What Can Your Plan Do For Biodiversity

Conservation and Enhancement?

Depending on the type, scale and location of the plan, it will probably work indirectly to help biodiversity conservation and enhancement, for example, through policies dealing with issues such as climate change, renewable energy, management and protection of green belts, green infrastructure, flood risk management, coastal erosion, the conservation of landscape character, and so on. These indirect benefits should not be underestimated.

But what can the plan do more directly? It will probably be able to do the following things. 

Your plan will be able to help to protect: 

  • designated sites at international, national and local levels from inappropriate developments within the sites or otherwise affecting them;
  • places where protected species are known to have occurred from records;
  • places where habitats and species occur that are listed by Government as priorities for biodiversity conservation;
  • wildlife corridors, linear and other countryside and urban features that provide ecological links or stepping stones and help to join up designated sites and other important habitat areas, allowing wildlife species to move more freely and habitats to respond to climate change more easily;
  • green spaces and previously developed, underused and contaminated land of wildlife value, which might otherwise be a priority for development

It will be able to do this by:

i.     including protection policies where appropriate;
ii.    steering change that may adversely affect biodiversity resources away                  from sensitive areas; and
iii.   ensuring that specific proposals are only included in the plan if they                   would not have significant adverse effects on biodiversity resources.

Your plan will be able to encourage the enhancement of biodiversity through: 

  • Specific habitat creation targets;
  • Requiring development to build more innovative biodiversity enhancement measures into development proposals in the same way that landscape proposals are routinely expected to be incorporated;
  • Expecting the preparation of management plans;
  • Committing to the production of supplementary guidance on biodiversity.

It will be able to do this by:

i.     including policies for biodiversity management and enhancement where                appropriate;
ii.    steering change that can bring opportunities for habitat creation to those              areas most in need of such benefits; and
iii.   ensuring that the enhancement opportunities of specific proposals included in       the plan have been considered and included as part of the plan’s                       expectations.

What can biodiversity conservation and enhancement do to help your plan?

Healthy ecosystems offer many benefits in terms of quality of life and place-making.

For example, better functioning ecosystems help to save money and should not be seen as ‘conservation costs’, for example, functioning floodplains store flood waters, help increase biodiversity, improve the distinctiveness of local landscape character and cleanse rivers. Attractive, well-managed, distinctive landscapes, towns and villages stimulate and sustain economic development and regeneration. Investments in major environmental initiatives are likely to reduce costs to society and improve quality of life in many ways.

Wildlife-rich environments can attract inward investment, expand the range of economic activity, increase tourism and day visitors to the area or where growth is not a target, it can help to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Biodiversity conservation and enhancement can help to facilitate better quality developments through more sensitive design and management of places and spaces.