Planning and Ecology
Planning and Ecology
In the role of Local Planning Authority (LPA) Pembrokeshire County Council has a responsibility to protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment when considering proposed development, planning applications and land use changes.
Vulnerable species and habitats can be adversely affected as a result of development and it is the responsibility of the LPA to consider the potential impact of the proposal upon the ecology of the site. If there is potential for any adverse impact, mitigation or compensation may need to be incorporated into the scheme to offset any negative consequences.
European and UK legislation, national and local plans place responsibilities on the LPA which include the protection of European Protected Species (EPS), UK protected species and Sites and Species of Principle Importance. The level of protection afforded to these species and habitats varies but it is a material consideration that their protection be considered at all stages of the planning and development process.
Relevant plans and legislation include:
Local Planning Policy
Pembrokeshire County Council Local Development Plan
GN.1 and GN.37
National Planning Policy
- Planning Policy Wales (Edition 5, November 2012) Chapter 5
- Technical Advice Note 5 (TAN 5), Nature Conservation and Planning (2009)
- Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (transposes European legislation, the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, into UK law)
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
- Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
The Local Development Plan for Pembrokeshire County Council considers the potential impact of proposed development on the natural environment, species and habitats, under the headings GN.1 and GN.37.
GN.1 General Development Policy, criterion 4 provides that
Development will be permitted where it respects and protects the natural environment including protected habitats and species.
GN.37 Protection and Enhancement of Biodiversity
All development should demonstrate a positive approach to maintaining and, wherever possible, enhancing biodiversity. Development that would disturb or otherwise harm protected species or their habitats, or the integrity of other habitats, sites or features of importance to wildlife and individual species, will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances where the effects are minimised or mitigated through careful design, work scheduling or other appropriate measures.
The British Standards for Biodiversity - Code of practice for planning and development (BS 420202:2013) amalgamates best practice and guidance for those in the planning and development sector. Pembrokeshire County Council will take into account the British Standard for Biodiversity and would encourage those in the planning, development and environmental sector to adopt the processes and recommendations as published.
In accordance with Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Wales) Order 2012 and the British Standards for Biodiversity applications which require ecological surveys will not be validated until such information can be provided. The level of information should be necessary, relevant and proportionate to the development and adequate to inform the determination of the application.
The Trigger List for bats provides further information on proposals likely to require bat surveys, other activities likely to require ecological surveys include wind turbines, hydroelectric schemes and development adjacent to internationally and nationally important sites (see Protected Sites). Pre-application discussions provide an opportunity for applicants to identify if surveys are required and are recommended at an early stage.
For more information regarding ecological issues in relation to planning and development contact:
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