4. Mitigation Measures

closeddate_range12 Dec, 2014, 12:00am - 6 Feb, 2015, 12:00am

Section 4      Mitigation Measures

4.1    Introduction

Where it cannot be demonstrated that there will be no adverse effects from the implementation of the proposed Amendment to the Plan, mitigation measures have been devised. Mitigation measures are measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and, as fully as possible, offset any adverse impacts on the environment of implementing the proposed Amendment. As outlined in Section 3.2 of this assessment a number of potential, if unmitigated, effects have been identified which could cause adverse impacts on the River Barrow and River Nore cSAC.

Measures are included in the policies and objectives of the existing Plan, including those transposed from the Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014 – 2020 that will ensure these impacts are mitigated, thereby safeguarding the conservation interest of European sites. Further measures aimed at further mitigating the potential effects identified above are recommended in Section 4.2 below.

4.2    Existing Policies and Objectives that offer Protection to European Sites

4.2.1   Callan Local Area Plan

Chapter 5 of the Callan Local Area Plan sets out the policies and controls relating to natural heritage in the Plan Area.

 

Natural Heritage / Biodiversity

NH1: In seeking to protect and enhance the natural environment, the Council will seek to;

  • Protect natural heritage sites designated in National and European legislation, specifically the River Barrow and Rivers Nore SAC (See 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.

 

The River Barrow and River Nore cSAC

NH2: (altered 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 a 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).

4.2.2      Kilkenny County Development Plan

Chapter 8 of the Kilkenny County Development Plan sets out the policies and objectives relating to natural heritage in the county. The following objectives contained within the County Development Plan will mitigate against those potential effects identified in Section 3 above.

 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Section 1.3 - Appropriate Assessment

1A To implement the provisions of Articles 6(3) and 6(4) of the EU Habitats Directive.

1B To ensure that any plan or project within the functional area of the Planning Authority is subject to appropriate assessment in accordance with the Guidance Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland – Guidance for Planning Authorities, 2009 and 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.

These objectives will apply to all plans and projects whether public or private and across all sectors of development.

 

Chapter 8: Heritage

Section 8.2.1.3 - Rare and Protected Species and their Habitats

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).

 

 

 

 

Section 8.2.3 - Nature Conservation Outside of International and Nationally Protected Areas

To protect and where possible enhance wildlife habitats and landscape features which act as ecological corridors/networks and stepping stones, such as river corridors, hedgerows and road verges, and to minimise the loss of habitats and features of the wider countryside (such as ponds, wetlands, trees) which are not within designated sites. Appropriate mitigation and/or compensation measures to conserve biodiversity, landscape character and green infrastructure networks will be required where habitats are at risk or lost as part of a development.

 

Section 8.2.5.1 Hedgerows

Kilkenny County Council will promote the planting of native tree and shrub species, by committing to using native species (of local provenance wherever possible) in its landscaping work and on County Council property.

 

 

Chapter 9: Infrastructure and Environment

Section 9.2.8.3 - Water Quality Objectives

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.

4.3    Recommendations

The following amendments to text of the draft amendment are proposed to safeguard the protection of the River Barrow and Nore cSAC by eliminating the risks to the conservation status of the site that have identified during the AA process.

4.3.1   Pedestrian Link

Depending on the route chosen, and the scale and characteristics of the development, the provision of a pedestrian link to the town centre could potentially result in adverse impacts on the River Barrow and Nore cSAC. The route of the pedestrian link should take account of potential effects on European sites and therefore it is recommended that the route of the link should not be specified in the plan.

The following amendment to the text is suggested:

To facilitate the development of a residential complex (10  units approx.) initiated by the Camphill Community with ancillary small scale socio-economic uses related to the activities of the charitable trust and to provide for a pedestrian link from the lands to the town centre under the Callan by-pass (N76) via the Moat Field subject to the following:

 

4.3.2   Potential effects on aquatic habitats and species within cSAC

As outlined above, development within the amendment lands, if unmitigated, could potentially lead to adverse impacts on aquatic species and habitats due to the proximity and hydrological connectivity of the area with the cSAC. Any such development will need to be subject to AA in its own right, and the potential for adverse impacts will depend on the scale and detailed design of any future proposal. The possible requirement for any appropriate site specific mitigation to avoid impacts on the cSAC can only be determined when such details are known. The following additional bullet points are proposed to be included in the site specific objective in order to ensure that the risk posed by any future development of the lands is minimised:

  • Any future development (including pedestrian link) of the lands will be subject to Appropriate Assessment in accordance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive.
  • Any developments proposed for the lands at Westcourt will be connected to the local public sewer (for treatment of waste water). Such developments will only proceed subject to the local treatment plant having capacity to adequately treat the additional load. It must be shown by proposals that all storm water can be appropriately collected, stored and treated so as not to affect the quality of water bodies.
 

[1] Directive 92/43/EEC

[2] DoEHLG (2010). Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland. Guidance for Planning Authorities.

[3] Westcourt House and Gardens Habitat and Green Infrastructure Survey. Blackthorn Ecology, 2014.

[4] Westcourt House and Gardens Habitat and Green Infrastructure Survey. Blackthorn Ecology, 2014.

 

[6] NPWS (2011) Conservation Objectives: River Barrow and River Nore SAC 002162. Version 1.0. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

http://www.npws.ie/media/npwsie/content/images/protectedsites/conservationobjectives/CO002162.pdf