Planning and the Law
Why consider protected species during land use planning processes?
The conservation of bats within the built environment is reliant on the delivery of a number of factors:
- the provision of roosting opportunities;
- the availability of foraging and commuting habitat; and
- the appropriate management and protection of existing roosts and areas.
For these factors to be delivered, development proposals must have as much information as possible before applications are given planning permission.
- Specific planning policies in each country.
- Applications that have been refused on conservation grounds.
Legislation dictates that any structures or place which a bats use for shelter or protection are protected from damage or destruction whether occupied or not. This legislation has been incorporated into planning policies. This means that planning authorities have a legal obligation to consider whether bats are likely to be affected by a proposed development.
How does this relate to day to day planning?
In instances where a planning authority has not done any what is outlined above, they could have failed their duties and you have a right to challenge them.
The British Standards Institution has published a code of practice for planning authorities on how they should address biodiversity in planning.
- an appeal decision concerning bats in 2009 (BCT summary of the case) – planning permission revoked. The judgment clarifies for the first time the legal duty of a Local Planning Authority ("LPA"). Woolley v Cheshire East Borough Council - Approved Judgment full text
- an appeal decision concerning newts in 2005 - dismissed because insufficient information was supplied for the site. A survey was needed (but not supplied by the applicant) in order to assess the proposal's impact on newts
- In England - National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), references the ODPM Circular 06/2005 and its Guide to Good Practice
- In Wales - TAN5 Nature Conservation and Planning
- In Scotland - NPPG14 Natural Heritage and PAN60 Planning for Natural Heritage
- In Northern Ireland - PPS2 Planning and Nature Conservation
Updated May '12