Biodiversity given greater consideration as part of Nottingham’s planning process

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Nottingham City Council has taken an important step towards protecting and enhancing biodiversity linked to new developments this week.

The Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was approved by the City’s Executive Board on Tuesday (18 February), and will help to increase, protect and enhance the biodiversity as new developments come forward. This includes plants, microscopic organisms, trees, habitats, animals and ecosystems.

The SPD, which went to consultation in June last year, provides guidance to developers on how to consider, increase, protect, enhance and incorporate biodiversity into new proposals and adds further detail to the policies set out in the council’s Local Plan. Future planning proposals must show they have considered:

  • The impact of the scheme
  • Any legislative and polices which protect existing biodiversity
  • How to avoid, mitigate or compensate for adverse impacts
  • The necessary measures required to increase, enhance, monitor and maintain biodiversity

The natural processes of healthy ecosystems can clean air and water, and can help reduce flooding.  Increasing biodiversity can also contribute to reducing carbon, which will help the City Council meet its pledge of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2028.

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Close up of Admiral butterfly

Rich biodiversity not only benefits the environment, but can also benefit people. Experiencing nature can relieve stress and improve mental and physical health. Biodiversity also creates rich soils, which humans rely on to produce food and medicines.

Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “Biodiversity is all around us and this includes on sites proposed for development. Consideration of biodiversity is therefore a key aspect of sustainable developments.

“The decisions made today will impact on the quality, diversity and abundance of habitats and species available for future generations. Therefore, if we want to continue to protect our natural environment and benefit from our biodiversity, we need ensure that we put the right plans and polices in place now to help protect and where possible, enhance it.”

Now approved, planning officers and members of the Planning Committee will be able to use the Biodiversity SPD alongside other documents when deciding whether to allow or refuse planning permissions.

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Once adopted, you will find a link to the SPD here: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/information-for-business/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/the-local-plan-and-planning-policy/

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