What aspects of environmental consideration, protection and enhancement need attention or better focus in the NDP?
NDP Policy NC1 reinforces existing protections to existing Natura 2000 sites which form Hoylake’s coastline. These include special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the EU Habitats Directive and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the EU Birds Directive.
The area is also a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI) and as such enjoys the highest levels of protection from adverse impact of development or human activity.
But there are other aspects of the environment that are not addressed in the NDP. Sustainable transport provision, pollution control, promoting and supporting local food production and sale are just a few areas that we have not, and could, incorporate into the NDP.
Does the existing market charter agreement between Wirral Council and Birkenhead Markets Limited adversely impact the local economy and environment for Hoylake since we are unable to hold an open air market here, forcing more car users to travel to nearby towns and supermarkets to do fresh food shopping?
Should we have better provision for cycle use, perhaps linking the station with the promenade and the Wirral Way?
Should we incorporate stricter requirements on developers to use ec0-friendly materials, energy, waste and recycling systems in new or conversion developments?
And should the beach and its management be subject to NDP policies?
In order to identify which objectives, priorities and policies relating to environmental protections and enhancements need to be built into the next iteration of the NDP in 2020 we will need to:
- Consult with residents, businesses and other organisations to identify environmental priorities.
- Research current levels of private vehicle use where shared vehicles, public transport or cycles could easily substitute.
- Consider shared energy saving schemes, perhaps in discussion with DONG energy.
- Revisit the question of the Birkenhead Market Charter and the adverse environmental and economic impact on Hoylake that results from having no street market option.