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Potential impacts on the environment and recreation

The study area includes important habitats and species, is recognised for its landscape and cultural heritage value, and is regarded as a popular area for recreation.

Environmental Impact Assessment

An Environmental Impact Assessment is being integrated into development of the scheme. 

Characteristics of the proposed scheme, environmental sensitivity of the location, and characteristics of potential impacts, are being considered in identifying a preferred option. The Environmental Impact Assessment process will continue through the scheme’s detailed design stage, where further consideration will be given to whether potential impacts can be avoided, reduced, or subsequently whether there’s a need to deliver compensation measures.

Impact on ancient woodland

Construction of a flood storage embankment would unfortunately lead to the loss of an estimated 2,000m2 of woodland, most notably where the embankment ties into the valley sides. 350m2 of this loss would be ancient woodland, which is highly valued and irreplaceable. We recognise the significance of this impact and are thoroughly considering all options and measures to reduce the impact of this option. If chosen, we will seek to minimise this option’s impact by reviewing and developing  the detailed design, but some loss of ancient woodland would unfortunately be unavoidable.

There is also the potential that inundation of the flood storage area during storms would impact the ancient woodland and the wider woodland. We are currently undertaking an assessment to gain a better understanding of the likelihood and extent of this impact.

Where there is unavoidable loss of ancient woodland we would deliver compensatory measures, although these would not be able to directly replace the lost habitat. This may involve restoring other areas of ancient woodland or creating new woodlands.    

Impact on recreation and the public footpaths

The embankment would be designed to allow the public right of way footpath to pass over it, therefore ensuring continued access to the valley from the village. The public footpath slope would be as shallow as possible and the surface robust to encourage access for all.

There would be some disruption to using the public right of way footpath during heavy and prolonged rainfall events, when the flood storage area begins to store flood water. During these events the footpath would not be accessible, but this has a 1 in 30 (3.33%) chance of occurring in any year and would be for less than 24 hours.

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