Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. CONSULTATION DRAFT 2022 - FOR COMMENT




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 by in deciding whether to approve or refuse a planning application.

Many 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 also has regulatory powers and 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 also made it a requirement for new development to demonstrate a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).

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

Barnsley Council’s  Biodiversity (BIO1) policy is given in its Local Plan. A Supplementary Planning Document on biodiversity policies was published by Barnsley Council in 2019.

Details of Barnsley’s priority habitats, priority and protected species 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 should inform site selection, designs, planning applications, construction and ongoing uses of the 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 and enhancing biodiversity, minimising and mitigating adverse impacts, and taking account of protected species.

Cover of Barnsley's Local Plan 2019

Planning and Development