The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) sets out the national policies on the protection of biodiversity within the planning system. Circular 06/05: Biodiversity and Geographical Conservation - Statutory Obligations and Their Impact Within the Planning System provides administrative guidance on application of the law in England relating to planning and nature conservation.
The NPPF aspiration is to achieve 'no net loss' of biodiversity through the planning system, and to move to 'net-gain' for biodiversity where possible.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (the “Habitats Regulations”) also require Local Planning Authorities to have regard to the regulations including the protection of certain species when determining planning applications.
The Ecology Service plays an essential role in providing advice and consultation on Worcestershire County Council planning applications (avoiding delays, additional costs and legal challenges), in informing planning decisions (determining the validity and adequacy of supporting ecological information) and in defending the ecological rationale behind planning decisions post-application (e.g. at appeal).
For further information on biodiversity in planning and land-management, please contact the Ecology Service Team.