1. Why is mitigation needed within Exeter
Exeter is located close to three European Sites, which are protected because of their international importance for flora and fauna. These are:
- The Exe Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA).
- The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA).
- Dawlish Warren Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Residential development in Exeter is considered to impact on these protected habitats because it accommodates a growing population which places increased visitor pressure on them. The visitor pressure comes either from developments in themselves or from developments in combination with others. It is possible that some other (ie non-residential) developments may also place increased pressure on the protected habitats, either during their construction or occupation.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 require the City Council to ensure that the impacts of development on the protected habitats are mitigated. Consent cannot legally be granted for a development that would either alone or in combination with other developments, have a likely significant effect on a European wildlife site, unless full mitigation is provided.
The ways in which this mitigation is implemented are detailed in the South East Devon European Site Mitigation Strategy (SEDESMS), published in June 2014.