The Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning is a partnership of 19 organisations representing the planning and conservation sectors, who are working together to simplify, streamline and improve the consideration of biodiversity in the planning process.
This collaboration will deliver targeted, industry-led solutions. Our outputs will include an innovative web-based planning tool that will enable users to undertake a simple check of whether a potential development requires an ecological assessment; and a web portal that will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for guidance relating to protected species in the planning process.
Our work is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Benefits of the project
The Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning has been established to benefit all those involved in the planning process – the public, developers, planners and ecologists – and for developments of all scales.
Using our simple, free-to-access planning tool, developers will be able to check whether a development under consideration requires an ecological assessment. It will also show the species that are likely to require investigation, the surveys that may be required and the time of year these surveys should be carried out. With this information developers can:
- More accurately assess the costs of obtaining planning permission.
- More efficiently schedule works to take into account the need to undertake an ecological assessment.
- Avoid costly delays that can occur when a planning application is submitted without the appropriate ecological evidence.
- Assess the need for an ecological assessment to a consistent and high standard across their operations.
Our planning tool is based on a trigger list concept which is already successfully employed in a number of local planning authorities.
This tool will be freely available to the public and developers at the pre-application stage, ensuring that applications are submitted with the appropriate ecological evidence and reducing delays caused by missing or inadequate ecological information.
The tool will allow the individual validating the application to make a quick, straightforward check of whether it should be accompanied by ecological evidence. At the determination stage it will provide planners with the information they need to assess the quality of the ecological evidence submitted and the appropriateness of any recommendations.
Our tool is designed to enable users to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework and will support users in meeting British Standard 42020:2013 Biodiversity – Code of practice for planning and development.
Our web portal will bring together up-to-date best practice guidance covering all UK protected species into a single ‘one stop shop’, allowing ecologists working in both local authorities and consultancy to quickly find the information they need. Users will be able to browse by species or search for specific information.
Our planning tool will help developers understand the potential impacts of a development and provide independent justification should an ecological assessment be required.
This project will be led by the needs of users. We are looking for planning authority staff, local environmental record centres, developers, ecologists and other participants in the planning process to feed into the Partnership and road-test the solutions we develop. For further information or to get involved please contact us