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The effect of a masterplan on the existing natural and built environment requires careful consideration. This includes habitats, species, heritage, landscape character and landscape features of value, whether designated or otherwise. The visibility and appearance of development from the wider countryside (and from existing built-up areas) is also an important consideration.

It is equally important to understand how people already use the area and what they value most. There is great scope to protect the existing walking and cycling network and to create a more permeable and linked up environment.

The significance of the Bechstein Bat population is clear. The town planning of Trowbridge has addressed this issue before in respect of Ashton Park and the town wide Site Allocations Plan (Elizabeth Way and towards Southwick). By planning strategically, a landscape scale approach to mitigation can be developed.

This is an ongoing process, and it is useful to begin engagement with existing residents and bodies, such the Canal and River Trust, with more than a blank sheet of paper. The concept plans will help generate further discussion and ideas and a further optioneering stages will follow before the plans are finalised.

More broadly, conservation is a term that is used to cover adapting to and mitigating climate change. The Council’s emerging Local Plan policies and the regulatory system for building across England will govern the ever more stringent approach to building standards. Our landowners’ land is already generating 9MW of clean energy from the solar farm between the canal and the River Avon.

Increased flood risk tends to be associated with climate change. There is little risk to the actual site, and any water that is seen on the fields of the site in the winter is surface water.

Development always needs to put in place new drainage regimes to retain and release run-off into the network at a controlled rate. The ongoing technical evidence developed by expert consultants clearly demonstrates development is not going to cause the Avon to flood any more, or more frequently than it does already.

The Hilperton Marsh Farm part of Great Whaddon.