Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are studies into how people, wildlife and the environment may be affected by a proposed development. In this case technical experts have considered the effects of the creation of housing, the Rehabilitation and Respite Care Facility, Extra Care Apartments, the Wellbeing Centre, the Activity Park and all associated built environment like carparks, roads and paths. Consideration is given to the cumulative impact of the proposals as well as the separate elements of the scheme. Through conducting Environmental Impact Assessments any potential impacts can be avoided, reduced or remedied by alteration to the design of a scheme. The findings from the EIAs have been used in the masterplanning exercise. The Environmental Impact Assessments will be presented in an Environmental Statement which will accompany the planning application to Tandridge District Council.
Archaeology and Heritage
Based on the knowledge of archaeology at sites in the vicinity of the scheme there is a moderate potential for archaeology in particular of prehistoric date. The potential for archaeology is significantly reduced by the fact that the vast majority of the site has been worked for Fuller’s Earth in the 19th and 20th centuries and retains no archaeological potential. There is potential for archaeology comprising later Prehistoric material to be present in undisturbed parts of the proposed Church Meadow development area and a slight possibility for Palaeolithic material. The results of the archaeological studies undertaken at the site have been discussed with Surrey County Council and it has been agreed that trial trenching will be undertaken in the undisturbed areas of the site prior to the commencement of groundworks in accordance with a scheme to be agreed with Surrey County Council.
The potential impacts of development upon the setting of heritage assets have also been assessed. Two scheduled monuments are situated within 2km, the nearest being Bletchingley Castle, 1.1km south east of the site. There are sixteen Grade II and one Grade II* listed buildings within 1km of the site. Based upon an assessment of existing topography, screening by vegetation, development and the intrusion of the road network (in particular the A25 and M23) it is considered that no designated assets would experience an adverse effect of any magnitude upon its setting.
A desk based contaminated land assessment has been conducted for the site using the extensive previous site investigation that has been undertaken. Based on the assessment it is considered that the site can be developed for the proposed land uses. The results of the assessment have been discussed with officers at Tandridge District Council and further assessment work during the detailed design of the development has been agreed. Made ground has been recorded in the proposed areas of built development. Prior to development of these areas additional site investigation will be carried out to assess the ground, groundwater and land gas conditions in order to inform the detailed site design and mitigation measures and the selection of foundation designs.
Detailed surveys have been undertaken at the site for habitats and flora, amphibians, reptiles, bats, breeding birds, badgers, dormice and invertebrates in accordance with published industry guidelines. The species recorded at the site include great crested newts, grass snakes, badgers, a number of bat species and a typical assemblage of breeding birds and invertebrates. The site supports a mosaic of habitats including semi-mature woodland and scrub, ponds and open grassland. With appropriate mitigation there will not be significant adverse impacts on the species present at the site. As part of the development there will be significant habitat creation which will provide suitable habitats for all the current species on site. It is forecast that there will be a substantial biodiversity net gain at the site on completion of the development.
Water resources and flood risk
A desk based hydrogeological and hydrological assessment has been undertaken. Surface water run off from buildings and hardstanding in the residential areas will be discharged to the seasonal water features constructed on the Activity Park which will drain to the ponds in the north and north west of the site. A number of small ponds will be constructed in the east and south east of the wellbeing centre. The ponds will be constructed using low permeability soils to provide a suitable storage capacity for surface water run off from the Wellbeing Centre and Rehabilitation and Respite Care Facility buildings and the car park and hardstanding areas. An outlet will be constructed from the ponds to the culvert/surface water drain which discharges to the ponds in the north of the site. The site is located in Flood Zone 1 which is defined as land assessed as having less than a 1 in 1000 annual probability of river flooding. Based on the opportunities afforded by the proposed development in managing surface water runoff from the site in a sustainable manner it is considered that there would not be a significant risk of surface water flooding from the proposed development. The development works will not result in a significant change to the groundwater flow or levels.
Landscape and visibility
A landscape and townscape visual assessment is being undertaken for the development. The LVIA will be produced in accordance with the Third Edition of The Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (GLVIA3) issued by the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (March 2013). The viewpoints for the assessment have been agreed with Surrey County Council. The assessment will cover the construction period and operational period. Photomontages will be prepared at agreed locations for the proposed development. Where necessary appropriate mitigation measures will be included in the site design and their effects assessed. The Masterplan will illustrate the proposals and how the development has been designed taking into account the characteristics of the site and the features of the development.
Baseline noise surveys have been undertaken at eight locations in the vicinity of the site. The baseline monitoring locations have been agreed with the Environmental Health Officer at Tandridge District Council. The monitoring data will be used to establish the prevailing acoustic environment at existing noise-sensitive receptors and also proposed noise-sensitive development. The noise assessment is currently being completed. The noise assessment will include consideration of the construction phase of the development, building services plant, traffic noise together with an assessment of noise sensitive developments. The assessment will be undertaken with reference to the NPPF and associated planning practice guidance.
Transport and traffic
Traffic surveys were undertaken in September 2020 at six locations in the vicinity of the site which were agreed with Surrey County Council. A transport assessment is being undertaken to assess the potential impacts associated with the construction and operation of Nutfield Green Park. Liaison with Surrey County Council is ongoing with respect to the access location from the A25 and the preliminary design for the access from the A25 and Nutfield Marsh Road. Travel Plan Frameworks for the residential development and the outdoor activity park will be prepared together with a service delivery plan for the rehabilitation facility and a construction traffic management plan for the development.
Following further discussions with Surrey County Council the access location that is shown may be amended. If that is necessary, the masterplan will be updated and made available.
A traffic air quality assessment is being undertaken for the proposed development using the criteria contained within the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) 'Land-Use Planning & Development Control: Planning for Air Quality’. A screening assessment will be undertaken and if necessary a traffic air quality assessment for the construction and operational stages of the development.