Alistair Baxter (Ecology Director) recently gave evidence in respect of a site in Bexhill located adjacent to Pevensey Levels SAC. The SAC is designated on account of its wetland interest and particularly its fauna in the form of Lesser Whirlpool Ram’s-horn Snail Anisus vorticulus which relies on the presence of a high water quality environment. Pevensey Levels also qualifies as a Ramsar site, through supporting an ‘outstanding assemblage of wetland plants and invertebrates’.
Third parties had argued that the design of the scheme would lead to an adverse effect on the integrity of the SAC. However, through the presentation of clear evidence, in terms of technical SuDS design, hydrological and hydro-geological modelling, along with reference to the agreements reached with consultees including Natural England and the Environment Agency, the Inspector was convinced that no such harm would arise.
This is the fifth post-Rosewell inquiry Alistair has worked on and our familiarity with the new system is now proving very helpful in terms of the effective presentation of evidence under round table sessions.
The appeal was allowed and a link to the decision can be found here