Wetland wildlife and Planning
A number of wetland species and habitats are protected by law and must be duly considered before carrying out any work or development which could be detrimental to them. A number of planning and public laws also state the need for due regard to wildlife and biodiversity.
A) Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Communities Act 2006 formalises local authorities role in conservation of biodiversity, stating 'Every public body 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'.
Policies and decisions should be based on up-to-date information, using all available datasets e.g. designated sites, priority habitat data, protecting species, and a need for surveys to fill the gaps etc.
B) PPS9 and PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development states the need for the planning system in England to promote sustainable development in the context of biodiversity. Through the 'net gain' of biodiversity and putting greater emphasis on the protection of sites without statutory designation. In terms of accessing individual planning applications PPPS9 Para 14 states: 'Development proposals provide many opportunities for building-in beneficial biodiversity and geological features as part of good design. When considering proposals, local planning authorities should maximise such opportunities in and around developments using planning obligations where appropriate'C) There is a statutory duty for Governments to 'have regard' to conservation of BAP priority species and habitats under Section 74 of the CROW Act. There is now a stated requirement that key national, regional and local BAP objectives and targets should be incorporated into Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) and Local Development Frameworks (LDFs).
Otters and water voles
Otters and water voles are fully protected by UK and European law. Under the Habitat regulations (amended Aug 2007), all necessary steps must be taken to prevent harm to them, or anywhere that they live. If you carry out an activity on your land which could cause harm, you will be required to show that you took all necessary steps to a) Find out if you have them on your land and b) Carry out management or development in a way which minimises the impact to them and their habitat. Activities which are likely to cause harm require a licence from Natural England.
- Otters, land management and development - legal restrictions
- Guidance on licensing and good practice
- Otters - Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (Highways Agency)
- Water vole guidance for planners and developers
- Water voles and development - licensing policy
- Water vole re-introductions ( pdf 240KB)
- SORP leaflet (pdf 1.3MB)
- Water vole survey and licensing
Other wetland species and habitats
- The importance of ponds: A guide for planners and developers
General planning guidance
- Developers guide to biodiversity surveying (pdf 1.8MB)
- EN protected species surveys : when to ask for a survey (pdf 36KB)
- Local Authority Service and Biodiversity
- Sussex Wildlife Trust Planning webpages
- WildCall, the wildlife information service
- A Living Landscape for the South East (1.3MB pdf)
The ecological network approach to biodiversity for the 21st century.