Enhancing Biodiversity in Developments
Barnsley Council, in line with the NPPF (180d) supports developments that secure measurable net gains for biodiversity and in particular integrate opportunities to enhance and improve biodiversity in and around the development sites as part of their design.
Even small-scale schemes and permitted development may provide opportunities to enhance biodiversity and support wildlife for example Swift or Bat bricks, living roofs and wildflower planting.
Biodiversity enhancement may include:
Developments can incorporate biodiversity enhancements through for example choosing a sustainable drainage system or landscaping using plants that attract pollinating insects.
Large-scale or major developments may contribute to the creation, maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity in recognition of the wider benefits that green infrastructure provides for residents, employees, customers or visitors.
They may also do so in compensation for any residual adverse impacts of the development itself following steps to avoid or minimise them.
Local planning polices also promote enlarging, enhancing and connecting existing wildlife sites, creating new sites, and providing joined up and resilient ecological networks. Developments that have the purpose of conserving and enhancing biodiversity or enhance public access to nature where this is appropriate are supported.
As well as setting out this approach in its Green Infrastructure Strategy, Barnsley Council has identified a Nature Improvement Area (NIA) in the lower Dearne Valley as giving particular opportunities for developments to contribute to this vision at a landscape scale.
It has set out additional requirements for developments in the Dearne Valley Green Heart NIA in its Supplementary Planning Document.
Habitat features and measures to support wildlife species include
The Environment Act 2021 stipulates a mandatory net gain in biodiversity for developments. It requires a 10% increase in biodiversity after development, compared to the level of biodiversity prior to the development taking place, as measured by a Defra metric.
NOTE: The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on biodiversity policies published by Barnsley Council in 2019 sets out advice on biodiversity enhancement and net gain, including in the Dearne Valley NIA.