Decision details

Bourn Airfield SPD draft Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening Report

Decision Maker: Deputy Leader of the Council (Statutory)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Cabinet on the 5th June delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development in liaison with the Deputy Leader to agree a draft Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening Report which will also be published for consultation alongside the draft SPD on the 17th June.


Our consultants have now completed the draft screening report, and this is attached for consideration and agreement. 


The screening report was undertaken by our consultants ‘Place Services’. It determines that the quantum, scale and principle of any future development of the Bourn Airfield allocation within the Local Plan (2018) have not been altered by the content of the draft Bourn Airfield New Village SPD. To that extent, the majority of the effects on the environment that have been identified and considered at the Local Plan level within the Local Plan SA.


The screening report finds that the draft SPD provides guidance on a range of environmental, social and economic factors, with a focus on maximising the benefits of any potential future scheme. This guidance includes embedded measures regarding woods, hedges, water features, lighting and other relevant matters in response to relevant policies of the Local Plan and especially policy SS/7 which will provide for the recreational needs for the new settlement. This will also ensure that no likely significant effects arise from the draft SPD of itself on the bats of Eversden & Wimpole Woods SAC.


The HRA Screening element of this Report ‘screens out’ the draft SPD (see Section 5.2 of the Report), determining no likely significant effects on Habitats Sites either alone or in combination with other plans and projects. The draft Bourn Airfield New Village SPD can therefore be screened out for its requirement of Strategic Environmental Assessment in line with the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC.


The adopted Local Plan (2018) allocates Bourn Airfield for 3,500 dwellings within Policy SS/7. The principle of the new village and the parameters of the development in terms of quantum and overall scale, which have not been altered within the draft SPD, have therefore already been considered through the SA and HRA Assessment of the Local Plan.


The HRA element of this Screening Report indicates that the draft Bourn Airfield New Village SPD is not predicted to have likely significant effects on Eversden and Wimpole Woods SAC, either alone or in combination with other plans and projects. The requirement for the draft SPD to undertake further assessment under the Habitats Regulations 2017 is therefore screened out.


These conclusions indicate that there is no need to undertake further assessment of the draft SPD at this stage.


The draft screening report will be published alongside the draft SPD for consultation.  The outcome of the consultation will be reported to Scrutiny and Overview Committee and Cabinet for their consideration before a decision is taken on whether the SPD can be adopted with or without further modification.


To agree the draft SEA and HRA screening report for consultation.

Reasons for the decision:

To accompany the draft SPD and to demonstrate how important environmental and other matters have been considered for any likely significant effects.

Alternative options considered:

The only alternative option is to seek a further screening report from another consultant.  This option was not pursued given the clear findings of the report and because it is consistent with the SEA and HRA reports which support the recently adopted Local Plan.

Publication date: 13/06/2019

Date of decision: 12/06/2019

Effective from: 20/06/2019

Accompanying Documents: