Policy 05: Biodiversity

What are we trying to achieve?

Bigger, better and more joined up resilient habitats which support wildlife and species, and the function of ecosystems are improved whilst the evolution of the cultural landscape is respected. We aim to protect biodiversity ensuring, there is no net loss and, where appropriate, secure net gain.

What is the issue?

The current wording of Policy CS26, although referring to the use of mitigation and compensation, does not adequately state that the mitigation hierarchy will be used to decide what residual impacts will be or that the decision will depend on how this impact is weighed against other factors in the application of sustainable development considerations.

We also do not have a clear approach to the way in which we expect to set out and quantify the value of the biodiversity that is on a development site, how it will be affected by the development, how mitigation could reduce impact, what the residual impact could be and whether or not net loss is expected.

Our suggested approach

We will make it clear that we will apply the mitigation hierarchy to all development proposals. The mitigation hierarchy is a tool that guides users towards limiting as far as possible the negative impacts on biodiversity from development projects. It emphasises best-practice of avoiding and minimising any negative impacts, and then restoring sites no longer used by a project before finally considering offsetting residual impacts.

We will support proposals which conserve or enhance biodiversity and ecosystems processes.

We will also have a mechanism in place to enable us to assess those proposals where significant and harmful effects are likely.

We will encourage the inclusion of measures designed to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem processes for all applications.

Policy 05: Biodiversity

We want to:

  • achieve bigger, better, more joined up and resilient habitats; and
  • support wildlife and species; and
  • improve the function of ecosystems.

We will achieve this by:

  • applying the mitigation hierarchy to all proposals; and
  • supporting proposals which conserve or enhance biodiversity and ecosystems processes, and where appropriate, securing net gain.

We will only support proposals which would have significant and harmful direct or indirect effects on biodiversity and ecosystem processes where:

  • the need for the development outweighs the harm caused; and
  • appropriate compensation is proposed which will secure net increases in biodiversity.

Have your say!

Consultation closed on 29th June. Thank you to all of those who took part. Please keep an eye on our Local Plan homepage for announcements and feedback on the consultation

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