Love Oakley? Go Green!
South West Basingstoke Vision – Conflict with Hampshire Downs Protection
Recently Hatch Warren Nature Group (HNG) published maps illustrating that instead of a Distribution Hub and some other development north of Junction 7 of the M3 there was an opportunity to create a substantial green wildlife corridor to link the North Wessex area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NWAONB) and the South Downs National Park (SDNP) which should include a green wildlife crossing over or under the M3. One of those maps was published in the Council’s own Green Infrastructure Strategy but has not been included in the consultation for South West Basingstoke. The map shows how the South West Basingstoke Vision is in direct conflict with that Green Infrastructure Strategy.
B&DBC Green Infrastructure Strategy Green CorridorDevelopment is proposed to be located in the middle of a green corridor proposed by the Council!
The Government recently announced the launch of a Green Recovery that includes increases in or extensions to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Natural England has confirmed to HNG that they believe it makes sense from a “landscape and ecological perspective to bridge the gap ….. between the North Wessex Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty[NWAONB] and the South Downs National Park [SDNP]”. Doing so could protect more of the Hampshire Downs and create accessible areas for wildlife and people close to Basingstoke.
Boundary of Hampshire Downs, NWAONB and SDNP
The Council “Vision” though would further fragment the landscape and undermine opportunities for viable wildlife corridors also accessible to residents. Our landscapes and wildlife need green infrastructure to be planned strategically and ahead of development choices, instead of just being an afterthought. Protected landscapes and nature restoration would be an asset for the people of Basingstoke as well as being essential.
Feasibility for landscape protection accessible to Basingstoke people requires sufficient landscape to remain undeveloped and protected so that new wildlife schemes will bring back nature over time. Feasibility requires our Council to support such an enterprise, and a commitment to prioritise green infrastructure planning ahead of development.
A longer document submitted to all Cllrs can be downloaded here. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hfsixeciusb1tid/South West Basingstoke Vision %26 Hampshire Downs Landscape Protection - Questions to Council %26 Brief V1.0 Dec 09 2020.pdf?dl=0
Hatch Warren Nature Group
SOUTH WEST BASINGSTOKE VISION, HAMPSHIRE DOWNS LANDSCAPE PROTECTION & NATURE RECOVERY - QUESTIONS
Can the following questions be answered by the relevant Portfolio Holder please?
- Will Cabinet prioritise planning for landscape protections and ecological/nature recovery networks1 ahead of planning for development and hard infrastructure, for the South West Basingstoke Vision and at every stage of policy making and plan making from now on, so that nature receives the prioritisation it warrants?
- Natural England agrees that “Given that it [the gap between the North Wessex Area of Outstanding Natural beauty and the South Downs National Park] is all within the same landscape character area and chalk catchments, putting effort into bridging the gap makes sense” and “bridging the gap makes sense from a landscape and ecological perspective”2. The draft Vision for South West Basingstoke undermines such an enterprise. Will Council commit to work with stakeholders, (Local Plan 6.33), to protect the landscape, between the NWAONB and the SDNP including undeveloped land either side of the M3 and the A30 between Junction 7 and 8 and plan ecological/nature recovery networks and crossings for wildlife as well as extensive, recreational access for Basingstoke?
- Why does the Vision for South West Basingstoke not include or make reference to the diagram on page 55 of the B&DBC Green Infrastructure Strategy already illustrating opportunities for corridors and biodiversity specifically in the area of South West Basingstoke?
Hatch Warren Nature Group
1 Ecological Networks (EN) or Nature Recovery Networks (NRN) are about reducing fragmentation and wildlife obstructions by connecting, expanding and restoring habitats, including through stepping stones, inside or outside protected landscapes. The aim is to support viable, abundant populations, allow species to migrate, live undisturbed where they need to and have access to and be able to move to other similar suitable habitats instead of being isolated and threatened by habitat fragmenting roads, railways and settlements and increased pressure from climate change.
Commitments by Government include, 4,000 sq km of new land to be designated and protected and 30% of England overall to be protected. Associated with that announcement is the Green Recovery and Nature Recovery Networks which together build on Ecological Networks that should have been mapped depending on how well the NPPF was followed from 2012.
Explore a full list of videos available to enjoy during or after Green Week and recordings of the Zoom meetings will also be available on our YouTube channel at the end of October. To find the videos, go to YouTube channel,
Fab Green Activities
To Enjoy All Week Long!
In addition to our full Green Week programme of live events and activi-ties, make sure to check out the newly launched Love Oakley? Go Green! YouTube channel.
Learn how to build a ‘Bug Hotel’ with the Men’s Shed. Pick up some creative recycling tips from Eco Zero. Get crafting with the creative creators of Oakley. And so much more.
Content will be added throughout the week. Simply click the link to keep up with lots of great videos.
− Recordings of key Green Week speaking events
− Workshops, tutorials, and creative collectives
− Insights, tips and practical eco advice
Looking for some additional creative ideas for how to lean into the full Green Week experience? Why not have a go at ...
− An Eco-Picnic with your household in a park or your garden
− A Family Walk (with downloadable observation sheet)
− Visiting Jolly Olly’s to sample their new Green Week menu and dis-cover special offerings and eco challenges
− Planting something new in your garden
− Identifying the name of a tree near your house
− A socially-distanced countryside walk or cycle ride
− Cooking an all veggie or vegan recipe
For more ideas, see ’any time’ activities at www.oakleywithwootton.org.uk/going-green