Ceredigion county council has a responsibility to protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment when considering proposed development, planning applications, and land use changes. A high quality, picturesque, natural environment is integral to Ceredigion’s character and tourist economy.
European and UK legislation, national and local plans place responsibilities on the LPA which include the protection of European Protected Species (EPS), UK protected species and protected site. The level of protection afforded to these species and habitats varies but it is a material consideration that their protection be considered at all stages of the planning and development process.
The Ceredigion Local Development Plan (2007-2022) (LDP) provides local policies for determining developments within Ceredigion. The whole ethos of the LDP is built around sustainable development which incorporates the LA’s proactive approach towards achieving a high quality natural environment.
There are several policies which make a contribution to protecting the environment but the key policies for nature conservation are:
- DM14: Nature Conservation and Ecological Connectivity
- DM15: Local Biodiversity Conservation
- DM16: Regionally Important Geological Sites (4.8)
Other relevant LDP policies include:
- S01: Sustainable Growth
- DM06: High Quality Design and Placemaking
- DM10: Design and Landscaping
- DM20: Protection of Trees, Hedgerows and Woodland
- DM22: General Environmental Protection and Enhancement (4.18
As a biodiversity survey and assessment is a national requirement under the 1APP process, applications without an appropriate biodiversity survey and assessment (be it a preliminary ecological appraisal, bat survey etc.), which require one, or where the report submitted recommends further survey and this has not been carried out, will be invalidated on application. Invalidation may also occur following consultation with the LA Planning Ecologist where further survey work is required or reports submitted are inadequate.
The earlier that developers/landowners contact the LA for advice the better as ecology needs to be integrated into the proposed development from the start in order to ensure the least impact and the most opportunities have been taken to enhance wildlife. This will also reduce delays for applicants during the application process.
The following documents provide more information about planning and ecology:
- Technical Advice Note 5: Nature Conservation and Planning
- Nature Conservation SPG
- Bats and Development
For more information regarding ecological issues in relation to planning and development contact:
01545 572147 / 07966018107