Background Documents

Environmental Assessments

Policies and proposals in the Island Plan should help achieve sustainable development. This means making sure that there is a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. To help ensure this, most of the documents in the Island Plan are subject to a process call 'Sustainability Appraisal' (SA), which considers the environmental, social and economic effects of the plan.

SA is required for the Island Plan under the 'Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004'. In addition to this, local planning authorities must also undertake a 'Strategic Environmental Assessment' (SEA) under European Union Directives.

The council will also prepare a 'Habitats Regulations Assessment' (HRA), which will highlight key effects which a new Development Plan Document (DPD) could have on internationally important ecological sites on and around the Island.

Ryde Sands SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest)  Wintering Bird Use Study

Ryde Sands SSSI is a component of the 'Solent & Southampton Waters Special Protection Area' (SPA), a European designation recognising the international importance of the Solent for its large numbers of migratory and breeding waterfowl. Ryde Sands supports populations of over-wintering waders and brent geese. The HRA has identified that recreational impacts from the increased human population, resulting from the policies in the Island Plan, have the potential to cause adverse disturbance impacts to wintering birds. If this is established, any disturbance impacts will require mitigation.

This study aims to provide the authority with a better understanding of the bird use of Ryde Sands SSSI which can then be used to better assess the degree of impacts and any requirements for mitigation.

An Assessment of Recreational Impacts upon the River Medina & Ryde Sands

Ryde Sands and the Medina Estuary SSSI are components of the Solent & Southampton Waters Special Protection Area (SPA), a European designation recognising the international importance of the Solent for its large numbers of migratory and breeding waterfowl. The HRA has identified that recreational impacts from the increased human population, resulting from the policies in the Island Plan, have the potential to cause adverse disturbance impacts to wintering birds. If this is established, any disturbance impacts will require mitigation.

This study aims to provide the authority with a better understanding of how the public use these sites for recreation and makes suggestions as to how start to address disturbance impacts which could result from recreational use.

The two studies are designed to provide contextual detail to the wider Solent Disturbance & Mitigation Project which is being run by the Solent Forum. Further information can be found by clicking here and visiting the Solent Forum website.