6.7 - Community Groups Newcastle

Development Control Committee
7 October 2005
Planning Policy Statement 9 on Biodiversity and Geological
Report by:
Head of Planning & Transportation
Ward Implications:
Planning Control Area
Biodiversity means the variety of life; the many plants and animals, large and small,
and the range of habitats in which they live. Biodiversity is all life on the planet,
including human beings.
Planning Policy Statement 9 (or PPS 9) sets out the government’s current policies for
dealing with wildlife and geological features through the planning system. Planners
are required not only to protect natural features, species and habitats but also to
positively enhance them. PPS 9 promotes ways to conserve and improve the
diversity and quality of England’s wildlife and geology as an essential part of helping
to deliver sustainable development.
PPS 9 was issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in August 2005 and the
new guidance replaces the 1994 Planning Policy Guidance Note 9: “Nature
Conservation”. This report outlines briefly the changes and revisions that have been
made and the significance of the new guidance in the planning process.
The government wishes to see biodiversity properly considered at every stage in the
planning process and PPS 9 provides the good practice guidance for Local Planning
Authorities to ensure this is achieved.
There is also revised circular 06/05 ‘Biodiversity and Geological Conservation’
providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on the statutory protection
afforded to wildlife and natural features through national and international legislation,
and local and national Biodiversity plans.
A detailed good practice guide is to be issued later this year, to help us comply with
national policy and meet the aspirations contained in PPS9.
The most important messages in PPS9 are summarised below.
Planning decisions must be based on up-to-date surveys and environmental
information. Where local wildlife and geology would be harmed by a proposed
development and adequate mitigation or compensation cannot be provided,
planning permission should be refused.
Developers should incorporate wildlife features within development proposals.
Over recent decades England has lost much of the wildlife and natural habitat it
once had. PPS9 recognises that it is not enough to conserve what remains and the
planning system must help enhance and restore lost habitats.
Stronger protection is now to be given to ancient woodlands and priority habitats
and species listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. (See annexe for more
details.) Ancient woodlands occur in Newcastle mainly in our “denes” and are
included in our own local action plan “Your Wildlife”.
Developers and planners must recognise the biodiversity value of previously
developed or “brownfield” sites and the need to retain this through good design of
redevelopment schemes.
PPS 9 recognises the loss of many of England’s wildlife and natural habitats and
that it is not enough to conserve what remains. The planning system must now
help to “enhance” and “restore” lost habitats.
There is a clear role for the Local Development Framework. We are required to
identify Newcastle’s natural features and wildlife resources, show clearly the
hierarchy of sites and set out what we will expect from prospective developers.
Newcastle will have a city-wide landscape and wildlife enhancement network with
detailed policies to allow the enhancements to be delivered. Our existing
Supplementary Planning Guidance will be saved and updated.
PPS 9 encourages all local planning authorities and developers to think carefully,
early in the development process, about how best to enhance and restore biodiversity
and to take steps to ensure this is achieved. Later this year the good practice
companion guide will also be available for use.
Development Control Committee is recommended to accept this report for
Held by Head of Planning & Transportation on File LE17
‘Your Wildlife’ The Newcastle Biodiversity Action Plan October 2001.
Local Development Scheme February 2005 (Chapter 8 Site Specific Land Allocations:
Amenity, Green Space, Heritage, Biodiversity and Environmental Designations and Appendix
D: Proposed Supplementary Planning Guidance to be saved.)
Planning Policy Statement 9 can be inspected on the website of the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister.
Derek Hilton Brown, Ecology Officer
Extension: 27195 Direct Line: (0191) 277 7195
E-mail: Derek.hiltonbrown@newcastle.gov.uk
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“Working with the Grain of nature” A biodiversity strategy for England
There are 45 UK priority habitat action plans and 347 priority species. (Note these are
currently under review) The strategy is divided into chapters on the main land uses.
Agriculture: 9 priority habitats and 82 species, (Eg. Cereal field margins, skylark)
Water and Wetlands: 89 priority species and 9 priority habitats. (Eg. Lowland reedbeds,
water vole)
Woodland and Forestry: 65 priority species and 5 priority habitats. (Eg. Wet woodlands,
wood pasture, parkland, red squirrel, bullfinch)
Towns, Cities and Development: (Eg. Lowland heath, wood pasture, parkland, Great
crested newt, Song thrush, Bats)
The coasts and seas: 58 species and 17 habitats.
UK Priority habitats of relevance to Newcastle
Ancient species-rich hedgerows
Cereal field margins
Eutrophic (nutrient rich) standing waters
Lowland beech and yew woodland
Lowland calcareous grassland
Lowland dry acidic grassland
Lowland heathland
Lowland meadows
Lowland raised bog
Lowland wood pasture and parkland
Wet woodland
“Your Wildlife” Newcastle’s Habitat Action Plans
Dene Woodland
Gardens and Allotments
Scrub, Shrub and Hedgerow
Industrial Land
Man-made Structures
Lowland Raised Mire
Parks, Open Space and Roadside Verges
Ponds and Lakes
Rivers and Streams
Tyne Estuary and Tidal Streams
Newcastle and UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species
UK Priority species of relevance to Newcastle
UK BAP species found in Newcastle but not included in Newcastle BAP
Reed bunting
Corncrake (1 report about 7 years ago!)
Water vole
Bat species
Young’s helleborine
“Your Wildlife” Newcastle’s Species Action Plans
Great Crested Newt
Grey Partridge
Tree Sparrow
Song Thrush
Brown Hare
European Otter
Red Squirrel
p67octlb- Planning Policy Statement 9 on Biodiversity and Geological Conservation (aef)