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LUC, an independent planning and environmental consultancy has been commissioned by the Forestry Commission to prepare a Planning Application and Environmental Statement for the Latchmore Brook Wetland Restoration project.
The Forestry Commission, which manages the Crown Lands in the New Forest, is proposing to restore Latchmore Brook, near Hyde, back to its natural meandering course.
The Environmental Statement will be prepared in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)) Regulations 2011. The purpose of EIA is to compile, evaluate and present the potential environmental impacts resulting from a proposed development to assist the planning authority, statutory consultees and the wider public when considering an application.
A public exhibition on the scope of the EIA is being held on Tuesday 29 April from 4pm until 8.30pm at the Godshill Village Hall. Staff from the Forestry Commission and LUC will be available to answer questions on the EIA and the key issues it will cover.
The works are being proposed because the Latchmore Brook was artificially deepened and widened in the early 20th century, which has meant it has lost its natural connectivity with its floodplain. This in turn is adversely affecting the ecology of the catchment, As a result the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) units in the catchment are currently classed as being in ’unfavourable condition’. The Forestry Commission has a legal responsibility under the EU Habitats Directive to restore habitats in a SSSI where the habitat has been assessed by Natural England as being in unfavourable condition.
A variety of restoration works are currently under consideration. They are likely to involve recreating a shallow meandering water course and in-filling the stretches of artificial channel. Spoil from earlier works (often in visible heaps) will be used as infill, but other material such as clay and gravel will need to be imported by lorry to the site.
Further information on the proposed restoration and opportunities for feedback can also be found on New Forest HLS website (http://www.hlsnewforest.org.uk).
Media contact: Ben.Miller@landuse.co.uk or email@example.com