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Our Solicitors continue to correspond with the NFNPA on the subject of the need for both an AA and an EIA – a letter dated 6 June from the NFNPA is here and our Solicitors’ reply dated 11 July is here. We maintain that both Assessments should be carried out in order to provide maximum protection for Latchmore Brook and its surroundings. The issue has not yet been resolved.
The letter from Buxtons also refers to another, similar “restoration” at North Slufters, which has just been approved without, apparently, any environmental assessments being required, a decision which we challenge.
Friends of Latchmore are urged to go to a public exhibition on the scope of the EIA to be held by the Forestry Commission and their consultants, Land Use Consultants, on Tuesday 29 April at Godshill Village Hall from 4 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
At present we do not know whether further exhibitions will be held at other locations (we have asked the Forestry Commission to let us know), so this may be the only opportunity the public is given to talk to representatives from the FC and LUC about the preparation of the Environmental Statement.
The NPA have now responded by email to Buxtons’ letter to them of 12 December 2012 (see below, paragraph 12) regarding the need for an Appropriate Assessment for the project under the Habitats Regulations. The letter from the NPA to NE dated 26 July 2013 referred to in the email is here and NE’s reply dated 16 August 2013 is here. A letter from our Solicitors to the NPA dated 2 April 2014 is here and the paper on the Southern Damselfly referred to in the second paragraph on the third page of the letter is here.
On 26 February we met representatives from the Forestry Commission and their consultants, Land Use Consultants Ltd. At this meeting LUC gave a presentation entitled ‘Latchmore Brook Catchment Restoration Scheme – EIA’ outlining the background to the proposed project. FoL’s Notes on the Meeting are here, and LUC’s are here. We wrote to LUC on 20 March and sent them FoL’s lists of bird species and ponds flora recorded in the valley.
A statement on our current position was issued on 24 February 2014.
We are having another Latchmore Supper in Hyde Memorial Hall on Wednesday 30 April. Tickets for the last one sold out very quickly so, if you would like to come to this one, please apply soon.
An editorial in The Forest Journal on 6 March 2014 reports on Margaret Bunyard’s Presentment to the Verderers’ Court on 19 February (see below).
A Presentment by Margaret Bunyard to the Verderers’ Court on 19 February 2014 drew attention to the poor condition of two recent “restorations” carried out by the Forestry Commission at Amberslade Bottom and Buckherd Bottom. Photographs taken over a period of two years show the progressive disintegration of alterations which used methods and materials similar to those originally proposed for planned work at Latchmore Brook. The subsequent disruption to the local environment is striking and we very much hope that our ongoing discussions with the authorities involved will mean that Latchmore will not suffer the same fate.