The proposals for a new Woodland Park incorporating Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at the site
Because of the site’s proximity to the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area (SPA) there is a requirement to contribute to Strategic Mitigation measures, by providing Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). This will avoid any indirect effects on several species of ground nesting birds within the SPA, which might otherwise be caused by recreational pressure originating from the proposed development.
The SANG will form part of the Woodland Park (with other areas of the park, for example Longwood Gill and areas of Shermanreed Wood, being outside the SANG under woodland management) and will be delivered alongside the development, comprising circa. 17ha of public open space of a mixture of habitat types. The proposed SANG area will allow residents and other visitors to walk a network of waymarked paths around the surrounding countryside and will be served by two small car-parks, one off Snatts Road and one in the development itself near the A22.
The SANG will be of direct benefit to residents living in and around Uckfield and will also provide many benefits to wildlife. The SANG proposals will conform to best practice guidance including providing the following elements as highlighted on the plan above.
1. A semi-natural space with little intrusion of artificial structures, except in the immediate vicinity of car parks, with visually-sensitive information boards, way-markers and some benches.
2. A variety of habitats for users to experience such as with the following areas
a) areas of open (non-wooded) grassland
b) areas of dense woodland
c) scattered trees and shrubs
d) trees in grassland
3. A circular walk of 2.3-2.5km around the SANG which starts and finishes at the car park which connects to a variety of other routes. Largely unrestricted access across the SANG with plenty of space where it is possible for dogs to exercise freely and safely off lead.
4. Access points to have signage outlining the layout of the SANGS and the routes available to visitors and parking for visitors signposted from the road.
5. A focal point, such as a view point, within the woodland park to provide long distance views to the surrounding area.
The proposals for the Woodland Park, including the SANG and woodland management areas, are to be submitted in ‘Full’ providing detailed clarity on the proposals for this area and to clearly demonstrate its benefits to both the new and existing community.