With concerns about the potential impact of development on landscape character and the countryside gap between Haywards Heath and Cuckfield, CSA were consulted at the outset to give landscape and masterplanning advice and to formulate a strategy which would enable development to succeed. CSA’s directors were subsequently called upon to give landscape and ecology evidence at the successful appeal.
In terms of ecology, the neglected state of the site immediately raised the prospect of ecological issues and CSA undertook detailed ecological surveys. During these surveys dormice were found within a woodland fragment on site and great crested newts were discovered in a nearby pond. CSA was able to design and agree an appropriate mitigation approach. Once planning was achieved, CSA obtained European Protected Species licences for both species. Mitigation measures and habitat enhancements included a GCN trapping exercise, restoration of an existing pond and creation of a new pond (as seen in the photograph). In line with the EPS licences, monitoring surveys carried out post-development have revealed continued dormouse presence on-site, and breeding GCN using the restored pond and newly created pond onsite.