Permitting Support Advisor
Water Resources Permitting Support
Permitting Support Centre ¨¨¨¨ Part of National Operations
Water Resources, Permitting Support Centre, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue,
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Dear Mr. Yousuf,
Thank you for your email giving notice of your decision on:
Application number: NPS/WR/001467
Licence number: SW/046/0005/001
Made by Ms Julia Horne, The Mill House, Gara Bridge, Totnes.
I have consulted Roger Furniss (Fish Legal chairman) who has raised a number of issues and suggestions and also the President and committee of the Avon Fishing Association (AFA) who represent our members. The AFA wishes to record its concerns about fairness in the way the EA assessed the impact of the application on the amenity value of the depleted stretch.
We believe that the EA has not dealt fairly with the AFA because:
In our opinion – because of this unfairness – the EA’s decision on this application should be quashed and the application reconsidered following a fair procedure.
Pete Kibel (Fishtek Consulting) was commissioned by the applicant to undertake a fisheries impact assessment. Fishtek invited me to a site meeting on 29th September to discuss the proposal. This meeting was also attended by two EA officers (Kelvin Broad and Nick Prall) and the applicant.
The fisheries assessment report prepared by Fishtek was discussed at the meeting. I was not given a copy of the report before the meeting. Consequently the AFA was prevented from presenting a considered opinion to the meeting.
Therefore after the meeting, I emailed Pete Kibel (Fishtek Consulting) and Cc'd the email to the EA's Kelvin Broad and Nick Prall on 7th October 2010 to raise a number of concerns.
Here is an extract from that email:
"Impact of the application on the amenity value of the depleted stretch
The EA defines a sustainable hydropower scheme as one that “maintains sufficient flow in any depleted reach to maintain the ecology and the fishery, including its amenity value.” (italics added). The EA are also obliged to consider the rights of fishery owners that may be affected.
Your report does not directly address the impact of the proposal on the amenity value of the fishery. You note (section 6.3,page 18) that it is difficult to quantitatively assess the impact of the proposal on the habitat. But you suggest that the available habitat could be reduced by 3-7%. Any reduction in habitat will reduce the amenity value of the fishery. I think most people would be alarmed if a planning application reduced the size of their garden by an unspecified amount!
I do not agree with your estimate. If 50% of the water is diverted down the leat then the amenity value of the depleted stretch could be depleted by a similar amount – 50%"
Pete Kibel replied on 10th October as follows:
"The impact on the fishery is not proportional to the flow split. The reduction in juvenile habitat may be in the order of 3-7% of the useful habitat. It would be less than this for the entire site as it is not all good juvenile habitat. If the leat is properly designed, this would introduce additional habitat that may well offset the few % reduction. "
Several things strike me about this response:
I am left wondering what steps – if any - were taken by the EA to ensure that the amenity value of an already depleted stretch is maintained at its current level?
Roger Furniss has recommended that we ask you to provide details of how the EA assessed the impact of this application on the rights of the Avon Fishing Association and the amenity value of the depleted stretch.
As you may know Roger Furniss retired as chairman of Fish Legal last week and therefore I am copying this request to Alan Butterworth, AT Director leading on hydro as well as Justin Neal, Head Solicitor at Fish Legal.
Chairman and trustee Avon Fishing Association
----- Original Message -----From: PSC-WaterResourcesSent: Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:51 PMSubject: Notice of our decision - Gara Bridge Licence
Dear Mr Kenyon
Notice of our decision
Name of the person applying: Ms Julia Horne, The Mill House,
, Totnes Gara Bridge
Application number: NPS/WR/001467
Licence number: SW/046/0005/001
You provided comments via email on 1st July 2010 and at a meeting on 29th September 2010 relating to the above application for a licence. Having looked at the application and considered your comments, we have decided to grant a licence with appropriate conditions. These conditions will protect the environment and the interests of other water users. Following the acceptance of the application, the applicant was required to carry out a fish impact assessment followed by an assessment of the informal weir. These requirements
ayed the determination of this proposal. Based on the recommendations included in both assessments, the licence was approved on 28 April 2011. I apologise for the del ay in notifying you. I have also attached a copy of the licence for reference. Please note that currently the Agency does not require screening for the operation of the Archimedean screw turbine. del
The person applying for the licence has the right to appeal against the conditions we have applied. We will give you notice of any appeal and you will have an opportunity to make further comments in writing or to attend any hearing or inquiry that may be held.
The Devon Area Environment Planning team has entered a copy of our decision on the public register.
Please let me know if you need more information.
Thanks,Syed YousufPermit Support AdvisorPermitting Support Centre (Water Resources)National Permitting Service ¨¨¨¨ Part of National Operations* Environment Agency, WR Permitting Support, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Business Park, Sheffield, S9 4WF
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