3. Assessment of likely significant environmental effects

closeddate_range12 Dec, 2014, 12:00am - 6 Feb, 2015, 12:00am
The criteria for determining whether a plan is likely to have significant effects on the environment are set out in Schedule 2(A) of Planning & Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment) Regulations, as follows:

 

  1. The characteristics of the plan. 
  2. The characteristics of the effects and of the area likely to be affected. 

These points are expanded in the assessment below. 

3.1         Characteristics of the Plan (Proposed Amendment) having regard to:

         i.            The degree, to which the plan sets a framework for projects and other activities, either with regard to the location, nature, size and operating conditions or by allocating resources.

 

Amendment No. 2 to the Callan LAP proposes to extend the development boundary of Callan town to include an additional 8 acres of land.  The land is to be zoned ‘Agriculture’ and a site specific development objective is to be included on that land to facilitate a small residential complex of approximately 10 residential units for the Camphill Community and small scale associated commercial activity (market gardening, for example).  The scheme is a relatively small proposal in the context of the overall Local Area Plan lands as the proposed addition of 8 acres will increase the LAP lands by 1.5% (Plan area is currently 516 acres approx). 

 

The site specific development objective is quite prescriptive as a framework for any projects on the amendment lands.  It includes provisions regarding the ecological integrity of the adjoining River (which forms part of the River Nore SAC, see section 3.2 below), flood risk, foul and storm water drainage and archaeology.  The proposed amendment sets a detailed framework for future development at this location.

       ii.            The degree to which the plan influences other plans, including those in a hierarchy.

 

In its making, the amended Plan has regard to other relevant planning and environmental policy and legislation including European Union directives, Ministerial guidelines and other national and regional plans and policies.  This plan will influence applications for development, but it will not influence other plans, as it is at the lowest tier of the plan-making hierarchy. 

      iii.            The relevance of the plan for the integration of environmental considerations in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.

 

Given that the Local Area Plan is at the lowest tier of the planning hierarchy, the proposed amendment is relevant at the smallest local level only.  The amendment to the plan will be made pursuant to the provisions of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2013; and as such the plan seeks to achieve development in a sustainable manner. 

     iv.            Environmental problems relevant to the plan.

 

The amendment area is located adjacent to the King’s River.  A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment has been carried out for this Amendment and is attached as a separate document.  The SFRA has resulted in the text of the site specific development objective being expanded so that residential use is excluded from Flood Zone B. 

 

The text of the amendment also includes specific provisions in relation to wastewater and storm water drainage which will negate any negative impact on water quality in the adjoining river, which is a tributary of the River Barrow and River Nore SAC.  This has resulted from a detailed Appropriate Assessment of the proposed amendment, which is also included as a separate document. 

 

The County Development Plan 2014-2020 contains the following policies in relation to water services, water quality, flood management and waste management (Chapter 9: Infrastructure & Environment). 

 

Water Services Objectives:

9A           Implement the programme as outlined in the Water Services Investment Programme.

9B           Meet in full the requirements of the E.U. Urban Waste Water Treatment and Water Framework Directives and the Drinking Water Regulations.

Water Quality Objectives:

9D           To promote compliance with environmental standards and objectives established—

  • for bodies of surface water, by the European Communities (Surface Waters) Regulations 2009;
  • for groundwater, by the European Communities (Groundwater) Regulations 2010;

which standards and objectives are included in the South East River Basin Management Plan.

9E           To complete the mapping of source protection areas and to map Source Protection Areas for any new public water supply schemes as appropriate. 

9F           To ensure that Source Protection Areas are identified for any multiple unit housing developments with private water supplies. 

Flood Management Objective

9G          To adopt a comprehensive risk-based planning approach to flood management to prevent or minimise future flood risk. In accordance with the Planning System and Flood Risk Management – Guidelines for Planning Authorities, the avoidance of development in areas where flood risk has been identified shall be the primary response.

Waste Management Objective

9H           To implement the Joint Waste Management Plan for the South East Region. 

This amendment does not have any implications on these existing policies. 

       v.            The relevance of the plan for the implementation of European Union legislation on the environment (e.g. plans linked to waste management or water protection).

 

Issues relating to EU legislation on the environment are addressed in the County Development Plan 2014-2020 as outlined above and this amendment will ensure the continued implementation of these objectives. 

 

3.2         Characteristics of the effects and of the area likely to be affected, having regard to:  

(i)                  The probability, duration, frequency and reversibility of the effects.

 

Given that the Camphill Community is already in ownership of the subject lands, the probability of the lands being developed is high.  If constructed, it would be reasonable to assume that the development would be permanent.  The site specific development objective contains special requirements in relation to the ecological integrity of the King’s River, flooding, drainage and archaeology which will mitigate the project through design.  It is anticipated that there will be no significant negative effects from the implementation of this amendment. 

(ii)                The cumulative nature of the effects.

 

No cumulative negative effects are anticipated as a result of the proposed amendment. 

(iii)          The transboundary nature of the effects.

 

The Amendment will have no national, regional or inter-county transboundary effects.

(iv)         The risk to human health or the environment (e.g. due to accidents).

 

There are no Seveso sites or Seveso related activities associated with the proposed amendment.  The implementation of the proposed amendment should not result in any new or additional risks to human health over or above existing levels.

(v)          The magnitude and spatial extent of the effects (geographical area and size of the population likely to be affected).

 

The amendment refers to 8 acres of land and a population equivalent of approximately 20 people (average house size of 2 people per unit, eventhough many of the units will be single occupancy).  Given the small population increase and low residential density proposed, the magnitude and spatial extent of the proposed development is relatively small. 

(vi)        The value and vulnerability of the area likely to be affected due to:

                                                a)            Special natural characteristics or cultural heritage,

 

EU Protected Habitats and Species

There is one candidate Special Area of Conservation located within the plan area, the River Nore/Barrow SAC, site code 002162 (Natura 2000 site).  A separate Appropriate Assessment (AA) of this proposed amendment has been carried out in accordance with the requirements of Article 6(3) of the EU Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC) and is presented in a separate document.  This AA concludes that the Proposed Amendment will not affect the integrity of the Natura 2000 network.  Furthermore, the text of the proposed amendment includes provisions requiring wastewater from the site to be connected to the foul sewer network and for storm water to be appropriately collected, stored and treated so as not to affect the quality of water bodies.

 

Policies for the protection of designated sites and species are set out in Chapter 8: Heritage of the County Development Plan 2014-2020:

Objectives:

8B      To protect and, where possible, enhance the natural heritage sites designated under EU Legislation and National Legislation (Habitats Directive, Birds Directive, European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 and Wildlife Acts). This protection will extend to any additions or alterations to sites that may arise during the lifetime of this plan.

8C      To protect and, where possible, enhance the plant and animal species and their habitats that have been identified under European legislation (Habitats and Birds Directive) and protected under national Legislation (European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477 of 2011), Wildlife Acts 1976-2010 and the Flora Protection Order (SI94 of 1999). 

     

Policies for the protection of natural heritage are also set out in Section 5.16 of the Callan Local Area Plan

NH1: Natural Heritage

In seeking to protect and enhance the natural environment, the Council will refer to relevant policies and objectives set out in the County Development Plan and seek to

  • protect natural heritage sites designated in National and European legislation, specifically the Rivers Nore and River Barrow SAC ( NH2)
  • Designate an appropriate riverside buffer that protects the integrity of the SAC and assists in the management of flood risk
  • Protect and conserve non-designated habitats and species and;
  • Protect and incorporate existing biodiversity features such as trees, hedgerows and surface water features into the design and construction of new development and public realm and enhancing the biodiversity value of existing open spaces

Where development proposals are made along the riparian corridor, ensure that a condition of consent is to establish a vegetated strip along the river in consultation with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

 

NH2: The Rivers Barrow and River Nore SAC (inserted by Amendment No. 1)

The Kings River which forms part of the River Barrow and River Nore SAC has considerable potential both waterside and landside to be used as recreational asset for the town and the Local Area Plan will seek to promote the natural amenity potential of this site subject to the following:

  • Ensure that any plan or project which has the potential to directly, indirectly or cumulatively impact on a site protected under European legislation (SAC or SPA) is assessed in accordance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive in order to avoid adverse impacts on the integrity and conservation objectives of the site.  Any such plans or projects shall be referred to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for comments.  Potential threats to a designated site may arise from developments such as water abstraction, or discharges from wastewater treatment plants, surface water or surface water attenuation at locations which are geographically remote from the site, through hydrological links with the designated site (tributaries, streams, drainage ditches and drains). 

  

Scenic Views

The County Development Plan identifies a number of views of special amenity around the county. There are no scenic views in the amended plan area.

 

Cultural Heritage

There is a Recorded Monument within the amended plan area, ref. KK026-002 Castle.  There are additional Recorded Monuments close to the amendment area, KK026-010(011) Mound and KK026-010(010) Castle (national Monument No. 372).  These are subject to statutory protection in the Record of Monuments and places, established under Section 12 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994.

It is stated in the text of the proposed amendment that:

  •                 The archaeological importance of the site must be safeguarded by protecting  archaeological sites and monuments  (including their setting),  and archaeological objects, including those that are listed in the Record of Monuments and Places, and in the Urban Archaeological Survey of County Kilkenny or newly discovered sub‐surface archaeological remains. Any proposed development in the vicinity or confines of the archaeological monument will require an archaeological assessment and the preparation of an archaeological impact statement for submission as part of any planning application for development within this area.

Archaeological heritage Policy from CDP:

Objective:

8I            Protect archaeological sites and monuments (including their setting), underwater archaeology, and archaeological objects, including those that are listed in the Record of Monuments and Places, and in the Urban Archaeological Survey of County Kilkenny or newly discovered sub-surface and underwater archaeological remains.

 

Protected Structures

There are no protected structures within the proposed amendment area. 

 

Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs)

There is no ACA located within the proposed amendment area.  There is an ACA within the centre of Callan, however no impact is anticipated as a result of this proposed amendment. 

  

Landscape Designations

The County Development Plan 2014 incorporates a Landscape Character Assessment (LCA). Callan is located in a lowland area.  The following is the CDP objective as it relates to LCA

Objective:

8G          To protect and sustainably manage the landscape character of County Kilkenny, having regard to the findings of the landscape character assessment and the development management standards as set out in this chapter for the sustainable development of the county and appropriate conservation of its landscape character.

This amendment will not affect the LCA in any way

 

It is not anticipated that the value and vulnerability of the special natural characteristics or cultural assets in the area will be negatively affected through implementation of the amendment, given their status and protection at both national level and in the CDP. The development management process will ensure that any development proposal in the vicinity of these areas will include demonstration, where necessary, of how adverse impacts on natural or cultural heritage would be avoided or what mitigation measures are proposed.  This will involve consultation with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Heritage Officer, or Conservation Officer as appropriate.

 

b)            Exceeded environmental quality standards or limit values,

 

It is not expected that environmental quality standards will be exceeded or that the value of vulnerable areas will be affected as a result of the proposed amendment.  Development proposals will be subject to assessment as part of a planning application and will be required to demonstrate compliance with environmental quality standards and limits.

 

c)            Intensive land use.

 

The density of the proposed development of approx. 10 residential units over 8 acres is low.  It is not anticipated that the proposed amendment will result in intensive land use.

 

(vii)        The effects on areas or landscapes which have recognised national, European Union or international protection status.

 

As outlined previously in Section 4.2 (vi) (a), there are no landscapes of national, European or International protection status within or affected by the proposed amendment.

 

There is one candidate Special Area of Conservation adjacent to the amended plan area and a Recorded Monuments within the amended plan area, both of which have been addressed above.

 

The LAP and CDP recognises the importance of sites with national and European designations, and sets out policies for their protection (as outlined above).  This amendment corresponds with those objectives.  Furthermore, the text of the site specific development objectives which is part of this proposed amendment contains provisions for the protection of the natural and built heritage which is protected.  It is not anticipated that the implementation of the amendment would have any significant adverse impacts on areas of recognised national, European or international protection status.