Exe Estuary Mitigation.
The Exe Estuary provides an important recreational resource for the local community however the estuary is a sensitive environment used by wildfowl such that it has been designated as a Special Protection Area. The Council has a responsibility under European Habitat Regulations to assess and seek to minimise the impacts of new development on the estuary. A recent study has shown that recreational use of the estuary is already having a significant effect on the levels of disturbance of wildlife. New housing and tourist accommodation will lead to increased recreational demands on the environment.
East Devon District, Teignbridge District, Exeter City Councils all border the Exe Estuary. In partnership with Natural England and others they have determined that housing and tourist accommodation developments in their areas will in-combination detrimental impact on the Exe Estuary through impacts from recreational use. The impacts are highest from developments within 10km of the SPA. It is therefore essential that mitigation is secured to make such developments permissible. View our map to see if your site is within 10km of the SPA boundaries. (2507KB Portable Document Format - 12 April 2012 - PDF Help)
Mitigation for recreational impacts can take the form of access management within the European sites, or provision of substantial alternative recreation locations to draw users away from the European sites. To make it easier for developers to 'deliver' such mitigation, in many cases East Devon Council will accept a financial contribution per new house or holiday unit. The three LPAs will work in partnership to use these financial contributions to deliver the required mitigation measures. Alternatively, a developer may choose to provide their own mitigation measures rather than pay the contribution. To view the study that underpins this approach please go to http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/environmentevidence.htm.
Similar approaches have been used successfully for other European wildlife sites, e.g. Thames Basin Heaths, Dorset Heaths and Breckland. Further work is now underway to fine tune the size of the contributions across a series of charging zones. Until this work is complete, a Joint Interim Approach is being applied by the Councils giving applicants a simple mitigation option of a standard financial contribution per house/unit.
Find out what developments will need to provide mitigation and how to provide mitigation on the Mitigation Options on the Joint Interim Approach page.
If you wish to mitigate by a financial contribution, read our 'Further Information about Unilateral Undertakings' page. This includes guidance notes and standard Unilateral Undertaking templates that you can use.
An Appropriate Assessment may also be needed for other impacts from accommodation or from non-accommodation developments, e.g. discharge of surface water to the SPA or disturbance during construction. In such instances additional information may be needed from the applicant before the AA can be completed and hence before a decision can be issued.
Page last updated on 10 July 2012