A PROPERTY developer which is set to build a 555-home housing estate in Wallingford will not have to complete an Environment Impact Assessment.

Berkeley St Edward is planning a new housing estate on the outskirts of Wallingford which it is calling Highcroft.

It already has planning permission to build the estate including a new primary school, but last month it made a so-called Screening Opinion Request to establish whether it needed to carry out an Environment Impact Assessment.

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In its request to South Oxfordshire District Council, the company highlighted environmental information to prove the development would not have significant negative effects on the environment.

The developer said the next stage of the development would not increase flood risk or have a significant effect on the environment.

The developer also concluded that the habitats found on the site were typical of those found in rural settings and that none were of significance in a national, regional, or local context.

However, it also admitted that most of the site was arable farmland of limited habitat value which would be lost.

Oxford Mail:

The council has now concluded that an Environmental Impact Assessment in connection with this development at this time would not be required.

In its official response, South Oxfordshire District Council decided and said: “Having regard to the characteristics of the development, it is not considered that there is potential for significant environmental effects.

“All issues are considered to be of local significance only and can be examined through the normal planning process.”

Oxford Mail:

The council said it had taken into consideration the likely impact of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area and felt the information it had about the development was sufficient without an additional Environment Impact Assessment.

This includes a potential for an increase in traffic, the potential effects on biodiversity, landscape, heritage assets, trees, and flood risk.

The council also thought about the potential effects of noise and air quality, and the potential socio-economic implications of the development.

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In the decision letter it also stated: “Please note if the proposal changes in nature or scale from that stated above, this could trigger the need to reconsider whether the impacts result in the development being EIA development.”

The new Wallingford housing development is set to have one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom detached, semi-detached, terrace and apartment properties.

The properties are primarily two storeys in height, except for the two three storey apartment buildings and a two and a half storey pair of semi-detached townhouses.