News & Views

In recent years a number of high-profile legal cases have highlighted the importance of air quality when considering mechanisms whereby development can impact on ecological features. These cases include Wealden District Council v Secretary of State EWHC 351 (which considered air quality impacts on Ashdown Forest SAC and established the requirement to consider ‘in combination’ effects for all relevant plans and projects)

This article discusses the current application of biodiversity gain policy to development in England, recognising the distinction between current policy provision and forthcoming legal requirements. Although the progress of the forthcoming Environment Bill is delayed in the Parliamentary timetable until later in 2021, biodiversity gain is already a national planning policy requirement; however, expectations vary between local planning authorities.

The scope of work for wind farm proposals in Scotland often includes surveys for range-restricted mammals including Scottish wild cat, red squirrel and pine marten. Assessment of habitat quality, searches for field signs and camera trapping are all routinely undertaken to inform presence/absence.

Following on from our recent article about the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre regeneration proposals in Nottingham city centre by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Dr Peter Shepherd and Kirsty Kirkham reflect on a Study Visit of nature reserves in the City of Nottingham they undertook in summer 2019 and review the lessons learned about incorporating biodiversity into urban regeneration.
Ahead of upcoming changes to wildlife policy and legislation, Kirsty Kirkham (Director) and David Stiles (Senior Ecologist) were invited to talk to the University of Sheffield Estates and Facilities Management Teams. The presentation looked at the practicalities of managing ecological issues that might arise as part of planning a proposed development, within the context of current biodiversity legislation and policy guidance. It then went on to focus on the implications of Brexit, the draft environment bill and how to navigate the risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity net gain.