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Planning and Biodiversity Seminar 2013

12 November 2013, British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford

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Presentation 1 Presentation 1
Presentation 2 Presentation 2
Presentation 3 Notes Presentation 3 Notes
Presentation 3 Slides Presentation 3 Slides
Presentation 4 Presentation 4
Presentation 5 Presentation 5
Presentation 6 Presentation 6
Presentation 7 Presentation 7
Open forum answers Open forum answers


Presentation summaries

1: Update on key national issues

Mike Oxford, ALGE

The presentation gives a very brief update on the final published version of the new British Standard – BS42020 Biodiversity a code of conduct for planning and development. It then gives an update and a bit of a commentary on Defra’s Green Paper on Biodiversity Offsetting and the response to it from a number of conservation organizations. Finally, the results from a nationwide survey of ecologists and planners will provide the basis for an examination of the ecological competence and capacity that is required for a LPA to discharge its statutory obligations for biodiversity.

2: North Norfolk's experiences of solar farm developments

Kerys Witton and Cathy Batchelar, North Norfolk District Council

The presentation gives an overview of North Norfolk District Council’s experience of large-scale solar farm applications. It will focus on the ecological impacts resulting from the change of use from arable farmland and securing appropriate biodiversity mitigation and enhancement measures within current policy guidelines.

3: Biodiversity enhancements for solar farms

Jacqui Miller, RSPB

This talk explores the opportunities for biodiversity gains where solar farms are developed on previous intensive arable farmland. It will outline the ecological and policy drivers for securing biodiversity enhancements. A package of measures developed by the RSPB will be introduced, which aims to meet the needs of declining farmland species while working with the practicalities of solar farm management. The potential for implementing this through pre-application advice and through planning conditions will be discussed.

4: Neighbourhood Plans

Gillian Benjamin, Community Action Suffolk

A general overview of Community Led Planning and the main features of Neighbourhood Development Plans. How they are produced and what they can offer to communities.

5: Wild Anglia adding value to strategic planning matters

Gareth Price, Wild Anglia

An update on progress with Wild Anglia, outlining the context for Local Nature Partnerships in relation to the planning system, highlighting some ideas for how Wild Anglia can add value to planning and inviting discussion on future opportunities.

For further information about Wild Anglia visit

6: Habitat Regulations Assessment

Rachel Hoskin

A whirlwind tour of the step by step process of Habitats Regulations Assessment, highlighting the key roles and responsibilities of the planning authority, developer, statutory and non statutory consultee.  She intends to dispel some myths and inaccuracies in understanding the key principles of the legislation, and hopefully leave the audience a little less frightened by the whole process.

7: Recreational impacts on European sites

Durwyn Liley, Footprint Ecology

This talk explores the links between housing and recreation, and provides an overview of the impacts of recreation on European sites, considering the implications for Habitat Regulations Assessment and spatial planning.

8: Open Forum Session

The answers to the pre-submitted questions.  A huge 'Thank You!' to members of the Panel who contributed on the day, and subsequently, to provide this information.