Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SPA SPD

Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area Supplementary Planning Document

The Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area/Ramsar site was formally classified by the UK government in 2011. It covers 1,358 hectares across four local authority areas namely; Northampton, South Northamptonshire, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough. It is a composite site comprising 20 separate blocks of land and water fragmented by roads and other features, and located adjacent and / or close to urban areas.

It is legally protected by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (Habitat Regulations) for a number of reasons. Specifically it is a wetland of International Importance used regularly by more than 20,000 water birds and by 2.3% of the UK Golden Plover population.

Key threats to the SPA are recreational disturbance to water birds, and poorly designed or located development. It was determined that a robust and consistent approach to planning applications was required to safeguard the site’s nature conservation interest while bringing through new sustainable development. Therefore a guidance document was proposed to enable this approach.

Working closely with Northamptonshire County Council and the partner authorities the SPD has been jointly prepared by Natural England and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).  It supports the respective partner authorities, developers and others ensure that development has no significant effect on the SPA in accordance with the legal requirements of the Habitats Regulations.

The SPD, the Consultation Statement, the Community Impact Assessment and the Adoption Statement can be found below: