Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Appropriate Assessment / Habitats Regulations Assessment

1.12 The need for an Appropriate Assessment (AA) arises from a European Directive[1] that is implemented in the UK by the Habitats Regulations. For plans or projects that are likely to have a significant effect on 'European sites' (i.e. sites of international importance for conservation) an AA of South Somerset's Core Strategy is required due to the presence of the Somerset Levels and Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar[2] site in the district. The outcome of the AA has been published as a separate report, alongside the Core Strategy.

1.13 The AA Scoping Report assessed the options within the Core Strategy 'Issues and Options' report and identified the following key issues that require further investigation:

  • Increased recreational disturbance to birds within the Somerset Levels and Moors SPA due to population growth within the district, particularly at Yeovil.
  • Increased water quality impacts to invertebrates within the Somerset Levels and Moors due to changes in water quality arising from run-off and increased sewage treatment works that could arise from development at Langport / Huish Episcopi, South Petherton, Somerton and Martock.

1.14 An AA of the Core Strategy 'Issues and Options' has also been carried out for Brackett's Coppice Special Area of Conservation (near Crewkerne) and concluded that the Core Strategy would not adversely affect this site.

1.15 The final Appropriate Assessment report concluded that the scale of growth proposed for South Somerset was not likely to have a significant impact on the Somerset Levels and Moors and recommended that a number of policies have wording included to ensure the requirements to protect the international designations are taken on board. These recommendations have been taken on board.

1. EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) [back]
2. Wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention [back]