Issue - meetings
Local Nature Recovery Strategy and Bio-Diversity Net Gain
Report of the Director of Planning and Development attached.
Zoe Whiteside, Service Lead - Spatial Planning provided a brief overview of the local nature recovery strategy and biodiversity net gain that would be introduced as part of the Environment Act. Across England, there would be special strategies for nature which contained a map which featured the most valuable habitats, with proposals for creating and improving habitats.
The Environment Bill to make delivering biodiversity a mandatory part of the development process, which included the establishment of Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) and a 10% uplift of biodiversity from late 2022, calculated by the Biodiversity Metric Tool Kit. In Spring 2023, a national digital register of Bio Net Gain sites in place which the 10% would be spent.
The 10% uplift per application could be on site or off site, the areas would be identified where the uplift would take place, this could result in money towards investing in areas to achieve the 10%.
The three Councils must ensure cooperation, joint engagement and aligned planning policies for the creation of the nature strategy. The data needed to be an accurate representation of species and local habitats with input from local knowledge, local space officers.
Staff needed to be trained to understand the software and date.
Biodiversity net gain needed to be considered and a part of the template for Section 106, guidance would be provided by the Planning Advisory Service.
It was clarified that the 10% was not a charge but it was the value of biodiversity. It was expected that it would be incorporated in the planning process the same way flood and travel report were submitted. If this was not feasible on site, off site provisions would be made based on the software’s projection.
Members expressed concern that there could be an increase in the cost of homes. But Officers explained that it would be a viability issue that would have to be factored in.