.0% of visits from phase 2 development, or 23.8% of those from phase 3.

However, using the density approach to assessment it is

possible to determine a ‘global’ calculation of the number of visits per year that all potential SANGs would need to cater for (after discounting). These estimates are presented in Table 11.5. 11.5.3

The table shows that the newly extended area of SANGs (plus small sites) would need to cater for 3,247 visits/ha/yr under phase 2 of proposed residential development. These are levels of use thought to be currently experienced at some local heathland patches at present on an individual basis. For instance, Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells currently receives an estimated 1,798 visits/ha/yr, Broxhead Common receives 2,730 visits/ha/yr, and Kingsley Common receives an estimated 3,918 visits/ha/yr. However, Bordon Inclosure is estimated to already be receiving over half of this level of visitors at 1,784 visits/ha/yr.

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Table 11.4: Assessment of relative SANGs contributions to the 8ha/1,000 head of population target, following discounts, but including extended areas and small sites Phase

Effective SANG area

Target SANG area ha

Percentage of target

(following discount) ha

Hogmoor Inclosure - EXTENDED Phase 1

30.16

32.10

93.98%

Phase 2

30.16

75.52

39.94%

Phase 3

30.16

100.06

30.14%

Phase 1

0.0

32.10

0.00%

Phase 2

0.0

75.52

0.00%

Phase 3

0.0

100.06

0.00%

Phase 1

43.65

32.10

136.00%

Phase 2

43.65

75.52

57.80%

Phase 3

43.65

100.06

43.62%

Phase 1

73.81

32.10

229.97%

Phase 2

73.81

75.52

97.74%

Phase 3

73.81

100.06

73.76%

Bordon Inclosure - EXTENDED

Standford Grange Farm

All SANGs

NEW small sites (2ha – 4ha of SANG) Phase 1

10.00

32.10

31.16%

Phase 2

10.00

75.52

13.24%

Phase 3

10.00

100.06

9.99%

Phase 1

83.81

32.10

261.13%

Phase 2

83.81

75.52

110.98%

Phase 3

83.81

100.06

83.76%

All Potential SANGs

Table 11.5: ‘Global’ estimates of required SANG density performance, after extensions Summary of required density performance for currently proposed SANGs after discount Phase

Target visits/yr

SANG area

post discount

Required density

Phase 1

115,675

83.81

1,380

Phase 2

272,177

83.81

3,247

Phase 3

354,898

83.81

4,234

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11.6

Offsetting Measures to Reduce or Remove Atmospheric Pollution Effects

11.6.1

Natural England refers to a best practice guide for reducing contributions to atmospheric pollution from road traffic (Transport & Travel Research, 2005), many principles from which could be employed as part of the eco-town or its transport strategy. Suggested measures are set out under four themes, and those which are considered appropriate for use as part of the eco-town are listed in Table 11.6.  Behavioural measures and modal shift - reducing the amount of traffic overall;  Traffic management - modifying traffic behaviour to control where emissions are generated;  Emissions reduction at source - reducing the emissions level per vehicle; and  Roadside barriers - reducing the impact of emissions.

11.6.2

It is acknowledged that the draft masterplan already alludes to many of the principles embodied in the measures below.

The balance between the varying objectives of

redevelopment will influence the degree to which one measure could be employed over another, and so it is recommended that all the options listed are explored when the transport strategy is updated and masterplan re-drawn. Table 11.6: Mitigation measures for reducing or removing atmospheric pollution effects from road traffic (Source: Transport & Travel Research, 2005) Mitigation measures for atmospheric pollution emissions from road traffic Behavioural measures and modal shift  Minimising the need to travel

 Individualised marketing/information

 School travel plans

 Car free developments

 Employment travel plans

 Promoting sustainable modes

Traffic management  Environmental traffic management / diversion of flows

 Environmental and low emission zones around sensitive sites

 Optimising speed limits

 Reduction in parking provision

 Control of access (e.g. Shortheath Common) Emissions reduction at source  Promotion of cleaner/electric vehicles (fleet and personal)  Emissions testing and anti-idling regulations

 Driver training  Ultra-low sulphur diesel for construction vehicles and plant

Roadside barriers  Barriers and planting to absorb/disperse pollutants

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 NOx-absorbent paving

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12 Recommendations 12.1

Introduction

12.1.1

The assessments presented in the preceding chapters have demonstrated that, using the Thames Basin Heaths standard for the provision of SANG at 8ha/1,000 head of population, the draft masterplan provides, or has the potential to provide for sufficient SANGs for phases 1 and 2 of proposed development, even after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage, by extending the current limits of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to include adjacent areas and also providing small SANGs (2ha â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4ha) within the built up area. There would be insufficient SANG (83.8%) to accommodate phase 3 development unless additional alternative sites can be found.

12.1.2

The assessment also shows that, if the draft masterplan was to aim to fully offset the predicted additional visits to European sites, the currently proposed SANGs would need to cater for 1,658 visits per hectare per year under phase 1 development, 3,902 visits/ha/yr under phase 2 development and 5,087 visits/ha/yr under phase 3 development.

By comparison, locally

visited European sites are estimated to be receiving a mean of 1,007 visits/ha/yr. If Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures can be extended and small SANGs provided within the development area, the base target visitor density provision falls to 1,380, 3,247 and 4,234 visits/ha/yr under each phase, but Bordon Inclosure already receives 1,784 visits/ha/yr. 12.1.3

Drawing on these findings, a series of recommendation can be made for consideration when the masterplan is revisited in the future.

These are described in the following sections.

Amendments could also be made to the scale and distribution of proposed residential development, or indeed exploring the potential of additional sites to use as SANG.

12.2

High Level Recommendations

12.2.1

An Integrated Access Management Group should be established and maintained to ensure a cohesive, well planned and joined-up approach to managing all types of access and user demand in areas local to the European sites assessed. This recommendation would stand regardless of progress with the masterplan, as it is clear that the fragmented nature of sites, multiple landholdings, varied site management objectives, and lack of consistent information, are all leading to inappropriate behaviours at some sites in the current day.

12.2.2

The Group should work across land owning/management and administrative boundaries, and work to agree a set of management priorities for each unit of land depending on, among other things, its designation status, current use, natural features, habitats and species, and wanted behaviours.

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12.2.3

The Group should include all parties with an interest in access management; MoD Defence Training Estates, all other landholders, nature conservation organisations, local ramblers, the Kennel Club, equestrian groups, as well as existing and future rangers and groups with responsibility for any type of access land, be it European site or SANG. This will help to build a sense of engagement with various groups’ priorities, ensure no single groups’ needs are overlooked, and develop communal understanding while encouraging self-policing.

This

management group in particular should have a responsibility to: 

Develop and apply policies to give a consistent and sensitive approach between and across sites on issues including: fouling, accommodation and management of off-lead access, formal enforcement action;

Promote a shared identity and interdependency between the sites, both for internal management reasons and in communication with the public;

Develop behaviourally-described, positive, locally-relevant and shared core messages about access opportunities and responsible behaviour across all sites;

Promote a joint approach to working across administrative and land ownership boundaries, to better manage the overall suite of sites as a whole, proactively assessing, accommodating, managing and monitoring the access needs of walkers with dogs across sites, as well as other interests;

Coordinate liaison with the local dog-owning community and related service providers to ensure SANG and access management in general reaches its full potential;

Develop a ‘green dog walkers scheme’ to reduce the amount of fouling being left behind; this would also require site managers to review, adapt and probably increase bin provision to aid compliance in some cases, which developer contributions should support;

Avoid unmanaged or inappropriate displacement of activity due to reactive management changes made in isolation on a particular site; and

Facilitate and manage a social networking facility and/or other mechanisms, to establish a greater sense of community between dog owners and engagement with sites they visit, to thus facilitate better exchange of information, awareness of alternative sites, and foster peer pressure to encourage compliance with management measures.

12.2.4

Associated with this Group, Integrated Access Information Provision should be offered throughout the area local to European sites. This would take the form of coherent on-site signage and ‘branding’ that advertises desired behaviours and seasonal changes thereof, and should be supplemented with an online resource that can provide tailored, frequently updated and easily disseminated information.

12.2.5

Further technologies could also be explored in this respect, such installation of live ‘data push’ infrastructure, so that when a visitor enters a site, or exits from one into another, information on desired behaviours is automatically displayed on their mobile phone. Informed choices should be provided for at all points of the visit cycle: pre-departure, on arrival and within site.

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12.2.6

Focusing on potential future eco-town residents, specific actions should be taken regarding information provision to encourage responsible behaviour from the outset.

This would

include provision of information packs when considering buying a property, in home-buying packs (and a website), and when in residence. 12.2.7

The A325 should retain its current alignment. Re-routing through traffic from the current alignment to the proposed relief road shifts severance from one location to another, but has the added disadvantage of severing proposed new residential areas from their closest SANG. Revisions to the draft masterplan will need to consider these implications.

Under traffic

scenario 17 (from the traffic and atmospheric pollution modelling exercises), which is not proposed by the draft masterplan but has been analysed to explore possible worst case scenarios, the re-routing of A325 traffic would lead to greater air pollution impacts at Shortheath Common SAC than any other scenario assessed, without offering notably lesser impacts than any of the other traffic scenario at any other European site. 12.2.8

Retention of the rail corridor and siting of a rail station require careful consideration, and will be explored through a forthcoming GRIP3 Rail Study. Similar severance (from residence to SANG) issues apply here, and affect different residential areas in differing ways dependent on the final route. The issue is surmountable via the installation of wide, open land bridges to link areas, and sinking the rail line into cutting (or tunnelling).

12.2.9

Regarding the energy generation options being considered through the energy feasibility study, atmospheric dispersion modelling at the present stage (which has inherent uncertainties and assumptions) suggests that option 2 (central CHP plant burning biogas produced by anaerobic digestion) is the least attractive in relation to impacts at European sites. However, the effects of this option are diminutive in comparison to traffic emission impacts.

12.2.10 In order to prevent illegal rat-running on Shortheath Common SAC, a Traffic Regulation Order should be imposed, and options explored to support this through installation of a permanent or temporary barrier (while ensuring valid rights of access are maintained; see also Land Management Report). This would also help to reduce future increases in air pollutant emissions at the site. 12.2.11 A series of projects should be considered for implementation by the Integrated Access Management Group, including: 

Responsible recreation project: to work with ramblers association, schools, kennel club, equestrian groups, veterinarians;

Wildfire project: to work with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, schools, youth groups, supermarkets (to discourage selling of disposable BBQs), caterers and visitor centres (for the provision of BBQ’d foods);

Off-roaders project: to work with police, schools, youth groups, 4x4 clubs, cycling clubs, equestrian centres; and

Waste management project: to work to reduce charges at waste processing centres (especially for small/micro businesses), and offer free collection of garden waste from households (new and existing).

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12.2.12 The Integrated Access Management Group should be tasked with establishing a unified ranger service, funded in perpetuity through eco-town development, and operating across both SANGs and European sites; see also the Land Management Report.

12.3

Recommendations on the Provision of SANG

12.3.1

Options to explore for the potential provision of additional SANG should include: 

Expansion of Hogmoor Inclosure SANG to include the area known as ‘the Croft’ and woodland around the BOSC.

This has benefits not only in relation to size (with

benefits for capacity and route network provision) but would also help to ensure the long-term survival of notable heathland habitat that occurs at the Croft, as well as offering good links (for people and wildlife) to the north. 

Expansion of Bordon Inclosure SANG, both south towards Alexandra Park and east along the River Wey corridor.

This increases both its size (capacity and route

provision) and ability to meet qualitative assessment criteria, against which it currently struggles. It would also build on its role as a link within the wider green infrastructure network. 

Additional options for the provision of SANGs of a smaller size within the built up area (e.g. 2ha – 4ha) should also be explored. For example, the currently proposed green ‘spoke’ from the new town centre to Hogmoor Inclosure could be increased in size and managed as SANG.

Other additional areas in close proximity to proposed residential development and not currently within the draft masterplan, subject to feasibility and likelihood of securing a SANG function in perpetuity.

12.3.2

Standford Grange Farm should continue to function as a farm, and continue to provide a valuable grazing resource in support of conservation grazing on European sites. Conservation grazing is an essential element of meeting the conservation objectives for several sites assessed. This could be achieved in conjunction with SANG on a seasonal, rotational basis as described above and within the Land Management Report. Permanent improved access could be achieved along wide linear routes between the fields, offering a feeling of openness while distributing visitors to parts of the site that are not grazed.

12.3.3

SANGs should be fully operational before any new eco-town dwellings are occupied, to help ensure that wanted behaviours are established from the outset.

Given the development

timeframe there is an opportunity to commence SANG development as soon as the MoD confirms its intention to vacate, to maximise the maturation of SANG by the time of first occupancy. 12.3.4

Provision should be made within the masterplan for a ranger base and/or accommodation within the town, to support the role of this essential service in managing both SANGs and European sites.

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12.4

Recommendations on the Management of SANG

12.4.1

Management of land as SANG will need to be maintained in perpetuity (for a period of at least 80 years).

To ensure a SANG is managed effectively, each site will require a

management plan specific to the site (see Land Management Report). 12.4.2

Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures would benefit from carefully planned tree felling and heathland restoration, to both improve the open aspect of the sites and enhance their biodiversity interest. This will help to make them more attractive to visit. However, both sites are adjacent to existing development, and Hogmoor Inclosure in particular will experience an increase in adjacent development under current proposals. A robust, evergreen buffer of vegetation should therefore be provided to help screen views of neighbouring development from within the sites.

12.4.3

Rotational management of SANG and agricultural uses at Standford Grange Farm would need to be support by exceptional provision of information, both pre-visit and on site. A ‘traffic light’ system could be adopted, and updated daily on site and through websites or email notification, so that prospective visitors are aware of which areas are currently being used for grazing, and plan their trip accordingly.

A similar approach has used to good effect at

Danebury Hillfort, near Andover. 12.4.4

Least restrictive principles should be applied when creating new access and managing existing provision, to maximise potential use and meet the requirements of other legislation (e.g. Equality Act 2010; see Land Management Report).

12.4.5

However, parking provision within SANG should be tailored to its likely use by the local population.

It is recommended that Hogmoor Inclosure should incorporate parking, to

maximise its effectiveness in drawing visitors away from European sites. Standford Grange Farm would also require sufficient parking, and also good public transport, walking and cycling links, due to its distance from the town. We do not recommend a car park for Bordon Inclosure due to its size and proximity to Broxhead Common, however if one were to be provided, it should be located towards the south of the site, away from the SPA. 12.4.6

As the group with the most regular, year-round need for daily recreation, SANG should be designed to be as attractive as possible to dog owners. Established design guidelines (see also Land Management Report) and examples of good practice and facilities as described therein should be adopted.

12.4.7

Information provision within SANG should include both information about using the site as well as interpretation of its natural features.

12.4.8

Potential conflict: Where access taking by dog walkers is perceived to be in conflict with other management objectives within an area that is designated as SANG (either permanently or at that time of year), and where this cannot be resolved through good management practice, the role of SANG in accommodating dog owners’ access needs should remain paramount.

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12.4.9

Other recommendations on the design, layout, location, function and management of SANGs are given in the Land Management Report. These include items such as the provision of dog bins, bike parking, perimeter fencing (e.g. pig-netting) to keep dogs safe, guided walks (e.g. leaflets), bike hire, designated BBQ areas (close to water features) and disabled access.

12.5

Recommendations on the Management of European Sites

12.5.1

Access management plans for each European site patch should be established through the Integrated Access Management Group, to ensure the best approaches to management practice and information provision are in place. This is a key component of reducing the existing as well as future impacts of development.

12.5.2

Access management plans will need to be prepared on a site by site basis to respond to the individual features and sensitivities of each, as well as in an integrated and coordinated way to maximise their effect across the suite of designated sites. However, there are some common threads that are likely to relevant to the management of each designated site, including: 

Promoting responsible access that acknowledges the right of access while preventing or reducing the incidence of impacts;

Providing and maintaining routes that are compatible with nature conservation aims, and help to draw visitors away from the most sensitive parts of the site, while also remaining desirable to use;

Rationalising the number and distribution of routes and access points (including car parks) to influence choice of destination (both which site, and which part of the site once there). This will need to establish under what circumstances parking should continue to be provided, and where it could be reduced in capacity, restricted, or removed, either permanently or temporarily, without displacing visitor activity to other inappropriate locations;

Offering access management choices that are deliverable alongside landholder’s existing aims and objectives for their site;

Identifying measures which are deliverable in their own right as distinct from those which require further measures to be taken in off-site locations; and

Ensuring compliance with the Habitats Regulations by identifying whether measures are directly connected with management of the site under its conservation objectives.

12.5.3

Further recommendations on management of European sites are provided in the Land Management Report. These include items such as: better delineation of site boundaries and security; better signage and interpretation with coherent/consistent message across sites; the consistent use of byelaws, and consistent application of enforcement measures (e.g. fines for fouling, prosecution for fly-tipping); digital provision of byelaw/management information; use of CCTV/webcams to record fly-tipping and other breaches; Traffic Regulation Orders and/or resurfacing of byways open to all traffic to make them less attractive to off-roaders; and supply of free cat bell collars to new and existing households.

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12.5.4

Management measures that are applied to European sites should equally be applied to the Slab and Warren sites, due to their nature conservation interests, sensitivity to increasing recreational and urban edge effects, and role in providing off-site support for European species.

12.6

Recommendations for Atmospheric Pollution

12.6.1

The air pollution assessment has shown that most of the energy options are unlikely to have a significant impact on any of the European sites; option 2 is the exception which could have small scale effects on Broxhead and Kingsley Commons in combination with traffic emissions. It should, however, be recognised that in the absence of more specific data, a number of assumptions were made; most importantly regarding plant location, stack height, exit velocity and temperature, and emission rate. It is recommended that, prior to construction of any plant, a detailed assessment is carried out using site-specific data.

12.6.2

The assessment has shown that all of the traffic scenarios considered have the potential to significantly impact on the nearby European sites. This is a direct response to the predicted increase in traffic volumes on roads running near to, and through, the sites. Reducing the number of additional vehicles on these roads would reduce the traffic impacts; this is the aim of sustainable transport measures pursued by the draft masterplan. When the eco-town’s transport strategy is revisited, consideration should be given to the available best practice measures for the specific potential to reduce or remove adverse effects on European sites (see also section 11.6):  Behavioural measures and modal shift - reducing the amount of traffic overall;  Traffic management - modifying traffic behaviour to control where emissions are generated;  Emissions reduction at source - reducing the emissions level per vehicle; and  Roadside barriers - reducing the impact of emissions.

12.6.3

The predicted impacts could also be alleviated by ensuring that new vehicles introduced as part of the eco-town proposals meet certain emissions standards. This would also have benefits beyond the current study area. It is not possible at this time to specify what these standards should be or predict the impact that such measures would have, since little is known about the vehicle technology that will be available in 2026.

12.6.4

Buffers of tall vegetation between affected roads and any sensitive habitats may also help to reduce any adverse impacts. It is important to select an appropriate palette of indigenous species; those which can both withstand the heightened levels of pollution while providing effective screening, and not themselves lead to long-term changes in habitat through introduction of invasive species and succession. This would need to be achieved through appropriate woodland management.

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12.6.5

Choosing appropriate buffer vegetation will depend on the location for which it is intended. Where the sensitive habitats are heathland, then it may be possible to create a buffer of trees and scrub but it will be important that the land on which this is created is not itself part of the European site or SSSI, as it may be that in the long term it would be preferable to restore this land to open habitat even if it is wooded at present. If the buffer is outside of the protected site then a mix of native species would be appropriate, such as birch Betula pubescens, sallow Salix cinerea, blackthorn Prunus spinosa and common gorse Ulex europeaus, possibly also with some oak Quercus robur.

12.6.6

Although birch can be invasive, the volume of seed rain from elsewhere, combined with the soil seed bank means that it is unlikely that planting more would have any significant effect on the rate of colonisation of the open heathland. aquifolium could also be used.

On more woody sites, some holly Ilex

On sites away from the heathlands, such as the East

Hampshire Hangers (which is not expected to receive the same extent of impacts), this mix would not be appropriate. 12.6.7

A specific threat to lowland heathland as a consequence of traffic emissions is the input of nutrient nitrogen, which can encourage changes in plant community composition. A variety of habitat management techniques are available to assist in removing nutrients from heathland sites, and may be worthy of consideration as a mitigation measure. The measures include (Underhill-Day, 2010) conservation mowing (particularly in relation to dry heath), grazing, controlled burning (especially in combination with a grazing regime) and carefully planned turf stripping. Any measure deployed would require consideration on a site by site basis and would need to be agreed with the relevant agencies (e.g. Natural England).

12.7

Recommendations for Further Research and Monitoring

12.7.1

A framework for monitoring the effects of the draft masterplan, as well as informing its future development and subsequent assessment, was prepared with the aid stakeholders and is summarised below.

12.7.2

In addition to this, it is recommended that the findings of the Thames Basin Heaths Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) programme are analysed, and lessons learned, once the programme is fully underway later this year. In particular, this should examine the extent to which SAMM has successfully reduced the extent of urban edge effects on heathland sites.

12.7.3

In order to better inform future iterations of the assessment in relation to atmospheric pollution, it is recommended that all current habitat data for European sites is collated and reinterpreted (because currently available data are somewhat old), and updated with a groundtruthing exercise of targeted (or comprehensive) survey. This should include sites such as Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC for which no habitat data were available for use during this assessment.

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12.7.4

Finally, continual monitoring of visitor numbers on greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon will be required. This will need to address European sites (to check and improve the accuracy of current visitor data), proposed or potential SANGs (to help determine their additional capacity) and for other greenspaces whose use is likely to increase as a result of masterplan proposals. This should include measuring of dog owner behaviour in relation to management aims and objectives for each individual site.

12.7.5

In particular, surveys of areas of greenspace outside of the SANG network are needed to both assess the level of constraints posed by existing biodiversity value and methods of managing expected increases in visitor pressure on these areas, and their potential absorb some additional public access away from the European sites. This might include additional visitor survey and ecological appraisal.

12.7.6

The HRA monitoring framework is set out in Table 11.1, and is ordered under the following themes: (a) atmospheric pollution, (b) disturbance and birds, (c) urban edge effects, and (d) habitats and typical species.

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Table 12.1: HRA Monitoring Framework HRA Monitoring Framework Atmospheric/background pollution levels: o Adjacent to roads within 200m of EU sites (including Shortheath Common byways) o At EU site boundaries close to roads within 200m o Staged distances within EU sites in relation to roads and energy centre(s)  Updated habitat mapping for use with impact contour isopleths  Traffic flow at key locations (including byways of Shortheath Common) 

A

 

B

        

Visitor patterns (numbers, purpose, transport mode, behaviour on site, routes taken, etc.) for proposed SANGs to inform/revise capacity analyses Regarding Hogmoor Inclosure in particular, analysis to establish likely increase in visitors post-MoD departure but pre-development i.e. will available capacity decrease? Rate of SANG delivery in relation to rate of housing delivery Dog owner behaviour in relation to management aims (SANGs and EU sites) Repeat surveys of visitor patterns at EU sites Visitor patterns in relation to Woolmer range closures, and penetration/activity beyond perimeter fence Access audit: EU sites and SANGs Annex 1 birds within EU sites (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within SANGs (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within other supporting areas (neither SANG nor EU Site, e.g. Slab/Warren - including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Radio tracking of Annex 1 birds (e.g. nightjar) to establish better understanding of supporting areas used for foraging

Incidence of the following, within EU sites and/or SANGs (from all sources, including MoD, building on database created during HRA): o Arson/fire - Fly-tipping o Invasive species - Theft / vandalism / poaching o Use of off road vehicles / motorcycles  Rat-running across Shortheath Common (see also above)  Number of infringements and enforcement procedures  In EU sites, water levels, water quality and other items coming through Water Cycle Study 

C

D

   

European habitats and typical species / negative indicators (see HRA; e.g. mottled beefly, green tiger beetle, silver studded blue, sand lizard, cranberry, sundews) Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland on EU sites Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland within SANGs Extent of heathland restoration Indicator species in relation to Whitehill Bordon Biodiversity Action Plan 2

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13 Conclusion 13.1

Summary

13.1.1

This report is part of the continuing process of Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. It is one of a trio of reports which together provide assessments and recommendations for the Draft Framework Masterplan (AECOM, June 2010).

The

assessment draws on substantial additional information being made available through a range of supporting studies, as well as new analyses undertaken on visitor survey data from designated and other sites around the town. These studies include a Detailed Water Cycle Study (Peter Brett Associates, 2011), Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011), Energy Feasibility Study (LDA Design, 2011), Transport Assessment (MVA / Amey 2011), and Atmospheric Pollution Modelling (Air Quality Consultants, 2011). 13.1.2

The HRA Report uses this new data to analyse draft masterplan proposals in relation to potentially adverse effects from increasing recreational pressure and disturbance, air pollution, the incidence of other urban edge effects, such as invasive species, fly-tipping and fire, and impacts to species in off-site areas (i.e. outside of designated sites). Currently the majority of the sites are in unfavourable condition, but several of them are classed as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;recoveringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; because they are under appropriate management regimes that aim to return them to favourable conservation status.

13.1.3

Overall, the HRA concludes that the draft masterplan proposals as envisaged in June 2010 would lead to adverse effects on the integrity of Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SAC, Shortheath Common SAC and Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC. Adverse effects are not considered likely for East Hampshire Hangers SAC and Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site.

13.1.4

Despite the assessment conclusions, it should be remembered that the eco-town team have continued working on their proposals since the June 2010 masterplan was prepared. The intention is to use the new evidence collected to help re-draw the masterplan, continuing the iterative plan-making process to devise a deliverable masterplan that meets the considerable regeneration opportunities that will be presented when or if the MoD vacates the garrison. This provides the opportunity to make a number of recommendations for a new masterplan, to try and resolve the issues raised throughout this assessment, as detailed in earlier sections.

13.1.5

Of particular importance, the assessments demonstrate that, using the Thames Basin Heaths standard for the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at 8 hectares per 1,000 head of population, the draft masterplan provides, or has the potential to provide for sufficient SANGs for phases 1 of proposed development (1,700), after discounting for nature conservation value and current visitor patronage. It could also provide for around 92% of the area of SANG required for phase 2 (4,000 dwellings) but only 70% for phase 3 (5,300 dwellings. Development phases are cumulative not additional.

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13.1.6

The full SANG requirement for phase 2 can be achieved by extending the current limits of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to include adjacent areas and also providing small SANGs (2ha – 4ha) within the built up area. This would provide around 111% of the SANG needed for 4,000 homes, but only 84% of that needed for phase 3.

13.1.7

The assessment also shows that, if the draft masterplan was to aim to fully offset the predicted additional visits to European sites, the currently proposed SANGs would need to cater for 1,658 visits per hectare per year under phase 1 development, 3,902 visits/ha/yr under phase 2 development and 5,087 visits/ha/yr under phase 3 development.

By comparison, locally

visited European sites are estimated to be receiving a mean of 1,007 visits/ha/yr. However, Bordon Inclosure is estimated to already be receiving 1,784 visits/ha/yr, whereas Hogmoor Inclosure current level of use is assessed as 484 visits/ha/yr. 13.1.8

These target densities can be reduced by extending the current limits of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures to include adjacent areas and also providing small SANGs (2ha – 4ha) within the built up area. Amendments within a new masterplan could also be made to the scale and distribution of proposed residential development, or indeed exploring the potential of additional nearby sites to designate as SANG.

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References and Bibliography AECOM (2010): Whitehill Bordon Eco-town: Draft Framework Masterplan Report. Produced for East Hampshire District Council, June 2010 Alexander I and Cresswell B (1990): Foraging of Nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus away from their nesting areas. Ibis 132 (4): pp.568 -574 Air Quality Consultants (November 2011): Air Quality Assessment: Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Habitats Regulations Assessment Bowden CGR & Green RE (1994): The Ecology of Nightjars on Pine Plantations in Thetford Forest. Research Report, RSPB, Sandy. Burges D (1991): New Forest Woodlark Lullula arborea Survey, 1990. Hampshire Bird Report 1990: pp.74-77 Burgess N, Evans C & Soronsen J (1990): Heathland Management for Nightjars. RSPB Conservation Review 4: pp.32-35 Clark J & Eyre J (2009):

Dartford Warbler Crash.

Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre

Newsletter Clarke R, Liley D, Underhill-Day J & Rose R (2005): Visitor Access Patterns on the Dorset Heathlands. English Nature Research Reports No. 683 Conway G, Wotton S, Henderson I, Eaton M, Drewitt A & Spencer J (2009): The status of breeding Woodlarks Lullula arborea in Britain in 2006. Bird Study 56: pp.310-325 Conway G, Wotton S, Henderson I, Langston R, Drewitt A & Currie F (2007): The status and distribution of breeding European Nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus in the UK in 2004. . Bird Study, 54, pp.98-111 Cox JR and Combridge P (2010a): Bordon Breeding Bird Survey: The Slab and The Warren Cox JR and Combridge P (2010b): Bordon Breeding Bird Survey: Hogmoor Inclosure Cox JR and Combridge P (2010c): Bordon Breeding Bird Survey: Bordon Inclosure Cox JR and Combridge P (2010d): Bordon Breeding Bird Survey: Standford Farm Danish Gas Technology Centre (DGTC; 2004):

Emission Factors for Gas-Fired CHP Units <25MW.

Available at: http://www.dgc.eu/publications/pdf/pgk_igrc04.pdf Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2009):

Eco-towns Location Decision

Statement East Hampshire District Council (EHDC, 2004): Whitehill Bordon Green Town Vision Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Eaton MA, Brown AF, Noble DG, Musgrove AJ, Hearn R, Aebischer NJ, Gibbons DW, Evans A and Gregory RD (2009): Birds of Conservation Concern 3: the population status of birds in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. British Birds 102, pp296–341 EMEP/EEA (2009):

EMEP/EEA Air Pollutant Emission Inventory Guidebook 2009.

Available at:

http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/emep-eea-emission-inventory-guidebook-2009 English Nature (2005): Grazing management of lowland heathlands. English Nature Information Note IN172. Peterborough English Nature (2004): Internal Guidance to decisions on ‘site integrity’: A framework for provision of advice to competent authorities Environment Agency (2005): Further Guidance on Applying the Habitats Regulations to Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) and Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH), Comprising of Appendix 7A for IPC and PPC and Appendices 7B and 7C for COMAH. Number 37_02. Environment Agency (2010): Horizontal Guidance Note H1 – Annex (f). Published at www.environmentagency.gov.uk European Commission (2000): Managing Natura 2000 Sites: The provisions of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC European Commission (2007): Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats European Union (1979): Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (the Birds Directive) European Union (1992): Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive) Evergreen State College (ESC; 2011): Carbon Neutrality by 2020 - Can Biomass Gasification Play a Role?

Washington (USA).

Available at: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/planning/biomass/docs-

evergrn/TESC-Public-Consultation-Boards-Group-Edits-Feb-1st.pdf Frost S (2010): SPA bird surveys at Shortheath Common and Broxhead Common. Unpublished reports by Hampshire County Council Gibbons DW, Reid JB & Chapman RA (1993): The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland: 1988-1991. British Trust for Ornithology, Scottish Ornithologists’ Club and Irish Wildbird Conservancy. T & AD Poyser, London Gibbons DW & Wotton S (1996): The Dartford warbler in the United Kingdom in 1994. British Birds, 89, pp.203-212 Government Office for the South East (GOSE; 2009): The South East Plan: Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East of England Halcrow (2009): Outline Water Cycle Study for Whitehill/Bordon Green Town Vision

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Halcrow (2011): Whitehill Bordon Green Infrastructure Strategy Hampshire County Council (2011): A study on the vehicular usage of tracks on the northern part of Shortheath Common Koenig O (1952): Journal of Ornithology 93: pp.207-89 Lack DL (1930): Double-brooding of the Nightjar. British Birds 23: pp.242-244 Lake S, Bullock JM and Hartley S (2001): Impacts of livestock grazing on lowland heathland in the UK. English Nature Research Reports Number 422. NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Sussex University Langston RHW, Liley D, Murison G, Woodfield E & Clarke RT (2007): What effects do walkers and dogs have on the distribution and productivity of breeding European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus? Ibis 149 (Suppl. 1): pp.27 – 36 LDA Design (2011): Whitehill Bordon Energy Feasibility Study Liley D & Clarke RT (2003): The impact of urban development and human disturbance on the numbers of nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus on heathlands in Dorset, England. Biological Conservation, 114, pp.219 - 230 Liley D, Clarke RT, Mallord JW & Bullock JM (2006a): The effect of urban development and human disturbance on the distribution and abundance of nightjars on the Thames Basin and Dorset Heaths. Natural England / Footprint Ecology Liley D, Jackson D & Underhill-Day J (2006b): Visitor Access Patterns on the Thames Basin Heaths. A Report to English Nature Mallord JW (2005):

Predicting the consequences of human disturbance, urbanisation and

fragmentation for a woodlark Lullula arborea population. Doctorate, University of East Anglia, Norwich Mallord JW, Dolman PM, Brown AF & Sutherland WJ (2007):

Linking recreational disturbance to

population size in a ground-nesting passerine. J. Applied Ecol. 44: pp.185–195 Mead CJ (1982): Ringed birds killed by cats. Mammal Rev. 12, pp.183-186 MVA / Amey (2011): Whitehill Bordon Transport Assessment Model Natural England (draft, 2008): Guidelines for the creation of Suitable Accessible Natural Green Space. Version 12/06/08. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) (2005a): Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation ODPM (2005b):

Government Circular:

Biodiversity and Geological Conservation – Statutory

Obligations and their Impact within the Planning System Peter Brett Associates (2011): Whitehill Bordon Detailed Water Cycle Study

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Pers. comm. (2009; 04/09/09): Bird populations on the Wealden Heaths. (Email correspondence with Nick Radford, Senior Specialist, Natural England (Lyndhurst)) Pers. comm. (2011; 04/02/11): Fly-tipping, wildfire, arson and vehicle usage data for Shortheath and Broxhead Commons.

(Email correspondence with Susanne Frost, Countryside Ranger, Hampshire

County Council) Schlegel R (1967):

Die Ernährung des Ziegenmelkers Caprimulgus europaeus, seine wirtschaftliche

Bedeutung und seine Siedlungsdichte in einem Oberlausitzer Kiefernevier. Beitr. Vogelk. 13: pp.145190 Terry AC, Ashmore MR, Power SA, Allchin EA and Heil GW (2004):

Modelling the impacts of

atmospheric nitrogen deposition on Calluna-dominated ecosystems in the UK.

Journal of Applied

Ecology 41, pp.897–909 Transport and Travel Research Ltd (2005): Best Practice Guide for Assessment of Traffic and Air Quality Impacts. Prepared for The West London Air Alliance Quality Cluster Group, with Bureau Veritas UE Associates (2009a): Visitor Access Patterns on European Sites surrounding Whitehill and Bordon, East Hampshire. With University of Brighton UE Associates (2009b): Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Draft Masterplan: Appropriate Assessment Report UE Associates (2009c):

Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Opportunity:

Screening Statement UE Associates (2011):

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Framework Masterplan (June 2010): Land Management Report Underhill-Day JC (2005):

A literature review of urban effects on lowland heaths and their wildlife.

English Nature Research Reports, No. 623 Underhill-Day JC (2010): An appraisal of actions for future management of Thursley, Ockley, Elstead, Royal and Bagmoor Commons. Prepared for the Surrey Wildlife Trust, MoD / Defence Estates and Natural England by Footprint Ecology United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (1971):

Convention on

Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. (Ramsar (Iran), 2 February 1971, UN Treaty Series No. 14583) van den Berg LJL, Bullock JM, Clarke RT, Langston RHW & Rose RJ (2001): Territory selection by Dartford warbler Sylvia undata in Dorset, England: the role of vegetation type, habitat fragmentation and population size. Biological Conservation, 101, pp.210-228 Wichmann G (2004): Habitat use of nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) in an Austrian pine forest. Journal of Ornithology 145: pp.69-73 Wotton SR & Gillings S (2000): The status of breeding woodlarks Lullula arborea in Britain in 1997. Bird Study, 47, pp.212-224 Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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Appendix I: Calculations for Establishing Visitor Pressure

Please see insert.

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Technical Note Project

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1. Introduction The previous HRA Report (UE Associates, 2009) presented estimated predictions of additional visitor pressure at European sites around the town as a result of masterplan development. However, these were based on a number of assumptions and limitations, including: I.

Calculations for the estimated total number of annual visits to European sites, and for predictions of additional pressure to European sites were based in part on an estimation of the total number of access points (all types) currently available. The estimated total number of available access points (n=218) may in fact be higher or lower. The number of available accesses is a key multiplication factor in the models presented and has a direct effect on predictions of added visitor pressure.

II.

Predictions of additional visitor pressure addressed all six European sites included within the scope of the assessment and treated them as a single entity. This is a function of the access points selected for sampling during the visitor survey. However, the most distant European sites are more than 10km from the centre of Whitehill/Bordon and the anticipated number of additional visits to these sites prior to mitigation would be significantly fewer than to sites adjacent to the town.

III.

Predictions of additional visits to the European sites as a result of proposed Eco-town development were based on distances between postcodes gathered during the visitor survey and the nearest available European site, rather than between postcode and the site at which the respondent was interviewed, because this approach provided a larger dataset.

IV.

The visitor survey model and report, and the previous HRA, were prepared in advance of final masterplan drawings from AECOM becoming available in April 2010.

The intervening period has provided the opportunity to hold further consultation meetings with site managers. As a result, it has been possible to establish a clearer understanding of the number of access points to each European site â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;patchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, helping to resolve the limitations described in bullet one; see Map A1. Additionally, several further analyses of the 2009 visitor survey data were undertaken, to establish exactly which sites were visited by residents of Whitehill Bordon and for what purpose, rather than drawing conclusions from distances between stem post code and nearest available site. New predictive models were built for each European site patch visited by Whitehill Bordon residents, rather than addressing all six designations as a single entity, gaining a finer resolution understanding of likely changes in visitor activity, and helping to address bullets two and three. May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


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Map A1: Total access points to each patch, based on local knowledge and OS data


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Finally, masterplan polygons (dated 12 April 2010) were overlain with postcode boundaries and used in conjunction with the new visitor models to establish more accurate predictions of additional pressure generated by each residential allocation under the three main options (4,000, 5,300 and 1,700 dwellings). The following sections describe methodologies for the new analyses and their results.

2. Analysis of post code records The original database of records gathered from visitor interviews during summer 2009 was revisited and distances travelled between post code origin and point of access were checked and recalculated. Records from the extended survey effort at Woolmer Forest accesses (carried out to explore any difference in visiting patterns during range closures; 66 records) were excluded because, for the overwhelming majority of the time, ranges are in use between 07.30 and 17.00 and therefore closed to public access. This equalises the records across all access points surveyed, resulting in a dataset of 789 records (groups interviewed) representing 1,278 people. During the interviews respondents were asked to give their post code of origin, or post code stem. In all, 28 (44 people) groups either chose not to answer this question or gave an invalid post code, resulting in a dataset of 761 records (1,234 people). Of these groups, 73.2% visited their site for the primary purpose of dog walking, while 72.9% travelled by motor vehicle; see Figure A1, which also illustrates the most frequently visited access points.

Figure A1: Percentage of groups (who gave a post code) visiting mainly to walk the dog, and arriving by motor vehicle, and number of groups interviewed at each access point May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


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Whitehill Bordon exists wholly within the GU35 postal area and so the next step was to exclude records beyond this zone, giving a dataset of 309 records (459 people). Of these groups, 82.5% visited their site for the primary purpose of dog walking, while 56.6% travelled by motor vehicle; see Figure A2, which also illustrates the most frequently visited access points.

Figure A2: Percentage of groups (who gave a GU35 post code) visiting mainly to walk the dog, and arriving by motor vehicle, and number of groups interviewed at each access point

However, GU35 also extends to Arford, Headley and Headley Down.

In order to establish an

understanding of the visiting patterns of future residents of Whitehill Bordon it was necessary to identify the post code areas within which Eco-town residential development is proposed, and match this with records collected during the survey to extrapolate future visiting patterns from the behaviour of current residents.

However, using full (seven-digit) post code records returned only six matches, perhaps

reflecting low levels of patronage by areas currently within MoD ownership (i.e. the garrison population). The analysis was repeated using six-digit post codes, which returned only 46 matches, while five-digit post codes returned 169 matches. The post code areas used and their resulting matches are summarised in Table A1. It was decided to use relevant five-digit post codes areas (GU350 and GU359; 169 records representing 250 people) for further analysis, the coverage of which is shown in Figure A3. While these areas also include the villages of Kingsley and Shortheath, and a relatively expansive but sparsely populated rural hinterland, it is considered to be the more robust dataset and best fit for extrapolating patterns of usage.

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Table A1: Matching of Eco-town residential post codes with records from the 2009 visitor survey No.

7 Digit

Records

No.

6 Digit

Records

No.

5 Digit

Records

1

GU350AU

0

1

GU350A

7

1

GU350

73

2

GU350AX

0

3

GU350BS

0

2

GU350B

4

4

GU350HJ

0

3

GU350H

4

5

GU350HL

0

6

GU350HX

0

7

GU350JE

0

4

GU350J

2

8

GU350JY

0

9

GU350LA

0

5

GU350L

3

10

GU350LD

1

11

GU350LF

0

12

GU350LG

0

13

GU350LH

0

14

GU350LR

0

15

GU350NA

0

6

GU350N

5

16

GU350NE

0

17

GU350NL

0

18

GU350NT

0

19

GU350TN

0

7

GU350T

1

20

GU359BW

4

8

GU359B

12

2

GU359

96

21

GU359HG

0

9

GU359H

3

22

GU359HH

0

23

GU359HL

0

24

GU359HQ

1

25

GU359QE

0

10

GU359Q

5

Total:

6

Total:

46

Total:

169

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Figure A3: Extent of GU350 and GU359 post code areas In the first instance, the access points were grouped together by site patch to enable an analysis of how frequently each patch was visited by residents from different areas.

Figure A4 lists the site patches

together with the number of access points sampled at each patch during the survey. The next task was to establish the proportion of groups from GU350 and GU359 visiting each patch; see Figure A5. Finally, further analysis for each patch investigated the number of people represented by these groups, their reason for visiting, mode of transport and average distance travelled. This data is given in Table A2. No data are given for patches that were not visited by anyone from GU350 or GU359 during the survey, and these include the Slab and the Warren, Standford Grange, Royal and Bagmoor Commons, Thursley and Ockley Commons, Hankley Common, Frensham Common, Hindhead Common, Witley Common, Selborne Common, and Noar Hill.

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Site Patch

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Samples

%

Shortheath Common

2

5.88

Kingsley Common

3

Broxhead Common

Site Patch

Samples

%

Bramshott Common / Chase

2

5.88

8.82

Royal / Bagmoor Common

1

2.94

3

8.82

Thursley / Ockley Common

1

2.94

The Slab / The Warren

1

2.94

Hankley Common

2

5.88

Hogmoor Inclosure

3

8.82

Frensham Common

1

2.94

Standford Grange

1

2.94

Hindhead Common

1

2.94

Woolmer Forest

4

11.76

Witley Common

1

2.94

Longmoor Inclosure

2

5.88

Selborne Common

1

2.94

Ludshott Common / Waggoners

4

11.76

Noar Hill

1

2.94

34

100

Total

Figure A4: Site patches and number of access points sampled as proportion of total

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Groups to Patches

GU350

GU350

GU359

GU359

Shortheath Common

1

1.37%

12

12.50%

Kingsley Common

9

12.33%

26

27.08%

Broxhead Common

33

45.21%

4

4.17%

The Slab / The Warren

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hogmoor Inclosure

1

1.37%

24

25.00%

Standford Grange

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Woolmer Forest

18

24.66%

29

30.21%

Longmoor Inclosure

1

1.37%

1

1.04%

Ludshott Common

5

6.85%

0

0.00%

Bramshott Common / Chase

5

6.85%

0

0.00%

Royal / Bagmoor Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Thursley / Ockley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hankley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Frensham Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Hindhead Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Witley Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Selborne Common

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

Noar Hill

0

0.00%

0

0.00%

73

100

96

100

Total

Figure A5: Percentage of groups visiting each site patch, by five-digit post code May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


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Table A2: Summary of current GU350 and GU359 visiting patterns to site patches (continues overleafâ&#x20AC;Ś) Data

All

Total Number of surveys Total Number of adults Total Number of children Total Number of visitors Average Distance travelled to site Total Travelled by motor vehicle Total Number dog walking Proportion Travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

169 226 24 250 2.19 73 134 43.20 79.29

TOTALS

-

Total Number of surveys Total Number of adults Total Number of children Total Number of visitors Average Distance travelled to site Total Travelled by motor vehicle Total Number dog walking Proportion Travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

-

Ludshott Common (and Waggoners) Bramshott Common / Chase Shortheath Common Kingsley Common 10a 10b 10c 10d 10e 10f 1a 1b 2a 2b 2c 2 0 0 3 0 5 1 12 9 13 3 0 0 3 0 11 1 15 14 15 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 3 0 0 3 0 14 2 15 16 15 4.53 0.00 0.00 2.89 0.00 6.04 3.65 0.57 1.78 2.50 2 0 0 3 0 5 1 0 4 11 2 0 0 3 0 5 0 12 5 10 100.00 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! 100.00 #DIV/0! 100.00 100.00 0.00 44.44 84.62 100.00 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! 100.00 #DIV/0! 100.00 0.00 100.00 55.56 76.92 Ludshott Common (and Waggoners) 5 6 0 6 3.71 5 5 100.00 100.00

Bramshott Common / Chase Shortheath Common 5 11 3 14 6.04 5 5 100.00 100.00

13 16 1 17 2.11 1 12 7.69 92.31

Kingsley Common 35 52 3 55 1.96 18 22 51.43 62.86

13 23 1 24 1.61 3 7 23.08 53.85

Broxhead Com 3a 3b 24 26 6 32 1.31 19 23 79.17 95.83

Broxhead Com 37 42 8 50 1.23 27 34 72.97 91.89

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Table A2: Summary of current GU350 and GU359 visiting patterns to site patches (continued from previous)

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3. Calculating population density Having established the proportion of surveyed groups from GU350 and GU359 visiting each patch, it was necessary to determine the population density of these areas. This was calculated using the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (2009) address point database, combined with a standard housing occupancy rate for the south-east region of 2.36 (ONS, 2001). This figure provides the number of potential visitors around the sites and is given is Table A3. Table A3: Population estimates for GU350 and GU359 Area

Address points *

Average occupancy**

Population

GU350

4,719

2.36

11,137

GU359

2,888

2.36

6,816

* Source: Local Land and Property Gazetteer (2009) ** Source: Office of National Statistics (2001)

It was also necessary to establish how many additional residents would live in each five-digit area under the three masterplan options. The was done using GIS to establish in which post code area each residential polygon fell or the proportion between the two if it spanned both areas. Using masterplan option 1 (4,000 dwellings) in the first instance, the area of each polygon was calculated and the housing density applied according to type (‘Green Roots’ =25dph, ‘Green Streets’ = 47.5dph, and ‘Green Views’ = 60dph) to establish the number of homes, and the standard dwelling occupancy applied to determine the number of residents. Mixed use areas (residential plus other) were given comparatively lower densities to make up the required number (town centre = 44.5dph, while areas with residential plus employment or community/education = 28dph). The analysis was repeated for option 3 (1,700 dwellings) by reducing dwelling densities by a factor of 0.425 across all polygons (4,000*0.425 = 1,700).

Option 2 (5,300

dwellings) was calculated by determining the densities required to achieve 1,300 dwellings on Annington Properties land, and then adding this to option 1. Populations were then allocated to the relevant post code area, or distributed between them as required. Annex 1 shows these workings.

4. Calculating the number of visitors to each patch as a proportion of total potential visitors This section addresses only patches that form part of the suite of European sites i.e. excluding Hogmoor Inclosure and Standford Grange, in order to start building up estimations of additional visits to the designated sites as a result of masterplan development. The numbers of people originating from within each five-digit post code area are summarised in Table A4 (see end), and adjusted to take account of the difference between the total number of people recorded as leaving each patch during the site counts as compared to the smaller number who were interviewed on departure. A scaling factor (ranging from (n/69.5)*100 to (n/79.3)*100) was derived for each patch using data from the full survey dataset. The adjusted number is then expressed as an hourly rate of visitors by taking the total adjusted visitor numbers and dividing by the total number of hours spent surveying at each patch. This figure can then be

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multiplied by the number of daylight hours (presume twelve) to give the estimated number of visitors from each post code to each access point at each patch, every day; the penultimate column pair of Table A4. The final column pair expresses the number of daily visits per access point as a percentage of the total population in each post code; also illustrated by Figure A6.

Figure A6: The percentage of populations from GU350 and GU359 that visit each access point to each patch on a daily basis

5. Extrapolating visitor numbers to give annual totals By examining numbers of visitors by postcode, the total number of visitors observed during the survey and the population density of post code areas, it is possible to work up a model for the effects of changes in the population density of adjacent areas. As in earlier studies (Liley et al, 2006b), the data can be used to establish an estimation of the total number of visitors to each patch, based on the estimated hourly rate of visitors and number of access points. Similar calculations for all European designated site patches visited by residents of Whitehill Bordon are given in Table A5, while figures for Standford Grange (which was not visited by anyone from the town during the survey) are also given. N.B. The estimated total annual visits to each patch given below are visitors from all origins, not just those from Whitehill Bordon.

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Table A5: Estimated visitors numbers to each patch from all sources Factor

European site patch Shortheath Common

Kingsley Common

Total number of people recorded leaving the patch:

26

184

Number of access points surveyed:

2

3

Mean number of people leaving per access:

13

61.333333

Number of hours surveying per access:

16

16

0.8125

3.8333333

12

12

9.75

46

3561.1875

16801.5

16

9

56,979

151,214

Broxhead Common

Woolmer Forest

109

177

3

4

36.333333

44.25

16

16

2.2708333

2.765625

12

12

27.25

33.1875

9953.0625

12121.734

18

32

179,155

387,896

Mean number of people leaving per access per hour: Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900): Total people leaving per access per day: Mean number of people leaving per access per year: Total number of access points: Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

Total number of people recorded leaving the patch: Number of access points surveyed: Mean number of people leaving per access: Number of hours surveying per access: Mean number of people leaving per access per hour: Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900): Total people leaving per access per day: Mean number of people leaving per access per year: Total number of access points: Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

Ludshott Common Longmoor Inclosure

(& Waggoners Wells)

120

276

Number of access points surveyed:

2

4

Mean number of people leaving per access:

60

69

Number of hours surveying per access:

16

16

3.75

4.3125

12

12

Total number of people recorded leaving the patch:

Mean number of people leaving per access per hour: Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900):

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Factor Total people leaving per access per day: Mean number of people leaving per access per year: Total number of access points: Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

Total number of people recorded leaving the patch: Number of access points surveyed: Mean number of people leaving per access: Number of hours surveying per access: Mean number of people leaving per access per hour: Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900): Total people leaving per access per day: Mean number of people leaving per access per year: Total number of access points: Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

European site patch 45

51.75

16436.25

18901.688

19

24

312,289

453,641

Bramshott Common

Hogmoor Inclosure

/ Chase

(not EU site)

155

53

2

3

77.5

17.666667

16

16

4.84375

1.1041667

12

12

58.125

13.25

21230.156

4839.5625

14

7

297,222

33,877

Standford Grange (not EU site) Total number of people recorded leaving the patch:

2

Number of access points surveyed:

1

Mean number of people leaving per access:

2

Number of hours surveying per access:

16

Mean number of people leaving per access per hour:

0.125

Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900):

12

Total people leaving per access per day:

1.5

Mean number of people leaving per access per year: Total number of access points: Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

547.875 3 1,644

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6. Predicting additional visitor pressure as a result of increased population density The data can be further analysed to give an indication of changes in visitor pressure at each patch as a result of demographic change. Having established the hourly rate of visitors to the Dorset Heathlands, Clarke et al. (2003) devised a calculation to predict the number of additional visitors created by a new housing development.

A similar calculation is demonstrated below, based on an estimated average

dwelling occupancy rate of 2.36 people per house (ONS, 2001) and the data described above, for a theoretical 750 dwelling development in GU359 in relation to Woolmer Forest: 

750 homes would house 1,770 people

0.1507089% of the population living within GU359 visit each day:

1,770*0.1507089% =

2.66754753 people 

Therefore a total of 2.667 additional visitors would be expected at each access point every day, as a result of such a housing development, or 974.322 additional visitors per access point per year

Across all 32 access points, this equates to a total annual increase of visitor pressure equivalent to 31,178 visits

Of these, based on current visiting patterns, it might be expected that 10,614 would travel to reach Woolmer Forest by motor vehicle, and 23,881 would be visiting to walk the dog

Applying such visiting patterns, specific to each patch and each five-digit post code area of origin, to the masterplan residential development options makes it possible to estimate the total increase in annual visits at each patch, and the numbers travelling by car or to walk the dog. The information is also given in Table A4. Table A6 gives a summary of the total estimated increase in visits to all patches visited by Whitehill Bordon residents during the 2009 survey for each of the masterplan options. Table A6:

Total estimated masterplan increases in visits to all patches visited by GU350 and GU359

residents TOTAL ECO-TOWN VISITORS TO ALL EU SITES VISITED BY W/B RESIDENTS Option 1: 4,000 272,177

Option 2: 5,300 354,898

Option 3: 1,700 115,675

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Table A4: Calculating the number of visitors to each patch as a proportion of total potential visitors Of which Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 Shortheath Common Data GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) Number of surveys 13 1 12 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 Number of visitors 17 2 15 2.6 19.5 0.08125 0.609375 0.975 7.3125 0.0087546 0.1072843 Vis/acc/day 0.4622812 4.4592269 0.6819673 5.0586212 0.1964695 1.8951714 Average distance travelled to site 2.1130827 Vis/acc/yr 168.84822 1628.7326 249.08856 1847.6614 71.760492 692.21136 Number travelled by motor vehicle 1 No. acc 16 16 16 16 16 16 Number dog walking 12 Annual visits 2,702 26,060 3,985 29,563 1,148 11,075 56,979 Proportion travelled by motor vehicle 7.6923077 No. motor 208 2,005 307 2,274 88 852 Proportion dog walking 92.307692 No. dog walk 2,494 24,055 3,679 27,289 1,060 10,223

Kingsley Common Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Broxhead Common Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Woolmer Forest Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Longmoor Inclosure Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Ludshott Common (and Waggoners) Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Bramshott Common / Chase Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Hogmoor Inclosure Number of surveys Number of visitors Average distance travelled to site Number travelled by motor vehicle Number dog walking Proportion travelled by motor vehicle Proportion dog walking

Data

Of which GU350

35 55 1.9646163 18 22 51.428571 62.857143

9 14

Of which GU350

37 50 1.2261704 27 34 72.972973 91.891892

GU359 33 46

Of which GU350

47 72 1.7556999 16 36 34.042553 76.595745

GU359 18 33

Of which GU350

2 2 5.85067 1 1 50 50

GU359 1 1

Of which GU350

5 6 3.7087808 5 5 100 100

GU359 5 6

Of which GU350

5 14 6.03792 5 5 100 100

25 34 0.4637362 0 19 0 76

GU359

GU359 5 14

Of which GU350

GU359 1 1

Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) 26 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 41 20.125 58.9375 0.4192708 1.2278646 5.03125 14.734375 0.045176 0.2161733 Vis/acc/day 2.3854896 8.9851516 3.5191263 10.192905 1.0138331 3.8186894 Vis/acc/yr 871.30009 3281.8266 1285.3609 3722.9587 370.30254 1394.7763 No. acc 9 9 9 9 9 9 Annual visits 7,842 29,536 11,568 33,507 3,333 12,553 151,214 No. motor 4,033 15,190 5,949 17,232 1,714 6,456 No. dog walk 4,929 18,566 7,271 21,061 2,095 7,890 Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) 4 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 4 65.973684 5.7368421 1.3744518 0.1195175 16.493421 1.4342105 0.1480957 0.0210418 Vis/acc/day 7.8201014 0.8745942 11.536384 0.9921542 3.3235431 0.3717025 Vis/acc/yr 2856.292 319.44553 4213.6642 362.38433 1213.9241 135.76435 No. acc 18 18 18 18 18 18 Annual visits 51,413 5,750 75,846 6,523 21,851 2,444 179,155 No. motor 37,518 4,196 55,347 4,760 15,945 1,783 No. dog walk 47,245 5,284 69,696 5,994 20,079 2,246 Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) 29 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 39 46.357143 54.785714 0.7243304 0.8560268 8.6919643 10.272321 0.0780458 0.1507089 Vis/acc/day 4.1211609 6.264152 6.0796263 7.1061583 1.7514934 2.6622646 Vis/acc/yr 1505.254 2287.9815 2220.5835 2595.5243 639.73296 972.39215 No. acc 32 32 32 32 32 32 Annual visits 48,168 73,215 71,059 83,057 20,471 31,117 387,896 No. motor 16,398 24,924 24,190 28,275 6,969 10,593 No. dog walk 36,895 56,080 54,428 63,618 15,680 23,834 Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) 1 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 1 1.4117647 1.4117647 0.0441176 0.0441176 0.5294118 0.5294118 0.0047536 0.0077672 Vis/acc/day 0.2510124 0.32284 0.370299 0.366235 0.1066803 0.137207 Vis/acc/yr 91.68229 117.91729 135.25171 133.76734 38.964973 50.11485 No. acc 19 19 19 19 19 19 Annual visits 1,742 2,240 2,570 2,542 740 952 312,289 No. motor 871 1,120 1,285 1,271 370 476 No. dog walk 871 1,120 1,285 1,271 370 476 Scaled up GU350 GU359 0 0 7.5616438

Hourly rate GU350 GU359 0 0.1181507

Daily rate GU350 GU359 0 1.4178082

% of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 0 0.0127306 0 Vis/acc/day 0.6722319 0 0.9916912 0 0.2856986 0 Vis/acc/yr 245.53271 0 362.21519 0 104.3514 0 No. acc 24 24 24 24 24 24 Annual visits 5,893 0 8,693 0 2,504 0 453,641 No. motor 5,893 0 8,693 0 2,504 0 No. dog walk 5,893 0 8,693 0 2,504 0

Scaled up GU350 GU359 0 0 19.375

Hourly rate GU350 GU359 0 0.6054688

Daily rate GU350 GU359 0 7.265625

% of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 0 0.0652386 0 Vis/acc/day 3.4448841 0 5.081968 0 1.4640757 0 Vis/acc/yr 1258.2439 0 1856.1888 0 534.75367 0 No. acc 14 14 14 14 14 14 Annual visits 17,615 0 25,987 0 7,487 0 297,222 No. motor 17,615 0 25,987 0 7,487 0 No. dog walk 17,615 0 25,987 0 7,487 0

Scaled up Hourly rate Daily rate % of PC population per day Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 GU350 GU359 Current annual visits (all sources) 24 Population 5280.4369 4156.4568 7789.8155 4715.1538 2244.1857 1766.4941 33 1.3947368 46.026316 0.029057 0.9588816 0.3486842 11.506579 0.0031309 0.1688172 Vis/acc/day 0.1653232 7.0168131 0.2438884 7.9599896 0.0702624 2.9821456 Vis/acc/yr 60.384315 2562.891 89.080256 2907.3862 25.663334 1089.2287 No. acc 7 7 7 7 7 7 Annual visits 423 17,940 624 20,352 180 7,625 33,877 No. motor 0 0 0 0 0 0 No. dog walk 321 13,635 474 15,467 137 5,795 TOTAL ECO-TOWN VISITORS TO ALL EU SITES VISITED BY W/B RESIDENTS Option 1: 4,000 Option 2: 5,300 Option 3: 1,700 272,177 354,898 115,675

May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


Technical Note: Calculations for establishing visitor pressure

Page 17

Annex 1: Calculating masterplan population densities Please see overleaf.

May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


Technical Note: Calculations for establishing visitor pressure

Page 18

May 2011 UE-0085 visitor analysis methods and results_3_170511NP


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

Appendix II: Whitehill Bordon SANG Qualitative Assessment Framework and Results

Please see insert.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

C


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

No.

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

Natural England ‘must haves’ with occasional locally-specific adjustments (see for example criterion 2) For all sites larger than 4ha there must be adequate parking for visitors, unless the site is intended for local use, i.e. within easy walking distance (400m) of 1

the developments linked to it. The amount of car parking space should be

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

determined by the anticipated use of the site and reflect the visitor catchment of both the SANG and the SPA. 2

3

4

5

6

It should be possible to complete a circular walk of 2.7 – 2.9km around the SANG. The accessibility of the site must include access points appropriate for the particular visitor use the SANG is intended to cater for. Car parks must be easily and safely accessible by car and should be clearly sign posted and advertised. All SANGs with car parks must have a circular walk which starts and finishes at the car park. SANGs must be designed so that they are perceived to be safe by users; they must not have tree and scrub cover along parts of the walking routes. SANGs must be perceived as semi-natural spaces with little intrusion of

7

artificial structures, except in the immediate vicinity of car parks. Visuallysensitive way-markers and some benches are acceptable.

8

9

The SANG must have a safe route of access on foot from the nearest car park and/or footpath(s). Paths must be easily used and well maintained but most should remain unsurfaced to avoid the site becoming too urban in feel.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd © 2011

D


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

No.

10

11

12

13

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements) All SANGs larger than 12 ha must aim to provide a variety of habitats for users to experience. Access within the SANG must be largely unrestricted with plenty of space provided where it is possible for dogs to exercise freely and safely off lead. SANGs must be free from unpleasant intrusions (e.g. sewage treatment works smells etc). Leaflets and/or website advertising their location to potential users (distributed to homes and made available at entrance points and car parks)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Other locally-specific items from visitor surveys, community and stakeholder consultations 14

15

Sufficient space to allow visitors to experience nature, wander and explore away from guided routes and paths to provide a feeling of remoteness. Proximity, connectivity and easily accessible foot and bicycle routes to the SANG from the surrounding neighbourhoods. An attractive, undulating landscape people will choose to visit, to include

16

open landscapes with views or other focal point, as well as more wooded areas.

17

18

To be sufficiently large to absorb recreational pressure without creating a busy crowded or over used area of countryside. Should link to other natural green-spaces within context of wider green infrastructure network. Natural features (e.g. open water) which create value for biodiversity and

19

provide a sense of nature for visitors, with sympathetic use of natural materials to enhance biodiversity through design or management.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

E


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

No.

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

Provision of information and signage to and within the site, indicating location 20

and layout, with educational information and interpretation provided at key

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

7

16

11

21

11

21

18

accesses and other focal points. 21 22

23 -

Careful/limited provision of natural play space for a range of age groups. Careful/limited provision of visitor centre and/or cafĂŠ with toilets (e.g. at key access points). Careful/limited provision of additional visitor facilities (e.g. outdoor class rooms, nature trails, pond dipping platforms). TOTAL

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

F


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

Appendix III: Capacity Calculations for SANG

and

Discounting

Please see insert.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

G


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

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This page is intentionally blank.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

H


DRAFT MASTERPLAN SANG PROVISION Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm

Ha

HOGMOOR INCLOSURE

Ha

DRAFT MASTERPLAN SANG REQUIRED DENSITY Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

55.86 17.88 49.76

BORDON INCLOSURE

Discounting for nature conservation Draft masterplan SANG provision Extent of heathland & bare ground Available SANG area

Ha

STANDFORD GRANGE FARM

No discount required 55.86 ha 10% % 50.27 ha

Draft masterplan SANG provision Available SANG area

Dwellings New visits MP SANG Visits/ha/yr 1,700 115,675 123.5 937 4,000 272,177 123.5 2,204 5,300 354,898 123.5 2,874

17.88 17.88

Ha

Draft masterplan SANG provision Comprised of: Eveley Wood SINC Non-SINC woodland Agricultural land

49.76 13.58 2.29 33.89

Discounting for nature conservation HOGMOOR INCLOSURE - EXTENDED

BORDON INCLOSURE - EXTENDED

Discounting for nature conservation

No discount required

Draft masterplan SANG provision Plus polygons CR1 and B4 New area of SANG provision Extent of heathland & bare ground New available SANG area

55.86 8.67 64.53 10% 58.08

ha ha % ha ha

Draft masterplan SANG provision Plus Alexandra Park New available SANG area

17.88 9.3 27.18

Eveley Wood SINC Spring/summer ground flora discount Spring/summer ground flora discount Autumn/winter discount Autumn/winter discount Annualised available SANG area Summary Annualised SINC-SANG availability Non-SINC woodland availability Annualised agric-SANG availability Overall annualised SANG availability

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Discounting

13.58 90% 6.11 0% 0 7.47

ha % ha % ha ha

Ha 7.47 2.29 33.89 43.65

1/8


DRAFT MASTERPLAN SANG PROVISION

AVAILABLE SANG AFTER DISCOUNTING

ANNUAL EU SITE VISITORS FROM ECO-TOWN PHASES ‡

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm

Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Ha 55.86 17.88 49.76

Ha 50.27 17.88 43.65

Visits/yr 115,675 Option 3 272,177 Option 1 354,898 Option 2

AREA BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

DENSITY BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

HOGMOOR INCLOSURE

HOGMOOR INCLOSURE

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use ** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

1,007 484 52% 50.27 26.11

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % ha ha

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use ** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

BORDON INCLOSURE Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use*** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr ha Vis/ha/yr

1,007 1,784 0 17.88 0

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr ha Vis/ha/yr

1,007 0 1,007 43.65 43,955

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr ha Vis/ha/yr

BORDON INCLOSURE 1,007 1,784 0% 17.88 0.00

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % ha ha

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use*** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

STANDFORD GRANGE FARM Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

1,007 484 523 50.27 26,293

STANDFORD GRANGE FARM 1,007 0 100% 43.65 43.65

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % ha ha

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use ** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

‡ Estimated additional visits/yr to EU sites from Eco-town dwellings, from visitor models * Mean number of visits/ha/yr in 2009 from all sources at sites visited by W/B residents ** Number of visits/ha/yr in 2009 from all sources across Hogmoor Inclosure SINC area (70.02ha) *** Number of visits/ha/yr in 2011 from all sources across Bordon Inclosure plus Alexandra Park (27.18ha)

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Capacity

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AVAILABLE SANG AFTER DISCOUNTING, PLUS EXTENDED AREAS Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm

Ha 58.08 27.18 43.65

AREA BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

DENSITY BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

HOGMOOR INCLOSURE - EXTENDED

HOGMOOR INCLOSURE - EXTENDED

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use ** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

1,007 484 52% 58.08 30.16

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % ha ha

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use ** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

1,007 484 523 58.08 30,374

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr ha Vis/ha/yr

1,007 1,784 0% 27.18 0.00

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % ha ha

Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use*** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

1,007 1,784 0 27.18 0

Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr ha Vis/ha/yr

BORDON INCLOSURE - EXTENDED Mean EU site annual use * Current annual use*** Remaining capacity SANG after nat.con. discount Actual new capacity

STANDFORD GRANGE FARM

STANDFORD GRANGE FARM

No change

No change

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Capacity

3/8


TBH STANDARD SANG REQUIREMENT (8ha/1,000) Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Dwellings

DRAFT MASTERPLAN SANG PROVISION

Pop 1,700 4,000 5,300

SANG (ha) 4,012 9,440 12,508

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm Total

32.10 75.52 100.06

AVAILABLE SANG AREA AFTER NATURE CONSERVATION DISCOUNTING

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm Total

Masterplan Ha

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm Total

58.08 27.18 43.65 128.91

ESTIMATED ANNUAL EU SITE VISITORS FROM ECO-TOWN Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

115,675 Option 3 272,177 Option 1 354,898 Option 2

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Masterplan Ha

Extended Ha 26.11 0.00 43.65 69.76

30.16 0.00 43.65 73.81

AVAILABLE SANG CAPACITY AFTER DISCOUNTING - DENSITY (Visits/ha/yr)

Visits/yr

Current mean visits/ha/yr to locally visited EU sites

55.86 17.88 49.76 123.5

AVAILABLE SANG CAPACITY AFTER DISCOUNTING - AREA (Hectares)

Extended Ha 50.27 17.88 43.65 111.80

Ha

Site Hogmoor Inclosure Bordon Inclosure Standford Grange Farm Total

1,007

Summary

Masterplan Vis/ha/yr

Extended Vis/ha/yr 26,293 0 43,955 70,248

30,374 0 43,955 74,329

4/8


SUMMARY - MASTERPLAN SANG PROVISION

SUMMARY - EXTENDED SANG PROVISION

AREA BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

AREA BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

Effective SANG Ha

Phase Hogmoor Inclosure Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Bordon Inclosure Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Standford Grange Farm Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 All Draft Masterplan SANGs Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Target SANG Ha

% of Target %

26.11 26.11 26.11

32.10 75.52 100.06

81.35% 34.57% 26.09%

0.00 0.00 0.00

32.10 75.52 100.06

0.00% 0.00% 0.00%

43.65 43.65 43.65

32.10 75.52 100.06

136.00% 57.80% 43.62%

69.76 69.76 69.76

32.10 75.52 100.06

217.35% 92.37% 69.71%

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Effective SANG Target SANG % of Target Phase Ha Ha % Hogmoor Inclosure - EXTENDED Phase 1 30.16 32.10 93.98% Phase 2 30.16 75.52 39.94% Phase 3 30.16 100.06 30.14% Bordon Inclosure - EXTENDED Phase 1 0.00 32.10 0.00% Phase 2 0.00 75.52 0.00% Phase 3 0.00 100.06 0.00% Standford Grange Farm Phase 1 43.65 32.10 136.00% Phase 2 43.65 75.52 57.80% Phase 3 43.65 100.06 43.62% All Draft Masterplan SANGs Phase 1 73.81 32.10 229.97% Phase 2 73.81 75.52 97.74% Phase 3 73.81 100.06 73.76% New small sites (10ha SANG @ 2ha-4ha each) Phase 1 10.00 32.10 31.16% Phase 2 10.00 75.52 13.24% Phase 3 10.00 100.06 9.99% All Potential SANGs Phase 1 83.81 32.10 261.13% Phase 2 83.81 75.52 110.98% Phase 3 83.81 100.06 83.76%

Summary

5/8


SUMMARY - MASTERPLAN SANG PROVISION

SUMMARY - EXTENDED SANG PROVISION

DENSITY BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

DENSITY BASED CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

Effective SANG Target SANG % of Target Phase Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % Hogmoor Inclosure Phase 1 26,293 115,675 Phase 2 26,293 272,177 Phase 3 26,293 354,898 Bordon Inclosure Phase 1 0 115,675 Phase 2 0 272,177 Phase 3 0 354,898 Standford Grange Farm Phase 1 43,955 115,675 Phase 2 43,955 272,177 Phase 3 43,955 354,898 All Draft Masterplan SANGs Phase 1 70,248 115,675 Phase 2 70,248 272,177 Phase 3 70,248 354,898

Effective SANG Target SANG % of Target Phase Vis/ha/yr Vis/ha/yr % Hogmoor Inclosure - EXTENDED Phase 1 30,374 115,675 Phase 2 30,374 272,177 Phase 3 30,374 354,898 Bordon Inclosure - EXTENDED Phase 1 0 115,675 Phase 2 0 272,177 Phase 3 0 354,898 Standford Grange Farm Phase 1 43,955 115,675 Phase 2 43,955 272,177 Phase 3 43,955 354,898 All Draft Masterplan SANGs Phase 1 74,329 115,675 Phase 2 74,329 272,177 Phase 3 74,329 354,898 New small sites (10ha SANG @ 2ha-4ha each) Phase 1 10,070 115,675 Phase 2 10,070 272,177 Phase 3 10,070 354,898 All Potential SANGs Phase 1 84,399 115,675 Phase 2 84,399 272,177 Phase 3 84,399 354,898

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

22.73% 9.66% 7.41% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 38.00% 16.15% 12.39% 60.73% 25.81% 19.79%

Summary

26.26% 11.16% 8.56% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 38.00% 16.15% 12.39% 64.26% 27.31% 20.94% 8.71% 3.70% 2.84% 72.96% 31.01% 23.78%

6/8


GLOBAL CALCULATIONS - DENSITY REQUIREMENTS TO FULLY OFFSET ECO-TOWN VISITOR PRESSURE AREA REQUIRED IF MAINTAINING SAME DENSITY

Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

DENSITY REQUIRED, BASED ON EXTENDED AREAS PLUS SMALL SITES

Addn. visits EU sites mean Area SANG required Vis/yr Vis/ha/yr Ha 115,675 1,007 114.87 272,177 1,007 270.29 354,898 1,007 352.43

Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

No discounts

Addn. visits MP pSANG Vis/yr Ha 115,675 272,177 354,898

Required density Vis/ha/yr 83.81 1,380 83.81 3,247 83.81 4,234

After discounting for nature conservation but not current visitor patronage

DENSITY REQUIRED IF MAINTAINING SAME AREA

Phase Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Addn. visits MP SANG Vis/yr Ha 115,675 272,177 354,898

Required density Vis/ha/yr 69.76 1,658 69.76 3,902 69.76 5,087

After discounting for nature conservation but not current visitor patronage

UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Summary

7/8


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UE-0085 SANG provision - capacity&discounting_10_180711JCNP

Summary

8/8


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

Appendix IV: Analysis and Modelling of Bordon Inclosure Survey Data

Please see insert.

Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

I


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan

November 2011

UE-0085 HRA_13_111111JC-NP

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Jonathan Cox Associates Ltd / UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

J


Technical Note Project

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town HRA

Date

July 2011

Note

Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Ref

UE-0085

Author

NEJP

Page

1 of 6

1. Introduction Following consultation with Natural England on the draft HRA Report for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Masterplan, which used assumptions regarding the current level of visitor activity at Bordon Inclosure in order to assess its possible capacity as a SANG, a new visitor survey was carried out for the site. The survey was conducted by East Hampshire DC officers during late June 2011 (school term time), and conditions were generally warm and dry. Four access points were sampled using the same questionnaire and methods as the 2009 survey of European sites; see Figure 1. In total, the site was surveyed for two week days and two weekend days, twice the survey effort than was afforded to the 2009 survey. Each access point was sampled for two two-hour periods; the structure of the survey is shown in Table 1. Table 1: Structure of 2011 visitor survey of Bordon Inclosure Period

Access point 1

Access point 2

Access point 3

Access point 4

Weekday 0700-0900

Yes

-

-

Yes

1000-1200

-

Yes

Yes

-

1300-1500

Yes

Yes

-

-

1700-1900

-

-

Yes

Yes

Weekend 0700-0900

-

-

Yes

Yes

1000-1200

Yes

Yes

-

-

1300-1500

Yes

Yes

-

-

1700-1900

-

-

Yes

Yes

Access point 1: Footpath from Lindford Road, adjacent to public house Access point 2: Footpath exiting to Lindford residential areas, close to sewage works Access point 3: Footpath from A325 into north Alexandra Park Access point 4: Footpath from A325 into south Alexandra Park

July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP


Technical Note: Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Page 2

July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP

Figure 1: Sampled access points during 2009 and 2011 visitor surveys


Technical Note: Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Page 3

2. Data analysis General patterns The survey yielded 33 records, representing 43 adults (89.6%) and five children (10.4%). Access point two (footpath to/from Lindford residential, close to sewage works) yielded the most records (48.5%), followed by point one (from Lindford Road; 21.2%), point three (north Alexandra Park; 18.2%) and point four (south Alexandra Park; 12.1%). Most groups (60.6%) visit on a daily basis, with 93.4% visiting at least once a week. One group of two adults and two children were on their first visit (origin: GU350). Thirty dogs were accompanying interviewed groups, with eleven groups having no dog, meaning there was an average of 1.4 dogs per group with a dog. The majority of people reached the site by foot (84.8%), while four groups cycled and one arrived by car. Across all access points, 57.6% of groups visited during the week, and 42.4% at the weekend, while the most popular time of visiting was between 1pm and 3pm (39.4%). The least popular time to visit was between 5pm and 7pm (15.1%) while the morning periods (7am-9am and 10am-12pm) were similarly visited with 21.2% and 24.2% of records respectively.

Visiting patterns vary between weekdays and

weekends however; the most popular period was between 1pm and 3pm on both days, but during the week early morning (7am-9am; 26.3%) and late evening (5pm-7pm; 21.1%) are preferred alternatives, whereas mid-morning (10am-12pm; 35.7%) is more common at weekends; see Figure 2.

This differs

slightly from responses when groups were asked about their usual visiting behaviour; 35.7% said they visited most often before 9am on a weekday and at no particular on a weekend (32.1%) (although five groups did not answer this question) ; see Figure 3.

Figure 2:

Time groups were interviewed, by

weekday/ weekend

Figure 3:

Stated normal pattern of visiting, by

weekday/weekend

The majority of groups were visiting to walk the dog (69.7%; Figure 4). Of these, 63.6% let their dog off the lead for most or all of the walk, and 31.8% kept them on the lead for the whole time. Meanwhile, 90.1% stayed mainly on the main tracks for the duration of their visit.

July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP


Technical Note: Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Page 4

Numbers from Whitehill Bordon Throughout

the

survey,

83

people

(including four cyclists) and 41 dogs were counted arriving at the access points, while 59 people and 34 dogs were counted departing.

Interviews were

conducted when people left the site meaning that 81.4% of visitors were captured by the surveys. Of these, 93.9% gave their post code of origin. Of those that gave a post code, 83.9% were from the Whitehill Bordon area (defined as stems GU350 and GU359). One record which gave only a GU35 stem is excluded

Figure 4: Main reasons for visiting for Bordon Inclosure

from this figure. A summary of the key statistics for these records is given in Table 2. Table 2: Summary of current GU350 and GU359 visiting patterns to Bordon Inclosure Data

All

AP1

AP2

AP3

AP4

Total number of surveys

26

5

11

6

4

Total number of adults

36

6

16

10

4

Total number of children

5

2

1

2

0

Total number of visitors

41

8

17

12

4

0.606

0.915

0.601

0.495

0.402

Total travelled by motor vehicle

1

1

0

0

0

Total number dog walking

19

2

9

4

4

Proportion travelled by motor vehicle

2.4%

12.5%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Proportion dog walking

46.3%

25.0%

52.9%

33.3%

100.0%

Average distance travelled to site

Calculating the number of visitors to Bordon Inclosure as a proportion of total potential visitors The numbers of people originating from within each five-digit post code area are summarised in Table 3, and adjusted to take account of the difference between the total number of people recorded as leaving each patch during the site counts as compared to the smaller number who were interviewed on departure. A scaling factor (n/81.4)*100) was derived for each patch using data from the full survey dataset. The adjusted number is then expressed as an hourly rate of visitors by taking the total adjusted visitor numbers and dividing by the total number of hours spent surveying at each patch. This figure can then be multiplied by the number of daylight hours (presume twelve) to give the estimated number of visitors from each post code to each access point at each patch, every day; the penultimate column pair in Table 3. The July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP


Technical Note: Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Page 5

final column pair expresses the number of daily visits per access point as a percentage of the total population in each post code. Table 3: Calculating the number of visitors to Bordon Inclosure as a proportion of total potential visitors Var.

Data

GU350

GU359

GU350

Of which Visitors

41

41

0

GU359

GU350

Scaled up 50.396

0

GU359

Hourly rate 1.575

0

GU350

GU359

GU350

Daily rate 18.898

GU359

% PC pop/day

0

0.170

0

Extrapolating visitor numbers to give annual totals By examining numbers of visitors by postcode, the total number of visitors observed during the survey and the population density of post code areas, it is possible to work up a model for the effects of changes in the population density of adjacent areas. As in earlier studies (Liley et al, 2006b), the data can be used to establish an estimation of the total number of visitors to each patch, based on the estimated hourly rate of visitors and number of access points. Similar calculations for Bordon Inclosure are given in Table 4. The estimate is based in part on an estimate of the total number of available access points to the site, which was estimated at six from site visits, OS maps and aerial photography; the total number may in fact be higher or lower. N.B. The estimated total annual visits to each patch given below are visitors from all origins recorded, not just those from Whitehill Bordon. Table 4: Estimated visitors numbers to Bordon Inclosure from all sources Factor

Bordon Inclosure

Total number of people recorded leaving the patch:

59

Number of access points surveyed:

4

Mean number of people leaving per access:

14.75

Number of hours surveying per access:

8

Mean number of people leaving per access per hour:

1.84375

Daylight hours per day (assume 0700-1900):

12

Total people leaving per access per day:

22.125

Mean number of people leaving per access per year:

8081.1563

Total number of access points:

6

Estimated total annual visits to the patch:

48,487

Predicting additional visitor pressure as a result of increased population density The data can be further analysed to give an indication of changes in visitor pressure as a result of demographic change. Having established the hourly rate of visitors to the Dorset Heathlands, Clarke et al. (2005) devised a calculation to predict the number of additional visitors created by a new housing development.

A similar calculation is demonstrated below, based on an estimated average dwelling

July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP


Technical Note: Analysis of Bordon Inclosure visitor survey data

Page 6

occupancy rate of 2.36 people per house (ONS, 2001) and the data described above, for a theoretical 750 dwelling development in GU350 in relation to Bordon Inclosure: 

750 homes would house 1,770 people

0.1696906% of the population living within GU350 visit each day:

1,770*0.1696906% =

3.00352362 people 

Therefore a total of 3.004 additional visitors would be expected at each access point every day, as a result of such a housing development, or 1,097.037 additional visitors per access point per year

Across all 6 access points, this equates to a total annual increase of visitor pressure equivalent to 6,582 visits

Of these, based on current visiting patterns, it might be expected that 158 would travel to reach Bordon Inclosure by motor vehicle, and 3,047 would be visiting to walk the dog

Applying such visiting patterns, specific to each patch and each five-digit post code area of origin, to the masterplan residential development options makes it possible to estimate the total increase in annual visits, and the numbers travelling by car or to walk the dog. This is shown in Table 5. Table 5:

Applying spatial draft masterplan residential allocations to estimate the increase in visitor

numbers Variable

Option 1: 4,000 dwell

Option 2: 5,300 dwell

Option 3: 1,700 dwell

GU350

GU359

GU350

GU359

GU350

GU359

Population

5280.4369

4156.4568

7789.8155

4715.1538

2244.1857

1766.4941

Vis/acc/day

8.9604029

0

13.218581

0

3.8081712

0

Vis/acc/yr

3272.7872

0

4828.0868

0

1390.9345

0

6

6

6

6

6

6

19,637

0

28,969

0

8,346

0

479

0

707

0

204

0

9,100

0

13,424

0

3,867

0

No. acc Annual visits No. motor No. dog walk

July 2011 UE-0085_Bordon_VS_analysis_2_180711NP


UE Associates Ltd Eagle Tower

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Cheltenham

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E: enquiries@ue-a.co.uk

www.ue-a.co.uk Š UE Associates Ltd 2011 BRIGHTON | CHELTENHAM | EXETER


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