Through detailed negotiation, ECOSA was able to reach a 'statement of common ground' with Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council ecologists prior to Public Inquiry. As all ecology issues had been addressed to the satisfaction of all parties, ecology was not a part of the appeal process. Our clients were successful in their appeal.
ECOSA surveyed the site and adjacent woodland over a period of several years. Detailed surveys included: National Vegetation Classification (NVC) level survey of vegetation communities; invertebrates; roosting, foraging and commuting bats; hazel dormouse and reptiles. The surveys formed the basis for a detailed site-wide protected species mitigation strategy and a management plan for the neighbouring Home Covert SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation).
In particular, mitigation at the site will ensure that key hazel dormouse habitat corridors are maintained and enhanced. The long-term management strategy for the adjacent SINC woodland includes improvements to visitor access, signage, interpretive media; the erection of hazel dormouse, bird and bat boxes; the protection of fen meadow vegetation and the creation of a substantial buffer zone along the entire length of the woodland.
The team at ECOSA look forward to assisting with the development process now that permission has been granted and to seeing biodiversity at the site nurtured through good management and diligent monitoring.