CLA East Noticeboard

Consultations, surveys, notices, and selected stakeholder newsletters and industry events in the eastern region

Government OxCam Arc Consultation

Following the publication of the Government’s first consultation on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, the CLA is in the process of putting together a response, with direction from the CLA’s OxCam Arc Working Group.

The deadline for submitting responses to the consultation is Tuesday October 12. The CLA’s submission will therefore be published on our website prior to this for interested members to download and use to support individual responses.

For more information, please contact CLA East Regional Surveyor Alison Provis on 01638 590429 or email: alison.provis@cla.org.uk.

Farming conference returns

The East of England Farming Conference returns to the East of England Showground in Peterborough on 18 November.

Tickets for the conference are now on sale and CLA members can receive a 10% discount on the ticket price by using the code EoEFC21CLA when booking.

Visit www.eoefarmingconference.co.uk

Water abstraction licence review

The Environment Agency (EA) has launched a consultation which outlines a new charging regime for water abstraction licences from April 2022. The proposals revise how both the licence application fee and the annual charge are calculated and will raise an additional £22 million a year.

The impact of the proposed changes on licence holders will vary depending on water usage, location and timing of licence renewal. The CLA is eager to understand the impact of the changes on members, who should contact CLA East Adviser rachel.brooks@cla.org.uk to express their views.

The consultation runs for 12 weeks until 10 November.

Sizewell C Application Hearings

As part of the application process for the proposed new Sizewell C power station, public hearings will be taking place from Tuesday September 14th to Friday September 17, to deal with specific issues resulting from the development. The hearings will be held in person, and online, using Microsoft Teams, and priority in attending the hearings in person will be given to those unable to join using the internet.

The hearings will provide an opportunity for those with specific concerns to make a representation in person to the Examining Authority, and will deal with a number of matters including the following:

  • September 14th: flood risk, ground water, surface water, water supplies and coastal processes
  • September 15th: community, amenity, recreational and potential health issues during construction
  • September 16th: Landscape, historic heritage and AONB impacts
  • September 17th: Code of Construction Practice and other regulatory matters

CLA members who are likely to be affected by the proposed development will probably be aware of these hearings, but this link will take you to the Examining Authority’s letter which includes more information:

For those unable to get access to the letter via this link, further information is available from:

Sizewell C Case Team

National Infrastructure Planning

Helpline: 0303 444 5000

Email: SizewellC@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

CLA members wanting more information or have any questions about this process can contact us on email east@cla.org.uk or call 01638 590 429.

Water Resources East Workshops

Booking is now open for the Water Resources East's Local Focus Catchment Workshops taking place throughout October and November. These one-day workshops will help WRE create its first draft of a Water Resources Regional Plan for Eastern England - to be published in January 2022 for informal consultation.

The workshops, open to WRE members, will be of particular interest to local environment/community groups, catchment partnerships, all levels of local authorities, local farmers and landowners, food producers and national and regional organisations that have an impact or presence in the local catchments.

Workshop dates:

Tuesday 5th October (10am to 4pm): Cam & Ely Ouse, Welland & Nene and Old Bedford catchments

Tuesday 2nd November (10am to 4pm): Combined Essex, Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne catchments

Thursday 4th November (10am to 4pm): East Suffolk, Broadland, North West Norfolk and North Norfolk catchments

Tuesday 9th November (10am to 4pm): Louth, Grimsby & Acholme, Witham, Steeping, Great Eau & Long Eau catchments

To express an interest in attending one of these workshops email contact@wre.org.uk

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Road Improvement Scheme

The Planning Inspectorate has published further information on the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Road Improvement Scheme as part of the Examination Stage which can found here and include:

The Examining Authority’s Rule 8 letter includes information on forthcoming deadlines. The scheduled Hearings are the point at which proposals can be influenced and mitigation measures asked for and it will become increasingly difficult beyond this point.

If you would like to discuss the Scheme and its impact on you with our Advisory team, please do contact the CLA East office on 01638 590 429 or email east@cla.org.uk.

To keep up to date, anyone can sign up for updates on any Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) via the National Infrastructure Planning website. Find the homepage of the relevant scheme via this link and insert your email address under the ‘Email updates’ section on the right hand side.

Essex Climate Action Fund

Essex County Council is offering grants of up to £20,000 to support voluntary and community projects tackling climate change in the county.

The £500,000 Climate Action Fund, which is available until March 2023, has been created to support the Essex Climate Action Commission’s ‘Net Zero: Making Essex Carbon Neutral’ report, which makes recommendations on how all organisations, businesses, local communities and residents can work together to make Essex net zero by 2050.

An opportunity for Norfolk and Suffolk sugar beet growers

The Soils for Sugar Project is an exciting initiative which is being funded via Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund.

The project will provide practical guidance on how to respond to the changes highlighted in the Agricultural Transition plan, the impact of climate change and requirements to reduce carbon emissions.

Those participating in the project will benefit from:

  • benchmarking analysis of their business
  • help identifying alternative opportunities and income streams
  • a business plan that will improve productivity, resilience and sustainability
  • help improving the productivity and resilience of their soils
  • discussion on ways of preserving Natural Capital and methods of accounting for carbon sequestration.

The project is funded entirely by Defra, therefore participation is free. The project will run from July 2021 to February 2022. Those interested should contact jamie.gwatkin@virgin.net as soon as possible as available spaces on the project are limited.

England Coast Path - Essex

The Secretary of State has approved proposals for the following stretches of the England Coast Path.

Jaywick - Harwich | For details click here.

Burnham-On-Crouch - Maldon | For details click here.

The right of access to the approved stretch of coast does not come into effect at this stage. Natural England will be working with the local authority to establish any infrastructure works before an Order is made by the Secretary of State under the 2009 Act to bring the rights into effect.

CLA members who have any questions about this process can contact the CLA East office on 01638 590 429.

Water abstraction - Norfolk

The Environment Agency (EA) has announced changes to water abstraction licences held by 20 businesses in the Ant Valley on the Norfolk Broads.

This means that farmers and local businesses will be required to develop alternative sources of water, rather than take it from rivers, lakes or groundwater.

The EA has taken the decision stating significant pressures on water demands in the area as the reason.

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:

“The CLA is supportive of the aims of the Environment Agency’s Restoring Sustainable Abstraction programme. But the situation in the Norfolk Broads demonstrates why farmers and landowners must be supported through any changes to abstraction licencing and appropriately compensated.

“Making sweeping changes to abstraction licences, without proper consideration of other environmental pressures, will make little difference to the water environment as well as impacting food production and rural businesses. With many members in this area already at the sharp end of climate change impacts, losing critical access to water is a hammer blow.”

Covid-19: Support packs in Suffolk for seasonal and migrant workers

Suffolk County Council is running a pilot called the Welcome to Suffolk pack which aims to increase knowledge of services available in Suffolk to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The focus is to provide support to seasonal and migrant workers who may not be as familiar with what is on offer locally to them.

The pack contains the following:

  • LFT kits and pocket size hand sanitisers
  • Useful information, in different languages, on the importance of testing and vaccination
  • Information to support the workforce mental health and wellbeing in addition to access to local services
  • Access to a vaccine

To order these packs please contact Claudia Parrino, Community Engagement Manager at Suffolk County Council: claudia.parrino@suffolk.gov.uk

Tree Production Innovation Fund

The Forestry Commission, in collaboration with DEFRA, will be launching the Tree Production Innovation Fund (TPIF) in late July 2021.

There will be £1 million in funding made available in 2021/2022 to encourage the development and adoption of new technologies and ways of working that will enhance the quantity, quality and diversity of planting stock available for tree planting in England. Public bodies will be required to partner with private sector third party organisations to be eligible for funding.

Applicants will be invited to apply for up to £200K in grant funding to support projects that address one or more of the challenges identified as barriers to tree production.

For full details click here.

Farming in Protected Landscapes programme

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is a part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan. It will offer funding to farmers and land managers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads. It is not an agri-environment scheme.

The programme will fund projects that:

  • support nature recovery
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been developed by Defra with the support of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Park staff from across England.

It will run from July 2021 to March 2024.

Further details for this region here:

Broads and Norfolk Coast https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/looking-after/projects/farming-in-protected-landscapes

Suffolk Coast https://www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/managing/farming-in-protected-landscapes/

The Chilterns https://www.chilternsaonb.org/projects/farming-in-protected-landscapes.html

Lincolnshire Wolds https://www.lincswolds.org.uk/news/farming-in-protected-landscapes-programme

Lower Thames Crossing consultation

This Community Impacts Consultation gives people the opportunity to review and comment on plans to build and operate the Lower Thames Crossing, and proposals to reduce the impact on the local community and environment.

Topics include changes to traffic, air quality, noise and vibration, as well as the impact of the new crossing on the environment and landscape. Read more.

Wildlife Ponds - Funding available for creation and restoration

Funding is now available in certain parts of the East for the restoration and creation of ponds capable of supporting great crested newts. The funding is part of Natural England’s District Level Licencing Scheme (DLL) for great crested newts, a new strategic approach to compensating for the loss of newt habitats, which seeks to provide new ponds and bigger, better, more joined-up habitat for this orange-bellied amphibian at a landscape scale.

In Cambridgeshire and Essex there is a high demand for such wildlife ponds through the DLL scheme. The scheme is now also live in Beds, Suffolk, and Norfolk and is due to be launched in Herts. If you have a pond creation or restoration project in mind, please email jilly.mcnaughton@fwageast.org.uk or martin.baker@wildlifebcn.org for further information and to find out whether your project qualifies for funding. Most of the ponds delivered under the scheme are fully funded and there is also ongoing funding to monitor and maintain the ponds in good condition for 25 years.

Proposed extension of Lincolnshire Wolds AONB

North Lincolnshire Council has been working on a proposal to extend the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a formal request has been submitted to Natural England, asking them to consider a proposal for a variation to the northern boundary.

The proposals affect many members in this region and CLA East has therefore set up a “Working Group” of affected members to influence our work around this.  If you would like to participate in the Working Group, or to receive more information on the proposals and be kept up to date on progress, please contact CLA East Regional Surveyor Alison Provis on 01638 590429 or email alison.provis@cla.org.uk.