Environment

Biodiversity Net Gain

The Environment Bill is currently working its way through the Parliamentary process. This Bill requires that new developments deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain of 10%. An assessment needs to be undertaken at the start of the planning process to calculate the number of biodiversity units the site currently provides.

Any new development will have to provide the same number of units plus an additional 10%. These biodiversity units can be provided on the site as part of the development plans or off site in another location. We are continuing to work with New Forest District Council on our proposals for this element of the scheme, which is likely to include ecological mitigation both on and off site.

Ecology

The proposals have taken into consideration the port’s proximity to the Solent and Southampton Water Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar & Dibden Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and enhancements to the ecological buffer zone between Marchwood and the SSSI are proposed. Approximately 13 hectares of grassland will be developed as part of the proposals.

Extensive ecological surveys have been conducted and the majority of the site is of low ecological value, although some good quality habitats exist including reedbeds, scrub, wooded areas and some grassland. Efforts have been made to retain these habitats in the revised master plan.

Biodiversity onsite will be enhanced

As there are no plans to change the marine infrastructure, the impact on marine life is likely to be minimal and increased vessel movements will only comprise a small proportion of daily vessel movements in the River Test.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)  and an Environmental Statement will be submitted as part of the Planning Application.

These documents will look in detail at the impacts on all of the habitats onsite and the species they support. It will also identify significant environmental effects and where possible avoid, reduce, or offset them as part of an ongoing design process. In July a Scoping Report for the EIA was submitted to New Forest District Council. The purpose of this report is to provide New Forest District Council, as the planning authority, with the information necessary for it to provide a formal written opinion (known as the scoping opinion) on what information needs to be included in the  EIA Environmental Statement.

Visual impact

The port will continue to have fencing around the perimeter and there will be no public access for safety and defence security.

View towards the River Test

The site is adjacent to Marchwood Industrial Park and will continue to be separated from the residential area by the rail line and the road. We appreciate that the development will need to be sensitive to local neighbours, and containers will be stacked to a maximum of six high (15.5m) and located in less sensitive areas of the site. Warehousing onsite will be limited to a maximum of 12.5m (to eves) high.

Soft landscaping and ecological enhancements are included as part of the proposals along with the retention of the existing green area closest to the residential properties on Normandy Way. The location of lighting will be sensitively designed to limit ambient light.

Construction Management

If planning permission is granted by New Forest District Council in the Autumn of 2021 work could begin onsite soon after. A Construction Management Plan will need to be agreed with NFDC in advance of work commencing onsite and will detail how the construction will be managed to limit the impact on the local community, environment and wildlife. The earthworks strategy has been developed to maximise the use of onsite material and minimise any import or export of materials with opportunities for any material required to be brought in via sea rather than road. If you would like to be kept updated on developments at the port, please sign up for updates.