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You are here: Home / Planning / Local Plan / Responses

Natural Environment Chapter Summary Comments

NE1: Landscape

NE2: Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

NE3: Solent Special Protection Areas

NE4: Coastal Change Management Areas

NE5: New Moorings

Representations on Policy NE1: Landscape

Number of representations on policy: 7


Support: 3

Comment: 4


Historic England welcomes and supports Policy NE1: Landscape. (Historic England).

The Campaign to Protect Rural England supports Policy NE1: Landscape. (CPRE).

Natural England welcomes and supports Policy NE1: Landscape. (Natural England)


Historic England would like to see "historic significance" included as an additional consideration as part of the positive strategy for conserving and enjoying, and clear strategy for enhancing the historic environment as required by the NPPF. (Historic England).

Hampshire County Council requests the additional Policy wording of "and Rights of Way" to bullet point b) of Policy NE1: Landscape. (Hampshire County Council).

Wording of the policy needs to be changed to be consistent with the wording used in National Policy. "Development proposals must protect, enhance and not have significant adverse impacts…" (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are pleased to see the inclusion of this policy however, it is important that as well as having regard for important 'natural landscape features' the policy seeks to enhance and reconnect ecological networks where they have been compromised. (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

Although the policy refers to the Borough's rivers and coastline, there is no specific reference to the importance of the River Hamble. The importance of the River Hamble should be referenced. (Bryan Jezeph Consultancy Ltd)

Whilst this policy offers protection to the River Hamble and its Valley, it is considered that a more robust approach should be adopted within the plan. It should be much clearer that development within the River Hamble Valley will be carefully scrutinised and permitted only in circumstances where landscape considerations have been carefully weighed and adequately protected. (Bryan Jezeph Consultancy Ltd)

Representations on Policy NE2: Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Number of representations on policy: 6


Support: 2

Comment: 3


General Concern over the strength of this policy and its ability to protect wildlife and biodiversity from development. (Fareham Borough Councillor)


The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds welcomes and supports Policy NE2: Biodiversity and Nature Conservation. (RSPB).

Eastleigh Borough Council supports this draft policy. (Eastleigh Borough Council).


The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust considers a wording change to Policy 'NE2: Biodiversity and Nature Conservation' to ensure that the delivery of 'net gains' in biodiversity is the minimum required achievement. New wording to be "Development proposals should seek to provide opportunities to incorporate biodiversity within the development and deliver net gains in biodiversity, where possible." (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

The above policy provides protection for all sites within the hierarchy of designations identified in paragraph 9.8. Whilst the supporting text singles out the Chalk Pit in Downend Road for special mention (para 9.12) it makes no reference to the Hamble Valley. (Bryan Jezeph Consultancy Ltd)

The Plan should set out a strategic approach, planning positively for the creation, protection, enhancement and management of networks of biodiversity. There should be consideration of geodiversity conservation in terms of any geological sites and features in the wider environment. (Natural England).

In line with the NPPF and in order to achieve net gain in biodiversity, the following change of wording is proposed "Development proposals should seek to provide opportunities to incorporate biodiversity within the development and provide net gains in biodiversity". (Natural England).

Natural England strongly recommends that all developments achieve biodiversity net gain. To support this approach, we suggest that the policy wording or supporting text includes a requirement for all planning applications to be accompanied by a Biodiversity Mitigation and Enhancement Plan (BMEP) that has been approved by a Hampshire County Council (HCC) Ecologist. (Natural England).

Natural England advises that Policy NE2 includes reference to irreplaceable habitats, such as ancient woodland and veteran trees, to ensure their protection. Natural England and the Forestry Commission have produced standing advice on ancient woodland and veteran trees. (Natural England).

Representations on Policy NE3: Solent Special Protection Areas

Number of representations on policy: 5


Support: 2

Comment: 3


The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds welcomes and supports Policy NE3: Solent Special Protection Areas. (RSPB).

Eastleigh Borough Council supports this draft policy. (Eastleigh Borough Council).


The Borough council will be aware of the recent work carried out on the update to the 2010 Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy (SWBGS). Part of this update will involve changes to the terminology used to classify sites and as such this policy will need to be altered to reflect these changes. (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

The SWBGS seeks to provide guidance on mitigation and offsetting where development proposals seek to utilise important sites for Waders and Brent Geese. These proposals include the protection of 'core' and 'primary network' sites along with the creation of sanctuary sites which will be secured and maintained in a favourable condition for perpetuity. This will need to be reflected in the update to Policy NE2. In addition, for the approach taken in the emerging SWBGS to work, the Council needs to identify suitable sites that can be promoted and secured for Waders and Brent Geese through the relevant policies and ensure that developer contributions are sought to fund them. (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

The requirement for 3 years' worth of overwintering survey data to establish the importance of a site for Brent Geese and Waders should not be a policy requirement. Providing a survey methodology clearly demonstrates that a site is or is not important to Brent Geese and Waders then it should be acceptable.

It is argued that conducting any further surveys on a site for the purposes of assessing the suitability/importance of the site for BGW is not necessary if it has been clearly justified as being unsuitable for Brent Geese and Waders since the 2010 Solent Waders and Brent Geese Strategy.

The Solent Waders and Brent Goose Strategy (2010) has recently undergone significant work and an update will soon be published. All references in the draft Local Plan to this document, as well as individual site categorisation will therefore need to be reviewed against the updated strategy. (RSPB).

It is advised that the approach set out in the updated SWBG strategy to be included in the policies (policy NE3) of the new Local Plan as this will ensure that the key sites for SPA Birds are protected, whilst providing guidance and criteria for mitigating lower use sites should these come forward for development. (Natural England).

Natural England recommends that the emphasis of the policy wording should reflect that mitigation is required for all development within this 5.6km zone. (Natural England).

Consideration should be given to the existing use of sites (both residential and other) where the existing development currently has, or has potential to have an impact on a European Site. The impact of existing uses should be taken into account when considering the mitigation to be requested from residential re-development and should be factored in to any request for mitigation contributions as a result of development. (Turley on behalf of Southampton Solent University).

Representations on Policy NE4: Coastal Change Management Areas

Number of representations on policy: 2


Support: 1

Comment: 1


Historic England supports the reference to historic environment in paragraph 9.27. (Historic England).


Proposed additional policy wording to Policy NE4: Coastal Change Management Areas "Proposals for new or replacement coastal defence schemes will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that the works are consistent with the relevant Shoreline Management Plan and that there will be no severe adverse impact on the environment, the English Coast Path, and the rights of way network". (Hampshire County Council).

Representations on Policy NE5: New Moorings

Number of representations on policy: 6


Support: 2

Comment: 4


The River Hamble Harbour Authority supports the inclusion of "…The advice of the River Hamble Harbour Authority should be sought on all development proposals which could impact on safety or navigation within the River Hamble".

Support Draft Policies in relation to the mooring restrictions areas, boatyard designations, and nature conservation designations (Policies E5 and NE5). (Eastleigh Borough Council).

The River Hamble Mooring Association supports this draft policy.


Suggested additional policy wording to NE5: New Moorings "New moorings will be permitted provided that they are located outside of the Mooring Restricted Areas (as shown on the Policies Map) and where it can be demonstrated that they would not have a significant adverse impact on the Solent Ramsar, Solent SPA and SAC". (Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust).

Many mooring locations are only with Special Areas of Conservation sites and close to SPAs. Therefore, the policy should ideally extend to include SACs. (River Hamble Harbour Authority).

It would be helpful to clarify if single mid-stream pontoons are included or excluded within the definition of 'moorings' in paragraph 9.38. If such pontoons are included in the definition of 'moorings', then this casts doubt on the ability to install or replace one within a Mooring Restriction Area (MRA). If mid-stream single pontoons are excluded from the definition then this provides clarity that this facility for 'securing a vessel' would still be permitted in an MRA, as is the case currently where the Council as well as Eastleigh Borough Council has previously granted planning permission for new single mid-stream pontoons in MRAs. (River Hamble Harbour Authority).

Moorings should not be allowed to become marinas with continuous pontoons since this results in much greater area of the seabed suffering solar shadowing effects, always in the same place when compared with buoy or pile moorings.

Fareham and Eastleigh share a common boundary down the River Hamble. Policies relating to the River should be aligned to ensure a consistent approach to new moorings. The proposed policy wording below would ensure consistency with Eastleigh Borough Council's draft Plan relating to new moorings. "Within Mooring Restriction Areas, the replacement or relocation of existing moorings will be permitted where there are no alternative locations outside these areas and the proposal will improve navigation and the overall appearance of the area provided that they do not:

Impede the movement of craft or otherwise compromise navigational safety on the river

Disrupt existing recreational users or areas where there is existing or proposed public access.

Adversely affect the nature conservation, landscape or heritage value of the River Hamble"

Paragraph 9.39 should be amended to read " …development of the site has the potential to result in significant effects on European or British Sites". (River Hamble Mooring Association).

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