Planning and Development.
A key part of Barnsley Council’s planning policies is to seek to minimise and mitigate any adverse impacts on biodiversity and to enhance and provide net gains in biodiversity. This is considered in deciding whether to approve or refuse a planning application.
Some developers and land owners take pride in the contribution they can make to enhance the environment and respond positively to the need to protect and enhance biodiversity.
However Barnsley Council has regulatory and enforcement powers, sets planning conditions and agrees obligations for development.
National Policies and Legislation
The Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006 sets out the statutory duty for a public authority to have regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity in the exercise of its functions.
The Environment Act 2021 makes explicit that the duty is to conserve and enhance biodiversity. It set the requirement for new development to demonstrate a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain. This applies from November 2023 (small sites April 2024).
The National Planning Policy Framework as revised in 2021 states that planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment, including by
It also states that plans should promote …
and identify and pursue
Details of Barnsley’s priority and protected species, priority habitats, and designated sites are given in this Biodiversity Action Plan
Some development sites and their immediate settings may have minimal biodiversity interest and smaller scale development such as domestic extensions or changes of use in urban settings may not create adverse impacts on biodiversity.
However it is always important to look out for such impacts. An existing building may have bats roosting and swifts nesting; a garden may be regularly visited by hedgehogs; and a brownfield patch may support notable invertebrates.
Considering potential impacts on biodiversity as well as opportunities for its enhancement and achieving net gain, should inform selection, design, planning applications, construction and ongoing uses of sites.
Developers and the planning authority also have to take account of the legal protection of certain species.
Further information is given via the following links on conserving, enhancing and achieving a net gain in biodiversity, minimising and mitigating adverse impacts, and taking account of protected species.
Planning and Development