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There is extensive legislation and government guidance which places responsibilities and duties on all public bodies as well as individuals.
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000
- The Natural Environment & Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (which imposes a statutory duty on all Local Authorities to conserve bio diversity)
- Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)
- Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (known as the 2010 Habitats Regulations)
- The Protection of Badgers Act 1982
- The National Planning Policy Framework
- Planning for Biodiversity and Geological Conservation: A Guide to Good Practice
- Circular 06/2055
When are surveys required?
- Look for features or habitats such as – ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, woodland, hedgerows, veteran trees, grassland, allotments, ‘brownfield sites' - especially when adjacent to or linked to other semi-natural habitat
- Bat surveys are usually required when a development includes demolition and significant modifications or conversions, especially of roofs and roof voids
- Check with Worcestershire Biological Record Centre for existing records of protected species
- Check with a Planning Officer / Natural Heritage Officer
- Must be submitted with the application (not left as a condition) and must contain enough information to allow a full assessment of the potential impact of the planning proposal on protected species
- Must be up-to-date (i.e. normally no more than 12 months old) and carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist
- Be carried out at the appropriate time of year/day (hibernation/activity patterns) and under the right conditions (temperature, visibility, weather conditions)
- Include relevant mitigation and enhancement measures – also to be shown clearly as part of the design of the planning submission where appropriate
Demonstrate consideration and compliance with the three derogation tests, where appropriate.
The three derogation tests as set out in Regulation 53 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 are:
- Is the development needed for:
- Public health and safety?
- Other imperative reasons of overriding public interest incl. those of a social or economic nature?
- Preventing serious damage to property?
- Are there any satisfactory alternatives (resulting in no or at least less risk of harm)?
- Is there adequate compensation provided to maintain the favourable conservation status of the population of the species?
Please note, the European Protected Species regime applies whether related to a planning application or not.
Jane Sedgeley-Strachan (Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Officer)