This map is taken from the Herefordshire Land Classification Map and shows the land in the corridor of the Southern Link Road, graded from 1, the highest grade, down to grade 5, the poorest soils. The best and most versatile land is defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as Grades 1, 2 and 3a. These top grades of land are the most flexible, productive and efficient in response to inputs and can best deliver food and non food crops for future generations. Soil is a non-renewable resource with its preservation essential for food security and our sustainable future. Soils host a quarter of the planets’ total biodiversity, as well as acting as a store and water filter, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.
For these reasons National Planning Policy states “Local planning authorities should take into account the economic and other benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land. Where significant development of agricultural land is demonstrated to be necessary, local planning authorities should seek to use areas of poorer quality land in preference to that of a higher quality”.
The proposed Southern Link Road causes the loss of a minimum of 31.2 hectares of Grade 2 agricultural land for its entire length between the A49 and A465. The amount of loss of the highest Grade 1 land for the new western spur near Clehonger Court, is not specified by Parsons Brinkerhoff.
BUILDING THE SOUTHERN LINK ROAD ON THE BEST & MOST VERSATILE AGRICULTURAL LAND IS CONTRARY TO NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY.
If you would like to respond to the planning application for the Southern Link Road:-
1.write to Ms Kelly Gibbons, Planning Dept, PO Box 230, Blueschool House, Blueschool Street, Hereford. HR1 2ZB. (Tel 01432 261781).
2. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Copy in your ward councillor (contact details can be found here )
In any correspondence include the planning application reference given at the top of this page P151314/F. Deadline for comments is now 5th November.