Planning, Development and Biodiversity
Building is inevitable with a growing population but if done sensitively we can ensure there is space for wildlife too.
We are often asked about planning decisions, how to object to them and how to influence them.
The need to build more roads and houses is inevitable with a growing population. But these developments use up space and have the potential to impact wildlife. Careful planning can ensure that wildlife still has access to the habitat it needs and that connectivity between different habitats is maintained.
The Law states that:
“Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity.”
Here at PTES we often receive queries about planning legislation; how to object to an application, how to ensure wildlife is not destroyed during development or what sort of mitigation is appropriate. Whilst we are not experts on the planning process and don’t have a dedicated member of staff to deal with such enquiries, we can point you in the right direction. The links below should help you find all the relevant information you need to understand planning law and how to influence planning decisions. Please remember to base any objection on a legal principle rather than personal feelings.
Legislation.gov.uk carries most types of UK Legislation. Here is the link to Section 40: Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
The Planning Portal is a joint venture between TerraQuest and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Has a good FAQ section
A set of tools and resources to help you defend and include priority habitats when development is threatened. Developed by PTES and our orchard partners.
Friends of the Earth
An overview of the English Planning System
Royal Town Planning Institute
Planning Aid offers planning advice and support to individuals and communities
Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning
A web-based planning tool – the Wildlife Assessment Check – that offers householders and small to medium scale developers a simple check to see whether a potential development project requires expert ecological advice.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
For reporting complaints against your local council visit www.lgo.org.uk
Other places to find information and specific advice about the local area or the wildlife that resides there are:
- Your local council
- Your local Wildlife Trust
- The National Biodiversity Network Atlas. Use it to explore UK biodiversity data, as contributed by participating data providers
- Worcestershire Wildlife Trust planning for biodiversity