Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

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Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

D BANGS
Adastra readers see below.
Henfield Parish Council did no EIA.
They made no approach to the Sussex Wildlife Trust, despite them being just down the road.
Natural England were, as usual, toothless,
Dave Bangs
-----------------------------------------------------------
----Original message----
From : [hidden email]
Date : 16/05/2017 - 12:55 (GMTST)
To : [hidden email]
Cc : [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email]
Subject : Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

Dear Mr Bangs,

 

Further to your earlier email, I can confirm that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment carried out on the Henfield Memorial Field pitches.

 

For your information Henfield Parish Council did contact ‘Natural England,’ ‘Historic England’ and ‘The Open Spaces Society,’ amongst others, to inform them of the proposals to carry out the work. Only The Open Spaces Society responded and gave no objections to the work being carried out.

 

I can confirm that the contract to carry out the renovation work has already been agreed between Henfield Parish Council and the contractor, and it is anticipated that the work will commence in the next couple of weeks, subject to weather conditions being favourable.

 

Kind regards,

Kevin Wright

Clerk – Henfield Parish Council

 

From: D BANGS [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Monday, 15 May, 2017 8:17 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

 

From: David Bangs

Field naturalist and author

[hidden email]

T: 01273 620 815

15/05/17

To: Mr Kevin Wright, Henfield Parish Clerk

Dear Mr Wright

Damage to archaic species-rich grassland at Henfield Common

Thank you for speaking to me on the phone today.

I re-visited the Common after our phone chat and was appalled.

The football pitch project area sprayed by herbicide/gramicide takes in well over half of the area in which Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile, is present. This is a rare and steeply declining species and the number of Sussex sites where it naturally occurs is now very small.

Its presence in quantity is one of the core nature conservation features of the Common.

The area sprayed displays (in my short visit today) a number of high nature value scarce plants, including Chamomile, Heath Spotted Orchis and Southern Marsh Orchis, Adder’s Tongue Fern, Marsh Pennywort, Common Yellow Sedge, Oval Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Devil’s Bit, Tormentil, and Heath Speedwell.

In a single brief visit to the pitch project area in 2013 I recorded six significant old meadow fungi species: two Fairy Clubs, a Pinkgill and three Waxcap fungi. I suspect a properly conducted survey for this group would record many more.

As I said to you, Henfield Common is largely an SNCI (Site of Nature Conservation Interest). The area of the cricket pitch and the old ball pitches (which are the subject of HPC’s project) was anomalously excluded from the designated SNCI only because the appropriate surveys there had not then been carried out. Subsequently, a survey of the cricket pitch for old meadow fungi was conducted (about 15 years ago) and the cricket pitch proved to be the richest site for old meadow fungi on the Common and one of regional value in nature conservation terms for this assemblage.

Can you please tell me whether any Environmental Impact Assessment was made of the football pitch project? If it was, would you be so kind as to forward it to me?

I understand that drainage works are to undertaken (and ditch ‘cleaning’ has recently taken place). Given that the core nature conservation feature of the Common is its archaic acid marsh vegetation, further drainage could be very detrimental. 

Furthermore, the highly acidic Folkestone Beds surface geology of the Common is what gives it its individual character. Semi-natural ‘moor’ vegetation on the local Wealden Folkestone Beds is now very rare, and the loss of this surface geology to new imported soils will thus damage the character and sense of place of the whole Common.

I ask you, please, to secure the cessation of all further activity pertinent to the football pitch project until  these issues of nature conservation have been addressed. This is a matter of urgency,

With best wishes

Dave Bangs

 




 

 

 

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Re: Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

Richard Price

I do sometimes get confused between the role of parish council and borough council. Often the same people sit on both despite this appearing to be a conflict. Do you have a list of members to write to?

 

It seems almost routine for some developers to clear land (or spray it) prior to applying for planning permission. Once upon a time planning departments would have taken a dim view of such practices. These days they seem to reward them by granting planning permission. I am unsure of how good Henfield Borough Council (if there is one) or West Sussex County Council are on such practices.

 

Is it possible to have some photographs of the site before and after? Why do you need it surveyed? Is it to determine what remains? To determine the extent of damage? I think that unless you have some previous baseline datum to work from otherwise a new survey will not determine the extent of the damage. Can you apply to get the site incorporated within the SNCI? How are you going to protect it?

 

I think that you have done well to highlight this Dave stay positive you might succeed in protecting the grassland. I think there is a grasslands trust that you could also contact.

 

All the best,

Richard.

 

From: Adastra [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of D BANGS
Sent: 16 May 2017 14:32
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Adastra] Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

 

Adastra readers see below.
Henfield Parish Council did no EIA.
They made no approach to the Sussex Wildlife Trust, despite them being just down the road.
Natural England were, as usual, toothless,
Dave Bangs
-----------------------------------------------------------

----Original message----
From : [hidden email]
Date : 16/05/2017 - 12:55 (GMTST)
To : [hidden email]
Cc : [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email]
Subject : Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

Dear Mr Bangs,

 

Further to your earlier email, I can confirm that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment carried out on the Henfield Memorial Field pitches.

 

For your information Henfield Parish Council did contact ‘Natural England,’ ‘Historic England’ and ‘The Open Spaces Society,’ amongst others, to inform them of the proposals to carry out the work. Only The Open Spaces Society responded and gave no objections to the work being carried out.

 

I can confirm that the contract to carry out the renovation work has already been agreed between Henfield Parish Council and the contractor, and it is anticipated that the work will commence in the next couple of weeks, subject to weather conditions being favourable.

 

Kind regards,

Kevin Wright

Clerk – Henfield Parish Council

 

From: D BANGS [[hidden email]]
Sent: Monday, 15 May, 2017 8:17 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

 

From: David Bangs

Field naturalist and author

[hidden email]

T: 01273 620 815

15/05/17

To: Mr Kevin Wright, Henfield Parish Clerk

Dear Mr Wright

Damage to archaic species-rich grassland at Henfield Common

Thank you for speaking to me on the phone today.

I re-visited the Common after our phone chat and was appalled.

The football pitch project area sprayed by herbicide/gramicide takes in well over half of the area in which Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile, is present. This is a rare and steeply declining species and the number of Sussex sites where it naturally occurs is now very small.

Its presence in quantity is one of the core nature conservation features of the Common.

The area sprayed displays (in my short visit today) a number of high nature value scarce plants, including Chamomile, Heath Spotted Orchis and Southern Marsh Orchis, Adder’s Tongue Fern, Marsh Pennywort, Common Yellow Sedge, Oval Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Devil’s Bit, Tormentil, and Heath Speedwell.

In a single brief visit to the pitch project area in 2013 I recorded six significant old meadow fungi species: two Fairy Clubs, a Pinkgill and three Waxcap fungi. I suspect a properly conducted survey for this group would record many more.

As I said to you, Henfield Common is largely an SNCI (Site of Nature Conservation Interest). The area of the cricket pitch and the old ball pitches (which are the subject of HPC’s project) was anomalously excluded from the designated SNCI only because the appropriate surveys there had not then been carried out. Subsequently, a survey of the cricket pitch for old meadow fungi was conducted (about 15 years ago) and the cricket pitch proved to be the richest site for old meadow fungi on the Common and one of regional value in nature conservation terms for this assemblage.

Can you please tell me whether any Environmental Impact Assessment was made of the football pitch project? If it was, would you be so kind as to forward it to me?

I understand that drainage works are to undertaken (and ditch ‘cleaning’ has recently taken place). Given that the core nature conservation feature of the Common is its archaic acid marsh vegetation, further drainage could be very detrimental. 

Furthermore, the highly acidic Folkestone Beds surface geology of the Common is what gives it its individual character. Semi-natural ‘moor’ vegetation on the local Wealden Folkestone Beds is now very rare, and the loss of this surface geology to new imported soils will thus damage the character and sense of place of the whole Common.

I ask you, please, to secure the cessation of all further activity pertinent to the football pitch project until  these issues of nature conservation have been addressed. This is a matter of urgency,

With best wishes

Dave Bangs

 



 

 

 

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Re: Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

Steven Falk-2
The Grassland Trust no longer exists sadly, but it would be worth letting Plantlife know (I've cc'd in Trevor Dines). If the perpetrator falls within the category of a 'public body', they have a responsibility under the 2006 NERC Act:
 
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC Act). Instructs every public authority (including local authorities and government agencies) to have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of their statutory functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity (a responsibility known as the 'Biodiversity Duty').
 
If this has been breached, suggest that you hit them hard and insist on restoration of the grassland and the cost associated with this. Use the media. I do not know the site but it is clearly very special botanically and a further erosion of the meagre remnants of old grassland left in Sussex and Britain as a whole. Do you have any LBAP or other adopted local environment policies? My undertanding is that a parish council has the same duty to abide by these as a larger public body such as a local authority. Those policies exist to be used and represent the language that many elected members and council chiefs understand.
 
Good luck,
 
Steven
 
Steven Falk BSc ARCS FRES
Entomologist-Artist-Photographer
mobile: 0781 555 7263
Twitter: @StevenFalk1
 
 
 
Flickr Image library at:
 
 
2012 winner of the Royal Entomological Society Marsh Award for Insect Conservation
 


From: Adastra [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Richard Price
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:15 PM
To: 'Adastra discussion group'
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

I do sometimes get confused between the role of parish council and borough council. Often the same people sit on both despite this appearing to be a conflict. Do you have a list of members to write to?

 

It seems almost routine for some developers to clear land (or spray it) prior to applying for planning permission. Once upon a time planning departments would have taken a dim view of such practices. These days they seem to reward them by granting planning permission. I am unsure of how good Henfield Borough Council (if there is one) or West Sussex County Council are on such practices.

 

Is it possible to have some photographs of the site before and after? Why do you need it surveyed? Is it to determine what remains? To determine the extent of damage? I think that unless you have some previous baseline datum to work from otherwise a new survey will not determine the extent of the damage. Can you apply to get the site incorporated within the SNCI? How are you going to protect it?

 

I think that you have done well to highlight this Dave stay positive you might succeed in protecting the grassland. I think there is a grasslands trust that you could also contact.

 

All the best,

Richard.

 

From: Adastra [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of D BANGS
Sent: 16 May 2017 14:32
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Adastra] Henfield Common football pitch project: No Environmental Impact Assessment was done

 

Adastra readers see below.
Henfield Parish Council did no EIA.
They made no approach to the Sussex Wildlife Trust, despite them being just down the road.
Natural England were, as usual, toothless,
Dave Bangs
-----------------------------------------------------------

----Original message----
From : [hidden email]
Date : 16/05/2017 - 12:55 (GMTST)
To : [hidden email]
Cc : [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email]
Subject : Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

Dear Mr Bangs,

 

Further to your earlier email, I can confirm that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment carried out on the Henfield Memorial Field pitches.

 

For your information Henfield Parish Council did contact ‘Natural England,’ ‘Historic England’ and ‘The Open Spaces Society,’ amongst others, to inform them of the proposals to carry out the work. Only The Open Spaces Society responded and gave no objections to the work being carried out.

 

I can confirm that the contract to carry out the renovation work has already been agreed between Henfield Parish Council and the contractor, and it is anticipated that the work will commence in the next couple of weeks, subject to weather conditions being favourable.

 

Kind regards,

Kevin Wright

Clerk – Henfield Parish Council

 

From: D BANGS [[hidden email]]
Sent: Monday, 15 May, 2017 8:17 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Henfield Common football pitch project: damage to archaic grassland

 

From: David Bangs

Field naturalist and author

[hidden email]

T: 01273 620 815

15/05/17

To: Mr Kevin Wright, Henfield Parish Clerk

Dear Mr Wright

Damage to archaic species-rich grassland at Henfield Common

Thank you for speaking to me on the phone today.

I re-visited the Common after our phone chat and was appalled.

The football pitch project area sprayed by herbicide/gramicide takes in well over half of the area in which Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile, is present. This is a rare and steeply declining species and the number of Sussex sites where it naturally occurs is now very small.

Its presence in quantity is one of the core nature conservation features of the Common.

The area sprayed displays (in my short visit today) a number of high nature value scarce plants, including Chamomile, Heath Spotted Orchis and Southern Marsh Orchis, Adder’s Tongue Fern, Marsh Pennywort, Common Yellow Sedge, Oval Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Devil’s Bit, Tormentil, and Heath Speedwell.

In a single brief visit to the pitch project area in 2013 I recorded six significant old meadow fungi species: two Fairy Clubs, a Pinkgill and three Waxcap fungi. I suspect a properly conducted survey for this group would record many more.

As I said to you, Henfield Common is largely an SNCI (Site of Nature Conservation Interest). The area of the cricket pitch and the old ball pitches (which are the subject of HPC’s project) was anomalously excluded from the designated SNCI only because the appropriate surveys there had not then been carried out. Subsequently, a survey of the cricket pitch for old meadow fungi was conducted (about 15 years ago) and the cricket pitch proved to be the richest site for old meadow fungi on the Common and one of regional value in nature conservation terms for this assemblage.

Can you please tell me whether any Environmental Impact Assessment was made of the football pitch project? If it was, would you be so kind as to forward it to me?

I understand that drainage works are to undertaken (and ditch ‘cleaning’ has recently taken place). Given that the core nature conservation feature of the Common is its archaic acid marsh vegetation, further drainage could be very detrimental. 

Furthermore, the highly acidic Folkestone Beds surface geology of the Common is what gives it its individual character. Semi-natural ‘moor’ vegetation on the local Wealden Folkestone Beds is now very rare, and the loss of this surface geology to new imported soils will thus damage the character and sense of place of the whole Common.

I ask you, please, to secure the cessation of all further activity pertinent to the football pitch project until  these issues of nature conservation have been addressed. This is a matter of urgency,

With best wishes

Dave Bangs

 



 

 

 

Image removed by sender.

Virus-free. www.avg.com

 

 

 


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