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Planning and Biodiversity Seminar 2018

22 November 2018, University of Suffolk, Ipswich

Organised by Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service, Norfolk County Council and Place Services Essex County Council in collaboration with the Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE)

Click on an image below to open or download the presentations

Presentation 1 Presentation 1
Presentation 2 Presentation 2
Presentation 3 Presentation 3
Presentation 4 Presentation 4
Presentation 5 Presentation 5
Presentation 6 Presentation 6
Presentation 7 Presentation 7
Presentation 8 Presentation 8
Presentation 9 Presentation 9


Presentation summaries

1: Update on key national issues

Mike Oxford, ALGE

A light-hearted examination of why we don’t always get the biodiversity mitigation or enhancements we have agreed to or expect from the planning and development process. The session also considers whether the reasons for this are an inevitable outcome of human interaction and communication (i.e. whether we are doomed to failure!!), or whether we can make subtle but important tweaks in the way we approach things that might result in better outcomes. Mike will present some practical solutions of his own, but will also seek audience participation to find out who else might have had an ‘epiphany’ along the way.

2: Spatial Planning for Health: Green Infrastructure

Carl Petrokofsky, Public Health England

An overview of key aspects of the Brexit process and what they mean for the natural environment and planning. Covering the main environmental implications of Brexit, the Article 50 negotiation, the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Defra EU exit programme and the Secretary of State’s vision of a “green Brexit”. He doesn’t promise answers, but he hopes we’ll come away with a better collective understanding of the issues, and he doesn’t have a big red bus, so he can promise no money either…

3: Planning for Pollinators

David Dowding, Buglife

Pollinators and the work Buglife is doing to help them across the UK. Key topics are the Bee-lines initiative and the Urban Buzz project and how Buglife are promoting pollinators through the planning system. There are lots of case studies and examples of habitat creation and land management strategies for pollinators, particularly in urban areas.

4: Suffolk Design: Biodiversity – 1

Philip Isbell, Acting Chief Planning Officer Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils

Philip introduces the Suffolk Design project and set out how it relates to the wider work of the Suffolk Growth Programme Board and explains the overall programme of work that is being undertaken and the outputs that are anticipated.

5: Suffolk Design: Biodiversity – 2

Lindsey Wilkinson, Chartered Landscape Architect

The presentation discusses policies, practice and tools to promote and embed biodiversity objectives and initiatives throughout the planning and design process. It covers how planners, designers and developers can work collaboratively and creatively to promote green infrastructure and apply biodiversity in practice.

This is the second part of the Suffolk Design presentation which is working to create and embed design guidance across the County.

6: Mitigation for stag beetles - the Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

Colin Hawes, Royal Holloway University of London

The stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) is listed on Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive. It is fully protected by law in Europe and is a UK Priority Biodiversity Action Plan species.

Loss of habitat is the principal cause of the decline in local stag beetle abundance and is responsible for extinction in known populations. This presentation illustrates this species unusual life cycle, explains the constraints faced when conducting surveys for this insect and suggests simple methods to mitigate the loss of habitat.

7: Potential uses of existing bird survey data to facilitate planning decisions

Gavin Siriwardena, British Trust for Ornithology

Interest in “greening” developments is growing but typically leads to tweaks to plans based on anecdotal evidence and subjective preferences, such as for swift bricks and hedgehog houses, or ponds and wildflower beds. There is a gap in the ready availability of quantitative evidence for the consequences of planning decisions. This talk will describe new and planned analytical work exploiting the data archives of the BTO to understand how different features of urban landscapes affect birds and to construct models to predict the effects of different possible urban structures, from the garden scale up to regional or national. The aim is to develop the results into accessible tools to help planners consider how different urban design options will influence local biodiversity, whether relating to where development should go or to how to do it after locations are known. This will help planners and developers to produce environments that support both conservation and high environmental quality as perceived by local residents.

8: People Over Wind case – implications for Development Control Decision Making

Gareth Durrant, West Suffolk Council

A discussion of the ‘People over Wind’ case handed down by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in April this year and, in particular, the implications of the ruling for the consideration and determination of planning applications that may impact upon designated European sites. The ECJ ruling is likely to increase the volume of Appropriate Assessments carried out before planning decisions are reached in parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. The presentation will therefore include a short summary of the legislative context of, and basic requirements for carrying out, an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ under the UK’s ‘Habitats Regulations’.

9: Wildlife Crime and Developments

Paul Cantwell, Suffolk and Essex Constabularies

Paul’s talk outlines the role of the Police in relation to species and habitats in respect of development cases. It covers some typical situations that get referred to it, and how cases are investigated. It will cover powers that the Police have in relation to such cases, how the Police work with relevant partner agencies and cover some case studies.